MTDs, How do they stack up to MMs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassistjedi, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. How do they compare soundwise and in playability? The search function is down so I don't know if this has been discussed recently. I know there is a big difference in price but I am wondering about every other aspect.
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I've owned both. There's an even bigger difference in tone, playability, and general workmanship. You get what you pay for. Now, don't get me wrong...I think that MM stuff is one of the best values out there, and is one of the best mass-produced instrument lines around, and very consistent. BUT....they're very "vanilla" when compared to an MTD. Mike Tobias knows how to create a bass with a personality and character. They're just alive in your hands. They're so articulate that you'll hear flaws in your technique that you didn't know existed before.
  3. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    hmm.. i haven't owned an MTD but I have played one or two.. There is a difference in tone but i think it is all up to the person as to which he likes better. I prefer the MM myself.. but that is just me... MMs aren't mass produced are they.. I read that only 40 are made per day.... now I could be completely wrong and maybe that is alot of basses when comparing them to custem jobs... but when ordering a bass from MM... it isn't an overnight thing....
  4. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    If you compare against Spectors or Sadowskys, they are mass produced, but against Fenders or Ibanez or Samicks, they are like custom shop basses.......
    An they´r great......
  5. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    dont let the mass produced b.s. get to you. ive had sadowsky's and lakland's in my hands and ive had Ernie Ball/musicman's in my hands. the quality and construction on an ernie ball is just as good as lakland/sadowsky etc. however, i think mtd is a level above all the companies ive mentioned so far. people like mike tobias, vinnie fodera, george furlanetto ect. are special. they put out an original,crafted instrument. they're more than just assembled.

    i still keep a musicman sterling around(mostly because it was my first real bass) and if you like that sound, you cant go wrong.
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Don't mistake my comments, either. Like I said, I owned an MTD and sold it because it wasn't right for me or what I was doing. In fact, if I could have only one bass, and it had to be either an MTD or a Stingray 5, I'd choose the Stingray. A bass is a tool for me, and a $4K MTD is just too much. I couldn't use it properly for babying it.
  7. Rich Briere

    Rich Briere

    Jul 5, 2000
    I tend to agree whole-heartedly with the statements above. Mike Tobias has a way with wood. He "does" something to it as it goes together, he breathes life into each bass and, when completed, the bass is alive in your hands. :^>)

    When I strapped on my first MTD I could have sworn that I heard a whistle. I looked down and heard the bass say to me.."Ok buddy, let's see what you can do." We romped for a bit and it took me for a ride.

    As opposed to many applicable situations in life..with an MTD, you GET more than you paid for.

    I also love MM basses.......let's face it.....I just love nice basses......but can't really compare these two fairly. :^>)

    Bass-ically Yours,
  8. I don't think I was clear enough and I forgot that MTD made custom basses. I was talking about the MTD Kingston and Heir Basses, and How they Stacked up to the Musicman. Forgive me for not being specific enough. Thank you for the replies.
  9. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Well thats a different story.. several thousand $ different... those kingston basses are really cool. for the price it would be hard to beat. It is passive as opposed to the Stingray.. that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to be an active man myself. But yeah The kingston and hier basses are tasty intstruments IMO:D anyway..

  10. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Kingston is roughly 1/3 the price of the MM, so the MTD wins there. The Kingston is a great bass for the money.

    The MM people will snicker at this, but I actually would rather play the Kingston. As many times as I have picked up MM's, I never enjoyed playing them a whole lot. The Kingston just happens to have more of what I look for in a bass: comfortable neck profile, wide spacing, and a very flat fretboard. The fiver is also 35" scale, which I think was a wise choice for this particular bass.

    The Kingston is basswood, an inexpensive light wood. This makes it more comfortable to wear, and it also balances well. The MM will be heavier, but is also constructed of of heavier, more expensive materials.

    Action, Fit, and Finish:
    Both are very good for their respective price ranges, that's a draw. I think one should expect a lot more from the MM though given the hefty price tag. I'd say they both meet expectations here. I also love that the fretboard for the Kingston is plain, it's a great look.

    MM wins here, they have more invested in the options and electronics. Still, the Kingston has a good passive sound, nothing to dislike at all there. I think they would have done well to take the next step in woods and give it an alder body, but hey, it's still a great value even with basswood. I don't even like MM's much, but I concede they have a great sound to call their own.

    Construction & Durability:
    MM wins this hands down, what can I say, it's a solid bass. Once again, one would expect as much for the asking price. The Kingston construction is also very good, but basswood is notorious for taking more than its fair share of dents and dings. Watch the body and headstock and it should last as long as you need it.

    Customer Service:
    Can't speak for MM, but I know if you write to MTD, you have a 90% chance or better that you would receive a reply from Mike himself. I think anyone who's ever contacted Mike would agree he is very customer oriented. That's a personal touch not easily found these days, and almost nonexistent with mass production basses. Regardless of whether you have questions about your 535 or K5, you'll likely get a quick and courteous response from MT or a member of his competent staff.

    Take what I say about MM's with a grain of salt though, I'll admit I never was a big fan of them. There are however several people in the forum who love MM's, so I'm sure you'll get the other side too. I own some G&L's and easily prefer them over MM's.