My new pair ( . . . of MTD Beasts)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by craigb, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Well the last month or so has been GAS filled to the extreme. After determining that necks with 1-5/8" wide nuts are right for me (1-1/2" is too small, 1-3/4" is too wide) I parted with my beloved G&L L2000 (traded for a Stingray) and not as beloved G&L Climax (sold via ebay). I picked up an MTD Beast for a steal on ebay and loved it so much I picked up a second one from the distributer after emailing with Adrian Garcia about them. And I ebayed the Stingray to pay for the second. So now I have two MTD Beasts and some other stuff (Sansamp BDDI, bypass pedal, TKL case from Musicyo, Behringer mixer for PC recording, guitar stand, mic stand, . . . it's been a busy month). Here's a pic of my two beasts:


    The basics: Hand built in the Czech republic to a Michael Tobias licensed (and supervised) design, poplar body, maple neck, wenge fingerboard, 24 frets (I only need about 18 myself), lightweight fender-style bridge, zero fret, MTD steel strings, Barolini single coil pickups, vol/vol/tone.

    These are the first basses I've had with the jazz style pickup layout. I wonder why I've waited so long. My personal preferred settings are neck pickup volume all the way up, bridge pickup backed of maybe 1/4 and tone all the way up. It has a very clear voice with nice growl and punch. The steel strings give more snap and noise than I like (but the Sansamp mellows that out) and I'll probably switch to nickel when these strings go. It, even as a passive bass, has the kind of presence and definition that I used to run my L2000 in active mode to get and the clarity is greater (maybe a feature of the single-coils?). There can be hum when the pickups aren't balanced - when I played it out at an open mic night I balanced the pickups and had to keep my fingers in contact with the strings to ground out some neon buzz.

    The poplar body makes it pretty lightweight - very comfortable to strap on and play. The neck is wonderful. The exact right width for me, as narrow front to back as I can handle and with a smooth satin finish that feels very close to the oil finish that G&L & MM basses come with. Compared to the Stingray the Beast neck is slimmer front to back and the bass is noticeably lighter.

    Heck I got the white one (snow pearl, technically) first and liked it so much I sold the Stingray and bought the red pearl one. In a truly twilight zone moment when I went to register them I found that even though I bought them weeks apart from two separate sources they have sequential serial numbers.

    After I've had them for a number of months I'll probably put a review on I don't like to put reviews up too soon or if I don't keep the bass very long as I don't feel like I'm providing good, objective information. I think it's too bad these are discontinued as they are a great value.

    To answer a question that will probably come up - why do I have two identical basses? I think that I am (or want to be) basically a 1 bass kind of guy. However I want one to keep in my office for lunchtime practice and one to keep at home for night time practice/recording. Having two identical basses means I always get to play my favorite regardless of where I am. I've come to the conclusion that the most important factor (for me) in a bass is that if physically feel good to play. Then as long as it has at least one good sound then I'm set. These basses feel wonderful to me and the sound is something I've been moving towards for quite a while - great clarity (I hate muddiness), growl and punch. The bottom is good (not overpowering like the the G&Ls) and the balance is great. That's why I have two identical basses.
  2. Nice toys :D
  3. Chris J

    Chris J Inactive

    Nice basses. Did you say one was fretless? I didn't quite understand that part. Nice choice of colours too. I'm sure the three of you will get along very well.
  4. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Nope, no fretless (maybe someday I'll take the time to try it, right now fretted is enough challenge for me) both are fretted. I was just commenting on the fact that even though these guys have 24 frets I only use around 17 or 18 of them (I never go high enough on the neck to use the extra frets provided vs. a 21/22 fret bass).
  5. BigJH

    BigJH Guest

    Jan 20, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cool basses. Those are very good looking basses. All of this talk about MTD has got me considering getting one. I would probably get a five string Kingston though. I have heard nothing but good things about MTD. I should have one in the near future.