Pioneer SX-450

Pioneer SX-450

The smallest receiver in the Pioneer lineup during the mid to late 70’s was the Pioneer SX-450. These entry level receivers were only rated at 15 watts per channel but were still built with quality materials and craftsmanship. Sure, there were fewer features then the bigger receivers had and vinyl veneer instead of wood but the SX-450 is still a good receiver for a second system or garage stereo. It will hold its own in a smaller room but tends to lack the power for a larger room.

Pioneer SX-450

Made from about 1977 until 1979 the SX-450 retailed for just under $200.00 and, as you can see, it has the usual late 70’s look that personified the Pioneer receivers of the time with the silver face, beveled knobs and “wood” case. Inside it has the usual great Pioneer build quality. It is small so it only has 40 capacitors and 8 lamps.

Pioneer SX-450 Back

The Pioneer SX-450 also had the following features:

  • FM muting
  • Tape monitor switch
  • 2 pairs of speaker outputs
  • Direct-coupled OCL circuit in the power amplifier
  • High FM sensitivity
  • Low noise FET in the front end
  • Frequency linear 3-gang variable capacitor
  • Total harmonic distortion: 0.5%
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 60kHz
  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 5.5 x 12 inch
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Separate bass and treble controls
  • Tuning Meter
  • Tape input/output
  • Loudness switch
  • Headphone Jack
  • Phono and Aux inputs
Pioneer SX-450 Ad

The Pioneer SX-450 isn’t something that audio collectors are going to fight over but they still have a market. Anyone interested in vintage audio on a budget would be wise to try one of these receivers before spending a large amount of money on a more expensive unit. They are also great for someone learning to restore older audio components as these are fairly simple and easy to work on. Needless to say these units do sell well.  They run from about $30 at the low end up to around $125 for one in great working condition.

Available on Ebay

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7 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-450

  1. Plan on replacing all 40 caps on this unit as they are 35-37 years old.It will sound like the speakers have a wet towel in front of them if you don’t.

  2. I had one while at the University of Kentucky back in 1978/79. I had to sell it for financial needs at the time. The other day I was in a flea market and they had one. The manager said it was not for sale since it was returned with a problem and it had not been checked out yet. I offered $20 as is, and he let me have it. So far, there aren’t any major issues other than some pealing veneer. What an pleasant find when not even looking for it.

  3. I had one at Purdue and I played it loud and blew one of the output transistors while playing billy Jean, went to radio shack and got one, and soldered it in and it fixed it. Awesome receiver! Wish I could get a new one.

  4. My dad bought one of these in 1976. We lived in a rather large house then, and with volume halfway up I awoke my parents who were still sleeping. She did very well for at least 15 years, then moved to the study room of my dad where she did well for another 10 years. To my regrets dad turned her in for some plastic Chinese radio which took less room… That chinese one is busted now, had a life-span of just a few years. I’ll seek a good sx 450 for him for a birthday present, I still have the original Sansui speakers dating back to 1976 .

  5. My wife decided we should get back into vinyl records and bought a vintage Pioneer turntable out of nowhere. So being a little bit of a radio guy I knew we needed a receiver to get it going. I grew up with Pioneers as a kid, my uncle and grandparents owned Pioneer, so I felt a bit of a connection there. Found the SX 450 on ebay of a really good price (Pre-pandemic). Bought it took it to a stereo guy to be cleaned and tuned. We haven not been disappointed. Great sound and runs the turntable flawlessly. Had the neighbor call the cops on us as it was to loud. Great little receive compared to it bigger brothers. Wouldn’t trade it as it will run for another 40yrs.

  6. I got mine a few months ago at the very logical and affordable price and I have to admit that the result listening to vinyl and CDs is astonishing

    It was a big surprise that such a small amplifier could drive all kinds of speakers

  7. I bought one new in 1977. You needed smaller/efficient speakers but it would easily fill a small to mid sized room. Sound of all pioneers in the 70s was rock solid. I’ve upgraded several times since then but this one kept coming out of the attic. The string for the tuner broke about 1998. Fixed that but by 2010 the pots were pretty bad and the lights didn’t work. I guess I must have tossed it cuz I pulled out my turntable recently and was looking for a receiver with a phono input and I can’t find it. If I finally tossed it I’m very sorry. Great receiver but will likely need TLC after 40+ years.

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