Frankly, I was a little skeptical going in, but I was given a private listening session for both Samsung's two-channel vacuum tube audio dock and home theater system and I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the result, keeping in mind that these were not esoteric high-end audiophile systems.
As applied to the home theater system, there are two vacuum tubes, one dedicated to the front left and the other dedicated to the front right channels in the preamp stage, bolstered by standard digital amplifiers used in output stages for the left, right, center, and surround channels.
The only real criticism I have at this point, is that I thought that in the home theater system, it would have been desirable to also include a vacuum preamp stage for the center channel to take advantage of the heavy use of midrange frequencies generated by the center channel for vocals and dialog.
I should have an opportunity to review one of the vacuum tube-based systems later in the year - so stay tuned.
It will definitely be interesting to see how consumers respond to these products, as Samsung could be taking a big risk on this one, but we shall see.
Proceed to the next photo...