MTD for me? Maybe...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. Well, i went out today and i played a couple MTD basses. American ones that is. I think i'm going to do it, i think i'm going to put out the money and purchase one of these fine basses. They sound incredible and i just can't stand the GAS i have building up. It'll go great with the new Aguilar rig i have coming.
  2. supergreg


    Jan 20, 2002
    Sounds cool!

    Oh and happy birthday:D
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Good choice. Where did you find them?
  4. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I have an MTD 535 I'm thinking about selling (I own two). It's killing me 'cause I love 'em both but I want to move on. Here's the deal. One is ash with a maple burl top and natural finish, one is poplar with a myrtle burl top and cherry burst, both are wenge neck and board. I favor the sound of the ash bass (slightly) over the poplar. But I prefer the burst on the poplar. Tough decision. I believe I would sell the poplar and go for the preferred sound of the ash to keep. There's an excellent local luthier here who can do a beautiful deep cherry burst re-finish on the ash, and the ash w/ maple top has a matching headstock. Everyone should have my problems, right :p .
    I purchased both used for $2350 each. So that's the price (+ shipping) for the poplar/myrtle burl. Comes with MTD hard case.
  5. The ones that i tried were as follows.

    1. Used Green body MTD 5. Wenge Neck and Maple board. Tulipwood body.

    2. New 5 string MTD. Wenge neck and wenge board. Either Alder or Avadore body. Wenge binding on the body and then Brazillian Rosewood i belive was the top.

    Ganttbos, that bass looks nice, i could hypathetically even go that route. Did you install the mute, or did Mike Tobias?
  6. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    corner music in nashville had a 535 for I beilieve 1500) it had some buckle rash but other than that it sounded great. i was too intrested in the skylines to pay it much attention. give em a call and ask for JD.
  7. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I forgot the mute was in the picture. It's an Ellio Martina mute available from Fodera in New York. I think Fodera may have purchased the design (see last month BP p. 62). It's on with an adhesive only (no screws) and I plan to remove it before selling. The darn things are expensive ($150) but they do a good job of very even muting since the foams contact the strings from the side and are not affected by changes in string height as you play in different locations on the neck. The tension against each string is individually adjustable and the lever is two-position for two degrees of muting. Very cool device for those of us too clutsy (or lazy) to palm or finger mute .:)
  8. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    The 535 at Corner Music is going for $1950 and is solid tulipwood. It does have some finish missing off the back. I'd think that the front would be too soft without a harder wood on there.

    Ganttbos, what is it in the tone of your ash body that you like better than the poplar? If possible would you compare the tone of your ash body 535 to say a J or P bass or something completely different? Also, would you happen to know how much the MTD535's weigh? Is the Ash bass heavier than the poplar?

  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    did you try these MTD's at Rudy's?? i was there this friday afternoon with Scott. he sold me my used MTD 4 string that i love.

    Great sound, but the necks are shaved off center. a little more meat near the upper edge while the lower edge has less to more conform to your hand. i think the effect is not as noticible on the 5 strings.

    a little OT, but my 435's neck is too narrow and slim for me. i've got relatively small hands, but the necks just seem to fatigue my hands faster than my Roscoe which has a slightly thicker neck.

    if you get the chance go back and play the MTD's for a longer amount of time without stopping and see how your hand likes 'em.

    oh and Jerry,

    my ash MTD's is as light as a feather. ash is one of the defacto lighter woods you can get. also, with everthing flat on the onboard EQ, the overall MTD sound is a revved up soapbar pickup tone that's really growly with a nice round pbass bottom end. Its EQ along with a 3 position mid selector makes it rather versatile, tho it pretty much stays within that round tone.
  10. I actually played both MTDs for like an hour. One in Rudy's, that was the new one, and the other at the NYC guitar boutique. They were both beautiful basses and i really have to go back to NY to try them out again.
  11. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Using a bathroom scale (pinpoint scientific accuracy), the poplar bass is a little lighter than the ash. I'd say about 8 - 8 1/2 vs. 9 lbs +.

    The ash to my ear has a snap to the sound, the poplar is a little warmer. Both are strung with TI powerbass strings, but the ones on the poplar are older by several months. I like the way the ash bass sits in the mix live. There's not much of a difference between the two but our guitar player commented (positively) on the sound of the ash bass and he never does that. The difference is slight enough that probably a jury of 12 bassists would split the vote. A matter of preference.

    The asymmetric neck feels great to me - never fatiguing. I'm 5'7" with small hands.

    Joker is right on with the description of the sound. I don't run mine flat though. I basically use two tonal variations. A ballad sound with bass and treble cranked and hi mids pulled at 1000 Hz (top position on the switch). This sounds good for slap too but I'm an old fart and don't slap on the gig. I know this sounds really scooped (it IS really scooped) but the sound is not lacking in cut and there's still some growl there when you dig in. Dialing in a little of those pulled mids adds a touch more definition if needed. My other sound is bass and treble cranked with the mids flat with switch in down position (250 Hz). It's punchy and growly with great cut. A slight boost beyond center (flat)of the mids at 250 will really step you above the mix (be careful). Doing this and playing hard (finger style) right at the bridge yields an incredible staccato punch. On particularly wild nights I might favor the bridge PU a bit :p . I played a jazz for many years and though J-basses are known for their defined mids, the MTD does it better IMO.
  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Joker and Ganttbos, thanks for the info on the MTD's. Maybe I'll get to try one out soon.
  13. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i have owned both ash and domestic tulipwood ( poplar ) MTDs- the poplar was definitely lighter- the current one is a 635 with an ash body-
    i just prefer ash on a bass- love the sound of it.
    The asymmetrical neck is VERY comfy for me- but everyones different-
    i wouldnt normally do this, because i am a dealer , but im helping a friend sell his 535- and im doing it as a favor, so since i make no $$ on it- i guess its ok to post- he will sell this bass for $2200
  14. That's a real nice bass Adrian. I would be more interested, but i kinda wanted the wenge neck. Ganttbos' bass is looking very sweet.

    Question though, is that gold, or worn out fret wire, or is it just the picture? Anyone who might know other than ganttbos is welcome to answer as well.
  15. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Go for it, and welcome to the MTD brotherhood!

    There are several threads here at TB that detail the sound, quality, and variations in tone associated with different MTDs. I've noticed that the wood combinations can make a difference in each bass's core tone. So, be sure you that you try out as many different models as possible and talk to as many people as you can who have played MTDs. You can then rest assured that you selected the right bass when you make the big buy.

    My MTD 535 has an ash body, maple burl top, and maple neck w/ wenge fretboard. Weighs in at an easy 9.5 pounds.
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Michael is currently finishing up my 435, here is his quote regarding Wenge necks

    Just thought you might be interested -

    You can check pics of mine, in progress at
  17. ganttbos, do you happen to know the price for a 6-string mute? you're the first person i've seen that uses it, and i'd like to get one, but i can't find pricing info on fodera's website.......

    i think fodera's just the US distributor, since the designer (and i assume manufacturer) is in the netherlands.

    just figured i'd ask here before bothering them with an email....
  18. That was ash, ah ok, then i have played MTD's with Ash core, only yeah, that was an all maple neck.