Pioneer QX-8000A Quadraphonic Receiver

Sold for: $375

When I turned up to buy this receiver, the guy that was selling it to me had, like, totally forgotten that I was coming. Why? Because he was blasted off his box on weed! Not that I care;  I’ve bought a lot of audio equipment from druggies in the last year, and God knows that there isn’t too many vices that I ain’t tried! (Has anyone else noticed that amplifiers that have been owned for a long time by stoners exude a grassy, resinous smell when they warm up?).

This particular monster—these are big amps in terms of both size and weight—had been in the same family for almost forty years, and both the case and fascia looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in that time. All the pots were very scratchy and there was some DC leaking into the system.

Well, I pulled it apart, soaked all the knobs in bleach, gave the fascia the Blue Magic treatment, and sprayed all the pots and switches. Under the grime there was barely a scratch. Take a look — she’s a beauty. The real-wood veneer case got a treatment with some Howards Restor-A-Finish and all the  damage and scratches disappeared. The internal cleaning didn’t resolve all the problems, so it was off to see Fred at the electronic repair shop. Several dry joints and a couple of faulty caps later she was working good as new.

As far as sound is concerned, these are very mellow, warm sounding with not a huge amount of detail. They are, therefore, perfectly suited to the technology of the time, namely vinyl and cassette. Put a classic set of speakers on these with at least a 10″ bass driver and you will be more than happy. And you will smile more than ever when you look at that blue-lighted tuning dial. Remember also that you can configure these as home theatre amps! Yes, that’s right, home theatre. That’s because you can split these machines into two separate amps and send  different signals to front and back. Home theatre is, after all, merely a variation of quadraphonic!