Great Experience With MTD

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by groovit, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. groovit


    Oct 12, 2004
    New Hampsha
    Just wanted to share the recent experience I had with Mike Tobias at MTD.

    I've got a Kingston fretless five that I had purchased used (I knew the two previous owners, so I had no worries). I've had it about a year and a half now, and I recently brought it to a local shop to get it setup. Turns out that the truss rod on the neck was maxed out and is un-movable. I was screwed. They tell me that I need to get a brand new neck.

    So, I email Mike and explain the problem. He happens to have a neck in the shop that matches perfectly, and sends it my way the same week. Four weeks later, I can finally play my fretless again.

    It may not sound like much, but I thought it was great that Mike took the time to solve my problem, even though I didn't own a custom or anything. If I had the income, I'd definitely be on the waiting list for a 535...

    And just to prove it exists:



  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have the 4 strnig version, great bass.
  3. guitarkim79


    May 8, 2002
    That's great - Mike really came through for you.

    My MTD Kingston 5's neck was warped. It was within the 1 year warranty, so I took it back to the store. They couldn't fix it, so they had MTD send a new neck. Months went by (I called repeatedly and got the "1-2 more weeks" story every time), and I finally got the call that my bass was fixed.

    They told me that MTD couldn't open the box and find out what color neck they were sending, so I ended up with a black headstock for my red bass. It's not that big of a deal, but come on. They couldnt' open the box? I'm glad I didn't get a blue one.

    Anyway, this store was pretty bad about everything. I don't know what the real deal was with the headstock color. But, I've heard so many good things about MTD's customer service that I find it hard to believe they would refuse to check the headstock color before sending out a replacement neck. I wish I had just contacted MTD myself.

    Anyway, the moral of my story is - if you have a problem with your MTD bass and your store is jerking you around, you should probably just contact MTD directly.
  4. That is a great story, He is a great guy and a great luthier. I can't begin to tell you how much I still like my MTD 435!!!
  5. groovit


    Oct 12, 2004
    New Hampsha
    guitarkim- The shop that I dealt with for the repair offered to get the neck for me, but I decided to go ahead and contact Mike myself, just because I wanted to make sure that it was going to match up perfectly. Did you contact Mike about the problem?
  6. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Mike will fix you up if there is a problem. I had some issues with a MTD Grendel I bought from the now defunct LA Bass Exchange a few years back, Mike ended up replacing the entire bass with parts he had in his shop. The replacement was killer and I still have it today.

    I am very particular, and have no back off persisting in getting something handled. Mike was very accomodating, probably much more so than many others in the business. I would like to publicly commend Michael Tobias for really taking care of a customer and making truly magical instruments.

    I also had the same good experience with Rodger Sadowsky.
  7. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Yep, Mike Tobias and Roger Sadowsky are the undisputable kings of integrity in the bass-luthier industry.
  8. superflybass

    superflybass Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    La Crosse WI
    I use to manage a guitar store and we were an mtd dealer. I have owned 5 different MTD basses Love them all but man Mike is Awsome and the King of service I cannot tell people enough of how much he cares about his product and customers..

    A++ guy in my book
  9. Mike Tobias is definately awesome! I have had a few questions regarding my MTD Saratoga 5. He has answered them promptly and been extremely helpful.
    His instrument are awesome! I love my MTD and just cant seem to like much else now.
  10. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    My experience is that he almost ALWAYS answers the phone! And he will talk for HOURS about woods, electronics, tone, competition, anything basses. He's a great guy and knows his craft, building great instruments.
  11. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    That's a great story with a happy ending. Mike certainly is a class act - and a business owner who stands 100% behind his products and his reputation.
  12. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Mike is a great guy. He helped me find a Bart replacement pickup for my Kingston 5 and he was extremely helpful.
  13. Mike is indeed a fine person and someone who always stands behind his work and will go to any length to help a player out.

    Buying one of his basses, especially the hand made ones, is always an excellent investment, and a great bargain when you consider what goes into them.

    Try calling the Fender Custom Shop about a problem, or Gibson. You won't ever get to speak with a human.

    I've had similar great experiences with Roger Sadowsky, Dan Lakin, Joe Zon, Rick Turner and Ned Steinberger, who are also absolutely wonderful, stand up guys.


  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I bought a used MTD 535. When I got it, the batteries were totally dead. I replaced the batteries and they died within a few days. I emailed Mike about it. He got back to me a couple of days later, apologizing that he had been in Germany and didn't have access to his emails. He quickly diagnosed the problem. It was a quick'n'easy fix that took all of two minutes. I'm going to get another 535 one day.
  15. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    What a great story. In an age where serving the customer usually falls behind serving the bottom line, it is great to see that good service is Still out there. My only experience with luthier service was a brief email exchange with Dan Lakin (great service there), but it's awsome to see that Dan is not the only maker with integrity.
    If Michael Tobias puts as much into his bass design as his customer service (and I'm sure he does) then my gas for a Lakland Skyline Hollowbody (co-designed by Michael Tobias) is about to get even worse.

    GAS hurts... :(
  16. That's sure different from my experience. I bought a Custom Shop Masterbuilt Jazz Deluxe and the electronics didn't work properly.

    I called and emailed them repeatedly, with no response. Finally I popped in a J-Retro electronics package myself which solved it.

    This was s few years ago. I would be happy to know that they changed their tune.