Samsung's Vacuum Tube HW-F750 Sound bar Reviewed

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    Do you remember when Samsung announced their new $949 soundbar with a vacuum tube input stage? We do. We were excited to see the mainstream company make a nod towards the audiophile community. So, we asked to get one of the first available units in for review. We ran it through its paces, but you'll have to read the review to see what we thought. But hold up, if you haven't read the review yet, take a guess in the forum thread on what you think we found.

    [​IMG]

    Read the full Samsung HW-F750 Review
  2. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    I'm hearing product of the year buzz :D
  3. Cliff_is Audioholics Content Manager

    Cliff_is
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    Great Guess Steve!

    I'm thinking about it. But I'm also considering the Bose CineMate 1 SR

    Did you see the Acoustimass module with that beast? Dude, it weighs nearly 14 pounds! That would probably take 3 people to place in a room!

    I bet that could put out, I don't know, maybe a 100Hz note at reference volume levels for a fraction of a second. Mind blown! That's some deep, bowel shaking bass!

    And the price is a bargain, only $1500. Man, I'd pay $1500 just for the Bose name badge. In fact, I might try to get some and slap them over the logos on my current stuff. Who's heard of crappy brands like MartinLogan, Denon, or Emotiva anyway!

    Can't wait to get one in for review. I will probably end up keeping it and using it as my reference speaker system.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Infinite Vortex Audiophyte

    Infinite Vortex
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    As I found your review rather helpful I thought I'd write a couple of note about this. Please excuse my terminology in advanced, I really don't know what to call things and don't care for graphs :rolleyes:

    Having just purchased this soundbar I can say for certain this is not aimed at an audiophile… no way in hell. You can tell simply be looking at the control, or lack thereof, of the unit's sound behaviour. It's aimed at audiophile as much as a DSLR camera from Nikon or Canon that has a full frame sensor yet doesn't have aperture or shutter speed controls is aimed at camera enthusiasts. Having said that though, it doesn't mean the vacuum tubes are for nothing because the HW-F750 produces are very pleasant sound… at least to me.

    Having read a few people say that the HW-F750 doesn't sound any better than the HW-F450 I can only conclude that those people need their ears cleaned out with an electric drill. My mother has an HW-F450 and I can only call that unit horrible. It constantly produces this awful, overdone and out of control subwoofer grumble like it seriously has no idea what to do and in its confusion throws out anything out of the subwoofer in a panic. Listening to the HW-F450 is like having a plastic bag taped over my hear and I'm gasping for air… now I know how The Boss and The Rabbi felt at the end of Lucky Number Slevin. Sorry mother… but I wouldn't wish the HW-F450 on anyone!

    The HW-F750 on the other hand produces sound that holds together extremely well. As a standard and so you know where I'm coming from, I typically use 2 audio sources for cinema and music and this unit does very well at both. The first is Transformers where many systems throw out the "clanking" of the machines in one horrible mess with one sound being indistinguishable from another. The music sample of choice is The Unfolding by Lisa Gerrard and I was hugely impressed by the HW-F750's ability to hold it together for this. There are a couple of music style that this doesn't like so I would listen to it with what you like to play before if it matters to you.

    Don't get me wrong, the HW-F750 is far from perfect. The subwoofer is small and there's no getting around that. If you like your subwoofer to thump out the audio so that you're not only annoying your neighbours you're annoying your entire suburb… this is not for you and I suggest you look elsewhere. For my own purposes though, as I have a limited space to put a subwoofer without pretty much putting it in the middle of my sitting room the size is fine. I also typically watch TV at night where I don't need or want the excessive volumes. Furthermore I more watch TV series for the most part so the cinematic 5.1 experience is less important. I'm not even sure if I get a 5.1 sound signal from my satellite service provide half the time. No matter what the manufacturer's spam says a soundbar isn't going to give you anything but 2.1 sound so if you want 5.1 buy a 5.1 system. At best I can get a 3.1 plus a left and right given my sitting room so no matter what 5.1 system I looked at it was always going to result in a front heavy sound anyway… so why bother with all the crap and all the piles of cables?

    Given the width of the speaker unit you may find that it impedes the IR sensor of your TV if you're below 46". I have a Samsung 46F6670 and while it is a few cms within the TV's width I notice I have to point my remote more at the TV rather than previously not caring where it was pointed. The bonus part of the HW-F750 for me though is that when in tabletop orientation it has an extremely low profile. My Samsung TV has pedestal stand rather than the more typical 4 prong stand and as such it sits very low. The very low height of the main speakers means I can actually place it on top of the pedestal… I neither have to raise the TV nor do I need to place it in front of the pedestal which saves me a huge amount of depth making it occupy no more space than the TV already does. Being on top of my pedestal it covers my cables at the rear from sight and allows me to regain 15-20cm back from my room if I cared to replace the furniture it sits upon which is rather significant. By the way, the HW-F750 doesn't sound spectacular when you're close up to it. Whether it's a thing with this unit, soundbars in general or the placement of my subwoofer (which isn't in the best place for optimal sound) I'm not sure but I wouldn't recommend being closer than 2.5m from it.

    When it comes to the irks… firstly, the ASC setup is horrendous. Why there seems to be no other way to initiate it other than when you plug in the sensor nor does the sensor have a clicker on it which is mental. With the lit display on the unit itself it is really cute how that if it's in a tabletop orientation it uses the thin side to light up and when it's wall mounted it uses the other side. It's cute up until you want to use the buttons on the unit when it's in tabletop mode, and where the expected vertical position of the unit is at waist height or lower, and you can't see s@#$ because the front display is active and not the top display. If you're pushing the buttons both should light up! I don't know where the eyes are on a Samsung engineer but for normal people the answer is "not there!". And just an FYI, I've seen a lot of pictures of the HW-F750 sat in the wall mounted orientation but on a table in front of a TV. It doesn't work… either you're impeding the speakers else if you turn it over it doesn't work (the display lights up but it doesn't work when upside down). It's a little weird that wall mounted the speakers are forward and down and when in the other orientation they're forward and up. I guess there's some interesting insight into the logic process of a Korean. :D

    I know that Samsung were royally stung by Apple for over a $ billion but to not add wifi to HW-F750 and have this as an AirPlay (and I guess their own AllShare) destination is crazy, that goes for their TVs as well which already have wifi. With the addition of AirPlay/AllShare it would enable me to wall mount these all over the place for an "all over the home" solution rather cheaply and neatly. For that matter it may even go really nicely as an unobtrusive desktop computer sound system. I don't get the closing off of the potential versatility of this unit for the sake of pennies.

    Overall though I really like the HW-F750. It's a well performing soundbar and while it isn't perfect and does have its limitations, and will do better/worse depending on the particular circumstances one has (more so than a 5.1 unit), it perfectly suits my usage and physical constraints, not to mention came at a price that's far more reasonable that other solutions.
  5. Ldooderrino Audiophyte

    Ldooderrino
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    Kind of reminds me of the bug zapper in my back yard...a warm glow of light that draws in interested creatures and leaves them totally void of future enjoyment.

    Regardless of the warm glow that soundbar may have, it is still a Samsung audio device. No different, the sound dock they offer (vac tube/dig amp) sounds no better than the audiovox alarm clock radio I have next to my bed! None of these gimmicked devices are worth the time and money.

    I'm not saying everything the company offers is worthless. Samsung has some great displays, phones, and home appliances. We have owned many of each offering in our home and have been extremely happy with the performance of various Samsung products. Sadly, the audio gear offered by Samsung has always seemed lackluster to me.

    In this case, Samsung should have their tubes tied and give up the upper-end game with audio products.

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