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Can anyone compare a Tobias to an MTD?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Feb 16, 2002.


  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Is there anyone that has owned or played both a pre-Gibson Tobias Classic 5 and an MTD 535?

    Are there significant differences? :confused: The body shapes seem to be the same.
     
  2. Is the Classic a neck through? If so, that'd be a pretty big difference from the MTD's.
     
  3. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Ooops! Yeah, the Classic is a neckthrough. I forgot all about that. Major difference!:eek:
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    My Classic 5 is the older omega body style and one of the first basses with the rounded Bartolinis. It's neckthrough, 34" scale, 24 fret. Take a look at the two basses on the left... the MTD 635 and Tobias 5 (and 4 string for that matter) are approximately the same overall size. The main difference is where the bridge is positioned, above the cut on the 34" 5 and 4, near the end of the body for the 35" 635. The 635 is also 21 frets.

    The three basses to the left all sound different too, the MTD with Swamp Ash body and bolt-on Wenge neck has the kind of explosive bite associated with bolt-ons while still being very articulate. Excellent string to string response, excellent B. The Classic sounds thicker (but not muddy) and has the punchiest B I've heard to date. The Walnut/ Purple heart 4 is a speed demon and a real slap monster.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    What's up with the K5 there Brad? I thought you were more a higher end man (as evident by you "Music Store" family portrait)...that little ol' cheapie grab you or something?
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I found it cheap and bought it. I sold it to a friend for what I found it for, including shipping. There are no MTD's available locally, which is silly. I'm actually a "nice bass" guy... easy to see if you've seen my G&L. The Kingston is nice.

    Short answer... just being a nice guy ;)
     
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Brad, I should have known I could count on you to come through with a great answer to the thread. :)

    I've been reading a bit of Tobias' history and something that I didn't know was that there were quite a few basses built while Gibson owned the company but before they moved the operation to Nashville. The first Gibson era bass was serial number 1094. And the last serial number built in Burbank, CA was 2044.

    From Brad's photo it looks like Mike has stuck pretty close to the mold on his body shapes. Brad, would you say that the neck profile is real close between the MTD's and the pre-Nashville Tobias'?

    Also, I've noticed, from some of the specs that I've seen, that the Tobias Classics tend to be a medium weight at around 10 pounds or so. Is that the norm? Are the MTD's also sitting around that weight?
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
     
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    As mentioned, Michael has switched from making multi-laminate "hippie sandwich" basses to more conventional bolt-ons. An MTD owner I've spoken to (who owns multiple MTDs) says the newer basses do sound more woody and less "modern".
     
  10. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    What does IIRC mean?
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    If I Remember Correctly, I think.
     
  12. Amoilbasso

    Amoilbasso

    Apr 22, 2000
    Florence
    I Own a Tobias Classic,all in walnut with pau ferro fingerboard;and it's number 1811.So it's still pre-gibson.
    I find MTD different from Tobias:they are much modern sounding,and the eletronic is much modern and powerfull.Another diference factor is the use of dry woods as wenge for the fingerboards and necks.
    Not to say about the Bolton-vs NT,and the diferent scales.
    I don't like MTDs a lot:they have a less natural sound;more Hi-tech.The use of warwick style woods is something I don't realy like.They have less personality than Tobias.They are good basses,but like many others Zon,Modulus,Bolt-on Smiths.Nothing exceptional.
    While my old Toby is so natural,thye sound come from the player,not from the eletronic.It's warm,deep,very sensible.Althought it's not the best for slap,or fast singing solos up the neck,due to the exclusive use of walnut.May be those with maple neck are better from that points of views.
     
  13. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Great replies guys! Thanks! ;)
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My pre-Gibson Classic 5 doesn't have the cut-out like Brad's, so maybe the bridge position isn't such an issue - the main reason people still seem to be searching for them in the UK is the tone, which is like nothing else made today - I've looked !!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Here's a close-up of the bridge :

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Beautiful zebrawood! ;)