Korean MTD's , any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Broach_insound, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    Hey I was just wondering what kind of reputation Korean made MTD's have because I just fell in love with one at my local music stoor used for $300 w/ a nice soap bar pickup it sounded great , and I was just curious if they have a good rep or if I just found a special one.
  2. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Yes, they're excellent. I recently sold one because of money issues. It was a Kingston. Do you happen to know what kind it was? For $300 I can only imagine it was a Renegade with a Bartolini soapbar. Heir's and Kingstons have MM style pickups.

    Also, for $300 it's a pretty good deal if you're digging the tone.

  3. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    I dont know what it was but it was all black with a pearl pickguard and it looked very plain otherwise but it sounded awesome!
  4. nice enough for someone to steal mine....

    and yes, i'm getting another one to replace it because i liked it so much.
  5. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I have owned two and I can say, without a doubt, that they have both been worth MORE to me than what I paid for each.

    My current one is a 5-string Kingston that's been modded with a Bart preamp and you would have to shoot me to pry it away from me. I swear by the thing. The neck, alone, is worth praise.
  6. Deadworks


    Dec 13, 2004
    St.Louis, MO
    I really like mine. Plays well, good build quality, good tone, great bass for a great price. You're not going to find a much better. My kingston has a MM style pickup with an Aguilar OBP-1.

    This thing cuts through the mix like a hot knife through butter. I loaned it to a friend to use at a jazz gig and it even sounded great there, which surprised the hell out of me.
  7. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I know Mike personally, and consider him a great friend (just happened to talk with him this afternoon, actually).

    That man is so dedicated to building quality stuff, it's incredible. He sweats the quality of the stuff he has made for him just as hard as (if not harder than) the stuff he builds himself.

    I haven't even played any of his new basses (I own an original Signature series Tobias 6, serial # under 1000), but I know the guy, and I've spoken to him about build quality quite a bit over the years. The man is, in a word, obssessed.

    He doesn't just turn the manufacture of stuff over to others, and then turn a blind eye. He's on top of every detail, all along the way. If he puts his name on it* (MTD), it's because it's great stuff.

    Buy it with confidence.

    *Although most of you here already know, the original Tobias brand is now (and has been for years) made entirely by Gibson [insert Gibson joke here], and Mike has NOTHING to do with their production or quality control.
  8. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    I've had the opportunity to play an MTD (435) in Korea, at the Nakwon Market in downtown Seoul. I can vouch that they're great instruments. I probably would have bought one had the Korean owners of the shop I was at not been so, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about "Mi Guk" (American) customers. I tried to get them to let me play it more extensively, but no dice. I settled on a American-made Jazz Bass Deluxe (not an MTD, but a nice instrument, for the money. An MTD would have cost me twice as much.) at another shop.

  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Though I don't know Mike personally, I have corresponded with him via e-mail (as have many on this board). There is nothing in Basshole's quote above that surprises me. Mike is really dedicated to helping out his customers and anyone who has an issue or a question.

    Here's an example:
    Last fall, I was looking to replace the MM-style pickup on my active Kingston with a Bart, but I couldn't find one that would fit the cavity, so I e-mailed Mike. He was very helpful and told me about some special order Barts that he was waiting on that would fit the K5. We exchanged e-mails a couple more times and we discussed the fact that it was taking a while to get the Barts, so i decided to hold off for a while. At least until they came in or until I had found a suitable substitute.

    A couple of months later, after I had already forgotten about it, Mike e-mailed me to tell me the situation. This is a guy who has been one of the most respected names in bass building for many years and he's following up (without being prompted) on a pickup issue for a guy who owns an imported MTD. If this doesn't prove the man's dedication to his craft, his product and to his customers, I don't know what does. If I were looking at a $2,000.00 range bass, MTD would be the first one I'd consider, based upon Mike's demonstrated service and commitment alone.
  10. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Design, sound, playability and low prices. Mikes gift to the working class.
    Excellent stuff. I purchased a few MTD products and have always been pleased. The Kingston heir fretless KILLS. And Mike will stand behind his mass produced line. Example. I bought a MTD Grendel back in 1999. Made in the Czech Republic. There was a spot on the neck that didn't sustain very well, the note died out pretty quickly. I'm picky and decided I couldn't hang with it. The now defunct LA Bass Exchange was fairly helpful about trying to see my point but ultimately the bass went back to Mike for examination.

    Mike offered to replace the bass. I told him the color I was interested in and he found a body overseas that didnt have a neck. He had the matching neck in his shop that was a protype/sample that happened to match the body. (Coral Blue with fancy top and matching headstock)

    Mike assembled this bass for me, and sent it with some Bartolini humbucking single coil type pickups in it instead of the single coil ceramic type that was stock in the Grendels at the time . (The Grendel was the predecessor to the Saratoga) The bass he sent was far superior to the one I sent back. It had a wenge fretboard, and fancy top.

    This bass rivals any other bass in tone and playability that I've ever come across. For $1400, I got a total monster that smokes your Sadowsky Metros dailey. And I really like the metro. Mike always returns my emails despite the fact that I'm the biggest pain in the arse customer he ever had. Can't go wrong with MTD. Its got the vibe. And my 535 is the best bass I ever had.
  11. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    I liked mine when I had it - a black Kingston 5 with a maple fingerboard - but for some reason I exchanged it for a Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass V, which I also no longer own. Arguably the finest bass ever made for its price range; I'll eventually have the Active version of the Kingston.
  12. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Maybe someone can educate me a bit on economics, by why is it exactly cheaper to build a bass in Korea? Korea is a first world country these days and I think the dollar is roughly worth 1000 won. Are labor laws still just cheaper over there?
  13. superflybass

    superflybass Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    La Crosse WI
    man I love my mtd I see other basses I like but none plays like my MTD's my sweet fender hangs on my wall because my MTD's play and sound better to me ...
    I own 2 5 string grendels, and a 4 heir active
    used to own a 4 string beast and a 5 string heir fretless

    mike has been awsome with service and emails

    i wish I had the money for an american 535 but I will put my grendels up against any other bass that I have played thus far
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    As I've said many times, if I ever had to sell my collection of spendier basses I'd be happy gigging with an import MTD.
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I may never get to own any spendier basses just because I own two MTD imports! :D ;)