'Got One!'
Surprisingly, the seller replied within about 10 minutes. Good start!
He proceeded to say that he had been inundated with enquiries since posting the auction and even received several offers of which were too low..... so far.....
I did'nt hesitate.
I ask if he was at home the following morning so I could visit and inspect the SX-1980. After what seemed like an age for a reply..... which was in fact only 15 minutes.... he confirmed I was OK to visit the next morning.
The SX-1980 was on a 'Buy it Now' auction but no one had been tempted to press the button as of yet. But it was on for a princely sum. I think even the seller knew he was pushing it!
It was an unrestored example with a couple of known minor repairs done by a professional engineer as stated by the seller.
Anyway, I managed to convince the seller to give me first refusal that evening as we were nearing midnight. This way, the unit hopefully would'nt be sold before I got there the next morning.

Well, the next morning could'nt have come around quick enough!
I was up at the crack of dawn on the starting blocks ready to go.
SatNav was all set up. Off I went.
Excited? I was beyond that. More like relieved I was actually going to see one 'up close' after many, many years that may also be within my grasp. I was also thinking of all ways to argue that extortionate price down!

So, after an hour and a half of driving I arrive at my destination. Approaching the property up the path I could make out music getting louder and louder. The front door opened and a rush of sound almost blew me off my feet!
"It's your Pioneer!" He shouted at me. "Great sound isn't it!"
I thought hmmmmm..... only if you want the whole street to know you've got a big stereo and don't care about annoying your neighbours!
I think the birds were flying in a different direction to avoid being sound wave blasted out of the sky! 
It really was L.O.U.D.!
Defeated the object for me really as I was more nervous of him blowing the unit up before I got to it! Never mind his speakers!
Anyway, he invited me in, we shook hands and he proceeded upstairs.
So, upstairs we went where he had a display of Receivers in his spare room. Quite surprising and impressive seeing them all lined up! Pioneer, Marantz, Kenwood. All very, very dusty but under that dust I could make out some pretty 'minty' examples.
He had two SX-1980's!! two SX-1050's!! and an SX-1250! Oh my!
The SX-1980 that was playing was indeed the one for sale as it was belting out Fleetwood Mac! I promptly turned it down as it was almost at an unbearable volume being in the same room! The other SX-1980 was a keeper for him.
I couldn't make out any visble differences as to condition between the two. But the one for sale had the heat fin covers on. These are extremely rare to find on a unit never mind as a spare pair.
Unfortunately, the Tuner was not very good at picking up stations even though there was a ribbon aerial attached. The unit needed an overhaul that's for certain. It was dusty inside with surface residue visable and needed thorough cleaning. Almost all looked original apart from some resistors looking a bit new on the Tuner board. The Fine Tune and Quartz Lock facilities didn't work and neither did the Signal Strength Meter so I knew a Tuner/power supply issue was to be rectified. The all important Power Supply Board on the underside looked surprisingly good with very little discolouration from heat. A few replacement parts were spotted but I'm no expert.
The unit had been to a repair shop almost a year ago as an invoice was produced to me. Rectification was carried out to the Tuner but this seems to have failed again. A couple of other minor issues were addressed by the engineer to bring it into operation again.

I was happy so far with the unit and of the seller's ownership history and reason for sale. I tested all inputs which worked and all the other adjustments available. I pointed out all of the scratches and dents (which were very minor). I also pointed out the wooden case which was totally wrong. Highly varnished and very thinly veneered. But still original. All seemed to be 'fine and dandy' though.
So, with all that in mind as well as the Tuner issue I stated that the price was really a hopeful dream for him. He agreed!
I stated that, I'm standing here ready to buy, cash in hand and saving him a bucket of seller and payment fees. Never mind packing and shipping problems.

In the end, I negotiated him right down to an extremely nice figure of which even I was surprised to get it for!
I was elated, excited and relieved !
I was 'smiles' all the way home.
I got one!!



THE AUCTION READ AS FOLLOWS:

'For sale Pioneer SX1980
Great condition working perfectly
U.K. model with v. rare finial covers'