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Tobias Serial Numbers

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lsu921, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    I've got two Tobias Killer B's. One has a serial # 2364 and the other #8115. I sent an email to gibson to find out when they were made, and they told me both were made in 1997. 2364 in September and 8115 in December. That's a big difference in serial #'s for being made 3 months apart. What do you guys think?
  2. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    anyone.. anyone..
  3. Thombass

    Thombass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    No big difference...
    You just have to know that Tobias with serial up to 2044 are Gibson-made...

    Maybe some guys here can help you ...
  4. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    I was under the impression that the serial #'s ran in sequence, but that would mean they made 6,000 basses in 3 months.. and I know that's not the case. Maybe once Gibson took over after serial # 2044 they changed the way they issued serial #'s.

    The two basses have some differences that makes me think they were made further apart though. The bridge is different (the 2364 bass bridge is much nicer), the tuning keys are a little different (both grovers, but the 2364 bass has the Tobias logo on it where as the other bass has the Grover name on it), the electronics are different, but that could have just been a custom order, and the bodies are shaped a little different (8115 is more rounded than 2364).
  5. The ones up to and including 2044 were made in California. After that they were made in Gnashville by Gibson.
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    My Classic 5 is # 7578 and Gibson told me it was made late '97

    Sept. I think. I'd have to look.
  7. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    That sounds right. They said my 8115 Killer B was made in Dec 97. I have a hard time believing #2364 was made in Sept 97 though.
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Aren't the killer B's a bolt on? In which case that neck could have sat on a shelf with the serial # stamped on it for who knows how long before they actually put in on a body and pronounced it "built"

    Also, didn't I read somewhere that when Mike and Gibson parted ways there where a couple of hundred instruments worth of parts left laying around that HE started and Gibson finished? Maybe you got one of them.
  9. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Food for thought, I once had a Gibson Nashville-era Tobias Classic 5 string that was built by an employee who scavenged the parts out of the factory, completed the basses at home, and stamped his own serial numbers on it, passing it off as a "real" Tobias. Apparently, the body/neck had a slight cosmetic defect and it was set aside as a quality-control reject.

    The employee periodically left work with various parts in his pocket, and completed several of these instruments at home, and sold them as used. The serial number on mine wasn't even on record with Tobias as a Classic 5, it was made up. I no longer have the bass, and made the buyer aware of its questionable history . . .


    Aug 25, 2003
    i have this serial number on my tobias 6...can anyone tell me what year and brand.....#11840
  11. I don't even know for sure if the Killer B numbering conventions follow the neck-through Basics, Classics, and Signatures of the era. I'm pretty sure the foreign made ones don't.
  12. I have #2833 Killer B 5 string. I bought it brand new from GC San Jose in mid to late 1995. The body is not rounded like the standards, but rather squared off. Mine is natural swamp ash. It was my main axe for 10+ years and has seen 2-3 thousand gigs. As I was gigging 300+ gigs a year then. I know a lady here that has a bass almost exactly 200 numbers lower than mine and she bought hers around the same time as me. Hers is a 6st KBee and looks identical to mine except for the considerable wear on mine. I was thinking about it recently as I'd been playing mostly 4 strings for the last few years until recently. I pulled it out and it feels as great as ever. I was surprised when I realized it was a 34" scale as I'd been thinking it was 35". I mainly stopped playing it because I reinjured my back a few years ago. But it's going back into rotation. Your bass is most certainly older than mine, maybe 94', just a guess but that's probably close.
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    8099 2171
    My Basic 5 S/N 2171 was made in 1994 according to Gibson.
    Classic 5 S/N 8099 made in 1998 " " " .