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Can't find any reviews

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gsprice696, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. gsprice696


    Feb 7, 2014
    Hey everyone I'm new to the bass guitar and know very little about them, I haven't even purchased one yet but I intend on it very soon. I'm in the army and currently stationed in South Korea so I don't exactly have the ability to just head down to the local Guitar Center to check any out so I'm hoping you all can give me some advice. I've been looking and found 2 beginner bass packs that look great but I can't find any reviews which makes me leary. The first is the Epiphone Tobias to y performance pack. I've head the amp that comes with it is great but I've heard nothing about the bass. Second is the Ibenez Jumpstart pack which the bass looks really nice but one again no reviews. So if anyone knows anything about these could u give me some info please? Thanks in advance!
  2. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I'm not aware of any Epiphone-branded Tobias basses. Of course Epi and Tobias are both owned by Gibson. I have an Epi T-bird bass which I think is a good value for the price I paid. Wish I could be more help.
  3. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    I started with the Ibanez kit. Both the bass and the amp were adequate for my purposes. Typically the Ibanez has closer string spacing than other basses but that taught me to be more precise with my fingers. The pickups feature a split P/J style that provide ample tonal variations. Build quality was above average. The only other starter kit I would consider would be Fender's but that may not be an option. Also the Ibanez amp that came with mine connected easily to an audio source with a 1/8" jack. Best wishes.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Epiphone bought the Tobias label from Michael Tobias himself, who now makes MTD (Michael Tobias Designs) basses. He posted on the budget "Toby" model Epiphone is putting out and pretty much disavowed having anything to do with it. I haven't heard anything further about it other than seeing them in Guitar Center, but didn't try one out. Frankly, in the $200-300 price range, there are lots of well-established choices I would go to first - a Vintage Modified Squier, the Yamaha RBX170, or a Peavey Millenium.
  5. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I had the Tobias Toby Deluxe (by Epiphone) bass. it's actually a very nice bass for the money. Now keep in mind that there's the standard and deluxe versions of the Toby bass. Deluxe has a battery inside the cavity for the bass boost and is usually has a wood grain finish. Standard is either white or black and does not have the battery. The body of the bass is actually fairly compact and is smaller in real life than it does in pictures- fits nicely though. The neck is asymmetrical - very comfortable- the sound is pretty good for a beginner bass albeit a tad bit noisy as in a hum, pickups are not the best (although, you can always upgrade the pickups to make it sound better)
    I would however take it over the Ibanez jump start bass (which I also have)- Ibanez does make good basses mind you, but the good ones usually start at a higher price point - like the SR300 series.

    There are a few options that might be a little better.
    I do have a Squier VM Jaguar Special which I love playing as well- price is $199 for the bass alone (a practice amp can be bought separately), but a better bass overall- It's an active bass, with a very nicely balanced feel to the neck. Great for a beginner.
    Another good beginners pack is the one with the Yamaha RBX170- as mentioned above.-
  6. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I'd like to take a Toby for a test drive, it's a sexy looking bass.
  7. Never played the Tobias but had two of the Epiphone T-birds in the past and they were a decent value for the $300 paid. Able to play gigs with 'em after a quick setup. Good luck. And thank you for serving your country. I owe my freedom to guys like you.
  8. First: Thank you for your service!
    Second: What is your budget?
    Third: What are your current goals? (to see if you like bass, or to really learn etc)

    The latter are important in figuring out your needs. My concern (without knowing anything) is that you may jump into this thing on the cheaper end and end up hating it due to sound or play-ability issues. If your thinking about just noodling to pass the time then that is a different issue.
  9. I meant to add. If I could/would do it all over again Id get something better than "beginner level" equipment. As mentioned there are a number of items in the same ballpark. With beginner gear you will assuredly never get your money back. If you invest in something a notch above you can get some coin back if you decided it wasnt for you and you wanted to resell it. Something else to consider.
  10. Never tried the Epiphone basses so I really can't comment. I do have an Epiphone SG 6 string and it's a darn good guitar. I have an Ibanez GSR200 bass ( pretty low end for the brand) and am very happy with it. It was my main gigging bass for a couple years till I got my P Bass. Still use it as a backup for my P Bass.I also own a couple Ibanez 6 strings and when I was playing in bands with them , they were my main guitars. Build quality is always good ( at least I haven't seen any bad ones)and they are very playable. 1 vote for the Ibanez here.
  11. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I own a Tobias Growler, and was horrified by the Epiphone Toby I found at Guitar Center. Electronics were excessively noisy, and the instrument felt cheap all over. Even though the overall shape and size is pretty much the same between the two, the Toby felt flimsy.

    I can't speak to any of the other options you mentioned, but there's a good chance they'd be better. How about SX?
  12. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Michael Tobias sells his name to a corporation, and 20 years later he's complaining about what they're marketing under his name. Is Tobias the dumbest guy on Earth?
  13. Mike_D


    Sep 17, 2013
    I was in your exact position many years ago and I went to a local music shop in Taegu and they were extremely helpful and spoke enough English to get the job done. I purchased a Samick bass figuring that if I was going to buy a bass in Korea I may as well buy a Korean bass but they had a normal selection on hand. So you may have local options as well that will allow you to actually try them out. I didn't even buy an amp at the time, I just used a mixer and headphones.

  14. gsprice696


    Feb 7, 2014
    Thanks everyone for the replies!
  15. gsprice696


    Feb 7, 2014

    My budget I'm thinking is going to be no more than like $300-$400 but with that I'm trying to get everything I would need ie good amp, tuner, case or gig bag and a decent quality bass. I know it might be a lot to ask for with that little to spend but I'm hoping to score something. To answer your other question I'm interested in REALLY LEARNING to play. I'd like to get into playing all types of music like rock country metal and maybe even some pop like Bruno Mars but I really like the red hot chilli peppers. So any idea on a good bass setup, I'm all ears
  16. gsprice696


    Feb 7, 2014
    To add I'm also a huge Staind and Tool fan so which would be better for me to get? A 4 or 5 string?
  17. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    If you like RHCP...there's the Sterling Sub Ray bass. It's an affordable Stingray and these are selling like crazy these days because of the value and quality of them. Was talking to a GC manager a couple of days ago, and he's having a hard time keeping them in stock. Price new is $286. Used at GC, you can get them for less than $200. I just bought another used one for $159.99.
    These basses are just amazing for the price and well worth the money - it might be available in S. Korea, not too sure.

    If you're planning on slapping a lot like Flea, a 4 string would be more ideal.

    Another thought would be to look for some "Mr. Potato" (I know.. lol with the name) basses there in S. Korea. He used to have a store near Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek but has since closed shop. Perhaps some of his basses are still circulating locally? Excellent quality for the price- pretty collectable here in the States- they were custom made and usually a neck through bass.
    I believe they sold for $100-200 at the time the store was still around- I have one I bought from a Serviceman a few years ago, and it's one of the best basses I have! I've seen some go for $500-1000 here!
    Anyway, here's a picture of the Sterling Sub Ray I mentioned earlier.
  18. If you're really sure you want to play bass - I'd stay away from starter kits; you'll want a new bass, and amp shortly thereafter. The starter kits are made to meet a pricepoint, and just aren't of the best quality. There are many faily inexpensive entry-level basses out there like the Ibanez SR300 or LTD B-series just to name a couple. Same goes with combo-amps.

    My advice - save a little more, and get something you like better - that will last a lot longer.
  19. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Quick question gsprice696. How are you planning on buying and shipping the bass? Reason why I'm asking is if you're planning on buying and shipping it here in the States (then having someone send it to you in Korea), then used basses at GC might be an option. A used Tobias Toby is going for $99.99 for example. Shipping to anywhere in the States is about $20.
  20. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I don't think you can lose either way you chose to go. Epiphone makes good guitars. I started playing guitar on an Epiphone Les Paul, and was quite fond of it. And Ibanez is a leader in the industry of bass guitars, and has been for years.

    And... thank you for your service. Korea is cold in the winter.