Tobias Pro-5 upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by phunkjam, Jan 13, 2001.

  1. Hello All,
    I currently own a Tobias Pro-5 and I was looking to upgrade it with possibly a better preamp or pickups. I read a post about someone using a Seymour Duncan 3 EQ preamp. I was just wondering if you had any suggestions? Thanks
  2. Hey man, since we last talked, my custom bass met with a nasty accident, so I thought, to hell with it. I salvaged the remaining working Alembic pup, and the Alembic preamp, and routed out the front of my Tobias to fit the pup between where the two originals were (the "sweet spot"). I then made a groovy pickguard from mahogany veneer to cover the original pup routing plus one of the pot holes, seeing as I dont need a blend knob any more. The result? Hoooowwweeeeeeee!!!!! Awesome! The Alembic sounds better in the Tobias than they did in my custom. Maybe it's the wood. And the B string rocks with only one pup magnet pulling on it. 34" scale, and it's clear as a bell, hardly any difference in clarity and tone between the E and B. OK, I've probably buggered the resale, but hey, why would I wanna sell it? A friend has an original Tobias, pre- Gibson, and another has a Ken Smith, both expensive as hell, and my B is as good or better! Am I happy? Am I happy!
  3. Hey Marty,
    That's amazing! I'd really like to get my bass to be to the specifications of a pre-Gibson Tobias. Where did you get your pickups and preamp? Also, do you have a pic? I'd like to view this monster.
  4. You can get Alembic parts straight from Alembic. I've got a mate who's just bought a digital camera, so I may be able to get a pic up soon. BTW, I'm not recommending anyone do what I did. I happen to be crazy (my wife sez so), and I've ruined the resale on it. You cant put Alembics into the stock pup holes, they're a different shape, and if you routed the original holes you'll break into the control cavity. I only got away with it 'cos I only had one Alembic pup left, so I took out all the wood between the original pup holes. I've also replaced the bridge with a Gotoh 510 model with fractionally wider spacing and quick release.
  5. CountBassy


    Jan 20, 2001
    New Castle, DE
    Hey Phunkjam,

    I'm in the same boat you are. I recently picked up a Toby Pro 5 string too (yeah, not really a true Tobias but for $469 from and all the good things I've heard about it, I couldn't resist) and I love everything about this bass but the stock pickups.

    I've got EMG P/Js set up 18 volt in my Spector and man, what a wicked tone perfect for slapping. Lots of players don't like the EMGs, but I'm hooked.

    If that's what you're looking for, the replacement EMG DC40 soapbars should fit in the cavities with no need for routing.

    My concern for my Toby is the DC40s might be a little too hot; a little warmth might be a good thing. EMG has a CS series which essentially have the parallel coils like the DCs but also have steel bars in them which produce a warmer tone (from what I'm told). This might be the way that I'm going to go, but I've never heard the CS pickups so I'm undecided.

    Does anybody have an opinion of the EMG DC's vs the CS's?
    What I really need to know is can you still get the deep low end and brilliant highs typical of EMGS with the CS model?

    Anyway, good luck finding what you're looking for - I'd like to know what you find works with your Toby.
  6. Hey, thanks for the replies. I've taken into consideration both the alembic and EMG pickups. How about Bartolini's? I've heard good things about them, and I was going to buy a pre-gibson tobias equipped with them but it sold. Also, how would I go about replacing the pre-amp, if I got a new one?
  7. Tobias came with Bartolinis, so by upgrading to Barts and Bart preamp you should get as close as you're gonna to the pre gibson Tobias sound ( you aint never gonna sound EXACTLY like it- that's the magic of Mikes craftsmanship). The Bartolini site will tell you which pups and preamp to use.