Pioneer SX-535

This Pioneer SX-535 was a modest offering from Pioneer in the mid 1970’s and retailed for $299.95. On the market from 1974 until about 1976 the SX-535 produced 20 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Other Pioneer receivers released in 1974 included the SX-636 and SX-737. The wood cabinet, walnut end caps, brushed aluminum silver front and blackout dial face gave it a distinctive mid 70’s look. Pioneer always had the classy beveled knobs as well.

Oh, and that blue glow is hypnotizing!

Developed before the wattage war of the late 70’s the SX-535 wasn’t a power monster. In fact, Pioneer marketed it as being efficient and asked, “Why pay for watts that are wasted?” Their marketing brochure stated:

The Pioneer SX-535 combines practical power with advanced features and high performance to prove that high power is not always the answer when it comes to good high fidelity listening.”

Pioneer backed up their marketing claims with a number of quality features. The FM tuner section is excellent and uses a low noise FET and a 3 gang variable tuning capacitor in the front end. The FM MPX circuit is a Phase Lock Loop (PLL) type with an IC. These features result in clear and stable reception with high sensitivity and selectivity as well as a very good signal to noise ratio. Both the bass and treble tone controls are click-stop design.

Pioneer also included a very good phono section in the SX-535 that uses a 2-stage direct-coupled equalizer and precise RIAA equalization. This means that the sound on the record is amplified by the SX-535 without any coloration. What was cut into the grooves of the record is what you hear.

The power amplifier is a direct-coupled OCL design and keeps total harmonic distortion at a decent 0.8% or less (over the entire audio range of 20 – 20,000Hz). Pioneer used discrete components in the audio sections (1 IC in the tuning section) which makes the SX-535 easily serviceable.


  • Tuning range: FM/AM
  • Loudness control
  • Muting
  • Inputs: Aux, Phono, Tape 1, Tape 2, Mic
  • Headphone Jack
  • Power output: 20 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 30kHz
  • Total harmonic distortion: 0.8%
  • Damping factor: 30
  • Input sensitivity: 7mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
  • Signal to noise ratio: 65dB (mic), 70dB (MM), 90dB (line)
  • Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN)
  • Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
  • Dimensions: 480 x 147 x 405mm / 18 29/32 x 5 25/32 x 15 15/16 inches
  • Weight: 10.3kg / 22lb 11oz
  • Accessories: FM T-type antenna
  • Year: 1974

The Pioneer SX-535 is a nice, reliable receiver with plenty of power to run some medium sized, efficient speakers in a smaller listening area. It has minimal, but well performing, features and looks great as well. Anyone needing a lower powered receiver that does the basics very well should take a serious look at the SX-535. Actually, most of the smaller Pioneers of that era were great sounding receivers.

Available on Ebay

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