I not juts actively hate this configuration but also actively abhor the rational that made people go for this direction.
The Morons use horrible power amplifiers and sonically impotent speakers and suffer from harsh and cruel Sound. Instead of trashing the crappy amplifiers, cable and speaker they introduce very “colorful” sounding preams with tubes, in suspense to mask out the sonic immunity of own playback, believing that the dirt that tube preamp will inject into the system will make deficiency of other elements of playback not so annoying.
The most “sophisticated” of them “cure” the problem of 16-bit digital format or more frequency the problems crappy digital implementations, by using Vacuum Tube output stages in DA converters. The Morons-consumers like the idea as they feel that the Digital Devil passing by a vacuum tube will experience some kind of redemption and revitalization.
That is very foolish notion and until one can demonstrate an absolutely transparent line-level buffer/device with Vacuum Tubes the Vacuum Tubes must not be used in line level outputs. In audio Vacuum Tubes meant for power amplifiers, preferably for out stages, that where they do job. In the output stages of digital devises the Vacuum Tubes serve explicitly marketing function – shooting against the stupid industry’s pre-developed believes and pre-buttered faulty expectations. So, express a large reservation to any CD player or DAC with Vacuum Tubes output stage.
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche