Tobias basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeff2287, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    What's the story exactly? I'm a little unfamiliar with Gibson who evidently seems to own Tobias (not to be confused with MTD). What's the story with pre-Gibson Tobiases? Were they better before Gibson got them? Are they better now that Gibson has them? What?
  2. back in the day (prior to gibson) Tobias basses were comparable to present day MTD's. Then gibson bought Mike's company and moved production to Korea. The Gibson-era Tobias basses are all mass produced (you can get em at For the money, they're great basses...just not what they used to be.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    The whole mess is well documented on the 'net.

    You have "real" Tobias' made by Mike and his crew.
    Then you have Mike overseeing production by Gibson era.
    Followed by Gibson American production without Mike.
    Finally there is musicyo Tobias.

    I've played the "real" Tobias' and they're truly world class, no excuses instruments.

    I own a late model Gibson American Tobias Classic and actually prefer the electronics package in it to a "real" Tobias. It also has no excuses fit, finish and playability.

    I also own an early music yo Tobias. I can assure you that there is no comparison what-so-ever between the offshore product and the American product be it Gibson or Mike's.

    The Toby-Pro is a great working mans axe that can be made to sound outstanding with an electronics upgrade and a heck of a value for a neck-thru but thats about where it ends.

    That particular apple fell miles away from the tree.
  4. yeah..thats a better answer.
  5. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I read an interview with Micheal Tobias, and he said he oversaw the start up of the Korean factory while he was a consultant to Gibson (but after he had stopped making the basses). He also said he thought that the Korean basses were very well made for the money. I have one and would agree, except for the electronics.
  6. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have pre-Gibson Tobias and it really surprised me - it was hanging in shadows at the back of the Bass Centre in London - my favourite shop!!

    So - I had tried basically every type of bass I could at the Bass Centre and was still unhappy with the tone and playability - nothing was exactly what I wanted. Or if it was, it was too expensive - Ken Smith at £3,500 (over $5,000!).

    So I had tried every Warwick, Wal, Tune, Status, Sadowsky, Lakland etc that the Bass Centre had - and they have a lot of stock.

    Then I saw a Tobias 5 which was a bit grimy and used. But as soon as I picked it up I knew it was really special - icredibly easy to play - and plugging it into an amp it had exactly the tone I was looking for staightaway!!

    I had to buy it as it was so much better than anything I'd tried, but it was still a lot of money to find. So I e-mailed Michael Tobias with the serial number and he checked and told me I'd got a good one - he also told me it was a "Classic", whereas the Bass Centre were advertising it as a "Basic" - one step down!!

    So now I knew I had to buy it and trade in my Roscoe Beck signature as I knew I would never want to play it again after the Tobias.

    Anyway - after a quick polish it looked much better and basically it was in mint condition - I really felt I had got a bargain, although itwas a lot of money!

    I took it back to the Bass Centre for a few tweaks - their bass tech gave me special spanner which helped with adjusting the truss rod - and they said they had had lots of enquiries about the bass since
    and could have sold it several times over!

    I was very lucky as it had just come in and had been put on the wall straight away, without even a clean/polish or setup. And I have never wanted to play another bass again!
  8. i need to step up from my (sad-but well used) squier j as i cant depend on getting a good sound. it has sounded great at times (most notably through a fender bxr200, or with help from a preamp) but it is in nee dof replacement. my repairman is telling me to buy this post-mike Tobias but there's a catch. the neck is snapped clean off at the fifth fret. Warmoth said it would be around us$400 for a maple dual truss replacement. This puts the price of the 'repaired' bass around us$800. it has two gibson humbuckers (explorers i think), and black hardware.
    In all your collective wisdom, is it worth it for a bass i cant first hear, and one whose resale is quite questionable due to its 'uniqueness'.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But surely we're talking about a neck-through bass here and a snapped neck means that you're basically going to be starting from scratch witha complte re-build - it's not like putting a replacement neck on a bolt-on?!!

    I would say this is very risky - but the ideal solution is to post in the Luthiers forum and ask the pros' opinion of the viability ?

    Without seeing the bass though, it must be impossible to assess this - we're all only guessing - and it could just be firewood? :(
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    PS I get this "deja vu" feeling - has this question been asked before?
  11. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    oh, i would stay away from that -- but thats just me..
  12. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    I think that an important info is that the last Tobias builted from Mike's and his staff(even if under Gibson's property) is #2225
    I have a 5 string classic #1811,and his far better than any other post 2225 i've tryed;)
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  14. slumberland


    Sep 17, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    Hi guys

    Does anybody have any experience with this basses? I know this is the econimic line from MTD. But does it really a good instrument for the price?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  15. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska

    There are a kazillion threads on the MTD Kingstons already, I suspect--try doing a search on "Kingston".