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Tobias Killer B vs. Warick Thumb (fiver)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fLaT-fIfTh, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. fLaT-fIfTh


    Dec 20, 2004
    Producer: GospelChops Inc.
    Can some of you experienced players help a newbie out with a major purchase?? :bassist:
    I love both of these basses and I think I would be happy with either one. That's why I can't decide which one to buy. Any experiences with either one would be helpful.
  2. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Thumb Bolt or NT?

    Sorta depends on what type stuff you're gonna be playing. How about some more info on style, influences, other gear, goals, etc.

  3. fLaT-fIfTh


    Dec 20, 2004
    Producer: GospelChops Inc.
    I'm thinking Thumb bolt. As for style? R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Funk. I'm a keyboard player attempting to add a second instrument. Bass seems logical and fun! Thanks...
  4. Thumb > Tobias

    Unless it's a pre-Gibson Tobias, in which case

    Tobias > Thumb, nine times.
  5. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member


  6. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Had an original Tobias Killer B - which is to say, Gibson, early 90's, but not the current "reissue" that has so many problems. Very nice. One of the best feeling necks I've come across, you won't find many people complaining about Mike Tobias' neck designs. Warwick BO necks I've come across have been too chunky for my tastes, and they don't seem to stand out in the mix or be as flexible as the Tobias. IMO, of course. Adjusting the controls on my Tobias I was able to get anything from a warm, middly tone, to a low, old school tone, to a modern clangy super low mid scooped tone. Don't know if the older models had the problems of the new ones, and mine was just one of the "good ones" or if they were generally better. From what I've heard I'd avoid the new ones.

    Of course, either of these basses isn't cheap, and it's best to try out the exact bass you'd be purchasing. I'd go with the Tobias if it's an older model, and you can play it first. I'd think the Bartolini pickups/electronics in the Tobias would sound better with the types of music you are playing. I'm told lots of Gospel players dig Tobiases. Tobiaii? Ugh.

    Yes, ultimately I sold my Tobias, but I kept it much longer than I did my Warwick. I decided since I was broke and not playing out I could sell it and get by with my backup banger bass. I couldn't, but that's another story.
  7. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    warwicks are extremely heavy, but sound extremely good in my experience.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    It's my understanding that the current Tobias suffers from poor workmanship. Who knows, you may get one that is flawless...but is it worth the risk?

    The Warwick Thumb 5's are notorious for being neck / headstock heavy. Once again, this may not be a major concern for you. If you dig the Warwick sound and playability, take a look at the Corvette, Streamer, and Fortress models as alternatives.

  9. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    If you could find an older Killer B - go for it. I tried one a long time ago and it was THE bass to me. Do NOT buy a new one - what a waste of money. Very poor craftsmanship from Gibson these days.

    I'm not a big Warwick fan, either though, personally as I've not been able to get a great live tone from them (too dark for my taste)...

    For the styles you are interested in, IMHO you need a good jazz bass - Fender, Lakland, Sadowsky Metro (depending on your preference and what you can spend).
  10. I assume you've played these two basses before. My advice: play them standing w/ a strap. You may change your mind about the Thumb. I like Warwicks, but many people don't like the ergonomics of the thumb. Check out a Streamer or a Corvette.
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I play bassically the same type of music, and like every other gospel player, I had a Tobias Killer B in the early 90's. I also have owned the thumb in a six string neck thru. The thumb was a far more solid sounding bass, great fundimentals, could really fill in a mix, although there were no vintage sounds hidden away in that bubinga /lead body.
    Did I mention it was heavy, better have a chiropractor linned up. In between the two I'd deffinently reccomend the thumb. If you decide to change instruments the Tobias has terrible resale, I had to give mine away and it is not a good value new by any standred. If you can deal with the weight/neck dive of the thumb you'll get a unique sound and a quality bass. Is there any reason you haven't looked at other options, In that price Range you could have a used MTD (the gospel benchmark) a new Metro (Sadowsky), a Mike Lull, a Lakland either Daryl Jones or 55-02 Skyline with change. Far better and more versitile choices. I love my Metro and it gets ou's and oh's every time I play, only 9lbs. in a 5.
    Steve B
  12. fLaT-fIfTh


    Dec 20, 2004
    Producer: GospelChops Inc.
    @ burk48237:

    Thanks a bunch! Your post was very helpful and you opened my eyes to some other options that I had not known or considered. I'm just trying to buy a quality instrument that will be a joy to play and will inspire me. The MTD's are NICE!
  13. RNG


    Jan 9, 2004
    Warwick nuff said. Course you could drop that sh*t and get a SPECTOR. :bag: :D
  14. Did I mention that I own/play an MTD 535 (in church, well, used too at least) and used to own a Warwick thumb :) :bag:
    I, obviously, made my choice. Although, the ergonomics of the 535 aren't perfect either. But, they're better than the thumb for sure. Oh yeah, have you hard that Thumbs are heavy? Seriously, mine was about 13 pounds!
  15. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT purchase a new Tobias! They are absolute crap. I had a huge thread here about them, essentially stating that I am boycotting Gibson products (it got deleted for some reason). To sum it up: shoddy work, poor design, ridiculously high prices. Some kids in a high school woodshop could do better.

    It seems to me though, that you are trying to compare two completely different style basses. Also, if you are truly a newbie, I suggest holding off on spending that kind of cash on an instrument until you are truly understanding what you are buying. Try everything!