my ears told me this BPC sounded quite good

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by ilusndweller, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. ilusndweller

    ilusndweller Addicted Member

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    5,216
    because of that, I decided to research this piece on AK(had never taken it seriously until the last 2 weeks, didn't even use it for 20+ years). Nothing but good comments, mostly in threads about "sleepers". So in the last few days, I have learned two new and fun terms in this hobby. BPC (black plastic crap in case you're wondering) and "sleeper".

    The amp is the Pioneer SA-1060 from 1985. I remember when my family purchased this in 1985 in a rack system along with the corresponding pioneer BPC other stuff (TX-960 tuner, corresponding BPC EQ, dual cassette and phono and of course the mid 80s pioneer 3 ways with 12" woofer - $600 for everything if memory serves.

    At any rate I first biamped (with any amps) just a couple weeks ago with this pioneer powering the tweeters of my B&W CDM1SE bookshelf. First time biamping and WOW!!!

    Of course, no way was this BPC going to stay in my system, after all it was BPC and BPC couldn't sound good. No way.

    Long story short, I just bought a Sony TA-N55ES, originally to power a kicker sub I have (didn't cut it), so I ended up putting the 55ES on tweeter duty. Did not sound as good as the Pioneer. In the last week, I have done extensive comparisons for tweeter duty bw the Pioneer SA-1060, Sony TA-N55ES, and Luxman M120A. In all cases a Forte Model 3 was powering woofers. Could the pioneer realy sound better than Sony ES and Luxman? Well, YES!!!! At least to my ears!!!

    So then I was like maybe the fact that its going thru tone controls and "muddying the sound" is making it sound "better" to my ears., maybe my ears aren't so good, etc,etc? I decided to search this amp on AK and couldn't find a single bad thing written about it! It kept appearing in threads about "sleepers".

    I am quite happy and it now is a proud part of my system, powering the tweeters. I have tried it powering the woofers of the B&W and couldn't tell much of a difference between it, the sony, and the luxman. But on the tweeters, it clearly sounds the best to my ears.

    Now.....I'm not sure if this has anything to do with why it sounds better, but I did utilize the subsonic filter on the pioneer as well as turn the bass all the way down(and I prefer the treble at +2 out of 10). At any rate, I am pretty excited that the BPC my family has owned since 85 just so happens to be a "sleeper".

    Here are some comments I pulled from AK on it. Not sure what they all mean yet (if someone could explain, that would be cool).

    I am quite the happy camper bc of this BPC!!!

    Various comments I found on AK about this unit (did not find a negative comment on it).

    "I have a mid 80's Pioneer SA-1060 amp thats a real sleeper. Non-Switching 100 WPC. Has the same heatsink as the SA-x800 amps and can be bought for real cheap.
    PIONEER
    INT, SA-1060 BK
    Manufacture Years: 1986 - 1986
    Power: 100

    Seems pretty hefty, all discrete outputs, 4 per channel, one 10000uf cap and one 8200uf cap per side. Claims its a "non switching circuit". Ran it for a while and it sounds good through headphones (seems to get fairly warm when running, possibly biased into Class A through lower power?)
    Just found this integrated amplifier. Non switching design. Unit doesn't look like much but has a pair of 7800 mfd 50 volt caps and a pair of 10,000 uf 80 volt caps 4 output transistors per channel. The output devices are all original and each channel has 2 different complimentary pairs. I assume this is one of those low voltage high voltage rail designs. The thing will produce 31 volt 20 hz sine waves all day into my 8 ohm loads. roughly 120 wpc both ch driven. I would guess it has far more dynamic power. anyone know the specs or anything about it ?
    I have one of these too, bought it when I spotted those 10000uf caps and 4 transistors per channel from the top. Orion lists the following...
    PIONEER
    INT, SA-1060 BK
    Manufacture Years: 1986 - 1986
    Power: 100
    MSRP: $350.00

    Seemed to sound alright in my estimation, and its not bad for an 80s unit in terms of build quality. Not bad power output if it can do 120wpc exceeds its rating by a fair margin.
    I recently acquired one of these. It's heavy, has an output protection relay, and sounds good. 100 wpc.
    The SA-1060 is not bad either for what it sells for. Usually under $100."

    One of the comments mentions something about running in Class A mode at at lower power. Any validity to this? Is it possible since I have it on tweeter duty only, it is running in Class A all the time?



    Thanks!
     

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  2. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I never bought into the BPC concept. There is tons of awesome gear out there that is black in color.

    I'm glad you opened your mind! Enjoy.
     
    tmtomh likes this.
  3. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Lunatic Member

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    I threw away the big brother to that integrated last year. The controls get flaky on those amps are basically impossible to clean. It was a very well built unit but sounded crappy IMO. Seems the one you have is a better unit. They have sanken discrete outputs and are built very well.
     
  4. stereofanboy

    stereofanboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There are some nice units out there from that era that fly under the radar. I've had both Technics and JVC receivers from that period that were really nice, and typically sell really cheaply. Heck, I even had an '80s Fisher integrated amp that outperformed it's class level. Sometimes it pays to look where others don't.
     
  5. JHS2RT

    JHS2RT and Miss Sasha

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    Some BPC did sound pretty good---but the design and cheapness is what turned me off.
     
  6. EchoWars

    EchoWars Hiding in Honduras

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    Often the issue with BPC is not the sound quality, but the build quality and lack of aesthetics.
     
  7. 70'sredo

    70'sredo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    actually just purchased one of these of the auction site for $20. It had some weird shorting thing going on with the volume slider.Seller wanted it gone, and no else was interested. Shipping was very cheap, so I went for it. Got the short fixed by bringing it up on a dim bulb and seeing the issue.The controls in this unit are all sliders, and they are truly awful.
    That being said, once I got the sliders cleaned and faderlubed, it's been cranking along quite happily.
    I literally can't turn the slider up past 2 before the wife gets cranky, it's got so much power. I'm running into a pair of Paradigm Atoms which I recently re-foamed.
    Yes, it is surprisingly heavy for it's size, and it's nicely laid out inside. Just a no-frills 100w amp which does sound amazingly easy to listen to.
     
  8. leesonic

    leesonic Hold on, here comes the bass. Subscriber

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    If you look inside that amp, and compare it to the SA-1050 and 1040, you might find little has changed over the years. I think Pioneer just kept face-lifting it every couple of years, and when the fashion for black panels with sliders and graphics came around, it became what appeared to be BPC. I believe it might have the Dynamic Power Design which is similar to NADs Power Envelope and Protons Dynamic Power on Demand circuits, with a split level power supply that comes into play on the music peaks.

    Lee.
     
  9. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    I got my daily driver for the 'woods' house as my overall daily driver in 1993 - BPC, VSXD602S based mostly on a very favorable review in stereo-something or another mag, got her off the 'island' for cheap and even picked up another one NiB 6years ago in pitt...

    There are good machines that just so happened to be BP, it really was not until Y2K that it became impossible to find anything good readily commercially available. Parts are harder to find due to proprietary or tiny SMD chips, but many of these never got exercise.
     
  10. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    At one point I ended up with a Pioneer VSX-1000. It was my main system, but, after having and accidentally killing my SX-1250, I was never really satisfied with it. The "sound" was just not there. I don't like the black equipment because I can't read the lettering and I don't like the push button thing with the menus. A PITA. Good luck with your new find.
     
  11. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    A buddy has this amp. Was my uncles and I sold it but was never paid for it.

    IMPOSSIBLE to clean those contacts, at least when I tried. But yeah, it's not too bad sound-wise.
     
  12. JimL1

    JimL1 New Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have 3 of these (2 are restored and 1 to go) and yes they are underrated. Boards are a bit cheap too so be careful de-soldering (especially when replacing the 8 capacitors behind the front panel control board). I am impressed at how powerful these amps are. they do run a bit warm so not sure if they are running Class A low volume and Class B higher volume (hence the dual power supply caps 10,000---8,200 (per channel). 4 outputs per channel. I am not crazy for the sliding pots or the cheap black plastic looks but they are built well. Pioneer probably should have beefed up the heat sinking. I will give them credit over some of the other SA models. The SA1060 does have bottom access (unlike some of the other SA models which you must remove the entire board) but you still cannot get to some of the capacitors and must remove the front right bottom chassis support to get to them.
     

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