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played a newer Tobias today.......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ElMon, Oct 31, 2006.


  1. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I was doing some trading with fellow TB'er JT (great guy by the way), who is endorsed by Tobias basses. There seems to be a lot of negative flak about new Tobias basses being inferior to the older ones, shoddy quality, etc.

    Well, I had a chance to play 2 of JT's supposedly 'inferior' Tobias', and everything I've heard here on TB was
    DEAD WRONG!!!!

    Now, to preface this comment, I've played 3 pre-Gibson Tobias', so I know the real deal. However, these basses were every bit as good as the older ones. Fit and finish was flawless, fretwork was impeccable, and the tone........HOLY CRAPOLA BATMAN!!!! Monstrous sound coming out of the speakers. The bart EQ was very similar to the current MTD setup and I could get many variations on what was already a phenomenal sound set flat.

    The B string on both of his basses were better than a whole boatload of more expensive basses that I've owned in the past (see profile), and all in all I am very PISSED at JT for fueling my GAS and keeping me up at night.

    By the way, the specs on the basses..... Both were bolt-on killer B's
    1) Mahogany body core with stunning spalted maple top, maple neck with purpleheart accents, rosewood board

    2) SOLID!!! Zebrawood body, same neck config.


    In short, don't count out these wonderful basses when considering stepping into a high end bass.
     
  2. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    There are always exceptions. However, the general consensus seems to be that overall the QC on the Tobias' is way below anything it should be.
     
  3. Basboeg

    Basboeg Guest

    Sep 30, 2006
    My opinion is still that the Gibson Tobias aren't as good as the pre-Gib Tobias'. I've tried a few of both marks and unless someone shows me otherwise, I still go by that opinion :meh:
     
  4. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    +1...You need to play any new Tobias bass before purchasing it. Their current QC is suspect at best.
     
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I've played exactly one Gibson-made Tobias, and it was fantastic. Easily on par with anything else and with a great, woody, cutting tone, and a really great feeling neck.
     
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I saw and played every single one of the Gibson Tobias basses they had at the last Nashville NAMM and I found flaws on every single one of them without trying very hard.

    Now, they might be worth what an endorser can get them for, but for what it would cost the general public to get one of those basses, I thought they were horrifically overpriced.
     
  7. J.T

    J.T

    Mar 9, 2005
    Tulsa, Ok
    ENDORSING ARTIST: TOBIAS BASSES
    MAN.....TOUGH ROOM HERE. THANKS ELMON FOR THE COMPLIMENTS!

    GUYS...C'MON. TOBIAS IS MAKING PHENOMENAL PRODUCTS HERE. THE SHOP IN CONWAY IS SWEET, AND TONY OVER THERE IS ON TOP OF IT.
    REMEMBER THESE ARE PRODUCTION BASSES. NOT MADE TO ORDER (ALTHOUGH IN MY CASE IT WAS) LIKE MTD'S. IMO, THERE IS NOT A BETTER PRODUCTION BASS OUT THERE. THEY EASILY COMPARE TO MANY OF THE "BOUTIQUE" BASSES AVAILABLE. TOP OF THE LINE WOODS, ELECTRONICS ETC....
     
  8. MrBonex

    MrBonex

    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    It's generally considered easier to read if you leave the cap-lock off. Use CAPS only to make a point. Otherwise it reads like you're shouting. And I'm sure you're not.
     
  9. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Be specific if you will.
     
  10. I recently played a newer Tobais and it was very, very nice. Fit and finish were excellent, every bit as good as the old stuff (and I'd know - one of the shops I worked at back in the day had lots of pre Gibson Tobias basses).

    That's my single, recent experience, yours may vary. But on any expensive instrument, I'd want to play it first. If that wasn't possible, and I had to purchase blind, if the fit and finish was not top notch, I would send it back to be fixed or I'd get a refund.

    To sum up - if I had 4K to spend (which I don't, lol) I'd look at Tobias for sure.
     
  11. GrooveWarrior

    GrooveWarrior Supporting Member

    I played one and it was nice, but you are right about the price for what JT has confirmed is a production bass! $3499 ($3549 for the 5 string) for a production bass? I think I'll buy a Roscoe and a late 70's jazz for the same coin.
     
  12. realdeal

    realdeal Inactive

    Dec 10, 2004
    I haven't had a chance to play the new line of Gibson-made Tobias basses. However, one day while buying new strings, I saw and played a Nashville-built Renegade, which blew me away. It's still one of my favorite instruments, and has sounded fantastic through many rigs, on many gigs, and in many different styles of music.
    I've had a chance to play a few other Gibson-built Tobiases from that era, a Killer "B" and a Growler, they were both built well and sounded superb too.
    I've heard of the inconsistencies; just never experienced them myself.
    As for the Conway, Arkansas product- I would suggest each player make their own decision AFTER playing one. If they don't seem well-made, or don't fit the bill, there are always other choices, lots of 'em.
    There seems to be a "herd-mentality" of sorts to bash the new line on price, QC, whatever.
    There's been enough positive feedback from players who tried and liked them that I certainly wouldn't rule one out, especially based on my experience with the Nashville models.
    It was all good!:cool:
     
  13. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    Well, it's been two years, but, off the top of my head, I remember bad fret ends, twp high frets, body woods with seams that you feel, & visible sanding marks.

    I'm sorry, but for a $3500 production instrument, I simply wasn't impressed. For "best production bass," my money goes to Ernie Ball/Musicman for 1/3rd the price.
     
  14. J.T

    J.T

    Mar 9, 2005
    Tulsa, Ok
    ENDORSING ARTIST: TOBIAS BASSES
    Sorry for the previous caps lock. The Classic, and the Signature are probably not so much as a production line. there are very few houses stocking those. The Growler and Killer B are far more common in retail stores. I had a growler for a previous endorsement form 10 years ago. it is solid, and sounds the same today as it did brand new. To each his own of course. they are high priced, but if you have a problem, talk to Tony in Conway and he would correct it. Mine have been flawless!
    :bassist:
     
  15. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
  16. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    th_tonyfranklinbass.gif
     
  17. I think there was a long thread recently here on TB about Tobias basses, and it included some very detailed posts about how quality has vastly improved lately. However, I think it will take Gibson quite some time to clear their name.

    Edit: here it is.
     
  18. Flintc

    Flintc

    Aug 15, 2006
    Alabama
    Yes, I just visited Gibson's Nashville shop, and tried some others. My review is in the thread Detonation linked to, so I won't repeat it here. My experience with recent Tobias basses, however, largely like others here - the craftsmanship has been flawless, the sound is unmatched at any price, the hardware is the best available.

    However (to summarize) I also found two growler models that were amazingly shoddy. I simply could not believe anyone would offer them for sale. Is the growler model produced on a different line or in a different place? I'd expect better from a $150 bass from Somalia.

    I've also heard that for a while, Gibson farmed these out to a chop shop in Korea or somewhere, sold them through Musicyo, and they were basically ****. And so Detonation is quite right. Reputations are hard to earn and easy to destroy, and Gibson has a long way to go to recover from what they did. And I still recommend trying before buying because of the growlers.

    But I shopped high-dollar basses for some while before I finally bought the best damn bass (in terms of workmanship, playability, and sound) I could find, price no object, and it was a Tobias Killer B made in 2005. Maybe someday those who judge quality purely by word-of-mouth reputation will actually take a close look, and Tobias basses will regain some resale value...
     
  19. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    The Musicyo Tobias basses (Toby Deluxe and Toby Pro) were a completely separate line. They sold for around $400-$600, and were really good basses for the money. Of course they don't compare to the original US made Tobias basses, but its not like Gibson shipped the construction of the Basic, Classic, and Signiture over to Korea and still kept the prices at $3k-$5k. So that line didn't have anything to do with the poor reputation that Gibson has now for building Tobias basses.
     
  20. ricknote

    ricknote

    Aug 3, 2006
    Nashville
    The Tobias' at Gibson did go through some growing pains. Especially after Michael left. That is the period of time where their reputation took a nosedive. The new production facility in the midwest is just now starting to hit it's stride. The quality has come up a lot in the last 6 months especially. I live in Nashville and have played them a lot through the Gibson years.
    Right now they are consistent and worth the money.
    Rick
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 23, 2021

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