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tobias vs MTD

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkpunker, Jan 6, 2003.


  1. ok, now i like to think i know SOMETHING about basses, it may not be very much, but im not stupid, in my defence im only 17 so iv got plenty of time to learn :D but i was just looking around at some Tobias stuff, and i came across the fact that there are too totally different Tobias Companies, there's the Gibson one and MTD or Michael Tobias Design. so what IS the difference? just the ownership or what?
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Michael Tobias built very nice stuff for a long time.

    He sold his company to Gibson, but "oversaw" production for a short time.

    Gibson moved Tobias bass manufacturing to Nashville. Early ones were decent. Later ones were more suspect as Gibson was suffering significant turnover at that facility.

    Gibson moved Tobias manufacturing to Asia. Modern Tobias basses are one of the zillions of Asian made, predictable, entry level "stuff" that is out there.

    Michael Tobias had to sit out for a while as part of the sale agreement, but later started MTD (Michael Tobias Design) These are the new real Tobias basses.

    It shouldn't be assumed that modern MTDs are copies of the original Tobias basses, as they are not. MTDs are uniquely excellent instruments.


    Chas
     
  3. ok, that makes it a bit clearer!! so basically, MTD are the "real" Tobias basses, and Tobias' are mass produced stuff? i notice you play in a worship band, same as me (though i forgot to put that in my profile) im 17 and into punk (especially in the way i dress!!) so everyone was a bit suprised when i started playing like jazz and funk riffs! everyone told me that they did not expect me to play the way i did! anyway, i just thought i would add that in, i have to agree with your profile about your main influence/teacher as well, Jesus certainly helped me a lot! im rambling a bit now and it has nothing to do with my thread!!





    on another note... does anyone know what bass the guy uses in the first Avril Lavigne video "Complicated"? Crap song, FIT girl, and it looks like a nice bass too... so any info?
    J.
     
  4. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    I remember that... was it a Pedulla maybe? I'm not 100%.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Only if you're talking new basses.
     
  6. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    it is so funny because i was looking at mtd basses today on the net. They have a korean model with a jazz and music man pickup the name escapes me now they look pretty cool. I heard some talk that these basses a prone to dead spots and that is no good. My currnet ministry is running a worship band great way to praise the Lord. Good luck with it
     
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    YES. Don't forget this part. Gibson still uses the logo and peghead cut that Michael used originally, so you have to know the date built to know where the bass falls in the story. (Although the differences are obvious)


    Chas
     
  8. dirk

    dirk

    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I thought Avril's bassist was playing a Spector in that video. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Dirk
     
  9. dirk

    dirk

    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    yep, I just saw your other thread and I was wrong, but I think I've seen him use a Spector live.

    Dirk
     
  10. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    he is using a BC Rich Eagle bass. I'm sad to know that.
     
  11. shon

    shon

    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    What is it with MTDs and worship bands? I'm just curious. That's cool that the dude who started this thread is a punk who plays jazz. We need more of those. Anyway, peace out.
     
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I strongly disagree with this one. They are far better than "entry level" and far better than your average Korean made bass. Have you ever even played one? I have a Toby Pro 4, and it is every bit as well made as my Lakland Skyline 55-01 - also Korean made, but considered by most to be a great bass. The ONLY thing wrong with the Korean Tobys is the preamp. It sounds good, but is very low volume. I played many gigs with it, and the only complaint is that I would have to adjust my amp too much if I switched basses. I put in a Bartolini preamp, and it is now one of the best basses I own (out of ten basses). The woods, construction, and attention to detail are well above average, and better than some American made basses.

    They are damn fine basses, and certainly of professional quality, not "entry level". No, they aren't as good as the pre-Gibson Tobias, but they only cost $600, and you won't find many better basses for that price. The necks are 5 piece wenge/maple neck through, and the body wings are SOLID flame maple, not a thin top on some cheaper wood. They even have threaded inserts for the control cavity cover, instead of the screws going into the wood - something you never see on "entry level" instruments. Mine is better made than my '76 Gibson Thunderbird, and better than many MIA Fenders I have played. As I said, it is as good as my Lakland, my other favorite bass.
     
  13. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    me too...i'm also curious as to the difference between the pre-gib tobias basses and the usa mtd's. he won't build a 34" scale 5 or six string now...but he used to...i've never seen a neck through mtd, but the killer b tobias was "the first bolt neck tobias to be worthy of the tobias name." so why aren't there neck throguh mtd's? don't get me wrong, i've played both and i've loved every one i've played (pre-gibson and usa mtd's...a couple killer b's too). i wonder what brought such drastic change...naybe just the disgust of having gibson own tobias?
     
  14. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    so, how many pre-gib tobiases are out there that aren't to his preference? about 1800?
     
  15. Mike is at a point in his career where he can do whatever he likes, and he sure seems to like building some really unique instruments. He builds the USA MTD's with his own hands, like he did the early Tobiases, and each one is different, sometimes radically so.

    I am fortunate to have 3 of his finest basses, and to my taste and for my purpose I feel thay are as good as anything in the world.

    When you consider the amount of care and hand work put into one of these instruments by a true master, they are great bargains. Go price a violin built by one of the world's great builders.

    When I told him I wanted a neck through 5 after he built me a fine bolt-on that didn't fit my taste at the time, he helped me locate a zebrawood and wenge bass he built in 1985, which does what I wanted and Mike considers it one of his best. I call it the torpedo, because it's B string can punch through heavy steel. It weighs a ton.

    I once discussed the neck through versus bolt on issue with Mike. He currently uses the neck joint hinge and the resonance of the neck as a sort of high pass filter, attenuating stuff too low to hear and accentuating harmonics that make the bass record well and sound better in the real world. Mike is a scientist, and he is constantly experimenting and improving the art. He is the first to say that there is no one "best" solution, and he will make specials when he gets inspired.

    He tries very hard to find successful solutions for players who can figure out what they want a bass to do.

    Best Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I wrote to Michael when I was considering buying a pre-Gibson Tobias and he looked it up for me and told me that it was a good one - I bought it!!!

    I think some people do have a "preference" for bolt-ons - after all, it is the classic sound of the Fender basses that are on vast numbers of recordings.

    But I would think that Michael's small-scale production of US MTDs means that it would be difficult to run too many types of construction and that the reason he stopped doing the original Tobias thing was that it got "too big" which meant he was fored to sell out to Gibson. in order to comply with health and saftety regulations.

    By keeping it small he can do what he wants more, but I imagine this means limiting the operation?
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    that's the lower line:

    The Heir
    [​IMG]

    The Kingston
    [​IMG]

    The Saratoga
    [​IMG]

    all really great values. i especially liked the Heir 5 string i played recently. not too sure about the dead spots, but that Heir really knocked me out.
     
  18. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    no idea. dunno what it is, but it seems like most of the gospel players here all play either Sadowsky 5's or MTD 6's. :)

    I've seen Andew Gouche, an MTD endorser, twice: once with Mary Mary at the Apollo, and another with Yolanda Adams at a missions fundraiser. and the man is just unstoppable with his grooves! can literally set the band on fire with his sweet natural finish MTD/Eden setup. made me really wanna boogie down with an MTD. :D
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Probably the same as it is with Ken Smith and those same types of bands. Influential players play them, others dig the sound.
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings