Pioneer SX-424

Pioneer SX-424

People tend to focus on the big, powerful receivers when looking at vintage stereos, but, there are some little guys out there that are very appealing as well. Not everyone has the space or desire for a 50+ pound monster in their house. Some just want a well performing, small, affordable stereo. Well, the Pioneer SX-424 is just that. Pioneer introduced it in the early 1970’s – probably sometime around late 1971. It retailed at that time for about $200 which was very affordable. By 1974 the price had dropped to about $130.

Pioneer SX-424 Left Knobs

The SX-424 does not pump out a boatload of power. But, the 12 watts it does put out are solid and will drive most speakers. It has a pretty decent tuner as well as phono section.

Pioneer SX-424 Right Knobs

The SX-424’s close relative the SX-434 (1974) was only slightly different in that it had a Balance control knob, silver capped push buttons, slightly different knob design, FM muting and screw down speaker inputs. Actually, the next receiver up the Pioneer line from the Sx-424 was the SX-525. The SX-434 came out later. The SX-4×4 models were essentially the bottom of the performance line for Pioneer. Still, these little receivers did a good job and fulfilled their purpose admirably. In fact, calling them bottom of the line is overly harsh. Pioneer made stereos that were marketed under both the Centrex and Craig names. Those receivers were definitely inferior to the entry level Pioneer models.

Pioneer SX-424 Dial

One of the bigger drawbacks of the SX424 is that the speaker plugs are non-standard. As you can see below the speaker inputs look like a wall plug. The one on the left has an ‘adapter’ that plugs into the inputs and has the more common screw down speaker wire holders. The one on the right is the ‘stock’ input without the adapter.

Pioneer SX-424 Speaker Plugs

You can find these speaker plugs on eBay HERE.

Pioneer SX-424 Signal Meter

Parts are also easy to come by so if you need a repair it can be done relatively inexpensively. Knobs are also available fairly often for reasonable prices.

Pioneer SX-424 Inside

The inside of the SX-424 is nice and simple. The styling of the SX-424 is also notable in that it has that iconic Pioneer silver face, blue tuning dial and wood case. All blend together to create that vintage look that so many collectors / enthusiast want.

Pioneer SX-424 Back

If you’re looking for a smaller low power stereo for a room or office the Pioneer SX-424 is definitely one to consider. Just be sure to pick up some speaker plugs if the unit doesn’t have them. Pricing on the SX424 is very reasonable so you don’t have to break the bank to get a nice little workhorse of a stereo.

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25 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-424

  1. Purchased one of these in January 1975. Mostly sold at a store called “Tweeter”. Had mine for about 10 years. Didn’t break, just upgraded. Pioneer was a very underatered model in that day. Not a great look, but durable. I moved mine 7 times around the world.

  2. I own one of these I purchased at a garage sale in the early 1990s. I didn’t realize it only put out 12W, but it will even drive my Magnepan speakers adequately. Its phono input is not a good match for my wood-body Clearaudio cartridge however, that cartridge sounds really tinny hooked up to it. Other cartridges fare much better with that particular phono stage.

  3. Bought one of these new from a place called Stereo Design in Hampton, VA in 1972. It still works great. Used to load it in my car with a turntable and speakers and take it to parties. It has survived that as well as four years of college, grad school and many moves since. Still looks like new. What a fine machine.

  4. There is huge difference between the 424 and 434, sound and quality-wise.
    The SX-x2x series is THE most lavish receiver series ever built by Pioneer, the x3x-series is only second to the best.
    The 424 (like all x2x) has very early transistor topology in the power amp section with very limited NFB with capacitor-coupled output == most tube-like sound. The 434 power amp section features a differential stage for deeper NFB (just like in all modern amps) and is direct-coupled – still sounds good and can deliver more current for inefficient speakers, but sounds more solid-state.

  5. Hey I got a stereo 424 receiver plus a garrstfd turn table 2 Harmon karmon speakers loyd. 8 track and Yamaha head phones for a graduation present in 1974 I added 2 more speakers and Za auaduflex cassette deck Pacific stereo store brand I was set
    And that system was powered by my pioneer 424 receiver I would love to find a 424 in working order
    . Any hints.

  6. Love my SX424, got it in 1970 and still in perfect condition. I had to change all the dial lights however. Very clean interior compared to the 550 that I just repaired. Huge difference in quality inside. For your bad left channel, you can sometimes estimate where the trouble is by following the schematic diagram if you are into electronics. Test all inputs first, then the switches, then probe the input stage of the preamp and listen for hum. Only if you know what you are doing! I have never had a problem with mine so never looked inside other than under the lid.

    VASTE PRIJS SPEELDE MET GEMAK T&A 120 criterium tmr 100 aan.

    FIXED PRICE PLAYED WITH EASE T & A 120 criterion tmr 100.

  8. Heel leuke site ga zo door mijn complimenten.
    Met vriendelijke groet Pieter..

    Very nice site so go through my compliments.
    With kind regards Pieter ..

  9. Reactie voor peter linker kanaal doet niets .
    Mijn ervaring is de zekering op achter zijde 1.2 amp.
    Als gevolg van vorige eigenaar sluiting met aansluiting heeft je twee eind transistors opgeblazen.
    Geen probleem zijn gewoon te koop voor €4.50 een setje.
    Het is de C1061 /3K.
    Met vriendelijke groet Pieter.

    Response for peter left channel does nothing.
    My experience is the fuse on the back side 1.2 amp.
    As a result of previous owner closure with connection you have blown up two end transistors.
    No problem are just for sale for € 4.50 a set.
    It is the C1061 / 3K.
    With kind regards Pieter.

  10. I have a vintage 1975 Realistic STA-47 stereo that appears virtually identical to the Pioneer SX-424 and SX-434. Only the front knobs, etc., are arranged differently and the internal specs are a hybrid of each. I inherited the STA-47 from my late father who purchased it new and it has had over 40 years of trouble-free usage until recently when the audio output became distorted. My local electronic service centre is repairing it and told me that many Pioneer products were re-badged Realistic–the “in-house” brand name sold by Radio Shack/Tandy Corp. I would definitely prefer to repair a Japanese-made appliance such as these rather than buy a new Chinese piece of crap.

  11. I’m not understanding the comparisons fully here…is the 434 actually then slightly better because of the speaker connections?

  12. Just my opinion but the SX-424 is probably a better built receiver. It’s just that the speaker connections usually require an adapter, which isn’t that big a deal really. And, a lot of them have screw down speaker connectors on either the A or B speaker side anyway. Not sure if they were modified at some point or built that way but I’ve seen quite a few like that (plug on A and screw down on B, or vise versa). The SX-434 is a few watts more powerful at 15 wpc though.

  13. Hi

    Can I use any bookshelf speakers with this unit? I am planning to buy Denon SC-E313 speakers that runs on 8ohms with max 100 watt output. I afraid of using a non-compatible speakers. Unfortunately, very less information is available about the speaker compatibility. I also have an option to buy refurbished wharfedale diamond 210 series but not sure whether it may work with this unit or not? I have also read that I can use any bookshelf speakers ranging (4ohms to 16ohms) but not sure about the RMS/Wattage compatibility.

    I request you to please suggest me the choice for speakers.

    1. Hi Afi,

      I have the same interrogation about my SX-424 … Wich one of these 2 speakers you choose ?

      Thanks and have a nice day !

    1. I’ve heard that you can run the 901’s with as little as 10 watts per channel but that’s certainly not ideal. Also, the 901’s usually need the Bose equalizer to sound their best which I believe requires a pre-in/out on the receiver which the SX-424 does not have. So, it would probably work without the EQ but the speakers won’t sound near as good as they could with a higher wattage receiver and EQ. I also heard John Wawrzonek, who worked at Bose, say he would not use less than 50 wpc or more than 200 wpc on the 901’s.

  14. Bought my SX 424 in 1973 while working at Sterling Electronics in Houston, Texas when I was 15 years old. Wore out many an LP with the PL 12D turntable i bought with it.(wish I still had that turntable) Took me all summer to work and save up for the two. The 424 sat in my garage for years until last year when I had it fully restored… now puts out 19 watts per channel. That little receiver is so solid and the sound out of it connected to a pair of NL Advent speakers is just a joy to listen to. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia of my teenage years listening to all the great 70’s rock and country, but this little receiver just gets the job done with a simple ease. No flash, just a little workhorse. I’ll never get rid of it. I now own a SX 1010 that I had semi restored. It is a beast….so powerful. I think I prefer my 424 to the 1010. I may sell the 1010. I have it hooked up to a fully restored CT 9191 cassette, fully restored HR 99 8 track and a pair of CS 99’s (tweeters refoamed).

  15. Witam,
    poszukuje potencjometr volume/balance oraz wskaźnik signal do Pioneer SX-424
    Moze ktos z państwa może mi pomóc w zdobyciu tych cześci?



    — Hello,
    looking for volume/balance potentiometer and signal indicator for Pioneer SX-424
    Can any of you help me get these parts?

    Thank you

  16. Don‘t scoff at these smaller Pioneer receivers. The sound is good and the build quality is top notch just like the much coveted “monster“ models. Hooked this up to a pair of cs44g pioneer speakers and a bluetooth receiver on an aux input for my office. Perfect combo, Instant satisfaction. Great quality fm tuner. Vintage stuff way better than new crap.

  17. Hello,

    Im looking for a Pioneer SX-828 switch. Part # ASA-020. for the speaker and power switch. Do you know where I can find one? Thanks – Josh

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