The Pioneer SX-828 AM/FM stereo receiver was introduced in 1971 and was on the market until about 1973. It’s rated at 54 watts per channel and is basically a higher power version of Pioneer’s SX-727. While the SX-727 used push buttons for some of the controls the SX-828 utilized toggle switches. In 1972 it retailed for $429.95 but, for some reason, the price was increased to $469.95 in 1974.
The Pioneer SX-828 is definitely one of the best looking receivers ever made. The blue dial face, with signal and tuning meters to the left, and the linear layout of the controls gives it a very nice balance. The linear scale dial also has two-step illumination so you can choose either a bright or dim setting. And, it looks fabulous lit up in a low light room.
As you can see the SX-828 has a slightly slanted front panel which gives it a unique look. The wood case is also very attractive.
The tuning knob employs an extra large flywheel so tuning is smooth and easy and the tone controls are click-stop. The SX-828 also has a protection circuit to protect your speakers from any hazardous outputs.
- Tuning range: FM, MW
- Power output: 54 watts per channel into 8 ohms (stereo)
- Frequency response: 5Hz to 80kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.5%
- Damping factor: 40
- Input sensitivity: 2.6mV (mic), 0.115mV (MC), 2.7mV (MM), 200mV (DIN), 200mV (line)
- Signal to noise ratio: 85dB (MM), 95dB (line)
- Output: 200mV (line), 35mV (DIN)
- Speaker load impedance: 4 ohms to 16 ohms
- Semiconductors: 6 x FET, 4 x IC, 55 x transistors, 36 x diodes
- Dimensions: 19 1/8″ W x 5 15/16″ H x 14 3/4″ D (485 x 150 x 375mm)
- Weight: 32 lbs 10 ozs (14.8kg)
The FM tuner is a Dual Gate MOS-type FET design which results in outstanding FM reception even in weak signal areas. The FM IF section of the receiver features 3 IC’s and 3 ceramic filters which give it great separation and selectivity. The power amp is a direct coupled design which gives it a wide power bandwidth and frequency response curve.
The SX-828 is known to have some capacitor issues. Of course, most vintage receivers have the same issues. With the SX-828 it’s mainly the blue Sanyo caps that go bad and cause all sorts of problems. The power supply board often has issues with bad solder connections too. Once these are fixed though the SX-828 will sound great.
The SX-828 receiver definitely has some strange looking feet. They do look more heavy duty and useful than the standard small round feet most vintage receivers have though.
The panel on the right side of the receiver case opens up to allow the insertion of a phono input transformer (Pioneer PP-402). This transformer is only used when you are using a turntable MC cartridge though. Also, notice that the Pioneer SX-828 has the weird speaker plugs on the back panel. If you’re missing these they are sometimes available on eBay.
The Pioneer SX-828 is an excellent vintage receiver. It has the looks, performance, and features that most vintage enthusiasts are looking for. And, it’s built like a tank. It does have a few quirks due to age that can be overcome with some maintenance, but despite these it is definitely a stereo worth getting.