the tobias and musicyo situation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Crosh, Nov 13, 2000.

  1. Ok guys, you brought me back down to earth.....

    i've been looking at getting a tobias from that musicyo site and i've done a bit of research and then i came to this site and you guys ragged on them....

    Whats the deal, has anyone here had experience with the musicyo service or played any of the instruments that they sell ?? I'm looking for a second bass in the £250 region and the tobias seemed to be the muts nuts, but you've put me off it.

    Anyone wanna help me out here???.....!

    argh !!
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Everything I have heard about service is very positive.

    What they are selling is another matter. They are selling Korean made instruments that are priced very low due to the direct sale method. I have no love in general for Korean made instruments because they are built there strictly for cost reduction. Usually more of the money goes into the looks of the instrument instead of what really matters, wood, electronics and fretwork.

    I guess the real point is what are your alternatives? There are better instruments out there obviously, the question is can you afford one. I have no idea about your money situation, how much gear you already own, etc. all of which is important. It's better to own one great bass than four mediocre ones, for instance. If you have to wait a year to buy something more expensive that will be a real step up from a Korean Tobias, then I'd advise doing so if you can. There is also the used market to consider.

    Anyway, as Korean made basses go, the Tobias basses are probably the best deal available today. I'd budget another $100 or so to have the bass gone over thoroughly by a local repair guy once you get it: fret dressing and other setup work. This will help you get the most out of it.

    Good luck.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Guess I missed the ragging, too. I checked out a MusicYo Tobias 6 and it was a well built bass. Sounded fine. I didn't like the neck profile (too square)and the weight of the six so I sent it back, which was as painless a procedure as possible. Very long approval period. I'd consider one of their fours or fives if I were on a budget.
    The Toby could be a very nice mule for upgrades.

    The review I saw in Bass Player was very positive.

    The new MTD K5 is made in Korea and the two I've played were excellent with very nice B strings. Excellent neck, especially for the money.$449 US. I don't need another five but I seriously thought about picking one of these up.
  4. noweapon


    Feb 10, 2000
    I ordered a Toby-Pro 6 about two months ago and here is what I thought:

    At first glance this bass is beautiful. I got the "violin burst" option and everybody thought I had spent an arm and a leg when they saw it. It looks high-end. Upon closer inspection though you will find out why this bass sells for so little. The electronics suck, and you have limited tonal options. the D, G and C string sound weird, way different than the B, E and A. This is do to the pickups( I think)...witch are Tobias's own. Its dull on the low side and super punchy on the mid-high side. Its heavy..and unbalanced because the strap hold the bridge end almost on top!!! The bridge is HUGE. Like Brad J. said, This bass is cool if you want to spend another $600-1000 on the electronics, bridge etc..Because the looks are all there.
  5. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Believe it or not..
    The Toby´s pickups are the Same Mighty Mite DX series pickups found on Ibanez Basses.
  6. IncubusGuy


    Aug 11, 2000
    I ordered a Toby 4 deluxe and I'm very happy with it. I mean I was upgrading from a Squier P, but I love the bass personally. And for the price I don't know if anyone can complain... well that's my 2 cents.
  7. hey incubusguy, thats the one i have been looking at. And i got a low end p-bass as well.

    How do you rate it for the price ? is it good for a second bass ?? Thanks for the comments by the way guys.

    The other option open to me was to not get another bass and instead get a guitar amp, and a four-track and make some music - which is also very appealing to me..
  8. Jazzbassman23


    Apr 20, 2000
    Crosh, regarding your last post, I'd ask myself the following questions:
    1. Am I principally a bass player?
    2. Am I principally a guitar player?
    3. Am I principally a songwriter?
    4. Do I want to multi-track as a means of improving my playing?

    If you answer yes to 2, 3 or 4, then maybe you go the route of buying the guitar amp and tape deck. If you're not principally a bass player, then the P bass copy is probably fine. If you're principally a bass player, then I'd follow others's advice here and save some more money and get a good bass, either used or new. As always ymmv.

    [Edited by Jazzbassman on 11-15-2000 at 09:40 AM]
  9. jazzbassman, i'm principaly a bassist - as in i don't own a guitar, but i started of playing guitar first. (boo/hiss etc etc..) I've played bass for a year and i consider myself a bassist ; who occasionally picks up a guitar and pretends he can play.

    The reasons for buying a fourtrack ( i saw a tascam 02 today for £110 ) are for songwriting purposes for my band - who are too lazy to record anything themselves - hence ; i write songs with the help of the band, record the demos myself and then hand the fourtrack over to the guitarist who plays his stuff over my basic interpretation of the song, etc etc...

    Plus i get itchy fingers and (this may be considered sacreligious to some of our more conservative bassi's) i actually ENJOY playing guitar and roughing out songs, then coming to the bass to do 'my bit'.

    As Paul Mcartney said in 'Bassist' ;

    "I never wrote anything on bass. Nothing. Never"

    Anyone else get that same feeling ?? I consider myself a musician (although a bit of a newbie) and i love palying everthing.

    My only problem is that if a wanna gig with my existing bass, i'll have to play real carefull - cos its knackered!

    Thanks for the kind words guys - reply me.
  10. bassics


    Nov 27, 2000
    Newark, Ohio
    Have you considered just updating your Squire?
    A change of bridge, pickups, and tuning machines will work wonders on what is a decent enough basic design.
  11. CYoung


    Nov 30, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I recently purchased a Steinberger Spirit 5-string from Music Yo and I have been completely happy with the bass and the serice. I am in FL and got the bass 3 days after the order!

    My only minor complaint is that they do not make it obvious that these are Korean-made "value" basses for the most part. Someone who did not knwo better would have thought they were paying $300 for a graphite-necked Steniberger when they are getting a Korean maple-necked one instead. Thankfully, I figured this out in advance and adjusted my expectations accordingly.

    As for the bass itself - been rather happy with it. Neck is thicker than my Peavey Foundation, but the EMG pickups sound nice and clean.

    Eventually, I think I may sell both of my basses and get a Peavey Cirrus 5-string!
  12. ROD


    Nov 30, 2000
    I've also been considering a new bass. Although I have been playing bass for 15 years my last fretted bass was a cheap, Mexican, Fender P. It did the job but I miss having a better bass. I've been considering a Tobias Toby as well mainly because it has active electronics and it's a name I've heard good things about in the past. I've also been considering a Hartke bass and (believe it or not)a Brownsville which offers. The Hartke has active-e and humbucking soapbar pickups, both pluses. The Brownsville has a maple fretboard(which I am partial to) and a large humbucker, however it has passive-e. Since I've never owned a bass with active-e, I guess I don't know what I'm missing. Both basses are less than $500 which I consider a deal. Does anybody have any experience with Hartke or Brownsville basses? By the way, I don't care if Tobia's is Korean as long as it plays and sounds decent. Companies like Fender have made more than enough money off of guitars with "American made" on them. Also, any bass ideas that anybody has would be appreciated.

    [Edited by ROD on 12-01-2000 at 11:54 AM]
  13. ROD


    Nov 30, 2000
    I will reply to my own message to save face. After reading your messages about the Tobias and And after taking into account that they showed no phone number with which to reach them, I decided to go for the Carvin. Esspecially when considering the 15% restocking fee from Musicyo. Believe it or not it was my wife that talked me into the Carvin because she knew I could order it custom to my needs and desires. Also she knew their reputation of satisfied customers. You guys with Alembics and Warwicks will probably not bat an eye at the $670 price tag but for me it was steep. Since I'm partial to maple fretboards it was hard for me to decide between a maple or the standard ebony of Carvin necks. I went for the ebony because I figured it would have the hard texture and strong sound that I like from maple but still have a strong low end as well and ofcourse it looks good.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Rod - most of the negative comments about these have been about the poor quality of the electronics and pickups, so you made the right decision if you were thinking of getting one for active eq. I think most people agree that in a cheap bass, the first thing they are going to cut back on is the electronics and that if you have a limited budget, it's probably better to go for a passive bass, as you can always add a pre-amp later and it's best to spend as much as you can on the bass itself.

    I personally would never buy a bass mail order, but there have been a lot of satisfied Carvin owners on the board over the years who have attested to their good service and value for money, so it sounds like you probably got the best deal you could.
  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I don't think you'll regret ordering the ebony. I almost got a Carvin with maple fingerboard because I was afraid the bass would be too "warm" without it. I decided the maple top and neck would balance out the ebony and koa in the particular bass I ordered. It actually hass plenty of snappy highs. It has often been said that ebony has the warmth of rosewood and the brightness of maple - and it looks and feels great.

    I agree mail-order is not the ideal way to get an instrument. But I knew in advance what Carvin was all about, and being lefthanded, most anything I got that was high quality would be special order anyway. Don't get me wrong - there are lots of lefthanded basses in retail stores, but when it comes to the exact model you want...whether it comes custom from the factory or shipped from a retailer thousands of miles away, it will be ordered sight-unseen.
  16. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Bruce: I used to feel the same way about mail-order, but consider this (and I know I'm repeating myself, for those of you who have read this comment before -- forgive me): Buying a bass mailorder from Carvin or anyone else is almost the same as ordering a custom bass from Lakland, Lull, Sadowsky, etc. The only difference is that you take delivery of a mailorder bass at home, and one of those others at a music store.

    You're still buying it sight unseen and unplayed (although you may have an opportunity to play a similar bass at the music store). And most mailorder places have pretty good return policies , so there's virtually no risk. Once I realized all that, it took a lot of the fear out of buying my Carvin.

    [Edited by jcadmus on 12-05-2000 at 05:10 PM]
  17. Anyone who has been around basses for a while will know that there is not one Korean made instrument with "good" active electronics. They are ALL crap. HOWEVER, Korean basses these days are generally very well made and offer a good platform for upgrading with Basslines, Bartolini, Alembic, Lane Poor, Retro, Aguilar, Moon or various other electronics. A Tobias fitted with new pups, preamp and top of the line tuners will be a great axe at a fraction of the price of its American cousin. As was said by a previous poster, ANY new bass will benefit from a top notch fret dress and set-up by a good luthier, even if it's brand new! This makes a BIG difference in playability and feel. The Korean Tobias basses come from the Cort factory, and hence have the same (but re-badged) Mighty Mite pups and preamp as Cort Curbow, lower end Ibanez Soundgear, Spector, Cort Artisan, Conklin, and who knows what else! This is one of three Korean factories. The others are Samick and Young Chang, and they likewise churn out a bewildering array of name brand basses, eg, Washburn, Fender Squier(until recently- they no longer make Korean Squiers, more's the pity), Samick, Saker, Vantage, Aria, etc, etc. I work in the retail industry, and in my opinion, the Cort factory is definitely the best in terms of quality. AND, (this will no doubt upset you American bassists), a large proportion of the Made in America basses we get are really no better than the Koreans. I am not anti American, it's just an observation from someone who has owned a great many basses from all over, plus I come into contact with many more as part of my job. I once posted that, of seven new G&Ls in our shop, five needed fret levelling, and I got flamed by all the G&L owners who refused to believe that any thing American was anything less than perfect. Back to the subject, keep your mind open, and dont fall for hype and stereotypes. A very old industry joke states "Dont buy a Fender (or a car) made on Monday or Friday. Monday, workers are recovering from the weekend, Friday they wanna get finished for the weekend." Korean factories dont have weekends, they go 24 hours, 7 days. They also dont have good pup and preamp designers!
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Interesting..."They are ALL crap" and "keep your mind open, and dont fall for hype and stereotypes" ... in the same post:D

    This is not a flame...merely an observation. I had a Korean Spector that sounded fine, the EQ worked and it wasn't noisy. I had an Epiphone El Capitan fretless 5 ABG that AFAIK was made in Korea and it didn't seem to have a crap preamp either. I've also been impressed with the sound and playability of the Cort Artisan B4FL fretless, which is active.
  19. ROD


    Nov 30, 2000
    Your responses have helped me immensly and have given me confidance that I made the right decision. The hardest thing about the Carvin choice has been choosing the color. Carvin gave me a 9 wk lead time and said they had a couple of weeks to make any changes. I chose the bolt on for several reasons. (1)(I know you neck through guys will scream about this) I don't like the way the neck throughs look as well. (2) I knew a guy with a neck through B.C. Rich (back when they were $1000 plus guitars) and there was this party and somebody dropped the guitar and broke the neck, he took the guitar to a shop, spent a lot of money to get it glued and it never played the same, so peace of mind! (3) I've always had bolt on neck basses so I don't know what I'm missing and I don't want to spend the extra $ on that. Anyway the color I got is greenburst with black knobs and keys, matching headstock, doublecoil in the rear, active e. ofcourse, ebony fretboard as I said before. Now that I've made my decision I'm starting to look at the clear green and the clear blue and the blueburst as well all of which are making me second guess myself. I realize this is comparable to a man with Ferrari bitching because it's midnight blue and not red but I consider this quite the investment to me and I want this to be as right as it can be. Thanx again brothers of B

    [Edited by ROD on 12-08-2000 at 08:43 AM]
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    There's nothing wrong with getting a bolt-on...or a neck through. It's up to you.