FS/FT: Tobias C5 Fretless Gibson Era
Early Gibson era Tobias Classic 5 Fretless bass guitar in near-mint condition. This bass is absolutely gorgeous, a dream to play and delivers an extremely versatile tone palette.
Flamed maple top, wenge tone plate and walnut body.
Flamed maple neck-through design with purple heart stringers.
And the best part is a thick, jet black ebony, unlined fingerboard.
Bartolini pickups and 18V preamp.
The only reason I'm selling this bass is that I recently found a pre-Gibson fretless 5-string, and I don't play this one any longer. Comes with a form-fitted foam canvas covered rigid case or a Tobias brown case for an additional $100.
Prefer an outright sale but trades considered would be high end 5-string fretted basses a la Sadowsky, Lakland, MTD with cash in either direction to make up the difference.
Serious inquiries only, PayPal ok, and no international shipments. $
So this was not build by Michael?
It is absolutely Michael's design but built by Gibson luthiers in the USA after he sold the company to Gibson. I own two pre-Gibsons and this post-Gibson Tobias. The designs are identical except for string spacing widths. I can say that the build quality on this bass is excellent and equal to my pre-Gibsons. The necks are asymmetrical and very comfortable on both. Necks and fingerboards on fretless basses are very unforgiving so the workmanship has to be top notch.
One difference is that both of my pre-Gibsons are gloss finishes on both neck and body and this one is matte. The preamp is 18 volt whereas the preamps on my pre-Gibsons are both 9 volt. If anything, the tone on this Gibson-era fretless is slightly more versatile than that of my pre-Gibson fretless. Could be that this bass is a Classic and my pre-Gibson is a Basic 5; the Classic has Walnut-Wenge-Maple wings whereas the Basic has solid Bubinga wings. Arguably, the multicore wood combination provides more tonal complexity - your mileage may vary :) Or it's simply a more versatile preamp circuit. There are also internal pots that can adjust the center frequencies of the tone controls but I've never messed with those and never felt the need to do so.
Thanks D. For the history, funny that Michael does not build neck thru anymore.
You're welcome. A few more pics to whet the appetite, all!
It's a shame for this wonderful bass to be resting in a case. If you're ready to step into a high end fretless, this is a great example.
Nice! You donít see a lot of Tobias fretless basses. Too bad, if it was lined Iíd be tempted, but Iím a fretless noob so I gotta have the lines!
Thanks for the comparison between the pre-and post-Gibson models. Just curious, what is the difference in string spacing between the two that you mentioned?
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
Administrator, Tobias Club
Big Cabs Club #23
My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly
Hi Wayne. Really, don't be afraid of no lines. You really want your ears to be your guide whether there are lines or not. This bass has dots right where the lines would be at 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, etc. Not in the middle of where the fret would be but right at the line. Then your ear does the intonation correction -- and that's where the sensitivity and creativity of fretless comes from anyway. Gliding into notes, vibrato, digging in with your LEFT hand for mwah.
This bass if i remember correctly has 17.5mm spacing at the bridge -- i can measure for sure later this week as i'm traveling on business the next couple of days. My pre-Gib fretless is measured at 16.25mm -- i know because i am looking for a replacement bridge for it as the original (Wilkinson i think) is very finicky and buzzes a bit. Honestly, i don't find string spacing to be a big deal except for slapping which i rarely do on a fretless. I have this bass at 16.25, a Lakland Skyline fretted at 19mm and a few in-between and go back and forth easily. Far more easily than 34" to 35" scale (this one is 34").
Oh, and unlined fretless basses look SO COOL! :)
I own 2 Gibson made Tobias's.
They are really quality axes.
Tobias Fretless Classic 5 - Price Reduction!
Yes, many of the Gibson-era Tobias basses are truly excellent and this I can attest is one of them. Would like to move this bass this weekend. Big price reduction: $2200 shipped in Continental USA. PayPal preferred.
High end, fretless love in March! Any interest out there for this wonderful bass?
Anyone with a nice 5-string fretted Sadowsky, Lakland, MTD, ? (with cash in either direction to make up the difference) looking for a high-end, pro-caliber fretless?
I'm starting to investigate the cost of having this bass fretted which would be a shame, but I simply don't need two Tobias fretless basses :)
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