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Tobias basses, pre Gibson or not

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Sep 29, 2004.


  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    When you find these Tobias Classic or Basic, what the best way to determin if they are pre-Gibson or not. Some people who are selling them like e-bay, admit they dont know????

    please advise :meh:
     
  2. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    I think the magic number is 2044. Everything above that serial number is a product of Gibson.

    There's some good info on the MTD site relating to the issue.
     
  3. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    Thanks much guys!!!!!
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's not suprising actually - I found my Pre-Gibson Tobias at the Bass Centre in London and they didn't know - what's more they were selling it as a "Basic" model, whereas it looked to me, like it was a "Classic"!!

    I emailed Mike Tobias, who came back really quickly and told me it was one of his and that it was indeed a Classic, then added "you got a good 'un" - I had to buy it then!! ;)
     
  5. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    Bruce, do you know if the Classic has a diff vibe than the Basic? and do you still have and play yours much?
     
  6. The big difference between the Basic and the Classic is mostly the extra body laminations (3 layers vs. solid one-piece wings), as far as I remember.

    Mike
     
  7. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    Exactly, and in addition the truss and control cavities have wood instead of plastic covers. (At least 99% of them anyway)
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Apart from what Mike says - it's mostly detail - wooden control cover and matching truss rod cover, chrome hardware. But I can't really tell any difference in tone or playability from a basic model - somebody I had lessons with for a while, had one of these - which was part of why I bought mine.

    I only play it occasionally now - but it is a great bass and one of the best I've found in the UK - playability is incredible. The only thing is for me that slapping is awkward and doesn't sound right to me.

    I think it's due to the fact that I have fairly large hands and big thick fingers - so the teacher I was talking about had hands that were half the size of mine! So, for live work I prefer a bass with wider string spacing like my Lakland and having an EUB as well, the Tobias gets left unplayed for long periods now.

    I always said I would never sell it, but I think my ideas about bass playing have changed - so it gets a great "Jaco-esque" tone and is very fast for 16th note fingerstyle funk - but generally I find I'm not required to play busy basslines like that in bands and while I love to play that kind of stuff at home - I think I'm coming round more to playing simpler stuff and DB, eventually...:meh:
     
  9. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    What changes would you expect to see on Gibson Tobiases?

    Are pre-Gibsons quantitatively better? Or is this a bit like the pre-Gibson Trace Elliot myth?
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    We are talking about something that happened 10-15 years ago - Gibson made loads of these basses!! But there are only small numbers of pre-Gibson Tobiases.
    It's no myth - pre-Gibson Tobias basses, were built by Mike Tobias, "by hand" with a small hand-picked crew, over long periods - whereas Gibson used big factories to mass-produce them. :meh:

    It mya be that the odd Gibson bass is good, but the quality control and attention to detail, on the hand-made ones, means they are all good - no doubt!! :)