Pioneer SX-650

Pioneer SX-650

One of the classic mid-range receivers offered by Pioneer in the mid 70’s was this Pioneer SX-650. As you can see it has the classic silver face styling of Pioneer’s 50 series which, when coupled with the wood case, makes for an exceptionally clean and stylish looking receiver.  The SX-650 was produced from 1976-1977 and sold for around $300.00.  The SX-650 puts out 35 watts per channel in to 8 ohms and was designed and marketed for those with an average sized listening room and who wanted good value for their money. The 650 didn’t have to many frills but what it did it did well.

Pioneer SX-650 User Manual

The Pioneer SX-650 weighed in at around 29 pounds and its dimensions are: 19 x 6 x 14.5 inches.  For those with dial lighting issues the standard bulb in the SX-650 was an 8V 300mA globe bulb. Those are a little difficult to find these day so a good substitute is a 10mm  8V  .250A wedge bulb. They can still be fairly easily found and are not too expensive.

Pioneer SX-650 Back

The SX-650 also featured:

  • high filter
  • FM muting
  • two tape in/outs
  • one phono input
  • aux/mic input
  • tuning meter
  • signal meter
  • click-stop tone controls
Pioneer SX-650 Inside

The Pioneer SX-650’s are not uncommon. They can be found fairly readily so their prices are not too high. This is great for someone just starting out in vintage audio. You can get yourself a good quality receiver for not too much money. On average the SX-650 will sell from about $300.00 to over $500.00 obviously depending upon condition.

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51 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-650

  1. I have an sx 650 and it blew up. Now it doesnt work in stereo anymore. Can anyone point me in the direction of someone that deals in spare parts.

    1. try electro tech services 626 792 4115 . in glendale ca. Jorge Gamez. he has worked on my equipment for 25 plus years .

    2. I knew a company in Enschede, The Netherlands, specialized in restoring classic radio’s, tube radio’s and classic receivers of all brands. DP Audio at Enschede. The mains voltage in Europe is 220 Volt 50 Hz, I know you people in the US use 110 Volts/60 Hz. But that’s not a problem given the fact they always use a variac which operates the same as the transformer of your model railroad.

    1. If hes not I am interested in your receiver . my name 916 is Gary and 410 I would appreciate it if you’d get back6383 to me at number provided.
      Thank you

      1. I’ve got a sweet one for sale.
        All components tested & working.
        This is from the estate of a life long music lover & collector. Owned by one person & well taken care of & stored.
        Impressive collection.
        Plus many more audiophile offerings.

  2. Bought mine in 1977. I have it in my man cave & it stills kick butt. I plug in my phone & play pandora all the time.

    1. Rob I’m Reading an old response regarding your pioneer 650 your cell phone can be hooked up to the analog receiver you don’t need a D AC converter?

      1. it isnt hard, what you need is a head phone jack in your device, and get headphone to rca cables, go into a tape input, and bam, instant digital to your analog device, i use a pc for all of mine, so i can youtube music, personally, you cannot beat good and up vinyl thou

  3. did it blow up or did it blow the fuse?
    I bought mine in 1976 and it is still going strong. Sometimes the contacts get dirty after 39 years and you have to flip the tape switches to get it to make good contact or you can lose 1 or 2 speakers.

  4. I had my SX 650 for 42 years, it finally went to the sound machine in the sky. One of the greatest investment in my teen years. It was like losing an old friend, last Friday garbage day. Some must be looking out for me. Because my eldest Son had a SX 750 in his garage he did want, and didn’t know where it came from. I’m a young 62 year old, and today I feel like a teenager all over again. LET THERE BE ROCK !!!

  5. I just cleaned up my father-in-law’s old SX-650 and pressed it into service powering the monitors in my mini home recording studio. I had to DIY some LED replacements for the dial lights, but beside that, a few spritzes of Deoxit in all the pots and switches got it back going strong. ’70s analog iron for a 21st-century laptop DAW. Yeah!

  6. DOH! If you’re using the aux inputs for an MP3 player or audio interface, DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN THE MICROPHONE JACK. If the switch contacts on the jack are dirty, it messes up the AUX signal. The Tape inputs are not effected by the MIC jack.

    Lesson learned.

  7. mine doesn’t have any sound except for some cracking noise,which seems to be coming from the left side of the receiver itself also the 3 lights are flickering.and the power switch knob wiggles somewhat. any suggestions?

    1. Yes Ray, you need to replace Q14 and 15 on the power amp board. 2sc798 transistors. Replace both of them.

  8. Deoxit that can be found at Radio Shack works very well for cleaning audio/volume control contacts. Worked like a champ on my SX 650.

  9. I have an SX 650 that has rust on the back extended part around the speaker connection area. Can anyone give me an idea how to restore that area?

  10. Get hold of sounds classic in Rockford il. All they do is refurbish classic audio. I’ve had them completely restore 4 reciever 2 pioneer, 1 marantz, and my monster Rotel. They do first class work at a reasonable price. They supplied all of the audio equipment for the HBO series vinyl. These guys are awesome I had a pioneer sx650 and xs780 refurbished as well as a Rotel 1203 and they all are awesome just like brand new. My marantz 2250 is there right now.

  11. Hey Darrell,
    For a point of reference, how much did it cost to refurbish the SX-650 and what, exactly, did they do? What parts were replaced etc. and how many hours of labor did they claim? This would be good info for everyone. Thanks

    1. Good gawd NO! Look around to find some1 who works on vintage, I bought mine at a church thrift shop for 50$ I ran to the bank to grab some loot,I took’er home, hooked her up, and YES, a sweet well working receiver, and a NICE looking receiver, not a black job with a window for the frequency# but a nice size softly lit tuning dial.

    2. Well hello, Cecilia,
      You SO don’t want to do that, look around for someone who works on vintage audio.
      I am SO impressed w Pioneer’s vintage I now have 2 SX780’s and an sx750.
      The other day I hooked my sx650 to a pair of newly acquired CerwinVega spkrs SL-12’s
      with a 12 inch woofer. Cecilia it was freaking beautiful that sx650 if I closed my eyes I’d
      have thought my Kenwood KR6600 was driving those speakers. look around for someone maybe u have friends who are really into good music and good vintage audio, I picked up a KR6600 for 200$
      put a 100 into her for new transistors, I had noisy transistors now I have a beautiful Kenwood ( only have 3 of them). once it is gone it’s gone Cecilia, look around, or maybe an ad in local paper saying you are looking for a person who works on vintage stereo/audio. If I sell my 2 sx 780’s it will be to buy the SX850!

  12. Hello from Sweden!

    I got one SX-650 today, but it has not the glass i front of the dail, any idea were I can find one spare? It works great and looks great so I just miss that part!
    Hope anyone can help me. /Regards Kenneth Mårtensson. SWEDEN

    1. maybe it is clear plastic, ur hardware store might have something, or if u can see where it fit maybe a local glass shop?

  13. I have one of these. 35 watts/channel does me just fine. I assume that’s applied to whatever set of speakers you have selected (A or B). Out of curiosity, does anyone know if the output for A+B speaker mode provides 35 wpc to both sets of speakers or 35 wpc total.

  14. I recently acquired 2 Pioneer SX-650 receivers. From two different locations but they have identical issues. No power output to the speakers or earphone’s. Receiver indicates it is getting signal on the FM band but the power meters are unresponsive. All else lights up. Fuses are good. So my question is, did this model have a common failure point that disables the power amps? What Should I look for, I have one apart now and no caps seem swollen nor physically leaking or ruptured. I would like to restore them and bring them back into operation.

  15. I just bought SX650 last night of FB Marketplace for 40 dollars. The fake wood grain cover was replaced with steel for odd reason. Sounds great cleaned it up a bit of dust. Looking to make new wood cover for it. Can’t beat Pioneer.

    1. Yeah, I have to tell you, I am so impressed with the SX650, the quality, and the sound, I plan on getting the SX750 or the 780 in the near future. I used Mr. Clean and an old toothbrush for cleaning knobs and toggle sw, ends, Windex worked well on the tuning dial glass, or is it plastic? but looks nice.

  16. I got my SX-650 for $5 at an electronics recycling depot. Both the balance control and the on/off switch were broken and the vinyl on the sides was in rough shape. I replaced the controls with original Pioneer units from parts receivers found on eBay and the vinyl on the sides was replaced. The 650 now looks great and the sound is remarkable. This is an excellent receiver and definitely a keeper.

    1. There are quite a few lamp kits on eBay. Just type ‘SX-650 LED lamp kit’ into the search box on eBay and quite a few should pop up. The orignal lamps I think are:
      3 x wedge lamps 8v 300mA (main illumination)
      1 x 4mm 8v 50mA (power)
      1 x 4mm 8v 50mA (stereo)

    2. I bought the Cool Blue LED for my 450 and Cool White for my 650. They have to be soldered but look great. This was the guy I bought them from on eBay. SOLD BY projectblk86. Take a look and see what you think


    1. I have this same Pioneer SX650, good bookshelf speakers are Polk T-15, Sony SS-CS5, Klipsch R-41M all run under $120 on sale. The Klipsch go on sale at Costco for $89, Sony is the best, has a micro tweeter. I have all these speakers hooked up to different receivers.

  18. We have an SX 450 and I love that little guy. My wife decided we need a little bit more power as she really loves to crack up the volume on her hard rock. Ran across the SX 650 on eBay for a good price and snatched it up. After taking it to our stereo guy for a tune-up and new LEDs this system rocks. Great sound and runs all of our equipment better than we had hoped. This is a great system to run multiple systems with good power to get some serious sound blasting through the house. Considering these were built about 45 yrs ago they continue to stand the test of time and look forward to another 45 yrs of great sound and music. Pioneer for life.

  19. I’m a big Pioneer fan. I have an SX-1250 monster at home, and started with an SX-550 (still made in Japan, not Korea) for the office. It’s having some tone issues, so I plan to recap it. In the meantime, I replaced the 550 at the office with an SX-650, and it seems to be a significant upgrade. Bigger, heavier, and with an audible relay click on startup that the 550 doesn’t have. Just seems beefier in every way; snappy toggle switches instead of push buttons on the 550, bigger caps, nice heat sink (nonexistent in the 550), better case venting, even more backlighting bulbs for the tuner display. Seems like a noticeable step up from an entry-level to an intermediate receiver.

    1. Model numbers can be misleading, the SX650 was very conservatively rated at 35wpc By Pioneer who wanted to avoid having it compete with SX750. In reality the SX650 is seriously more powerful than the SX550 and at a measured 46wpc is dangerously close to the SX750 which sold for $100 more. Few customers would have been interested in spending that amount (equivalent to $400 today) for a mere 4-watt “upgrade”. The dead giveaway is that both units weigh the same, which is considerably above that of the 550. But somehow many prospective customers got wind of that and opted for the 650 rather than the 750. As a result the 650 model sold far better than the 750. Some collectors say that the symmetric aesthetics and premium “look and feel” of the 650 were also a factor. It was definitely a big step up from the SX550 and a weighty into to the midrange segment that also comprised the SX850 and, of course, the 750.

  20. Greetings, working for God’s thrift shop is nice. I test all electronics that come in and a few weeks ago it was this sx650. I tried it with a dvd/cd drive and two pair of speakers. The receiver works fine and I asked my boss what it was going to go for, he told me fifty. I told him I’m running to the bank I’ll buy it. so I did… right now hooked to a pair of Bose 251’s. What I really like is the appearance of the 650 is the nice tuning dial that in a low or no-light room has a soft glow/warmth to it as compared to a black job with blue led numbers.
    Funny but buying this sort of got me into vintage stereo, it goes well with my Kenwood 6030 and 6600. Although I have a Kardon Harmon rcvr putting out 40 watts I really dig the 650’s soft-lit tuning dial. it pulls in local stations, but with a T or dipole-style antenna, the rcvr works like a charm.

  21. Matter o’ fact I just bought a pair of JBL’s A180’z tower speakers to go with the 650 for the bedroom. They will be in tomorrow, I am REALLY looking forward to hearing these through the Pioneer 650.

    1. I am very sure it just splits the power, BUT I hooked a pair of Cerwin-Vega SL-12s yeah it means a 12-inch woofer inside, well that 650 drove those spkrs damn nicely, the fact is at half volume. So I was getting loads of good sound at 17.5 watts. with these Pioneer vintage receivers, you get a good clean sound, that is why after I bought the sx650, I bought a couple of 780s and a 750.

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