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Is Tobias and MTD the same?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Hi, I saw a few Tobias Growlers where I live. I'm trying to do some research on the internet but Yahoo! will spit out the website for MTD but not Tobias.

    Are they the same company? If so, how come I can't find any specs for the Growler on the website?

    At the MTD site, under products, they list only the American, Kingston and Grendel.

  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Michael Tobias, who started Tobias Guitars in the late 70's, sold the Tobias brand name and design to Gibson back in the 90's. The original Tobias basses, now known as "pre-Gibson", were numbered up to #2044. Gibson produced Tobias basses for a few years and then shut down production. MusicYo has been selling a line of Tobias basses under an agreement with Gibson since then.

    MTD is Michael Tobias Design, the company he started after his non-compete clause was up with Gibson.
  4. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Well, yes & no...

    Michael Tobias started Tobias a number of years ago (I don't remember exactly when although I'm sure someone here on Talkbass will have the specifics). He then sold the name to Gibson, who continued manufacturing the same models (as well as a few new ones) under the Tobias name. The Growler was created and manufactured during the Gibson era. Michael then started another company, MTD. A few years ago, a "dot-com" company, MusicYo.com started selling Gibson's "off" brands such as Tobias, Slingerland, Kramer, etc... Today, the only way to get a new Tobias is through MusicYo.com. The "Toby" series is Korean made. Most people feel the Gibson-era Tobias's are not of the same quality of Michael's pre-Gibson Stuff.

    Regarding the Growler. The pickups & electronics (both Bartolini) are first rate and give a wide variety of sounds (great slap tones!), but a lot of Growlers have been plagued with poor necks (twisting, crappy truss rods). They sold for about $1200 new. Personally, I'm not sure I'd buy one without playing it first.

    - Frank.
  5. BoogieNight


    Jun 15, 2001
  6. So then this Growler is made by Gibson then?

    Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to look at it up-close, it's hanging high on the rack. I just wrote down the name and just tried researching.

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