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Tobias Basic, Classic or Signature? Which Value?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pablito, Dec 18, 2017.


  1. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
    Hi all, I have the chance to buy a 2nd hand Tobias bass. I can't really recognize which model it is. It should be a gibson era (SN #74XX), am I right?. It is signed as made in USA. It is a satin finish. Very few pictures on google similar (not the same) to this one. In particular very few pictures with the neck in 5 different stripes of wood. Overall really good conditions. I would like to ask your help! Any info? What do you think about? 2000$ are too much for this model? I really appreciate if someone could give me some tips or opinion.
    Thank You!
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Don't know anything about the bass value. It's beautiful though
     
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  3. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    bucephylus and Pablito like this.
  4. Not a Basic. Either a Classic or Signature. My guess is Classic. Original prices were around 3,000 for Basic, 4,000 for Classic, and 5,000 for a Signature. The Gibson era basses didn’t hold their value or collectibility like the Burbank ones.
     
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  5. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
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  6. Ampslut

    Ampslut

    May 15, 2017
    I had a Gibson Tobias 5 string with the asymmetrical neck. Mine was not as fancy as the one you have pictured. I could never get use to the extra long upper horn which threw the bass into a strange hand position for me. I ended up trading it for a Ken Smith
     
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  7. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
    Thank you flojob!
     
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  8. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
  9. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
    Hi dreamadream99, which are the Burbank?
     
  10. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
    Hi all! What about the woods? Do you think it could be better to focus on a '70 / '80 Fender jazz instead of spending 2k$ for a Signature Tobias? The neck and the low action of Tobias seems to be very comfortable, on the other hand maybe a Fender jazz will be a Fender jazz forever. What do you think about?
     
  11. Pre-Gibson. The ones made by Mike and his crew in his Burbank, California shop.
     
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  12. Pablito

    Pablito

    Dec 18, 2017
    Thank you dreamadream99! You said it was more or less 5k$ new. Do you remember it, or do you know where to check how much it was new?
     
  13. I remember the prices. The prices stayed the same when Gibson took over.
     
  14. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    If it plays well and is comfortable, I would get that instead of a fender jazz bass. It's hard to say which bass would be more valuable in the future, but a fender jazz can be found much more easily if you decide you want one.
     
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  15. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    This can not be answered by anyone except yourself and your experience.

    Nothing else is a Jazz Bass, other than a Jazz Bass. Improvements in the Jazz Bass would be found by makers such as Sadowsky, Lull, and others. But, they don’t have Fender on the headstock.

    The Tobias you have shown appears to be in very nice condition and possibly an exceptional instrument. I gig Jazz Basses quite a lot, having both the Fender and Sadowsky varieties as 4 stringers. I also have two Tobias basses, a 5 and a 6, which I have gigged and modified for many years now. I’m selling my 5 because Mike is currently making a new instrument to replace it. I personally could never get what I wanted out of the Bartolini 3 band preamp, which is in the instrument you are considering. I solved that issue by retrofitting the Pope 4 band, which retains the Tobias fidelity, but gets the voicing more into the Jazz Bass zone, when needed. If you purchase this apparently very fine instrument, I recommend that modification, if you play Jazz Bass oriented material. It is a fairly straightforward install, and well worth the additional investment. Would make a killer bass.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    I have Tobias 7578 and that is from '97 so..it's probabably about the same. The nasville shop supposedly had quality issues keeping up with demand during that time. That may be. mine is fine and has stood the test of time. If that has the stock preamp in it with the slap switch on the volume knob, that is a MONSTER package of bartolini that you won't find anywhere else.
    I don't know what a 4 string is worth but, I see a fiver like that for 2k and it's moving to Florida
     
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  17. Thump C

    Thump C

    Dec 20, 2016
    I have a TOBIAS 5 with the Bartolini pre NS2TMB-18 with the Vol pull slap knob. When did they stop using it?
     
  18. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    I'm not sure, I'm pretty sure it was gone with the last go-round of them. If it has two trimmers on one module and a third trimmer off on another module...that's the one. The solo trimmer controls the curve of the mid scoop and getting that set where it works for you makes ALL the difference in the world
     
  19. Killer wenge content there, both the fretboard and neck stringers. You can find a jazz bass 8 days a week but something like this is potentially very special.
     
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  20. That's what I was thinking, too. That is one really nice looking Tobias with exceptional woods. I'm assuming it's wenge and bubinga, in which case I'd definitely want to know its exact weight before taking the plunge.

    I don't know what 70's or 80's Jazz basses are fetching these days, but if it's anywhere near $1K (or more) I'd vote for the Tobias being the better value for the money......and being the better bass by a factor of 10.
     

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