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Impressions: The GamuT Lobster Chair for Audiophiles

09-09-2017 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 93

GamuT Lobster Chair

The GamuT Lobster Chair in the sweet spot at the PF listening room in River City.

"And now," said Monty Python, "for something completely different!"

When planning, setting up, or upgrading their listening rooms, audio folks don't usually spend too much time considering furniture. After all, loudspeakers. Electronics. Turntables. DSD. RTR tape. Racks. Cables. For the adventurous:  System enhancements. And did I mention loudspeakers?

The more advanced (and better funded) audiophile understands further steps:  custom construction, attention to AC power supplies, wall-within-a-wall isolation, all of the mathematics of carefully planned angles and distances, isolation foundations, advanced grounding, sophisticated power panels, etc., etc., etc. If you've got a great deal of money and elbow room, you can really go to some rarefied heights…I've heard some exceptional examples of top-flight listening rooms/cathedrals over the years.


Nah. Usually what's in a listening room is whatever can be pilfered from the rest of the house, storage, purchased from wherever with the best of intentions, or swiped from a local dormitory with the worst of same.

In other words, an afterthought.

Certainly that's what I've done for several decades. Lots of attention to various technical/acoustical details, but very little to what the gluteus maximus was resting upon.

Until now.

Beginning a couple of years ago…2015, actually…I noticed that the GamuT room was featuring a new and rad-looking chair in its listening room at RMAF that year.

Michael Vamos of Audio Skies and GamuT enjoying some very pleasant bourbon while comfortably ensconced in the GamuT Lobster Chair at RMAF 2015.

I was really fascinated by this great-looking design. It was a sweeping, encompassing look, with killer leather that was impeccably shaped to the contours of the chair. The back side was made of actual wood, walnut as it turned out, curved and fitted to the flowing requirements of the design. Who came up with such a seductive work of art? According to GamuT, their chair was modeled on "the original Lobster Chair," which "is the creation of iconic Danish designers Lund and Paarmann and is manufactured by high-end furniture makers Kvist.

In collaboration with Kvist, Gamut developed this unique variation tailored specifically for music lovers. It incorporates special acoustic damping materials, carefully positioned to improve the listening experience – while maintaining the original Lobster Chair's breathtaking beauty and luxurious comfort."

So…Danish craftsmanship wedded with GamuT's laser-like dedication to getting the very best in its products, without compromising the highest audio virtues. No wonder I loved it from the start.

This was irresistible! I had to try it out!

GamuT Lobster Chair

Ye Olde Editor, checking out the GamuT Lobster Chair at RMAF 2015, while sharing some of GamuT's very fine bourbon. All systems go! (Photograph courtesy of Scot Hull of Part-Time Audiophile; used by permission.)

Sitting down sealed the deal. There's no reason to mess around:  This was the most comfortable listening room chair that I had ever tried. Incredibly solid, sturdy, killer comfortable, and it swiveled 360 degrees like a dream. It towed my heart (and the rest of me) away in moments. As it turns out, it's the only chair designed from the get-go to be a true audiophile listening room chair, and not just whatever you could find for whatever purpose at the local furniture store, borrow from another room, or pluck from your garage.

That was it. I had to try this back at home base. In 2016, we made arrangements for an eventual review, depending on when the chair and footstool could be delivered. As it turned out, they didn't arrive until 2017, due to production back-orders and shipping backlogs. You should be aware I am told that if a GamuT Lobster Chair is in inventory at GamuT USA, it can be shipped out and arrive in the US in 1-2 weeks. Otherwise, an order that goes back to the factory in Denmark may take 4-8 weeks to be delivered. Don't let that stop you; just be advised.

Currently, GamuT USA says that every Lobster Chair arriving in this country has already been sold by the time of its arrival…pretty impressive, that.

Benno Meldgaard in the GamuT room at AXPONA 2016

Benno Meldgaard, the design genius and CEO behind GamuT, together with Michael Vamos, advised me that Benno had worked with a well-known Danish furniture maker, Kvist Industries, which is also a major stakeholder in GamuT. The GamuT Lobster Chair was based on the earlier Kvist Lobster Chair, modified to provide some gains for audiophiles.

Before that, though:  Why is it named "The Lobster Chair"? I had wondered when I first saw it, but only recently thought to seek an answer to that question.

The creature itself! (Image in the public domain, courtesy of Public Domain Pictures HERE)

When I asked Michael, he told me that the Danish craftsman (remember, Denmark is a seagoing nation) were inspired by the shape of a lobster's back as it curves forward. Kvist had rendered this into a classic, flowing shape for a chair, one that was well received. Thus, "the Lobster Chair."

GamuT Lobster Chair

The GamuT Lobster Chair:  Rear view of the articulation and craftsmanship of the walnut back.

But there were some elements that Benno wanted to bring to this elegant design, ones that would enhance its use for audiophiles. Rather than a completely leather-wrapped chair, like the original Kvist Lobster Chair, one in which the leather might be stretched out over time, Benno specified a chair with a wrapped wooden back, real wood and not a veneer…walnut. It would be executed with an articulated structure and look. This would strengthen the chair, prevent the sagging of leather, and also add to the beauty of the product.

Benno Meldgaard and Michael Vamos:  A portrait from the LA Audio Show 2017

There were other aspects, as well. Michael Vamos told me, "The shell is bent walnut wood at the back. Inside the shell we have used Pantera foam, as it is very durable and probably the least damaging foam for our natural environment. The swivel base is chrome-plated steel and the leather is the very best 100% pure aniline leather." According to Wikipedia, "Aniline leather is a type of leather dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat paint or insoluble pigments. The resulting product retains the hide's natural surface with the 'grain', i.e. visible pores, scars etc. of the complete original animal's skin structure." This makes aniline leather much more beautiful to my way of thinking, as well as natural, soft, and more comfortable. You must be careful about spilling on aniline leather, however…it does stain more easily. No sloppy drinking while listening, please!

It also makes aniline leather more expensive. I find the fit and finish of the leather to be marvelous…and I was replacing a leather couch, remember. I consider the GamuT Lobster Chair to be an upgrade over the earlier black leather that I had in our listening room.

GamuT Lobster Chair

GamuT Lobster Chair, view of the seat leather and padding

Even the layout of the seating pads were taken into consideration with the Lobster Chair. If you look at the front view above, you'll see the curvature of the sectioned leather and padding. I applaud the double stitched binding at the edges; this is quite sturdy. The effect is to hold you in place, without sliding down in the chair over time, as can happen with many leather chairs. It certainly does that here; no slip-‘n-slide downhill on the sculpted leather.

GamuT Lobster Chair

GamuT Lobster Chair, headrest view

Nor was the headrest neglected. Indeed, in many ways its design was key to getting audiophile-level performance out of the chair. As GamuT notes in its Lobster Chair product literature, "Normally you can't have a neck rest while listening to music, because you get a reflection from the material behind your ears, distorting the sound. But GamuT has created a unique acoustical damping material, resulting in an extremely effective sound treatment, while maintaining the Lobster Chair's breathtaking beautiful design and comfort. Furthermore the shape of the wide headrest also prevents reflections from [the] wall behind the listener [from] affect[ing] the soundstage, which eliminates the need for sound treatment behind the listener." In other words, there is no leather in the neck and head zone, but rather a fabric that acts to properly dampen the potential acoustical reflections in that area.

I can tell you quite categorically that it works extremely well.

But to test this out, I had to do a major reorganization of my listening room here. Major, because changing furniture led me to change all sorts of other things in four rooms total, as well. (Listening room, media storage room 1, equipment and media storage room 2, and even elements of our guest bedroom upstairs.) Out went my old black leather two-person listening couch; in came the GamuT Lobster Chair; old LP storage racks were moved, and new ones brought in; old stored audio equipment was relocated; a second Critical Mass Systems QXK Amp Stand was placed; and our ATR Service Ampex ATR-102 RTR recorder was shifted. All of this happened while we were installing the new PASS Labs Xs Preamp and Xs 150 Monoblock Amps, and upgrading the Evolution Acoustics MM2 loudspeakers with the EXACT External Crossovers.

The whole set of changes took several weeks to complete. All of the other changes were made, and then the Lobster Chair went into place to crown our efforts.

In the new-look PF reference listening room in River City; the GamuT Lobster Chair and Footstool are on the bottom right.

The significant improvements wrought by the set of upgrades, and the very noticeable major improvement in the acoustics of the listening position were undeniable. Before this, on the old couch, one might have to make some adjustments in the position of one's head and body to get the best sound, depending on the person.

Not anymore.

Jonathan Tinn and Din Johnson in the listening room shortly after the completion of the changes and the introduction of the GamuT Lobster Chair. As a matter of fact, he's probably still there…his hindmost parts seem immovably planted! "I ain't leavin'!" he told me….

There's a reason for this. As GamuT notes, "The [GamuT Lobster Chair is the] first high-end listening chair created to minimize reflections from the surroundings. Instead of having acoustic sound treatments on the wall behind and next to your listening position, the GamuT Lobster Chair effectively dampens these. The effect is dramatic – The soundstage becomes more precise and natural and the music springs to life in your living room." I think that Benno and company have nailed it; this is exactly what I'm experiencing here.

GamuT Lobster Chair

Along with the GamuT Lobster Chair, you should consider the dedicated footstool to be a mandatory purchase. Do not buy the one without the other! It features the same beautiful curved walnut wood construction as the Lobster Chair.

And I'm not alone in this. The consensus of the visitors that we've had to the new configuration in our listening room indicates that everyone, men and women, love the Lobster Chair. For looks…for comfort…for the improvement in the listening.

Everyone. Loves. It.

(Image courtesy of GamuT.)

I should here note that the construction of the GamuT Lobster Chair and Footstool is extremely heavy-duty. As Michael Vamos told me above, "The swivel base is chrome-plated steel…" I can tell you that the chair and footstool are very heavy to move; it took two adult males to get the chair up the stairs to our listening room. Don't expect to be picking it up and carrying it unless you are really strong. And even then, I wouldn't do it. Take my word for it:  The good looks rest on a considerable mass. Get some help to move the chair.

(Image courtesy of GamuT.)

(While not present and the subject of this review, I should point out in passing that GamuT also has a matching Lobster Table for drinks ‘n such. It is of the same terrific construction as the rest of the ensemble, and would be a complementary touch in many listening rooms.)

My son, "John the Strong" Robinson, relaxing into the music after a long day of helping with the rearrangement of storage and equipment…

Thus far, my appreciation for the salutary effects of the GamuT Lobster Chair have very quickly hardened into certainty. Whether listening to SACDs, up to Quad rate DSD, our Sound Galleries SGM2015 Music Server, LPs, or reel-to-reel tapes, "the chair" has made listening and evaluation a real delight. I am able to listen for extended periods without getting stiff or sore, and find that the clarity, detail, imaging, and soundstaging of all recordings at my listening position have improved splendidly. To my knowledge, this is the first true audiophile listening chair in existence.

And damn! What a wonder!


I could go on, but there's really no reason to do so. The unique, and uniquely brilliant GamuT Lobster Chair, steps into a dimension of our listening room experience that has been neglected, and arrives with massive impact. Having heard it previously at shows, I was willing to undertake a major, backbreaking reorganization of my listening room and support areas to accommodate it and complete its evaluation in a setting that I know intimately.

At RMAF 2015…a GamuT Lobster Chair in black leather with red headrest.

The results were stellar from the first moment. From your ears to your ass-most parts, you'll find that the GamuT Lobster Chair provides an extraordinary completion of the previously open circuit of comfort and placement in your audio space. I think that no sane spouse or significant other could reasonably object to its look and feel in any setting, a major plus when it comes to furniture and domestic tranquility.

A combination of beauty, exemplary craftsmanship, and brilliant audiophile performance, the GamuT Lobster Chair is without a doubt in my mind an essential upgrade to your listening room. Personally, I'd say that before you do (yet another) upgrade to, or replacement of, some other piece of audio equipment, that you should instead replace your damned chair!

You'll thank me for it.

And yes, amigos, I liked it so well that I bought it.

If you can handle the cost, you should do the same.

Image courtesy of GamuT


  • Height 95 cm
  • Seat height 39 cm
  • Width 73 cm
  • Depth 82 cm

Lobster Chair

Retail: USD $4990

Matching Stool

Retail: USD $2690

Also available (not reviewed):  The GamuT Lobster Table, USD $1890

Gamut A/S

Skolegade 9

DK-6818 Aarre



Email:  [email protected]

US Importer

Gamut US

[email protected]


All photographs and image processing by David W. Robinson, unless otherwise noted.