1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Tobias anyone???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. I see alot of talk around here about Sadowsky's, (neverending, might I add! :p ) Laklands, Fender, (Go figure! Who likes Fender anyway!? :smug: ) and just recently, the thread that ruined all my good pants, the MTD GAS pics thread.

    But, I never see anyone talk about the original "Toby's." I would love to hear what you guys think about these basses, all of them. From the Classic, all the way down to the Deluxe line, and back up to the Growlers.

    So, c'mon and spill your experiences with Tobias bass guitars!

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Some good, some bad. I was a huge fan of this one at a Sam Ash store, beaten to hell, cracks in the body, etc. etc.

    Nothing that couldn't be repaired, but they wanted WAY too much for something that would have to undergo major surgery. Great neck though.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Original Tobias...mythical pieces of wood that deserve the legend.

    Gibson Tobias...some good...some bad. The later ones got very good too late. Gibson knows how to glue wood together when they want to. There was a change in the electronics package that made them amazing.

    Growler...probably the single most confusing electronics package you could ever run into but...it's in there some where. Early single truss rod models had neck issues.

    Toby Pro...Best bang for buck neck through anywhere. Upgrade the pre amp and it's a no excuse axe.

    The NEW current high end Tobias from gibson....P....O....S. at any price. At their price point? POSx2

    In my humble opinion of course.

    I tried to sell my Classic 5 recently...I couldn't go through with it. I put a Sadowsky up instead. You can always get another Sadowsky. Those Tobias....they're gone.

    You're from Cocoa Beach? Mike started building in Orlando. There are more of the originals around central florida than most places. You must have seen a few....
  4. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    What do you mean by the Growler being confusing?

    Took me a couple days to completely understand the electronics on mine, but it's pretty simple once you realize what everything does (I bought mine used, so I had no manual, or anything).

    On topic with the thread... I have a earlier Gibson Tobias Growler, and it's incredible. The neck is the greatest thing ever. This thing growls to no end, and gives me the exact tone I wanted. The only upgrade I can see from here is a 2,000+ dollar custom built bass.
  5. I have a Toby Pro and I agree that for the buck they are a great bass. However, I agree that the pre amp isn't very good. I'd like to hear from someone who has effected a change of pre amp. What have you used? Is it easy to install? And bear in mind that I don't live in the US so I'd be extremely grateful if you could indicate to me a place where to purchase the pre amp online.

  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001

    Yeah, took me a couple of days too.
    THATS what I mean by confusing. Its never taken me more than 15 seconds to figure out an onboard preamp. That includes the East preamp with all the switches and mid sweep. I never needed an owners manual for anything else but I needed to 'net search one up for that thing as well.

    My Tobias Classic preamp took a few minutes to figure out but that was only because I had to open it up and play with the trim pots on the slap contour.

    Thing sounded GOOD once I got a grip on it though. No denying that for sure.
  7. I understand that his shop wasn't too far from BC. With CB in Orlando now, there's a lot of good bass karma in Central Florida.
  8. Yes, I and my fellow bassists in CFL, are greatly blessed with Beaver Felton, and his AMAZING store of uber coolness... Just thinking about Bass Central makes me neeed to change myself.

    The Toby Pro line, those were the ones available through www.musicyo.com, weren't they? I think they retailed for around $600 for a neckthrough with an asymm neck... i wanted one so bad, but it had to compete with my GAS for a BTB, Spector, and now a custom. So I never picked one up, shame I didn't.

  9. I used to have a Tobias Basic 5 and hated it!!! Sold it after a year. Had a bad fret and the sound, really lifeless and lacking punch...

    But the MTD's that's another story!!! one of the best sounding basses...

    Anyway, that's my opinion.
  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    1. Hello

    2. Bartolini HR 5.4 the one that SHOULD be in there.

    3. Not too bad. I chose the model with an extra pot and micro switch so there were holes to drill. I could have gone with a direct drop in. If you go that route make sure you get the "Long Shaft Pots" I didn't and getting the threads of the pot shafts through the wood so I could get the nuts on the other side was a little stressfull. That was easily avoidable stupidity on my part. I never even considered that issue.

    4. I got it from "Grass Hopper" at bass central. I'll bet they would ship international. They're real go getters down there.

    I found the exact original preamp at...AllParts...I think...it was $20-$25 brand new so that lets you know the level of quality thats in those things . The preamp is definatly the problem NOT the pickups.

    I had my pickups wired straight to the jack for a few weeks and it was (IMHO) WAY better with no preamp at all. The output of the pickups alone is equivalent to the output of the preamp with everything turned up to max. The B string clarity is WAY better without the preamp. The pickups by themselves are a little dark sounding but nothing that a little amp EQ won't fix.

    The TobyPro 5 sounded good enough with the new preamp that it made me want... and then buy... the Tobias Classic 5 that I now have.

    However....The TC5 is so effing far beyond even the upgraded Toby Pro in every way imaginable that if thats where you're trying to get....save your money. (there is also about a $4,000 MSRP price difference between the two so...there's that.)

    I have some detailed pics of the process around somewhere on this hard drive if you need to see them.
  11. 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
    i just bought a gibson-made tobias classic 5, serial #2627, built in 1994. it has a walnut body with a birdseye maple top, and the build quality on it is great!

    question for any tobias experts out there...what was the history on the electonics package changes? i know that the switch had different uses over the years, it was a mid-shift, an active/passive switch, and a slap contour switch...i'm wondering which of these mine is?
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Was this a Gibson-made one, then? I've heard the quality varies on these, although I've never heard anything bad about Michael's own, pre-Gibson, Tobias basses.
  13. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have a Toby Pro 6 and thought it was just OK with the stock electronics but changed to a Bartolini 3 band preamp and Bartolini pickups. I had to wait a couple of months for the pickups but it was worth it. It's pretty much a new bass with the changes. I have always liked the low action I can get and the neck is great. I almost sold it before the electronics upgrade but I'm glad I didn't.
    I bought a Toby Deluxe 5 and played it for awhile but I ended up giving it to my son. He wasn't getting my G&L L2000. :D
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    ...and I agree with it. :D

    On the Toby Pro, I have a friend who has a 6. I think it's pretty nice... especially for the money. However, I would really like to hear it with a better preamp, and it seems a bit on the heavy side... yeah, even for a 6. No complaints on the construction and playability, tho. Nice.

    By the way, what happened to the Toby Pros? MusicYo doesn't have "Tobias" anymore.
  15. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    I have a Gibson-built Tobias Renegade, made in Nashville, fretted four, Bartolini pups and TC-7 pre; 3-piece maple neck.
    Guess I got lucky from the many posts I've read about inconsistencies- This one is a keeper, excellent build quality, light as a feather, a pleasure to play, and a BIG sound and tone.
    When I take it in for it's annual "check-up" and set-up, my tech, who loves this bass also, tells me that it's like a finely-tuned sports car- sensitive and needs to be tuned and tweaked well. This particular bass sounds and plays and has the build quality of instruments twice the price or more-
    I've talked with a few other players with Gibson Killer B's and Growlers, and they felt the same about their instruments, but I've read comments from some unhappy campers as well.

    As far as the new line of Gibson built Tobias, Wow! I'm amazed at the hate they seem to stir up.
    Honestly, I don't know whether it's because of displeasure with Gibson as an entity, or their price point, or because they well, suck as instruments. Haven't played one so I can't say, and I'm not in the market anyway!
    They look good on paper, so to speak, but of course that means nothing in real life!
    I'd say if you play one, love it, and the $$ is right, why the
    he** not??
  16. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've played one, and while it wasn't a POS, it was nowhere near worth what they currently have that line priced at. IMHO.
  17. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    That kinda seems to be the concensus, Vics, that at their price point, good or bad, there are too many alternatives, and apparently Gibson burned some bridges with inconsistent build quality, and other business (mal) practices!

    If I were in the market to spend 2K or more for a new bass, I don't think the new Tobias line would be in the running for me, either. My "first-generation" Gibson-Tobias Renegade was a good deal and is a great bass tho!
    There is an AWFUL lot of good stuff out there!
    My custom-ordered G&L ASAT floats my boat for instance, a real bargain, IMO, and if I EVER start talking about my GAS and wish list, it would never stop!
  18. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I personally know more than one dealer, and... umm... I can not say that you don't have a very valid point there, unfortunately.
  19. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    i tried out one of the new korean made ones, and was embarrased to say that I own a Tobias. Just thinking about telling someone that I own a Tobias, and having them think of that Korean bass... bad sauce.
  20. Shawnost

    Shawnost It's all about the Hamiltons baby! Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2004
    Huntersville, NC
    I have two Gibson-era Tobias basses, a 93 Killer B-5 and a 5 string Renegade (97-98 I think). The build quality on both basses is amazing and the sound of both are excellent with the right balance of punch and growl for my tastes and playing style. The eq's in both basses are very versatile and easy to use to tailor the sound for almost every situation.

    Of course, when I recently decided that I was in the market for a new 6 string the new Tobias basses did not make my short list (I've got serious Roscoe GAS) due to their price point. IMO, At the end of the day if I can purchase a custom bass or an assembly line built bass for approximately the same price I'm going custom and my Killer B-5 is on the auction block to finance it. :hyper:



Share This Page