Having had an opportunity to test Denon AVR-S950H vs Pioneer SC-LX501, I’d like to share my impression here to facilitate your choice of a new AV receiver.
AV receivers under review have the same number of channels. In terms of power, there are differences, the AVR-S950H has such a ratio W/Ohm - 90/8 20Hz-20KHz, 125/6 1KHz, while the SC-LX501 has a power of 120/8 20Hz-20KHz, 180/6 1KHz. A common feature for devices is the same total harmonic distortion - 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the AVR-S950H received the model AKM 192 KHz/32-bit, but the SC-LX501 is equipped with AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit. The Bi-amping function is implemented only in the Pioneer SC-LX501. Both Denon AVR-S950H and Pioneer SC-LX501 can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Each of the receivers has a Bluetooth connector. The contenders have differences in the supported services from Apple - AirPlay, AirPlay 2 versus AirPlay respectively. Access to the Spotify service is on each of the competitors. The number of available streaming services varies for receivers, the Denon AVR-S950H works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud, Mood Mix, but the Pioneer SC-LX501 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn Radio. The quality of 4K 60p signal remains unchanged when transmitting from a source to a TV or projector via HDMI for both receivers. Signaling over HDMI in standby mode can provide the AVR-S950H and the SC-LX501. Each of the devices can increase the resolution of the incoming video signal. Each of the participants of the comparison has a Dolby Vision.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs varies depending on the receiver, the AVR-S950H has 8/2, and the SC-LX501 has 7/2. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is only supported by the AVR-S950H. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. The AVR-S950H has support for the standard HDCP 2.3, compared to the SC-LX501, which supports the standard HDCP 2.2. Like most receivers, our models have a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player.
Ability to create 2 Multi zones inherent in both AV receivers. There is an ECO mode in AVR-S950H. The Denon AVR-S950H and the Pioneer SC-LX501 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available both models. A DTS:X surround technology is supported by devices from our comparison.
The Pioneer SC-LX501 is better receiver in this comparison. Check Pioneer SC-LX501 price