I'm not expert, so I'm fielding this question to all the classic Pioneer equipment experts that are out there!! Currently, I'm a proud owner of a used, but in very good condition, Pioneer SA-8500II integrated amp that I'm planning on sending in for a basic clean up to bring her back to her full glory since I was able to find a matching TX-8500II tuner in even better condition. I'm mainly into Yamaha equipment, but I'm trying to build a "Classic" Pioneer system since as a teen back in the mid/late 70s, I've spent many... TOO MANY hours looking at Pioneer gear from that period while growing up in Seattle, so to honor Pioneer for getting me into audio, I have to have at least one system in the house!!! Now to the question, my SA-8500II sounds good, but it seems that many more individuals are hunting down the SA-9800 and if they cannot find one, will settle for a SA-8800 integrated amps. Was there something special about this series other than the great looking blue LED meters?? To me, the SA-8500II has more features than the SA-8800, but since I have never owned one, I don't know which is the best unit between the two. I know that the "blue meter" has no affect on the unit's audio preformance and I hate to say it, but it was a kick-@ss feature still!! Anyway, I have a Pioneer RG-2 range expander to give me the "half effect," so I'm OK with that. I just want to make sure that the Pioneer system I'm putting together is a good one since its getting harder as the years go by to find Pioneer and other bands of gear from the 70s and 80s in very good condition. BTW, I remember when I was set to Germany back in late 1980, a guy in my platoon had a Pioneer system and I want to say it was built around the SA-9800 without the wood case and with every other piece of Pioneer equipment offered at that time to go with it... It was the first real "MONSTER" system I've ever seen owned by an average Joe!! After a couple of months, I ended up with a very basic Pioneer rack system, which was less than good, but still OK. Later, I was able to build a good sounding system around a Kenwood KA-9X integrated amp and a matching KT-9X tuner in 1982 BEFORE falling in love with Yamaha equipment, with those HUGE red LED meters!! Thanks for looking!!