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Matthias Thomas Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dad Bass, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Dad Bass

    Dad Bass

    Jun 22, 2005
    New Jersey, USA
    What do we know about these basses, I' referring to thier plywoods, Where are they quality wise. Do they have a good reputation etc?

    Any information would be great,

    Thanks, Dad Bass
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Eh, I played a carved Thoma once and it didn't do a thing for me. I thought my plywood Upton was much better. I can't imagine a plywood Thoma being too great.
  3. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I think my bass is a Thoma, though I can't be sure. Lots of tone and volume. I imagine there's a certain amount of varation between basses, particularly as I believe these are made in a large shop by a number of lutheirs of varying skill doing different parts. I got mine at a good price, as the top split shortly after it arrived. It was repaired pretty much invisibly- but the oh-so-slightly visible repair was good for a hefty discount.

    I bought it from Rob Wilson, who doesn't seem to have gotten any more lately. He's been having better luck with Chinese basses that a colleague is testing and selecting in the shops in China before shipping them here. The buyer is a symphonic player with a good ear and has found some outstanding instruments for the money. Rob does a further setup and sometimes fits better hardware on the best of them, I think.
  4. rftbass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Waterford, CT
    The local college I was teaching at bought two basses in 1999 (without asking me what to get). One was a Mathias Thoma MT1 3/4and the other a Mathias Thoma MT20 3/4. As I recall they were about $2400 each. Once played OK for a beginner (HS student I had). No volume. The other one... the neck warped so badly after three months, it was totally unplayable.

    Buy a Cleveland fro Arnold!!
  5. IanAllison

    IanAllison Supporting Member

    May 27, 2006
    I own a Mathias Thoma MT-1 (purchased used from Steve Swan Guitars, CA) and I absolutely love it. It came with a pretty nasty setup . . . but after I had it worked on, it just kills - deep and rich and loud. Maybe I just lucked out, but I've played it against numerous other DBs and it always holds its own.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I think i owned a 5/8/s carved Thoma at some point and while construction was ok - i seem to remember it being heavily wooded- the sound was not impressive to me.
  7. I've had my plywood Thoma since the early '80's. It was made in 1976. It's been to Europe, Africa, and east coast u.s.a. It's a very healthy bass, made very well. I used to do orchestral and show work with it, but mostly has been used for pizz. jazz. It plays ok acoustically, but amplifies even better with either a fishman or gage p/u. The last set-up I had made it play better than ever, as it turned out that the guy who worked on it at David Gage's shop (NYC) has one, and he also likes it. I've considered selling it to make space for a new hybrid (like a New Standard La Scala). But, my experience shows that you always need at least a second healthy bass for those times when repairs and work coincide. BTW this bass has been through all kinds of trauma (car accident - amplifier poked through rib (of bass :)); fingerboard separation after falling in orchestra pit, you name it.) and it's still very healthy. It's a healthy plywood bass. You can probably find an older one at a good price.

    Drawbacks: Plywood thud. Speaks too slowly with the bow, no matter what strings you use (compared to a better carved top or fully carved), heavy, thick neck.
  8. davidsbass


    Dec 5, 2010
    I've had one for about 5 years and i love it. I play orchestrally and I play jazz as well. Its no amati, but its darn well decent for a laminated bass. But hey, maybe i got lucky
  9. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    The lacquer finish MT-1s have been renamed the MT-185, with an upgrade spirit varnish version named MT-185. Ian, I haven't used the setup guy that did the work on your MT-1 bass for years now. He never did get the hang of it. Both Jeff Sahs and Michael Olivola are the cat's meow and have been my primary setup guys since that time. I'm glad that you got the setup done to your liking locally.
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Am I seeing double? ;)
  11. mjt0229


    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    If you cross your eyes just right, the bow will jump out and poke you in the eye.
  12. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Oops, I meant to write that the spirit varnish model is the MT-188.