Pioneer SX-550

Pioneer SX-550

The Pioneer SX-550 is one of the smaller receivers that Pioneer produced. It is the successor to the SX-535 and produces a whopping 20 watts per channel. It was introduced in 1976 and was discontinued in 1978. It has the standard styling of the late 70’s Pioneer SX line with the silver face and faceted knobs.  It had wood side panels but the top panel was made of metal.  Early on it had a list price of nearly $250.00 but dropped to around $200.00  in 1977. This made the SX-550 a very affordable unit for someone on an audio budget.

Pioneer SX-550

Of course the lower retail price came at the expense of local production as Pioneer outsourced its manufacture to the Republic of Korea. It weighs roughly 21 pounds and measures 18 x 15.5 x 12 inches.

The Pioneer SX-550 also features:

  • Weighted Analog Flywheel Tuning
  • Tuning Precision Meter
  • FM Stereo Signal Indicator Light
  • 3 Gang Tuning Section
  • Controls For Bass, Treble, and Balance
  • Loudness Switch
  • Stereo/Mono Switch
  • Inputs For Aux, Tape Deck, and Phono
  • Headphone Jack on Front Panel
  • Drives A, B, or A + B Speakers
Pioneer SX-550 Back

While Pioneer collectors obviously favor the bigger receivers these smaller units are great for small rooms or the garage and, despite the outsourcing, were still built with quality components.  Generally the SX-550 will sell in the $150.00 to $400.00 range.

Right Now on eBay 
Clicking a link to eBay may result in a referral commission being paid if a purchase is made.

13 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-550

  1. I bought one of these to use while my Marantz 2215B was being restored , it is a great sounding little amp and appears very well built . I was surprised to find that even at this lower level in the product range it has a detachable power cord . It also has the pressure fit speaker connectors rather than the cheap screw terminals you often see in cheaper vintage units . I was so impressed i went out and bought 2 more Pioneer receivers , a 590 ( black face version of the 580 ) and a 737 . Quite curiously the 590 also has a detachable mains cord facility but the more expensive 737 doesn’t . They are all great units and will get progressively refurbished . Now I have one for each bedroom -:)

  2. My old SX550 from the road side garbage was intermittent, and it turned out to be a bad transistor in the mute stage, easy fix with a modern 2n3906. Then the driver to the right finally went and that took a while to find, but it was Q6 and a 2n2222 got it going just fine. Thank heavens for on line manuals! Thank you! A wash and a wax and it is looking sharp, with all the new white leds in the display. Sounds better than the old Hitachi SR603 30 watt.

    1. I I am always looking for a good repairman to repair my stereo components. I live in Huntsville Alabama.

  3. My older brother purchased the SX-550 back in 1975-76 In Calif. and had it hooked up and playing for bout a year..We since then moved back to Nebr. and he stored it in original packaging in his closet ,, Here it is 35 plus years later ,He set it up again and it is sounding as good as if new..I myself am a diehard Pioneer fan..Im 63 yrs old and still put pioneer head units in my vehicles, Pioneer is in my opinion the best more bang for the buck

  4. While in the Air Force Stationed in the Azores I bought a Pioneer sx-550 it only lasted about two years and it died I subsequently bought a second sx-550 when we returned to the states through Spiegel’s and it lasted a year-and-a-half and it died so my opinion of pioneer and their quality at least for the 550 is not very high.

    1. I’m coming a bit late to this party. I suspect that both times you bought an SX-550 that was made in Korea. The made in Japan ones have proven to be quite reliable, although now, at 45 years of age as of 2022, they do need servicing.

  5. This is interesting! I am German, we sold and serviced Pioneer HiFi in my father´s shop for years. In these times I realised the smaller receivers sounded extraordinarily good. Of course I could not buy such a small receiver then… I bought the SA 8500 II and TX 9500 II instead. And still own them. Of course today – bitten by the Classic HiFi – bug – I needed a small SX -?50 and found a good 550 for a reasonable price. I am in the process of getting it back to service. I do a lot of tests before I power it up not knowing the devices past.

    Now to the interesting part: the label on the back side of the SX-550 clearly states “Made in Japan”.

  6. Recuerdo que cuando era joven( ahora tengo 59 años) estaba maravillado con el SX 550, pero estaba lejos de mis posibilidades… pasaron los años, pero siempre cercano a los sistemas hi fi….pero ocurrió el milagro, encontré un SX 550 camino al basurero, lo rescaté y lo deje 100 % operativo y es una maravilla, y eso que junto a el , han estado monstruos como unos amplificadores Yamaha y Sansui, hasta 5 veces más potentes…pero al final me quedo con mi SX 550, a pesar de sus 46 años …suena más joven que nunca.

    I remember that when I was young (I am now 59 years old) I was amazed at the SX 550, but it was far from my possibilities… the years passed, but I was always close to hi fi systems… but the miracle happened, I found an SX 550 on the way to the garbage dump, I rescued it and left it 100% operational and it’s wonderful, and that along with it, there have been monsters like Yamaha and Sansui amplifiers, up to 5 times more powerful… but in the end I keep my SX 550, despite of his 46 years … he sounds younger than ever

  7. I’m glad to hear mostly great reviews of this unit. I picked one up for about $20 at a yard sale around the corner. It’s worked well for a few years but occasionally the right channel cuts out so I plan on servicing it. Good to know it will be worth the investment.

  8. there’s a typo in the review: …” introduced in 1977 and was discontinued in 1977.”

    introduced in … ??? not sure – seems I bought mine somewhere between 1970 and 1975 …

Leave a Reply

Comments are manually moderated and may not show up immediately after posting. As long as they are not spam they will show eventually. No need to repost.