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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LvHooters, Oct 5, 2000.
A Friend of mine has a Tobias 5 String.Any opinions on it?
You can't really expect anyone to have opinions on it unless you know what model or when/where it was made. Those made by Michael Tobias's small crew before about 1990, are generally excellent and I've never heard a bad thing about one of these "handmade" basses. But these are very different from the more recent production-line non-USA factory -made ones.
I don't know which model...he has had if a couple of years and bought it used...Just looking for a general opinion on Tobias's I guess for know
Well, as I was trying to say you can't get a general opinion on "Tobias's" as a whole as they are like chalk and cheese, night and day or whatever opposites you want to list. I own a pre-Gibson Tobias Classic 5 which was "handmade" by Michael Tobias's original team and it is the best bass I have ever played. I know several pro players in the UK who use similar basses (mostly Classic 5s and Basic 5s) and get excellent sounds out of them and wouldn't use anything else.
BUT - I have also tried some of the "so-called" Tobias basses mass-produced in the last few years and have found them unplayable or at least very poor. In particular I was very disappointed in the "Pro" range which was fairly expensive, but the examples I played were very poor. Poor worksmanship, very uncomfortable necks and active elctronics that did little but add hiss. At least the "Toby" range has dropped the pretentions to being a real Tobias and has the merit of being very cheap, but these are nothing like the original Tobias basses and are almost the antithesis of the handmade originals, in that they are very much factory-produced.
I suppose you could say they range from the sublime to the ridiculous! And everywhere in between.
I have a "transition" early Gibson Tobias Classic 5.
S/N 2079 It was one of the first Tobias basses made
(finished)at the Gibson plant in Nashville. I have had this
bass for about 6 years. It is a great looking, sounding and playing bass.I guess I was lucky. I do think the earlier
Gibson/Tobias' were better that the newer ones (imo). I also had a Tobias Standard a few years ago. This was the line Tobias contracted a company in Japan to assemble the bass the final final setup was done in California. This was a really nice bass also. I sold it to get a Roscoe. Then I sold that to get a Modulus..and so on...
I have a Classic 5 from the Gibson era, probably manufactured 2 years ago. Simply put, the bass is awesome! It's got tone to die for and I can dial in a large number of sounds. Mine has a beautiful quilt maple top and walnut back and the fit, finish and quality is all there. I hear a lot about the so called large difference in the pre-Gibson models, but I find that hard to believe having seen and had my hands on some of the top of the line basses sold today. Compared to high end basses available the one I have is definetly in there.
Michael Tobias (the person, if there really is one!)apparently has his own company again (after selling the original Tobias to , ah, Gibson was it?) and it is called MTD (Michael Tobias Design) The instruments are handbuilt in Czechoslovakia.Contact the guys at BassNW for more info, this is all heresay I'm repeating from them.
I played the MTD Beast 5 side by side against a DeArmond Pilot 5 and I liked the MTD much better.( Setup of neck/frets; tone) Both were very plainly finished. The MTD was $200 more.
Mike Tobias makes hand made basses in Kingston,NY.
The Beast line is made in the Czech Rep. I think
Stuart spector does the same. Am I wrong? I am A big fan of Mikes work. Is an MTD 6 in my future??? ......I'll ask the wife.