All this being said, the Pioneer TX-9500 sounded as good as I expected it to, and was a super clean unit. It came in its original box and only had one scratch along the top. Speaking of which, it always baffles me when a piece of gear comes in its original packaging and is immaculate, save for one significant blemish, dent, or scratch. As if the original owner brought the gear home from the store and waited until he was good and loaded before opening it. Then, in a moment of splendiferous intoxication, he trips over the driftwood coffee table and the tuner is suddenly airborne. He does a shoulder roll off the shag and looks up just in time to see the tuner strike the brass, claw foot base of the aquarium stand. He freezes, catches his breath and tries to clear his mind while coming to grips with the searing pain in his shin and the site of his new Pioneer laying upside-down across the room. He crawls toward it, slowly turns it over and is amazed to discover there's only a chip missing from the top left corner. He glances back at the packaging and forms a plan.
Of course he never gets around to taking it back to the Federated Group to exchange it. It is, after all, the summer of 1976 and between two dozen bicentennial parties and his new gig as DJ at the Manhattan Beach roller disco, there simply aren't enough hours in a day take care of such matters. So, the tuner sits, boxed in his closet for seven years until he gets married and moves all of cherished memories of bachelorhood into a public storage unit in El Segundo.
. . .Or something like that.
Have any photos or stories about your Pioneer TX-9500? Please leave a comment or send me an email.
Want to hook up your iPod to your vintage stereo? Visit my Audio Accessory Store for some great values!