Unreal prices

Watching a YouTube video about receiver wars of 1970 piqued my interest so I checked eBay.

Pioneer SX-1950 going for $5000 plus.

My lowly SX-1050 going for $1700.

Those prices, with deflation to the 70s, are list prices back then.  Kept their value. 😀
A Pioneer receiver for $5000! LOL! You've got to be nuts to buy that! Gee, my SX650 must be worth half that! LOL!
Open your eyes, this is perfectly normal. Yet for some reason everywhere I go its always the same. The people who should know the most turn out to be the most oblivious. So let me explain it to you.

Its not that the receivers or whatever are so great. Its simply that they have endured. Whatever lasts and is kept in good condition, it hardly matters what it is, its value will increase over time.

A customer came into the shop one day with a snuff box. Ordinary run of the mill snuff box. Except it was a couple hundred years old. Appraised mega.

Guys into Porsches, try and tell them its not the model or how scarce or special. No matter what it is price depreciates for about 15 years, bottoms, and then starts going back up again. My 1979 911SC was $25k new, depreciated to a low of about $10k, now worth at least $30k. Same car.

Had one guy try and argue, went looking to prove me wrong. Went looking for one of the worst cars ever made, Chrysler K-car. Absolute piece of junk. In no time flat found they sell for more now than when new. Unlike certain people here he was man enough to admit he was wrong.

People see value in things able to endure the ravages of time. Its not nuts. Its commendable. 
Being a casualty of those receiver wars (Bought a brand new Pioneer SX-1250 in ‘77 which lasted slightly less than 7 years before giving up the ghost...I don’t think it ever ran much cooler than the tube amp I have now.) I’ve watched those climbing prices with more than a little bit of amusement.  I must say that a friend had an SX-650 that lasted 30 years and I still pine for my old 1250 purely out of nostalgia for the times that it was part-and-parcel of.  
If I could go back in time, I think I’d buy the Sansui 9090 DB though.

if I could go back knowing what I know now, I’d buy the HK Citation separates...
" Pioneer SX-1950 going for $5000 plus." 
I don't think there was ever this model number.

" My lowly SX-1050 going for $1700."
Current eBay sold prices range from $530.00 - $1150.00
SX-1980, Pioneer’s most powerful receiver ever. The SX-1250 is considered my many to be the better model. It might also be good to remember that the prices on these when new were not cheap. The SX-1980 in 1978 sold for $1295. The SX-1250 in 1976 was $900. You could buy a new car then for $3500. It’s just supply and demand, there’s a finite number of these available, and a fair number of folks that can now afford their dream piece that was unaffordable to them back in the day.
A few years ago I plugged my SX-1050 into a current limiting device and fired it up. No smoke. Checked the speaker output for DC. None present. Connected a source and some speakers. Sounded fine. Only problem was the on-off switch was stiff. A little contact cleaner fixed that.

I know the caps should be replaced. I am not up to the task and I don’t know what it will cost to have it done.

Just had my Sony TC-K7 II rehabbed. My Pioneer PL-630 TT is in for repair now. The SX-1050 is the keystone to my ‘Disco Will Live Again’ system. Just don’t want it to hurt my JBL L-222 Disco speakers.
junkman, I actually recapped my SX-750 with online help. Took forever, due to the process, but turned out great. All with the help of a few amazing folks in the Pioneer subforum at AudioKarma.
When you have enough old guys with money feeling nostalgic and seeking items that aren't plentiful in good condition, you get a market that can sustain high prices.   

I graduated DeVry in 1969. This type of soldering does not scare me. 😀  I watched a YouTube video about recapping a SX-1980. A daunting process just getting to the daughter boards.

Maybe it is time to turn off the TV and fire up the old soldering iron. 
I had a lot of fun doing it, and learned some things. I assumed you had a bit of knowledge on the subject when you mentioned the 'current limiting device'. You have a great receiver, but I'm biased towards the x50 series.
All the best.
Sx1980 tons o problems. Frying the boards due to improper engineering. The 1250 is a much better receiver and the very best one pioneer ever made. I’d still take a sansui g9000, 22000 or the mother of all receivers the 33000 over any of them. The old receivers are really cool and nostalgic but have a very bloated sound compared to today’s equipment imo. High Wpc doesn’t equal better sound. 
If those items are in good condition and good working order they have a lot of features built in that would be costly to replicate today if desired. Also they have lots of lights, look cool, and are collectors items. Unique items. Probably capable of sounding better than ever today with other modern gear on the system.  $5000 for a Pioneer receiver is pretty steep though still. 
Eve even back in the 70s, there were MANY better performing amps/receivers than the Pioneers. 

Its the uneducated that are driving up the prices on those units! But have at it! As long as they continue to OVER VALUE those Japanese units, they’ll UNDERVALUE  the real performers of the time!

The blissful ignorance of those buyers has been a godsend for me! Stay ignorant! 

Fortunately, there will always be those who chase glitz or join the chase for whatever everyone else is chasing! Technics, Marantz, Sansui, have at it!!

"Its the uneducated that are driving up the prices on those units!"
Why uneducated? People want what they like.

It is not ignorance. It is a blissful ability to buy what one wants.
Old and rare and durable are nice. IF not since supplanted by objectively superior products. Only discontinued legends I would crave are non-electronic, and almost all non-mechanical. The exception would be Mouli manual tin rotary cheese grater. When it comes to grating the Parm, steel sucks, stannum rules. All others are kitchen and garden hand tools not since matched or replicated, much less exceeded. You'd have to pay me to take an old Pioneer receiver. Put it in an effing museum.   

Pioneer had some of the cleaner looking receivers, design-wise, and great FM stereo receiver performance...their separate tuners are pretty classic, but like most of the Japanese products from the mid-70s, the integrateds & receivers' preamps were not up to the amps IME.  An H-K 930 sounded better than the equivalent Sony, Pioneer or Sansui of the day.  But consistency and reliability went the other way.  Yamaha and Tandberg made better balanced, better sounding stuff than most of the "usual suspects"...all this before "high end" audio was created by Mark Levinson and ARC.
Just last week sold my 70,s Sanyo JCX2400K receiver that was the hub of my second system which I decided to dismantle.
I know what I paid for it and listed it on eBay for a goodly amount more than that figuring somebody would make an offer sooner or later.
Darn thing sold in about 3 hours at my asking price.

Sanyo was very overlooked in the Japanese hifi wars and considered to be the poor relation.
This thing was built like a tank and everything worked and sounded pretty good to my ears, loved the tone controls, filters and loudness switches etc.
Somebody should be happy with their new toy.
Open your eyes, this is perfectly normal. Yet for some reason everywhere I go its always the same. The people who should know the most turn out to be the most oblivious. So let me explain it to you.
Its not that the receivers or whatever are so great. Its simply that they have endured. Whatever lasts and is kept in good condition, it hardly
matters what it is, its value will increase over time.
So well put!!! I still have a few pieces of audio equipment that are 
working as good as the day I bought them, without ever having to have them so much as serviced.  Craftsmanship shows not only in detail but as you state, in the ability to endure the test of time.
Only the top dogs have exorbitant prices. I have a few vintage pieces, such as a Pioneer SA-8800 and SX-3800. I bought mine either mint or refurb and I did it strictly as eye candy, although they sound the same as today's amps. Compared to today's bland black faceless offerings, the 70's silver-faced pieces are pure art.
As much as some of these prices are so crazy you can buy the top of line Italian sport cars . There also excellent deals on quality units . Rega, Audio Hungary, and Fyne speakers . I have these products my system sounds very real with very low distortion . All under 5 Grand full system . Word of the " wise "  stay away from the Chinese units they will all fail 1 week after the warranty is up all I get is " Sorry Charlie  " . Except the lower end Fyne speaker line in which its assembled in China but with first class quality at a low price . Check it out for yourself . I think I nailed it and not for 120 thousand bucks . Where is my rebate check ?
All I can say is I bought a Sony Str 7065 ,70 wpc for $350 from Crazy Eddie's in Bklyn NY in 1973.This was Sonys top of the line Receiver.Its now 2020 and it still works ,nothing has ever been done to it. Sony equipment was made to last .

Old design that were good and at the roof of Audio world many decades ago are always very good even now...My Sansui Au 7700 beat the crap of many more modern amplifiers....But never mind your amplifier....


Because the secret of Hi-Fi is way less in the hands of the electronical engineers than in the hand of the acoustician....

Speakers drivers-room and ears brain are ONE.... The amplifier and the DAC are externally linked to this One system...Music flows with the sound waves...The electrical signal is a signal not a sound....

Most people has never listened to the true potential of their own audio system, vintage or not, because the acoustical field of their room is not up to the job.... It takes me many years of home experiments to know that first hand.... My best....
mahgister, I'd bet that when we owned and enjoyed what is now 'vintage' (and most of us now having become 'vintage' as well), the means and methods to attain that true potential was unattainable or unaffordable.

Awareness of 'how to' may have been a factor as well.

"Youth is wasted on the young."  Or just simply, wasted youths...;)
mahgister, I'd bet that when we owned and enjoyed what is now 'vintage' (and most of us now having become 'vintage' as well), the means and methods to attain that true potential was unattainable or unaffordable.
Vintage myself ….  :)

You are right, when i takes out of the box my Vintage Sansui i was not thrilled nor so impressed.... 

But when after some years I have learn how to embed it in my room, the  difference was night and day...

I know first hand that, never mind the electronic components, the key is how to implemented it in the 3 dimensional embeddings: mechanical, electrical, and more important acoustical....

That is my point...

The other point is vintage top of the world engineering of the past is enough good today, if rightly embed, to beat more evolved engineering, not so rightly embedded….

My best to you and thanks for your humorous and friendly posts....

I was in the serious audio business for most of my life and spent a good part of it also raising serious show horses. I have rubbed shoulders with a few of the 1% and can echo the earlier comment that those with money can obviously be extra extreme in their unpredictability or irrationality. I think that’s why they need the money--so they can feed their inner freak. Aren’t most of us the same except our income limits our irrationality to $500 AC cables, outdated electronics and vinyl records?
Witness any edition of the classic car auctions on cable. I would pay damn near anything to reacquire the ’57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser my dad had when I was in high school--or an unreasonable price for my original DQ-10’s. The memories will be gone eventually. Let’s hang on to them while I can still find the PAS-3 and Stereo 70’s to complete the hookup. We’re lucky to be living when the memory aids like photos, recordings and gear are so easily retrieved. I say preservation efforts are a great idea for those who can afford it. We all benefit. Old gear triggers memories!
Someplace, in storage I still have my mothers old SX750 receiver, her Pioneer PL100 TT. with a Shure cartridge. and Denon (can't remember the model) cassettes player. She also had a pr. of HPM-100 speakers, I think went to my sister.
I never really considered it to be high end audio back then, but it did make a lot of nice music for her.
Not sure what any of that would be worth now, but I sold my vintage Nakamichi ZX-9 cassette player, a few years back and was surprised at how high the bidding went, so who knows what vintage gear might be worth to some....Jim
To miller's point, you see this with a lot of nostalgia items. Price peaks about 30-40 years after introduction, when those who desired them in their youth, finally have the money to buy, and time to enjoy. Then they tend to decline in value as that group of people's health declines, and priorities change. Some true classics will maintain value.
They are way overpriced antiques with mediocre sound good luck to the joker that would pay 5k.
Retro is turning into fashion these days and amplified through the net.
At least there is still value in this hobby. You can ask whetever price you want for a good working sample of vintage gear for pleasing the eye and memories. 

The retail of the Pioneer SX-1980 was $1295. In 2021 dollars = $5,660.33. Not a horrible investment if one used it for that number of years.  
Ive had over 100 Receivers from the 70's. Best ones werent made by the usual suspects Pioneer/Marantz.
My faves...and best bang for the buck:
Sanyo JCX2900K, ONKYO TX 8500, Kenwood KR 9600, Sherwood S-9910
Sansui Eight Deluxe and the 9000 Series arent cheap but great too.

Sanyo and Sherwood can be found under 500 usually.
Luxman's are wonderful with Singer/Songwriter acoustic type music. Rock not so much. AMAZING detail for their time.
Harmon Kardon perform well but look REALLY cheap to me. Looks count!!

The worst sounding ones to me: YAMAHA "Natural Sound", SONY, TANDBERG.