Having had an opportunity to test Yamaha RX-V481BL vs Pioneer SC-LX501, I’d like to share my impression here to facilitate your choice of a new AV receiver.
The number of channels for receivers is different - 5.1 versus 7.2, respectively, for devices. In terms of power, there are differences, the RX-V481BL has such a ratio W/Ohm - 80/6, while the SC-LX501 has a power of 120/8, 180/6. The value of total harmonic distortion is also different, and for the RX-V481BL it is 0.09%, but for the SC-LX501 it is 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the RX-V481BL received the model Burr-Brown 192 KHz/24-bit, but the SC-LX501 is equipped with AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit. Each of the compared opponents supports Bi-amping. Both Yamaha RX-V481BL 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. Both devices can work with such Apple Music services: AirPlay. Access to the Spotify service is on each of the competitors. The number of available streaming services varies for receivers, the Yamaha RX-V481BL works with Pandora, Qobuz, JUKE, but the Pioneer SC-LX501 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn Radio.
Support for the HDR function can only boast of each of the AV receivers. The quality of 4K/60Hz 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 RX-V481BL and the SC-LX501. Video scaling is only possible with the SC-LX501. Operation with the Dolby Vision is only possible with the SC-LX501.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs varies depending on the receiver, the RX-V481BL has 4/1, and the SC-LX501 has 7/2. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is not supported by the RX-V481BL and the SC-LX501. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. RX-V481BL and SC-LX501 support the standard HDCP 2.2. In the presence of a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player only at Pioneer SC-LX501. Voice control of the basic functions of the receiver is not realized in both models. There is an ECO mode in RX-V481BL. The Yamaha RX-V481BL and the Pioneer SC-LX501 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available only in the SC-LX501. Only in the SC-LX501 realized a DTS:X surround technology.