Played an awesome korean tobias-what is the deal with these?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tekhna, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    I know the american tobias has a bad reputation now, but I played an incredible 5 string jazz bass (growler, is that the model?) today, and it has me more interested. They want 300 for it, I may go get it.
  2. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    hey tekhna,
    I've said it several times around here: Please don't let the bad reputation of the new US made Tobias' bleed into the Korean made basses! I have 2 Tobias Toby-pro 5 stringers, and love them both. I just wish Gibson would move the US made Tobias line to the Korean factories, where they know how to build a bass.
    It's possible the bass you played was a Korean Growler (1 stacked musicman-style humbucker pickup), though most of those basses were/are made in the US, though not by Mike Tobias himself. They weren't introduced until after the Gibson buyout of Tobias (I think). Have you checked out the Toby's at yet? That'l give you an idea of what the going rate for a new Toby is. You can get a brand new Toby Deluxe starting at $339, which is dirt cheap in my opinion! Or, if a neck-thru model is what your gassing for, check out one of their Toby-Pro's, which start at around $569 new. Also, check ebay, as these seem to pop up for auction fairly regularly. Dig deep enough and you're sure to find a bargain.
    Even though the Korean Toby's are great, your best off to steer clear from the re-introduced US-made Tobias'.
  3. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    Also, if the bass you played had 2 jazz-styled pickups, it's probably a Toby Deluxe, and not a Growler. Like I posted earlier, you can get one brand spankin new for mid-$300's. If its used, there may be room to talk the price down a little.
    Good luck! And let me/us know if you get it!
  4. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    It was definetly a toby deluxe. If those are new prices, I can talk them down I am sure, because it had some wear on it. It really good, sounded OK. Pickups were a little noisy, but nothing barts can't take care of.
  5. hondo8671


    Apr 22, 2004
    thats the only bad thing i have heard on tobys! the pickups
    are weak!!! but when they changed them Big sound!!! :cool:
  6. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    Yeah, I think I am going to go for it. I really liked how it fit when I played it, it is well contoured. In looking at the specs on musicyo, it is sold maple? Should have been heavier, than it was, but it seemed pretty light, and I think the body was too thin to be chambered. Very cool basses though. Very tight B string, I was very impressed with that. I guess my only big issue beyond the pickups was the string spacing, but that is just something to get used to!
  7. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    I'm not so sure its the pickups that should have the 'weak' reputation, but instead the preamp. I left the pickups (which are re-stamped mighty-mites)in my Toby pro-5 and replaced the preamp with a Bart NTBT, and the pickups sound great. The stock preamp sounded great too, but the output level was low coming from it. The NTBT fixed that. I bought my NTBT online for $85 plus shipping (around $5), but I've seen them used in the classified ads for about $50.
    Also, keep in mind that the jazz style pickups might be true single coils, so if you dont have them blended in equal parts, there will be a hum. The soapbars in my Toby's are dead quiet.
  8. I liked the neck and the pickups so much I built this out of it.
    Replaced the electronics with Aguilar OBP-3. The pickups aren't the issue for sure, well at least with the soap bars.
    And it seems they are cheaper now, wow what a deal!
    Dirk Diggler
  9. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    Nice Zebrawood!
  10. I have a korean Tobias Toby Pro-6B. I really like this bass but as has often been mentioned the pick-ups are weak. That is fine when playing live cause all you need to do is put the volume higher on the amp but when recording .... Anyway, what replacement pick-ups would you suggest.

    I was thinking about Bartolinis, but do not know which model best suits the Toby. Any help appretiated.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've got a Toby Deluxe as well and yes, the pre-amp has very low output. I usually have to plug into the passive input on my amp. I plan to change out the pre-amp very soon.
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    As was stated earlier you don't need to change the pickups, it is the preamp that is weak. I had one and replaced it with a Bart preamp (just like NCorder) and it sounded great. If you replace the pickups without replacing the preamp it will still be weak.
  13. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    Agreed, Showdown!
    Also, just changing the pickups and not the preamp will likely not fix the low output. IMHO, it would be a waste of money, too, as the stock pickups sound great.
    After re-reading some the posts above, I realized perhaps some people are getting pickups and preamp thing confused. Again, the Pickups (the black thinks under the strings in the front of the bass) are not the weak link in the soundchain. Rather it is the preamp (the electronic circuit-board looking thing inside the control cavity where the battery is connected to) in the bass that just doesn't put out enough volume. I, too thought about getting Bartolini Pickups along with the preamp, but for an extra $100 per pickup ($200 total), I decided to wait and try the Bart Preamp only. And, I'm glad I did, cuz the 'Tobias' pickups are sweet!
  14. Thanks for the information guys. I'll look into preamps. Anything in particular I should look out for?
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I wonder how they would sound with passive vol/vol/tone/tone.
  16. By the way those pickups are actually the same as the old Ibanez Sound Gear basses. They are ADX-6 pickups, not bad when you have a reasonable preamp in it. :)
  17. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    I put a Bartolini NTBT preamp in. I dug around the net and found it for $85 plus $5 for shipping, and had it in 2 days. I also saw one in the classifieds section for around $50 used. I've heard the Aguilar preamps are nice sounding also, but I've had no experience with them myself.
    Hey Dirk, I've heard from several sources that the Toby soapbar pickups are made by Mighty Mite. Do/did they make pickups for Ibanez? I've owned several Ibanez', but never really dug the tone from them 100%, unlike my Toby's.