Some Tobias straight talk please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, May 18, 2005.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    In regards to the below link.....................

    I am curious why Tobias basses made by Gibson dont seem to have the resale value as those that are pre-Gibson, take the one shown below in url on Ebay for example, I am willing to bet that if this had the sn# of a pre-Gibson Tobias, it would have been fetching close to 1500 bucks, despite the fact that the headstock had been repaired, but since its not a pre Gibson, there has not even been a bid on it for 800 :eek:

    So what is the deal?
    1. Is Gibson doing such a bad job on the Tobias Basses that they are making that they have lost the confidence of Tobias bass lovers, or

    2. Does Mike have such a loyal following that only the ones made by him are really considered Tobias basses?

    Please advise :meh:
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    1. For the most part....yes. I have a gibson Tobias Classic 5 thats just great. It has excellent fit, finish, electronics, tone,'s all there. I think I got lucky. Gibson is as up and down quality wise as the rest of the big producers but for the price point they go for on the Tobias needs to be all good, all the time.

    2.Quite possibly. In any case Mr. Tobias has nothing to do with Tobias and hasn't for years. At least if you get and OLP from oh, Lakland or Sadowsky or MTD for that matter you get a little oversight from "THE MAN". If you want a REAL Tobias, get an MTD.

    THAT particular piece of work on Ebay is a POS I wouldn't pay $200 for.
  3. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC

    1. Yes. Every played one of each? Better yet 3 of each? They are totally different instruments. Also, why would you by a 'Tobias' if it ain't made by Mike T? The whole idea is pretty stupid, and coupled with the fact that Gibson pretty much strikes out a lot when it comes to making basses (ok, I like T birds too, but its not the epitome of versatility), this should be easy to see.

    2. The bass has his name, the original bass that sold countless numbers for a very high price, so that should also be pretty obvious. But past that, Mike T is a genius when it comes to making basses, and has been doing it himself with some help for years. Seriously, if Roger Sadowsky or Vinnie Fodera sold their names rights to Gibson, nobody would expect that you would see the same quality level. I WOULD check out one or two to see if it really was near, but I don't expect it, and have no reason to. It is NOT the same person building the bass, even if the design is near spot on.

    Granted, I think the Lakland 55-02 are super close to the US versions. I also think that the MTD heir and Kingston design feel a lot like an MTD to the point where I would feel good about playing one if I hooked up the electronics. Unfortunately, Gibson did not protect their investment and let out a bunch of basses that kind of sucked. From the acoustic tone of the bass itself to some of the electronic issues, there are tons of reasons Gibson brought on themselves why they don't deserve that coin for those axes.
  4. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Gibson makes no effort to produce more than average quality instruments anywhere in their line. In their book simply having Gibson on the headstock is enough. I've seen entire shipments of Gibsons arriving at a store where not a single instrument was in sellable condition. Every one had something wrong, from missing parts to pickups falling out to severe finishing flaws (laquer put on without a base or clear coat so that it was litterally rubbing off in on your hand).

    That's not to say there are no good Gibsons out there, but the company as a whole doesn't care what comes out of its factory because they know somewhere, someone who can't tell the difference will pay for it. Its the same thing with the Tobias basses, they care only about the name. You might find a good one, or you might find crap. So ask yourself, do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya? :cool:

    Mike Tobias still cares about making a good bass, which is why he has retained popularity among bassists since the sale.
  5. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    if you want a bass from Mike,it will be a MTD,but it will not be a Tobias,because they are not the same at all
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    With a pre-Gibson Tobias, you are getting a bass that was "Hand-made", crafted lovingly by Michael Tobias and his small crew, checked at every stage for quality.

    With Gibson it's basically a factory bass...:meh:
  7. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I think most bass manufacturers/builders have good and bad basses, that's why you get so many different opinions from players here at TB ("I love my ABC, best bass I ever had" to "ABC basses suck, don't ever buy an ABC bass). Usually, the truth lies somewhere in between ....

    But in the case of the Gibson/Tobias disaster, the negatives towards Gibson are well justified. I have played 5 of the Tobias 6ers (maybe it was 6, I'm not sure) and they are, well, just sort of okay, but definitely not worth the crazy money they want for them. My $400 Brice is built way, way better (seriously!!) than the Tobias ..... Gibson should be ashamed of themselves. I agree with biker, I wouldn't pay $200 for that damaged bass, I really wouldn't pay more than $400-$500 for a new one. If you want Mike Tobias's work, pay the coin and buy an MTD ....
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well there are pre_Gibson Tobias basses around - so I've got one and several aother TB members have them and they do come up for sale occasionally. :)
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Yeah, I should have mentioned that :( All of those pre-Gibson Tobias basses are really nice :cool:
  10. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    While I'll whole-heartedly agree with the negative opinions of the Post-Gibson MIA Tobias', I have to stand up and defend their Korean-made "Toby-Pro" line, formerly only available from They're built like a tank, and CHEAP! And did I mention they're neck-thru? You can usually find one on ebay for $200 to $500.
    They're infamous for their weak preamps, but a Bartolini NTBT is a cheap/easy fix that sounds even better!
    Sure, they're not the boutique basses Mike T hand-built, but I don't think thats what Gibson was trying to re-produce, anyhow.
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Beware of the bass in that Ebay link, there is a HUGE gap around the pickups, which means they aren't original. Somethings not right when you look at those gaps. My guess is that it originally came with the korean bartolini knockoffs, and someone later tried to put real bars in it, and they don't fit without leaving an exposed gap on the ends.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Why would that bass have come with Korean Bart knockoffs? Those basses had USA Barts in them when new.