Biiiig Guns – Pioneer CS63DX


The CS99AAs hadn’t been gone more than a month when I started to miss them – they were beautiful, real furniture-grade equipment. And you usually don’t find them in such nice condition.

Maybe that was part of the reason why I jumped on a pair of Pioneer CS63DXs that popped up on the local Craigslist.

These were a ‘big fish’ for me – the 63s were the top of the Pioneer CS line in the early 1970s – they sat above all the rest you usually see in Goodwills and estate sales – the 66s, 77s, and 99s that the proletariat sported.

These were the real deal. The stats made for some serious hardware: 15″ woofer, 2 5-inch midrange, two super tweeters and one horn. Massive walnut veneer cabinet 28″ x 18″ x 13″. 63lb apiece. 80w rms.

The grilles were screwed on. I propped these up a bit with fashion magazines to get them pointing at me. Don't know if that made any difference.

The grilles were screwed on. I propped these up a bit with fashion magazines to get them pointing at me. Don’t know if that made any difference.

In person they looked larger than life, and they felt as heavy – you don’t want to move these around more than you have to. The nice couple I purchased them from had had them from new – once again I think the gentleman bought them at a PX overseas and brought them back along with a number of Sansui speakers. They lived a good distance from my house but regularly came into my city for salsa dancing. They were kind enough to stop by one night on their way to a night of dancing and we pulled them out of the car.

How did they sound? Polite, ironically. They’re extremely efficient, around 99db/watt, so you don’t need a lot of power to get them jumping. But they also rolled off at the top and the bottom, giving them a warm and vintage sound. I’ve heard other speakers in the Pioneer CS line that were harsher on the top than these, even though I guess that all the Pioneers CS line (77,88,99, pre-a models) likely used the same horn, which I’ve found to be unpleasant in some situations. Maybe these 63s had worn capacitors which toned things down a bit. Or maybe the whole setup was more elegant – could be.

Inside the CS63DX. Not my photo- credit Oak Tree Vintage

Inside the CS63DX. Not my photo- credit Oak Tree Vintage

In the end I had more fun polishing the perfect cabinets and staring and their massiveness than I did listening to them. That couldn’t do. So after a while when other better-sounding but uglier speakers began getting all the air time I decided that these had to find another home. In the end I sold them to a nice young man who scouted the local area for vintage stereo gear to pack up and re-sell in Vietnam, Japan, and China.


At first I found it supremely ironic that these gentle giants, which had likely been purchased on a base in Korea, Vietnam, or Japan, were now going back. But then again maybe that’s good karma.



~ by silverfacestereo on December 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Biiiig Guns – Pioneer CS63DX”

  1. I now own a pair myself given to me. They sound amazing and pack a powerful punch.


  2. All speakers drop in response near the bottom and the top ends. But the CS series was particularly notable for such a phenomenon. I owned a pair of CS-88a, and I now still have CS-99 and CS-55, and a CS-44 is to come soon to me over the Fedex in Apr 2019.

    Except used in my bed room system, I add two or four 15″ subwoofers crossed at 80 to 200 Hz with them, and their boominess is gone with that upper bass taken up by the subwoofers. Worth noting, without subwoofers, the CS-44 sounds most balanced among the quartet named above with little boominess. And, to add clarity I add a pair of aluminium ribbon tweeters of 6 ohm, from a pair of JVC Zero 5, crossed first order (-6dB per octave) at 10k, which in this case is a requirement for a 2.6uFd mylar or electrolytic non-polar cap. This almost totally clears the falling treble exhibited in all the old CS speakers.


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