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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:47 am
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
I am having a dilemma whether to purchase a set of Pioneer SA-8500 mkII and Pioneer TX-8500 mkII
A local person has posted these two units for sale on a local paper.
From the aesthetic point of view, they look spotless and don't seem to have any issues at this point.
I really like the looks and the build quality they seem to have, though, the seller did not have decent speakers to test them with.

The dilemma I am having is;
- how good is this set, especially the amplifier?
- how reliable they are?
The amplifier is posted at $450 and the Tuner for $350.
Though, I am able to purchase the set at $650.

I'd really appreciate a feedback/ advice on this.
Thank you, Lilo, Victoria, BC


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:57 am 
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Location: London, ON, CA
They are both very nice units BUT the price seems high unless the seller can provide documented proof of complete service, INCLUDING full recaps. Too many sellers (CAM has them also) 'claim' to be selling gear that has been 'fully-serviced' by a somehow-certified mystery technician who prefers his anonymity ... but the seller cannot or will not provide documented proof. Without that proof, the claim is meaningless and suspect. If the pair was fully-serviced (recapped), it will likely give you many years of enjoyment, but that is a big IF. Demand documentation ... and ask to see the old parts.

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If you can use one of those newfangled Internets, you can post photos in your damn classified ads. :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:16 am 
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Location: La Salle, MB, CA
Yeah, they're nice units but that's all the money in the world for those.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:14 am 
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Location: Sleepy Hollow, NS, CA
I have a Pioneer SA-9500II and TX-9500II so can attest to the build quality.

I bought them both separately within the past couple of years and paid about $400 for the pair. I find that asking prices on these seem to be a lot higher in recent times, but for a local deal you would expect to be able to get a bit better price than what they are asking.

If you really like them you could try offering $500 if you wanted them. Might be worth a try.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:19 pm
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Location: Eastern Passage, NS, CA
The 8500 MK1 76-77 and MKII 77-79 amps and the TX 8500MKII are all excellent units,
I've the SA-8800, which replaced the 8500MKII in 1978. Both units were available at the same time for a year or so.

As you are probably aware, it has 60 watts on tap at 8 ohms and nearly 80 watts at 4 ohms.

I've to agree with 'Quadzilla' , the price is a bit on the high side, especially concerning the tuner. If in working condition, no apparent problem, and in fairly good cosmetic condition, price for the amp, 200.00$ to 350.00$, and the TX, no more than 175.00$

If they had a full restoration, the asking price for the amp is very fair. By the way, a recapped unit is not a full restoration, far from it. If it had a full restoration, this could take from 20 to 30hours of work, 120.00$ to 190.00$ worth of parts, and depending on his hourly rate, (20.00$ to 35.00$ p/h)

Recently, I had my SA-8800 for a full restoration which included, capacitors, power supply board capacitors, resistors, transistors, voltage regulators, bias and DC offset, cleaning, 180.00$ plus for parts, and 20 hours of work.
I've owned my SA-8800 (very similar to the SA-8500MKII) for the past 39 years, no problems.

As for the tuner, very few people are able to fully restore and align a tuner, and very expensive to booth.
If it's working with a better price, it's an excellent tuner to own, as is.

Having said that, try for a better price, they are excellent integrated to own.

Any of those Pioneer integrated are excellent. They are all rated for 60 watts at 8 ohms and above, and stable at 4ohms.:

SA-8500MKI, & MKII, SA-9500, 9900, 7800, 8800, and 9800

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:34 am 
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I didn't say "full restoration", I said "complete service" ... and yes, there is a big difference.

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1987 Guild Nightbird, 2000 Taylor 310KCE, and Godin 5th Avenue Guitars.

If you can use one of those newfangled Internets, you can post photos in your damn classified ads. :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:44 am 
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Location: Fisher Branch, MB, CA
I have a Pioneer TX-9800 tuner that was aligned and checked over before I bought it for $500 about 10 years ago. The seller provided proof that it was worked on but I don't recall who did the work. It has worked flawlessly. I also bought a Pioneer Elite F-91 for $400. It looks and sounds very nice. It matches my Pioneer Elite ld-s2 laser disc player quite well, I like the wood side panels. I also still have a Pioneer TX-6200 that I use in my basement system that I bought from Value Village 30 years ago for $20. All it needed was an internal fuse and it has been working great ever since. I don't even use an antenna on it and it picks up cbc just fine.

Vintage Pioneer tuners are very well made, look great and for me have been super reliable. I haven't had many of their amplifiers so I can't comment on them. I do still have my first decent amp, a Pioneer A-7 that I bought in 1980 along with a Pioneer PL-7 direct drive turntable. The amp still works and is clean sounding but thin/electronic compared to my other much more expensive amps. The turntable stopped working so it is long gone.

I think $650 for both is not bad but as others have said, replacing caps and a tuner alignment may be needed. I consider those expenses as a tune up like you would do for a car. Only you would probably only have to do it once in the next 30 years.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:49 am 
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Location: Eastern Passage, NS, CA
Quadzilla wrote:
I didn't say "full restoration", I said "complete service" ... and yes, there is a big difference.


Hi,
My post and comment was not to correct you, but to agree with you about the price asked.

As for the full restoration, this was not meant to correct you, it was simply my own comment, and trying to explain to some people that a famous "recapped" unit, is a misnomer.
I just noticed your "complete service" comment, which would be the same as full restoration.

Quadzilla, I don't correct people, I just put my own comment according to my own experience, so please don't take my post as a slight against you.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Thank you to all of you who replied to my question about Pioneer SA-8500 mkII and Pioneer TX-8500 mkII, really appreciate it.
I am much better prepared now to ask questions about them as well as hopefully make the right decision.

One more question I have is the sound quality, how would you describe the sound of SA-8500 mkii; close to true, warm, cold etc?

Thank you again


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Location: Eastern Passage, NS, CA
sunlight wrote:
Thank you to all of you who replied to my question about Pioneer SA-8500 mkII and Pioneer TX-8500 mkII, really appreciate it.
I am much better prepared now to ask questions about them as well as hopefully make the right decision.

One more question I have is the sound quality, how would you describe the sound of SA-8500 mkii; close to true, warm, cold etc?

Thank you again


Don't know how to answer this, but I'll try;
I find the SA model Pioneer of integrated amp, fast and clear sounding, some will use the word cold I guess, and apply the word warm to the black faced Sansui integrated, AU-517, 519, 717, 719, 819, 919 and a few more.

I use my SA-8800 with (not at the same time :) ) AR, Energy Veritas, KEF Calinda, Dynaco, JBL L-55, and planar speakers. It's a very good match to all of these speakers, while sounding very different from one to the other.

Usually when people mention that vintage amps from the 60s, 70s, and 80s as warm sounding almost like tubes amps, the reasons are, old capacitors, and power board capacitors. The problems with them over time, their ESR value has changed, some could be leaking, while other develop a resistance, some are open, etc... If a restoration is done on SS amps, they won't sound like tubes amp anymore, nor warm either, and not sluggish anymore.

If you can find something from the late 60s, the 70s, and up to the mid 80s in good condition, and save a few dollars for a restoration, and not just Pioneer, also Sansui, Yamaha, Kenwood, Marantz, McIntosh, Luxman, and many more, you will have an amp you will like.

I'm sure your SA-8500MKII will have the same signature as the 8800, since the 8800 is almost the same as yours.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Location: Coquitlam, BC, CA
I run the 7500-series now with a CT-F9191 cassette deck, one level below those I guess and they're fantastic. You certainly can't fault the build quality! What's $650 these days? That's $150 less as a set so why not, if you really want them. The wheels on my bicycle were $900.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Well, I think go have a good point there, 650.00$ is not the end of the world...

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Location: Coquitlam, BC, CA
I would describe the sound as right, much of my newer pieces seem too cold and harsh, like upper frequency response was the Holy Grail of fidelity. What's after about 12K? Moistly noise, yet mine will deliver any treble effortlessly without being fatiguing and there's good bass response. They are 40 years old of course but that's the allure or mystique of these, or whatever the f*ck you want to call it....lol


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