Pioneer SPEC-1

Pioneer C-77

1 9 7 5 may 1975
1 9 7 7 1977
1 9 8 0 1980

Launched two years after the Exclusive C3 in Japan as a would-be Exclusive, the 1975 C-77 became for the export markets the famed SPEC-1 preamplifier in 1977.

If the circuits are partly similar, the execution isn't and Pioneer kept a fair distance between the C-77 and the Exclusive C3.
The C-77 cost 120,000¥, the Exclusive C3 380,000¥ so... smaller transformer, a more standard 4-gang attenuator, no luxurious wood enclosure either and the addition of a non-audiophile MIC mixing function.

Circuit-wise, the SPEC-1 is an all-Class A SEPP design : phono, flat amp, tone controls and output, three stages every time.

The flat amp has a PNP differential amplifier with 3-stage DC class-A SEPP circuit, with a ±48V split power supply and 100% DC negative feedback in the first-stage for DC stability.
Other ±48V supplies feed input and output buffers to raise input and lower output impedances.

The all-important phono stage is also fed by two ±48V supplies to ensure a high overload level of 500mV at 1Khz.

The phono 2 input has a distinct smaller 4-gang input level to adjust its sensitivity between 2,5mV and 10mV (or 0dB to -12dB) ; its level up to -6dB is adjusted by and NFb loop and by the output attenuator until -12dB.

The volume attenuator is a 4x 50kOhm / 22-steps 4-gang ALPS (as usual) with an added three-position muting switch for 0dB, -15dB and -30dB input levels.
A relay mutes the output when the SPEC-1 is switched on or off.

Tone controls are of the NF type, allowing between their MAIN and SUB section 5929 tone altering possibilities.

Inside are all low-noise PNP/NPN transistors, micron-tolerance circuits and resistors.

Added to the C-77 for its SPEC-1 export version is a set of one speaker input and two speaker outputs, in addition to the two pre-out terminals.
The headphones output are derived from those added terminals which feed the power-amplifier(s) signals back to the SPEC-1.
On the C-77, the output selector is simply labeled "output" and there are no added speaker terminals.

The C-77 sold somewhat poorly in Japan and vanished rapidly, the SPEC-1 sold very well elsewhere, remaining available in Germany as late as 1980 with stocks lasting quite probably even longer than that.

Pioneer was then at the A-9 and the Communication Series but demand was still there for old-fashioned silver.

Pioneer SPEC-1, image 1 Pioneer SPEC-1, image 2 Pioneer SPEC-1, image 3
Pioneer SPEC-1 specifications
Title Value
Frequency response : 10Hz...70Khz (aux input, DIN, +0/-0,5dB)
30Hz...15Khz (phono input, DIN, ± 0,2dB)
S/N ratio : > 70dB (phono MM)
> 90dB (tuner, tape, aux)
THD : < 0,05% (aux input, 20Hz...20Khz)
< 0,03% (aux input, 20Hz...20Khz, 2V output)
Inputs : 2,5mV / 50kOhm (phono 1)
2,5mV...10mV / 50kOhm (phono 2)
150mV / 100kOhm (tuner)
150mV / 100kOhm (Aux 1 & 2)
150mV / 100kOhm (Tape 1 & 2)
Maximum input : 500mV (phono 1)
500mV...1V (phono 2)
Outputs : 150mV / 2,2kOhm (tape 1)
150mV / 2,2kOhm (tape 2)
7V / 600 Ohm (pre-out ; max. ; with 50kOhm load)
Bass controls : ± 4,5dB at 50Hz
± 7,5dB at 100Hz
Treble controls : ± 4,5dB at 20Khz
± 7,5dB at 10Khz
Bass filter : 15Hz (12dB/oct.)
30Hz (12dB/oct.)
Treble filter : 12Khz (12dB/oct.)
8Khz (12dB/oct.)
Semiconductors : 48 transistors
33 diodes
PC : 17W nominal
Dimensions : 48 x 18,7 x 36,5cm
Weight : 11,2kg.
List-price : 120,000¥ (1976)
??? $ (1977)
Pioneer SPEC-1 : 0 topic
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page online since : october 2005
page updated : september 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 474.83 Kb / 286.03 Kb

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