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MTD 535 advise!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by simongpaez, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Hello MTD owners. I recently traded my Sadowsky MV5 for a beautiful MTD 535 tulipwood and all wenge neck, this baby rocks , it is clearly the best bass I have ever played in my life I love it and I am really curious on how other wood combinations might sound, also I am pretty sure I will save some bucks or trade some gear for another of this baby,
    What wood combination do you recommend , there are no MTD dealers really close and I would really like some MTD expert feedback :bassist:

  2. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    MTD's web site www.mtdbass.com has a great explanation of the sound of different wood combinations.

    I had a great 535 (sold to a fellow TBer) that had an all-ash body, maple neck and wenge board.

    The sound has lots of attack, tight lows, very clear highs, and it had a natural mid-scoop. Great agressive sound for funk and rock.

    I personally think that wood combinations on MTD is not that important, since all MTD will sound incredible; you can't go wrong.

    If you get to place a custom order for a new one, you can always call Mike himself and he will run you through the choices and its sounds.

  3. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    my favorite 2 that i owned ( i have owned a few ) were tulipwood and wenge with a myrtle to ( so you are on the right track ) and an Ash 635 with a maple top- Mikes wenge necks are legedary. I am a maple neck kinda guy, but if it's Mike, i would go wenge.
  4. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    they are my dream bass,i keep playing lotto,maybe some day i get my MTD..... :(
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I own an ash/wenge MTD and have owned/played a number of others. I disagree with the poster who said 'it doesn't matter, they all sound like MTD's'.... IMO, the MTD line has the widest variance in sound as any line of basses I've ever experienced. A maple neck sounds TOTALLY different than a wenge neck... almost like it's a different bass. I had one with an ash neck (that I ended up hating) that again sounded completely different.

    There are huge differences in treble, mid and bass response... with wenge and a light body giving you the classic 'Norm Stockton' wide frequency distribution and 'classic' MTD sizzle. An MTD with a heavy ash body and a maple neck sounds much more 'down the middle', etc., etc.

    One of the best sources (besides Mike himself) is Glenn at Austin Bass Exchange. To start out, just visit the site and read his excellent descriptions of the different sounds for the wood combo's he has in stock.

    They are great basses, but you can really end up with a bass you don't like with the 'wrong' wood combo relative to the sound you are looking for. To make it more difficult, the neck profiles from bass to bass are quite different also (for example, the ash neck 24 that I had was much wider at the nut than the wenge 21 fret and had a very different 'back of the neck' profile... rounder and fatter)... and the 24 fret body is very different (much bigger) than the standard 21 fret.

    So, more than any other line of basses.... do your homework before you take the plunge. :D

    PS I agree with Adrian... the wenge neck with either a swamp ash or tulip wood body will result in that 'classic' MTD sound which is very unique... it's my favorite also
  6. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    We've had a bunch of different combos at our shop and I have a few favorites. It really depends on what you're looking for though. I like Ash bodies with Wenge/Wenge necks quite a lot as they are very articulate and have incredibly well defined low end. I'm also a fan of Alder bodies with Maple necks and Ebony boards. They end up having a very Fender-ish vibe to them that I've always been a sucker for. For even more vintage meets modern sensibility I would add chambers to the body (see the "MTD Gas" thread for more on these.)

    What elements would you like to change about your current 535? That's really the starting point for a disucssion on your next one.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    As an addition to my previous post.... as you can see... The Groove Shoppe is a pretty good source for info on this also :D
  8. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Just to throw in my bastard child here...

    Seems like the more popular (or at least more commonly sold) combos are ash/wenge, tulip/wenge, and tulip/maple. I have ash/maple (ebony fb) 535/24. While the ash bodies are heavier than the tulip, I played and ash/wenge bass and found it to be a bit too "compressed" sounding. If I was primarily a slapper, I probably would have picked it, but I'm mostly finger style, so the maple/ebony felt more natural to me, sounded a bit more "open", and I liked the thinner profile a bit better. I'm considering getting another MTD, geared a little more for slapping. In other words, it'll probably be (something)/wenge and not a 24.

    However, like all the rest, every soundman, every studio engineer, and every bandmate and fellow bass player has had to pick their jaw up off the floor after hearing it and/or playing it.

    Now, having said all that, I can get an incredible slap tone out of mine, so I'll agree with the one poster who said it doesn't really matter in a qualified way. I won't say they all sound more or less the same, but I will say they're so incredibly versatile, you won't have any tonal issues doing anything you want to do on any of the models (oh MAN, the eq is awesome... so clean and totally usable!.) The MTD I'm considering getting is not really a necessity. Just a bad case of GAS for a totally addictive instrument.

  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The tulipwood/wenge 535 I owned was awesome. Had punch and growl, but with the 3-band EQ I could tame the growl or add bite or whatever I needed. It was also the lightest five-string I've ever owned. The only reason I traded it was because I wanted a 5-string P-bass, and the MTD didn't do P-bass.

    Mine had a burl myrtle top, but I don't believe that affected the tone at all.
  10. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Mine is a Korina body with wenge neck and maple fretboard, I love it to death, I've only played ash wenge, and alder maple rosewood, and to me the ash wenge had a nice zing to it wasn't as much as I liked the wood combo on mine in my opinion, and the alder body with maple neck and rosewood board sounded too traditional for my tastes.
  11. I like to look at the wood differences as a way to shape the fundamental sound of what Mike Tobias has engineered. Unless I am mistaken, Wenge sounds a little darker and compressed than Maple. So that should be considered if you play through a really dark sounding bass rig or vice versa.

    In addition, Mahogony is rounder and looser sounding than Ash but still sounds warm, so if you want a super tight sounding bass, a mahogony body is likely not the way to go.

    I thought the difference between the 21 versus 24 fret neck was interesting. I wasn't aware of the neck profile differences so that is something important to consider.
  12. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Ahh.... Korina and Wenge - that's another great combo. I've never heard one with a Maple board but I love Korina/Wenge/Wenge basses. Korina tends to have a bit of a nasal bump to it that works really well against the Wenge neck.