SX1010 Is it the pinnacle of Pioneers Receiver engineering? Maybe it is!!

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by kevzep, May 10, 2018.

  1. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Hi Guys, I am found more often over in the Sansui forum, but as I fairly good client base for repairs restoration and servicing, I get to work on a lot of different brands, I still feel I am somewhat a Sansui specialist, but I am catching up on Pioneer!!
    I have always respected the Pioneer brand and have owned a few units in the past, a SX626, CT-F950, SX980 are a few, but I always remained fairly loyal to Sansui, I have owned AU999, G7700's, AU9500, two G9000's, a G22000...
    Last year I did a major on a SX1980, and I have done servicing and repairs to a bunch of SX-X50's. 750,850, 950, 1050...
    During this time I learned a lot about Pioneer, and those X50 series are some pretty dam fine sounding receivers...
    However, very recently restored/recapped a very nice and very mint SX1010.
    Once I completed it, I used it to listen to music in my lab, and I have to say, for me its the most impressive Pioneer receiver I have ever heard, what a solid sounding amplifier!! Its so lush, just brilliant, you just want to turn it up, the sound pulls you in....its seductive!!
    Then, there's the tuner, I live 35 miles away from the stations I listen to, and there are hills involved, and I live down a bit of a valley, there are only two tuners I have come across that can pull stations in from there, both McIntosh, the MR78 and the MR80, but now there's three!! The SX1010 has an extraordinary tuner, its insane, its better sounding and more sensitive than my restored and aligned MR78!!
    There you go I said it!!
    Well, it went back to the owner, and he loved it, but his situation changed, and I had to opportunity to buy it!!

    I am now the owner of this very fine SX1010, this one is a keeper, it will never be leaving, its here to stay!!

    A few pics, the wooden veneer is in excellent condition and there is hardly a mark on the face plate...
    I love the blue tuner dial and meters, its got a very elegant look in my opinion.

    Pioneer knocked it out of the park with the SX1010!!
    IMG_6175.JPG IMG_6176.JPG IMG_6179.JPG IMG_6180.JPG IMG_6181.JPG
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  2. lissenup

    lissenup Active Member

    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Yes I know what you mean. I have the Pioneer SA-9100/TX-9100 combo from the same era. The tuner is fantastic, and there is something about the power of the music behind the SA-9100. I like them better than my better than my Sansui
    AU-888/TU-888 combination.
  3. Oerets

    Oerets AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Derby City U.S.A.
    I just did a head to head comparison within the last month, between the 1010 a 9090 and a 2325.

    The Pioneer sounded the best the Sansui and Marantz were pretty close. They both sounded great, just depended on the speaker selected. So consider them tied. Where the Pioneer sounded good no matter what speaker was being used.

    All of the units have been recapped and up to specs.

  4. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I never had a 1010, but I did have a 1050. It was nice then, but I would love to have a 1010. Personally, I like the Pioneer's better than the Marantz although I had a Kenwood integrated that was pretty darn good. It must be nice to be a good enough tech to keep those good rigs running. :beerchug:
  5. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Once its done it's done, but I am lucky to be able to do the work myself, good techs are not cheap, I am the first to admit I am by no means the cheapest in town, if I had to pay someone to do it, I would probably not have this Pioneer!!
    Put it this way, I am sitting in my Lab after finishing a day of wrestling with old amplifiers, and I am listening to the SX1010 through the JBL4412's, I really need to go and make some dinner!! But the next song comes on and I am captured....

    The music comes out to meet you!! There is a certain "weight" to the sound that the Sansui's I have had and still have the G9000, don't quite have..

    I would agree with that statement about sounding good no matter what speakers are being used....
  6. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian AK Subscriber Subscriber

    You're not the first to here to say the 1010 is Pioneer's finest sounding receiver.

    I've not heard one :thumbsdown:
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  7. omri617

    omri617 Super Member

    It’s a brave and a big statement you are making here :)
    Great now you made me start looking for one :(
    fredgarvin likes this.
  8. Oldsansui441

    Oldsansui441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Victoria, Australia
    That is one fine SX-1010 you have there kevzep, absolutely beautiful condition. ;)

    Your description here really sums it up and is the way l feel about my restored SX-939 also. They are special receivers l think, l haven't heard a 1010 yet but l believe they sound very much the same.

    BTW, did you use cool blue LED's for the dial?
    kevzep likes this.
  9. zebulon1

    zebulon1 Building a new bench. Finally! Subscriber

    Las Vegas Nevada
    Old news in my book :D I wish I kept track of the Pioneer models I repaired or rebuilt from the 70's. The 1010 and the 1980 are the top's.
    I didn't like the 1980 as much at first and I had plenty too listen to. But then, after they run in, man they begin to sing. If you can't justify having the "Masterpiece" the 1010 is as good.
    Pioneer hit a Grand Slam with the sx-1010.
  10. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Oh yes absolutely old news for you, and somewhat old news for me as far as the brand goes, but I had never really spent any time with a SX1010 before, let alone aligned the tuner in one. Man, they really thought about that design....
    I found the SX1980 to sound quite different from the rest of the 80 series....more went into that design, interesting tuner as well...
    Well I am glad I have ended up with such a nice example of the SX1010, they are very rare in New Zealand, and getting quite old and so not too easy to find a good one any more....

    Yes, it is, but sometimes these things need to be said...Now get looking!! You will not be disappointed!!

    I used warm white LED for everything, when it came to me for the restoration it actually had blue LED and they looked awful, too blue you couldn't actually focus on the dial, it was washed out and over blue..
    All it needs is warm white, looks very close to original which I prefer.
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  11. Oldsansui441

    Oldsansui441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Victoria, Australia
    Thanks for the info, they look great :thumbsup:.
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  12. sssboa

    sssboa Well-Known Member

    There's a craze for 1010. Around 5 years ago I saw it for £100 on UK ebay. Now it's more like £500.

    I heard tho it's kinda boomy sounding.

    I suppose in terms of build quality Sx-828 is the best of all Pioneers? Engraved letters, little plastic, lever switches. Some say in sound it's best too.

    In 1010 those plastic push buttons are tacky, pots don't look too expensive, letters get rubbed off.
  13. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    No craze in New Zealand, this is the only one I have ever seen here.....

    Boomy? Maybe have a listen to one before commenting about the sound, not that I care, but I also don't comment about the sound of amplifiers I have never heard....838 comes from the same line....

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion though, so thanks for you perspective on the matter, Cheers.
  14. AJD1964

    AJD1964 Well-Known Member

    Moline, IL
    Uhhh... NO.
    Its the first receiver I ever had that I do not really need the tone controls.
    havols likes this.
  15. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Inherited a one owner from my father in law, it sits unused in my closet lol. Had it restored for his birthday about 15 yrs ago, he passed away a few yrs later. One of these days I might have a use for a receiver lol, I've just never purchased one myself. It is a schveet looking beast that weighs a ton, has gobs of power, and sounds awesome, I'm just more of a separates kind of guy.
    kevzep likes this.
  16. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Same, pretty much no tone controls needed driving my JBL4412's, sounds great!!
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  17. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Glen Burnie Md.
    I had a 1010 and sold it. Then I got a 939. Definately a rabid Wolf in Sheeps clothing. It does everything the 1010 does except for total watts. If you find that 1010's are hard to find, much less buy....Get a 939. It runs under the radar at ground level, and is very under-rated. But it's a very good unit, on par with the 1010 in everything except total wattage. But who's cranking them up to 11 anyway. It's the 1st couple of watts that count. It has all the same controls so going from one to the other won't be a fight with muscle memory in your hands.
  18. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Good call on that, however sadly in New Zealand, all this stuff is rare, back when the 939/1010 were sold new, our import laws prevented them from coming into our country.
    Its all very very rare here.
    The only way to get one really, is to wait forever on our local auction site (I have only ever seen one SX939, and one SX1010 listed), or you have to buy off eBay....
    Definitely a sweet spot in the Pioneer line though.
    I wonder if the tuner is the same in the 939 or if it is a slighter simpler unit, its very important for me to have the best tuners possible as I am 35miles away from the stations I listen to, and with our pathetic RF laws in NZ, the radio stations can only have a maximum of 3,000watts transmission power...So far the only tuners that can do FM Stereo at that distance are my McIntosh MR78 and MR80, even the SX1010 has trouble in Stereo, but very clear in Mono, which is fine when I am working in my lab....
  19. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    I also put these heatsinks on the regulated supply here to try and further reduce the heat stress on the pass transistors...
    I was going to get some adhesive ones, but I have these ones in stock for various things so I just drilled a couple of holes and job done!!
    Oldsansui441 likes this.
  20. LesE

    LesE 110284 Subscriber

    Ontario, Canada
    The TOTL models from that period including the SX-1010, SX-1250, SX-1980, TX-9100, TX-9500, TX-9500II and TX-9800 all share the same 3-stage dual MOSFET FM RF front end that features a 5-gang variable tuning capacitor. I believe the SX-939 uses a 2-stage MOSFET front end and a 4-gang unit.


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