Tobian Soundsystems SC 12 ultimate preamplifier

“For a long time I wondered what would happen if I built a preamp with no compromises. The SC 12 is the answer. All crucial components are custom made for this preamp: copper foil capacitors; quadruple transformer technique, super-silent operation with less than 1 Tesla; separate transformers for phono and line stages; a newly developed 6-part cabinet with perfect noise-insulation. Every potentiometer and switch is custom made by Elma Suisse. All knobs and the front panel are handmade and hand polished.

Let me talk about the volume potentiometer to illustrate the level of quality. It has 47 steps and can thus adjust the volume levels ultra-finely; it is built up with the best carbon comp resistors, closely matched to less than 1%; it is insulated against dust; its ball bearing is mounted in 3 dimensions and torque aligned (4mn): a true Elma masterpiece.

This is a quality that you can feel and hear.

I must admit, I’m especially proud of this particular phono stage. In the first two stages I use a very special 6SN7 variant. In the third and last stage a very rare triode: the 40, which was only produced from 1926 to 1935, sets the tone. Without wanting to sound immodest, the SC 12 is the best preamp that I know of and it is the only preamp with a switchable phono stage: if you want to listen to a line level source, you can simply turn it off.”

Technical specifications

4 Line-inputs and phono-MM / MC input with tube rectification
Input switch Elma Hi-Grade made in Switzerland
Elma 47 step volume potentiometer with carbon comp resistors
Power transformer with galvanic splitter
Highest grade parts, custom made capacitors
Riaa - Phono MM with 6SN7GT and 40 Triode
Cabinet in V2A Steel electronically polished or finely enamel lacquered
Weight: 28 kg
Handmade in Hergiswil Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
lifetime warranty (less tubes)