Pioneer SX-1980 questions before I purchase

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by Steveomatic, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Steveomatic

    Steveomatic Member


    I am considering purchasing this Pioneer SX-1980 but will not be able to see it in person only through these pictures until shipped and received (after I purchase). Does this look good from the three pictures? I know it is hard to tell. Will the yellowing/discoloration be easy to clean off? I know it is missing two knobs.

    The seller says that other than the two missing knobs everything works as it should. The seller does own a vintage shop of sorts so he does have some credibility for me.

    A few people told me that any unit that is this old will always need to be refurbished. Is that true? Is there a possibility that it will be good to go after a clean-up and Deoxit?


    Thanks for all opinions and feedback!


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  2. bberkom

    bberkom AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Nashville, TN
    I wouldn't use something as valuable and complex as this as a daily driver until it was fully and properly refurbished. Lots of info about these on AK that you should look over to help you decide. Just my opinion, but it could work fine for a while before it develops any issues.
  3. mattsd

    mattsd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Cincinnati, Ohio
    There's a lot that can go wrong with a 1980 being shipped, be sure he packs it VERY well and REMOVES the knobs and packs them separately. I cannot stress that enough, if he doesn't you could end up with smashed dial glass and bent pots even if well packed. Also take care of the power supply board, if the bottom panel receives a hit it can crack or even break the board. As far as refurb goes, at minimum you should get the power supply board overhauled by someone experienced with 1980 PS boards. After you receive it I would not power it up until the PS board is inspected. The yellowing is nicotine and dirt stuck to the nicotine, it will come right off with Simple Green and a magic eraser. Just be gentle with the magic eraser around the lettering and you'll be fine. Let me stress though, DO NOT power it up until the PS board is inspected after you receive it.
  4. zebulon1

    zebulon1 Getting behind on work. I need help? Subscriber

    Las Vegas Nevada
    Matt is an expert on 1980 and other receivers but with four of them under my belt I've found that even the working ones are in need of serious help.
    If it works it won't sound like it should and cracking the volume will really put a stress on all the components that need heat dissipation.
    The original outputs are hard to find and if you can their expensive. There are work-a-rounds but that adds in labor costs.
    JFET's in the PS are fragile and are ticking time bombs. Although they are part of the regulated they can cause $500.00 plus in damage.
    Don't let me talk you out of this receiver, buy it to repair if you have to and budget against the going rate. Get it rebuilt by a tech that knows them and has reliable history in restoring them.
    Driving the set is the best way of shipping but there is alternate methods that will add an additional $85.00 to the shipping bill.
    Of the four I had in front of me, three had previous repairs to the the power supply. Two had several repairs and one where a tech completely messed it up, in which the Turbotx board was needed.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  5. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but agree about getting the power supply board checked out and probably rebuilt before powering up. I know because I powered mine up and a little puff of black smoke came through the vent. I'm assuming PSB and don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It's bad but other things could be worse. The guy I bought mine from said he had been playing it so I didn't think there would be a problem with playing it. I was wrong. I need to get it fixed because what little time I was able to spend with it was impressive.

    I use a toothbrush and a cleaner on my knobs but don't think I'd use it on the lettering. Like Matt said be careful with the lettering.

    It is a beast so if you get it enjoy.
  6. Idunno

    Idunno Subscriber

    I'll chime in on this one even though I'm no expert.
    I too am a recent owner of a SX-1980 Monster.
    As with all who have stressed, get it thoroughly check out, especially the Power Supply Board.
    I bought mine thinking as the previous owner had used it successfully, and proved it worked, under the hood, things could have turned nasty had I not decided to check and refurb it by a qualified Audio Engineer.
    Once something goes in this unit, a concertina effect could, and normally does, come in to play.
    This means that a power surge could 'take out' sensitive and very hard to find/replace items which will end up costing a small fortune to rectify if you ever find them. An initial investment to have it checked over and at least make sure the Power Supply Board is stable and capable will be my number one recommendation. A general clean with an operational check thereafter will enable you to enjoy the 'Monster' whilst you decide your next steps.
    Believe me, you'll find it hard to not go 'all the way' with this unit after your hear it's potential.
    Good Luck my friend & welcome to the 'Monster' Club!


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  7. txturbo

    txturbo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Austin, TX
    It looks like the seller is crushing the back panel and the top cover by the way he is picking it up.

  8. markthefixer

    markthefixer On Hiatus, dealing with Dad's estate full time Subscriber

    I'm with txturbo on this.
    Considering the relative strengths of the top and the back panel, the TOP is being badly bowed.\

    It's a pricey unit to gamble with. I've done quite a few - and none of them came in in a condition that just deoxit and cleaning would get it out the door.
    You might get sound, and set offset and idle to reasonable levels. THEN:
    You will be tempted to "turn it up", and THAT will take it out.

    Think of a car of that age being driven, with multiple items teetering on the edge of failure. Then you drive it HARD.
    What would you expect?

    The power supply, and the power amps NEED REFURBISHMENT. Cleaning, redoing thermal transfer compound, current sources in the power supply (CHEAP insurance - if the zener/jfet circuit cuts loose - well - that's a hell of a lot of energy coursing through that board. AND if it starts sending out too high of overvoltages, it can lunch some REALLY unobtainable parts.)

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