We invite you to learn more about the unique Swiss high-end audio manufacturer Tobian Soundsystems with Mono & Stereo's latest interview with the owner/designer Günter Tobian. 

“When did you enter into the audio industry and why?

I have been very passionate about music my entire life but somehow for some reason, the year 1978 hangs in my mind. As I’m also “quite” skillful with my hands I wanted to make devices which would reproduce music in a way I wanted it so I started with DIY roughly around 1984 and this marriage of being a music lover and being able to craft devices I decided to offer to the audio market in 2002

Who were, and perhaps still are, your inspirations?

My inspirations are the great examples of inventors and founders from the 1940s to 1960s and of course my assistants and technicians. Talking about our industry I have the utmost respect and often source inspiration from the master craftsman developing and producing transformers for us which are doing an amazing job 

Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

Always an interesting question somehow. If I look at myself and look at what I have collected in the last 40 years for example a collection of almost 200.000 vacuum tubes out of which is like 15.000 audiophile tubes like WE, GEC, etc., having roughly around 12.000 LPs (you know audiophile stuff like this pressing that pressing 😊) and as a crème almost all imaginable horn drivers so in nutshell I think yes, I am an audiophile. I love music and I listen to it every single day for the last 40 years and I intend to continue doing so in the future but not to forget, I love having audiophile friends around discussing gear, swapping and comparing gear, pressings, digital vs analog, etc.

Made in Switzerland! An important quality?

I’m in love with the best quality and Switzerland as such was predestined for me regarding the quality. I believe nowhere else on the globe there is so many suppliers and manufacturers who are striving to produce only the best of the best and at the same time don’t take the best for granted.

Kindly list all of the current product line.

Speaker models,

  • 10FH, 12FH, 15FH, 18FH and new from 2021 the 20FH
  • HC Coaxial models 12HC, 15HC

Phono - Pre-amplifiers

  • SC5,
  • SC10 DHT with external Power Supply


  • SC8 
  • SC12s 
  • SC1 with external Power Supply


  • MA70 -2A3
  • MA100 - Special 46 Triode 
  • MA100 - 300B Triode
  • MA100 - 211 Triode
  • MA200 coming soon
  • Integrated VR40 300B single-ended

What drives Tobian Soundsystems!? Technology or music?

Technology is the means to reach the end goal - meaning ultimate reproduction of music or let’s say in other words – the essence of music. So naturally, in our world, they go hand in hand. I also enjoy and love technology as such very much…

What makes Tobian Soundsystems different from other similar products on the market?

We manufacture every single component specifically for our needs, listen to it in the predefined application, and of course make a comparison. This process we reiterate as many times as needed to sonically reach the goal. I would also like to say that our leverage point is our suppliers and manufactures as they are also audiophiles and music lovers, so whenever a new component is developed, I want this developer to listen to their new part/component and hence elevate their understanding of the importance of their parts in the grand scheme of things. They very much appreciate this approach and I believe teamwork like this is enabling us to move boundaries with each new product we launch. 

What would you say set Tobian Soundsystems apart from the competition?

Our experienced customers say that our products have an organic sound, physically perceptible and very much close to the live music which I believe is a guarantee for real access to music

What are you doing differently?

I have a very, very good perception of the music and I would say I’m very musical. Combining this with a very good understanding of the technical side it connects both sides perfectly.

Does form follow function at Tobian Soundsystems?

I believe the form is of the utmost importance, but there has to be a perfect blend between form and function to achieve harmony, as without harmony there is no proper end result.  

How important is the quality of build in parts?

The best is just good enough!!

Exotic built-in parts and materials? Yes or no...?

Only …..

What's your view on Solid-state vs tubes?

Everything has its justification.

And how about the analog vs digital?

Digital has improved a lot in recent years and I believe both can work exceptionally well. You don’t need a decision if you can have both.

Is balanced topology a must for state-of-the-art reproduction?

Now, the only real balanced signal is analog!!!

How important is the role of the power supply in Tobian Soundsystems designs?

Extremely important, that’s the key

How about measuring and listening to part?

Measuring is a must, but a combination of both is also a must …. Listening even mandatory!

Do you produce everything in-house?

Yes, and as I said before all our suppliers and small part manufacturers are in Switzerland.

How and when does the designer draw the fine line between, resolution, transparency, and musicality?

You can't draw a line as a designer. When you know what you are doing as a designer and developer and the right components are used precisely, resolution and transparency are almost free-flowing, but musicality is not. That is why developing, measuring, and comparing is so important for a very good product. The development of a product in our company can take several years until we reach a point where we are fully satisfied, and the latest examples are our new Speakers 20FH and SC1 preamp.

How important is to get timbre, tone, and color right?

Without these ingredients, there is no music!!

Are Tobian Soundsystems' products voiced and fine-tuned before leaving the factory?

If products are manufactured with a tolerance of less than 1%, all that remains to be done is a quality control check and of course one and only auditory test – nothing leaves towards customers without that.

What does high-end reproduction represent through the eyes and mind of Tobian Soundsystems?

There are so many ideas about the high end. For us, at Tobian Soundsystems the music must be reproduced homogeneously, easily accessible, and stress-free. 

A well-known customer of ours recently told me: “I actually only wanted to listen to an hour or two of music that evening, but I ended up listening for half of the night without noticing”

…that's the nicest compliment you can get

Do all the Tobian Soundsystems products share the same sonic DNA?

I suppose so 😊.

Is pure Class A a must and a holy grail?

Not in all applications!!

Importance of the first watt?

Everything starts with this one watt…..

What kind of music do you use for the development and final sonic refining of your products?

Pretty much every kind of music, a good system must be able to reproduce every kind of music.

How do you see the momentum of high-end audio?

There are a lot of new and wonderful things on the market, but let’s be honest, also the opposite is the case.

Would you say that love for music reflects in the electronic design and nonetheless part choices?

…reflects the reproduction of the music!

How close to reality do you think we can come with high-end audio reproduction?

If we try hard, such reproduction is possible and can easily get under your skin once you witness it.

What is the importance of room acoustics?

Very important where it is necessary!!

What can be expected in the future from Tobian Soundsystems?

Always well prepared with a portion of surprise for everyone….

Any last thoughts for our readers?”

I wish we could all have a band that plays for us every day so that we can feel the emotions conveyed by music. 

In a way I believe we managed to conjure this in the living rooms of our customers, creating an almost like-live music reproduction.

So, I wish to everyone to try to experience this in their own living rooms or music rooms.