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Tobias basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ryan L., Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Ok, here's the deal. I am considering getting rid of my Cirrus 5. A guy emailed me with a trade offer, a 92 Tobias Standard 5. It has Bart soapbars with 9 volt electronics (stacked bass/treble, mid control in control cavity). Neck thru, solid black in color. 34" scale.

    Is this one of the Gibson models that everyone says are not very good?? Would I be "trading up" or "trading down".

    Oh, and he wants more for his bass than I do mine, so I would have to give a couple hundred to boot.

    Can anyone give me any info on these things??


    P.S. Another guy just emailed me about trading a Ray 5. White with a white pickguard. Said it is in great shape, but no pics yet.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Ryan, unfortunately there's no easy way to tell if this is a good bass or not... unless you get it in your hands. You can get the serial number and see if it's below 2044, the number of the last California/Gibson Tobias. These are considered pre-Gibson because even though Gibson did own Tobias, up until late 1992 the basses were still made by Mike and his crew.

    All Gibson Tobiases are not bad... nor good for that matter. They vary.
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Thanks Brad, I was hoping you'd notice this thread. :)

    I will email the guy back and get some more info from him.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Hey Ryan,

    The Tobias Standard is a model that was produced in Japan for Tobias between 1990-92, after Gibson had bought the company but before they moved production to Nashville. They are imports, but with setup and quality control carried out in the original California shop.

    Here's what it says about them on the MTD History page:

    As I recall, the Standard had maple/purpleheart laminate neck, rosewood fretboard, and ash body wings, plus the regualr Bart pickups and the stacked 2-band EQ.

    As for "trading up" vs. "trading down", I think I'd actually call it more or less an even trade, at least in terms of the going prices for both instruments. I haven't seen too many Tobias Standards come up for sale recently, but the last one was a natural-finish 5 that sold over on BunnyBass for about $850, I think.

    The Standard is the classic Tobias design, made during the period when Tobiases were still being built in Mike's shop in California. OTOH, it is and import, albeit a very well-built one by all accounts. I've not tried one myself--of course, I've only played one or two Cirruses, for that matter, and they're also very fine basses.

    Good luck!
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    Yep, that would be it. The owner of it told me that it was one of only 400 standards made. I dunno, I think I will probably hold off on this deal, as he does want money to boot, and I would rather trade to a bass that I have played before, rather than take a chance on getting something that I will have to stick on Ebay in a month.;)