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Best Functional Complement to Tobias 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by billdeg, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. billdeg


    Mar 12, 2006
    I have a Tobias 5 string with S/N 3413 which I have read is not one of the originals but it's certainly nice quality and I use it every day. It was not cheap when I bought it new, I see the new ones are cheaper so they must have screwed around with the company, not sure I want a new one. I'd like instead to get a used complementary bass to the Tobias I have. It has Bartolini's

    My Tobias looks like this, so it must be a Killer B 5:
    Tobias Killer B 5 String Electric Bass Guitar

    What I mean by "complementary" is that I need to be able to swap between the two basses in a pinch. Ideally I'd want a 5 string that's not exactly the same as the Tobias, maybe a hair thinner neck, jazz-like but retains the same level of flexibility as the Tobias. I also would want to stay with active electronics.

    I truly love the Tobias, it's fantastic. I am a pick pop player, or just straight pick. I abandoned finger plucking for most things. I do a little low distortion or other effects at times. I use a Sans Amp pedal into a SVT-3 Pro (Ampeg 410 or 610) and/or Acoustic 320 (with twin 15 in cab) and/or Acoustic 150.

    Here is the issue - I am not a collector, just a working musician and I can maybe afford to plunk down $1200 max. The most important thing is have a 2nd insurance bass should something go wrong with the Tobias, or I want to swap off on stage for variety.

    Given the description of my needs above, I have attempted to narrow down to the following list:
    Fender Jazz V
    Carvin LB 75 5
    Warwick Streamer or Corvette
    Lakland Skyline 55-02
    Ibanez BTB 1405
    impossible - get another Tobias?
    something else?

    In short; What would be the best complement but not exact copy to the Tobias Killer B 5? Which 5 string is capable of overlaping the sound of the Tobias, but also along with the Tobias expands the total sound I can deliver on stage?


    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  2. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    Of that list, I'd get a Lakland 55-02. Super versatile and well made. And they can be found for less than $1200 on the used market.
  3. I don't think anything on your list is in the ballpark of your Killer B. I have one too about a thousand serial #'s earlier than yours. First of all none of those basses have a neck profile like the Assymetrical profile of the Tobias. And I'm not sure which Preamp you have but it won't sound real similar unless it's a Bart/Bart PU/Pre setup. So if you're happy with the feel and sound of your KB5 this is what I would do. If I were you I would be looking at MTD(Michael Tobias Design) (NOT TOBY !!!!!) Kingston, Artist, Heir, Z4/5, Saratoga's and the more rare Grendel if you can find one. There is also a newer Kingston Super. All the offshore MTD's are well made, have a similar neck profile to yours and can be found used for reasonable prices mostly under $1500, some under a $1000. I would also steer clear of the under $500 bottom of the line models. About $600-$1500 gets you a very good instrument. Most have Bart pre and pickups and will sound and feel very familiar. There are one or two other models I can't remember now as well. Good luck. As always YMMV and IMHO etc. I like a lot of other Mfg's too but they are pretty different than your Tobias.
  4. billdeg


    Mar 12, 2006
    This makes sense, I will check these out. I will look for a good used model that I can try out locally.

  5. Where are you located billdeg?
  6. billdeg


    Mar 12, 2006
    I tried a bunch of basses and settled on the Fender Jazz, to my surprise. I also had a chance for a Rickenbacker but it was only a 4 string, nice basses though. In the end I liked how the Jazz (deluxe American) was so versatile, good overall control, consistent sound no matter where I played.
    meatwad likes this.
  7. billdeg


    Mar 12, 2006
    Near Philadelphia
  8. I don't know if your looking for a 4 or 5 string but that MTD Renegade 4 on CL in Bethlehem looks like a good deal. They usually go for a couple of hundred more.
  9. billdeg


    Mar 12, 2006
    I decided on a Fender Jazz V Deluxe, at least I want to play it for 24 hours to confirm but it looks like that's the ""complementary" balance I was looking for. I have been playing for the past four hours, song after song, to compare and contrast. I have a few other basses here too to compare with but nothing as good as the Tobias or the Jazz V. I was not expecting to like the Jazz so much, in some ways I like it better than the Tobias, which is perfect.
    Preventer likes this.

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