it's probably a short debate whether there's even a need for a 'starter package' level club, and with a threatening membership of '1'... passing out numbers will thankfully not be an issue, but in any case I'm stoked to be that first or only one. after 6 hrs of total ear ringing FUN on my lil black Standard IV beauty it would be a shame to not show respect for this shocking winner, an instant keeper for near pocket change (I was happy to pay the high end @ $180 w/ soft case, local availability in a scarce marketplace = big +). on it's own considerable merits, which absolutely puts the GUITAR into bass guitar, this is a real Rock'n'Roll machine with plenty of tight high end punch and a nice range of bottom that can find tons of vintage and modern zones within it's broad scope. the Rice Krispies crowd (Slap, Snappin, and Pop) should be championing Tobies, it's sweet to scorching highs can be extreme in a good way and yet with lows to spare even with the 2 tones zeroed, but dial up increased amounts of the (passive!) bass boost and WOW. these may be cheap electronics but are designed to make the most of all aspects while the alder body / maple neck combine into giving this little demon it's own bullish space no matter what price. name your favorite bass sound and it can at worst be nicely approximated, this thing has it's own sound but can find nearly everything else within it's broad spectrum, offering quite a delicious tonal pallet. all the knobs are very responsive and provide diverse mixes of surprising aural splendor, it truly is impressive at any stage on the dials, impose a really good amp or studio into the mix and I can only imagine the range of quality sounds to be had as I'm restrained in the apt. to my guitar rigs which I won't abuse with bass. this bass' output is even too much for my 15'' guitar combo except in lowest gear, so there goes the last excuse for not getting a bitchin (almost apt. friendly) bass amp. YAY! but the former owner had a few small but good bass amps and I was immediately and increasingly pleased with everything I quickly ran thru in the test drive. Sold on it in short order, blown away actually, after 5 min of examination I think he and his friend were suddenly bummed they were committed to selling it. once I got it home and dropped the action to soft butter there's been no looking back as it's SO easy to execute on that it invites you to play above your general abilities and do so for hours, everything is crisp and you can simply dance on this really nice dark slab fretboard. chording is pure bliss at all settings, it excels here, but I've yet to get ringing harmonics at subtler volumes / settings, on higher they're hard to suppress at times without good muting. whoever has dissed these over the years must have incredible standards, but I think mine are reasonably high and already am convinced this latest score will provide years of satisfied exploration. these certainly look to be perfect modding platforms, maybe others share my interests in upgrading their Tobies or have tips to impart. I can envision a beefy bridge, maybe Subways, or even a tremolo beyond the basics of CTS pots, or if in fact the stock humbucking PUs can be substantially improved. with little effort these could be yet more spectacular, and I doubt I'd be happier with a Cort Curbow, but I'll find out(!) and the only bummer of this is it sets back the Curbow dream and directly risks a G&L L2K Trib I'm drool over. this was too good to let get away, if you feel the same then join the Toby Club today! not a word would be worth posting without pics of my new CL prize (untrue in this case!) from the ad; the clincher - no headstock damage or wear! 'free' gig bag (which I needed) and a ride back home. the best deal of my day, so far. plus a shameless promo for my friends at Island Guitars and their new showroom location http://www.islandguitars.com/ ALOHA Toby lovers!