I would fix it!
18 responses Add your response
If it were me, I guess it come down to these questions I would ask myself. 1)if I take the 350 and add it to other money, how much can I afford? 2)If I invest 350.00 now and the other channel fails is it worth another 350.00? 3)is this a good time to just upgrade and what can I buy that would power my Virgos and sound better on my budget? 4)How old is this unit, and will fixing one channel make it sound unbalanced?
Just my opinion, what does your pocket book say?
I agree with Tpreaves. It really comes down to how attached you are sentimentally to the unit. Back in the late 70's I lusted after this line but, being a college student, couldn't afford one. I've moved on since then but still have fond memories of that time. That said, I believe that your Virgos will respond well to better amplification. Most of the receivers from that era used lots of negative feedback to get their "watts per channel" figures up where they could compete with their rivals and ended up sounding crappy in the process (by today's standards).
Another way of looking at it is to see what this unit is selling for on the used market - sort of "if I decide to sell it later, will I recoup my investment." You might also want to talk with member Ezekial. I notice that he's got an SX-980 for sale that he's upgraded to the max. He also mods tuners so he might be a good source of information here.
I think I would spend the money on a better preamp/amp combination or one of the newer integrateds. You'll have to spend more than $350 but those speakers are good enough to show the benefits of better equipment FAR up the food chain.
In my opinion, that Beast is worth every dime of the $350 to repair....just one thought...it might also be worth the money to buy a used laptop and get the radio signal digital. Almost every station has an internet feed, and the sound will be much improved.
I think the money would be well spent for this classic piece of art and sound.
Do you trust the shop who gave you the quote, or was this a manufacturer? Long ago I had one channel go out on my Rotel Power amp. I paid a local shop $20 to diagnose the problem. They told me that all the output transistors were blown and the repair would be $220 (only paid $400 years before). I called Rotel and they actually refered me to one of their techs. He said it sounded unusual and maybe I should send it to them. They charged me $75 parts and labor, not one transistor on the repair invoice.
That shop had a bunch of used stuff out front for sale. People decided it wasn't worth the repair and just left them there. I think I know why.
A reputable shop will usually, on an older piece such as this, elect to include a complete re-cap when doing this sort of work. I had a Pioneer sx-2500 with a blown channel, and when I took it in for repair the tech said that a complete replacement of all electrolytic capacitors was advised and it would run about $300. This included a year warranty.
New caps shoould be good for ten years plus, so if you like the 1050 and can justify amortizing the expense over ten years it's really pretty cheap. Selling it with a blown channel is pretty hard to do unless someone really wants it for parts.
I also vote for fixing it. The SX-1050 was one from top of the line in what many think were the best built receiver series Pioneer ever made. I have it's big brother the SX-1250 which I fully recapped, and its a very nice receiver.
If you go to the AK board, they have a Pioneer section. The folks there can reccomend some good techs who specialize in vintage Pioneer - there'a guy called Mark the Fixer who has a very good reputation (I've never used him, but I've met him and he seems like a straight shooter).
i like this pioneer series alot, but i'd be hesitant to drop $350 on a repair. repairs of 70s receivers is always kinda iffy--i've had some bad luck w/channel imbalances--and working units seem to go for around $400-450 on ebay (the less powerful, but also excellent models of the same series are much cheaper). you might consider selling yours as a fixer-upper and getting a fully operational unit.
It is more a question of, can it be repaired properly? Who is going to match the parts being replaced like Pioneer did when your receiver was originally manufactured. It is not likely your Pioneer receiver will sound as good after the repair. Also, even though the SX-1050 is rated at 120 watts, it was designed for high efficiency 8 ohm speakers. Therefore it is not a good match for your 4 ohm Audio Physic Virgos. It will play the Virgos, but it will not sound it's best doing it.
The Pioneer SX-1050 is an outstanding receiver that will outperform any new unit under 2K. It is well worth a full restoration. They are not that complicated and any competent tech should be able to do the job. Audio Karma is an excellent resource for finding techs who know vintage audio well.
Also, I believe a well recapped Pioneer should sound better than new. Capacitor technology has only improved. Compared to ARC and EAR pieces in my collection the Pioneer holds it's own.
Unqualified yes, unless there's an unobtainium issue. One of the x50 series strengths is that it's not as dependent on "proprietary" parts as the later (but arguably cleaner sounding) x80 series. I like both, the x50 series has very (negligibly) slightly heavier shielding, mainly around the FM boards, and other than that, between the two, it's pretty much 100% personal preference. The 3x00 series (after the x80 series) is NOT the same deal though. Those all run hotter than a Saturday Night Special and the build quality is significantly lighter. They sound okay, but are featherweights in current/voltage "slam" department. Hurt your eyes pretty, though........