Pioneer SX-880

The Pioneer SX-xx80 series came after the SX-xx50. This Pioneer SX-880 is a classic example of that generation of Pioneer receivers and was the last of the 800 series. It premiered around 1978 and retailed for about $425 at the time.

The main aesthetic difference between the two series are the dark faced meters with white lettering. This change was made to improve visibility. The SX-880 produces 60 watts per channel with total harmonic distortion at 0.05%. It can handle a speaker impedance of 4 Ohms.

The tuning section utilizes a 3 gang variable capacitor tuner. Other features include:

  • Bass and Treble tone controls with tone defeat.
  • Low cut filter which cuts out ultra low frequency noise below 15Hz (like low pitch rumble from a turntable)
  • Independent left and right power meters
  • FM Muting
  • Stereo and Mono modes
  • Two tape in/outputs
  • One phono input
  • One Aux input
  • Duplicate switch
  • Loudness switch

The general consensus is that the xx80 series does not have quite the same quality build as the xx50 series did. As an example the Pioneer SX-850, which the SX-880 replaced, weighed 42 pounds (19.1 Kg) while the SX-880 weighs in at just 27 pounds (12.2 Kg). The SX-880’s dimensions are 19″ x 12.75″ x 5.5″.

On the plus side, the SX-880 is discrete and does not use IC’s in the design like the SX-780 and lower models. Many of those IC’s are not easily found today and when one goes bad it can be difficult to replace so you avoid that issue with the 880.

While the Pioneer SX-880 has a few weaknesses it is still a very nice receiver with classic vintage styling and plenty of features. The 60 WPC is enough to fill most any room with sound. The SX-880 is also cheaper to buy than the SX-850. The SX-850 sells for around $500-$1000 while the SX-880 comes in at around $300-$600.

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22 thoughts on “Pioneer SX-880

  1. Del Groves
    I just got this one from Ontario, Canada. It’s pristine in the original box with the owners manual. Not a scratch. It’s definitely an attractive receiver and I’m going to try it with a set of Bose 401s.

  2. I just carried one down the stairs to look at, trying to thin the herd up there. Looks great and powers up. The FM meters detects a signal and moves. I have not connected speakers to it. The only thing I see is the wood is stick on plastic and peeling along some edges. I thought about trying to use superglue but I’ll leave that to someone else. Worked years ago but has been collecting dust for 20+ years. Free if someone is serious about collecting and restoring. I won’t ship and I’m in Oklahoma. I’ll check back later for any replies.
    Really a great looking piece of history that needs a good home.

    1. Hello sir
      Do you stilL have Your SX-880? Im interested and I’m in Wichita Falls, where in Oklahoma are you located? Thanks for your time.

      1. Edmond, just north if OKC. I still have it, tried it with headphones and the preamps work, though a little scratchy in the pots.

      2. OK I got bored and found some decent speaker wires. Hooked up some JBL 2600s and it sounds really good. Very loud and strong but you have to work the crackly pots around to find the right spot. Apparently, it is wearing out it’s welcome on the dining room table and I don’t want to carry it back up the stairs. I forgot how heavy this old stuff can be.
        The face plate is near flawless, lights all work, no bent shafts or switches. Just that cheap vinyl stick on wood peeling in places. It’s all there if you can figure out how to glue it back down. Let’s figure out a way to get it to Texas.

        1. Bill
          Is your SX-880 still available? I have an SX-450 since new in 1977 and have really liked it.

          I’d like to add a Pioneer receiver between the SX-750, 780, …. up to SX-1050 range with my vintage Infinity pair.
          If you still have the SX-880, I’d appreciate contact from you. I’m from Pittsburg KS so not a far drive for me to pick up.
          Steve M.

          1. Steve, is there a way I can contact you? We shouldn’t post stuff like that here. I still have it.

      3. Greetings:

        I have my SX880 with the manual that I purchased new in the mid 70’s. It is suddenly cutting out and I think it may crash soon. I thought it was just the speakers, but my son said he thinks it’s the receiver. Do you do repairs? What were you looking for with the Pioneer SX880??

        Kind regards,
        Sacramento, California

        1. I found a home for it, a guy drove a long ways to get it and is very happy with it. I used to do some repairs on classic stuff but don’t do much anymore. Just trying to thin the herd now. My suggestion is to give it a good cleaning and when it cuts out work all the controls to see if it changes any. These are very solid design and build but they do age and need maintenance at times. Often capacitors fail over time. Or a cold solder somewhere. Hope it works out.

    2. Would be most interested in acquiring this receiver if you still have it, I live in paul’s valley ok

      1. I have one in good shape other than slight peeling of the veneer. Works 100%. No issues that I can find other than it just doesn’t sound as good to me as others I have do. I imagine it may need recapped etc.

    1. Are you certain the 880’s are discrete?… I happen to have a dead one I’m interested in resurrecting that I always thought was IC? Appreciate your time and expertise.

  3. I have a nice pair of HPM 100 speakers. I have them hooked up to a modern receiver now and they sound ok. But, I am really wanting a great working and looking vintage SX that will push at least 60 watts per channel. Was doing research and came across this website. If anyone has any info for me let me know.

    1. Hello Michael Rhoden, I have a Pioneer SX-880 that I can sell. I can post it on eBay for you. I checked eBay and there are no other 880’s listed that would be in the price range I will offer: $525 + shipping. Let me know if you still have interest. Happy New Year. BC2.

  4. I Purchased a Pioneer SX-880 in my college days in Delaware. I used the system for about 2 years, graduated , packed the receiver up in its original box and stored in a closet until recently. I unpacked it last week after 40 some years and to my surprise, the unit is pristine , but emits no sound. I no longer get the signature ping when I flip the power switch but the lights come on so I assume that the unit is getting power. I loved this receiver, treated it like gold and hate to just dump it, as I no longer have the ability to use it. Does anyone have a suggestion for how best to sell my Pioneer SX-880 or is it a lost cause? Any suggestions…..

    1. I’m sorry your SX-880 isn’t working anymore. Are you certain you no longer have the ability to use it if you were working? I’m also the owner of an SX-880 and it is most definitely not a lost cause. But whatever you do, DO NOT send it to Crossed Paths Vintage; I did that with mine and I was afraid I’d lost it forever as the guy who runs the business was very hard to get any communication back from and when I did hear from him he kept overpromising its status and when it would be returned. It took A YEAR AND A THIRD to get it back – he’d barely done anything to it and the dial pointer sticks. Many people on various forums (e.g. audiokarma) have had similar experiences.

  5. The “Available on Ebay” section on this page lists restoration services by a business called “Crossed Paths Vintage.” For the sake of all that’s holy, DO NOT use this business. Extremely poor communication. I stepped up my contact attempts after he’d had my device for a YEAR; contacted the PD having jurisdiction in TX to find out the process for getting my device back. He said he was “finishing up” my device time after time and when it finally arrived after he’d had it for well over a year, I compared it to photos I’d taken of the interior before I sent it off and determined he had done almost nothing to it. Replaced two midsize electrolytic caps and that was all, best I could tell. Device mostly works but there is one thing it needs to be fully operational, which I can probably handle. I repeat, DO NOT patronize Crossed Paths Vintage.

  6. I have a Marantz 2230 mint with the wood box getting ready to sell I’ve had it hooked up to my Klipsch Cornwalls I don’t listen to much anymore along with a Pioneer RT-707 Reel To Reel with vintage 80’s Maxwell Tape reels
    with Miles Davis Jazz tape you can email with an offer I just might sell it all … I’m in Ky

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