Trying to get Tobias Classic tone. Help!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by EricTheEZ1, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I played a pre-Gibson Tobias Classic 5 at a local Guitar Center. I almost crapped myself. That tone was the most incredibly smooth and sexy tone I've ever heard.

    Now, I know that pickups aren't the only tonal contributor. However, I would like to know what pickups I can get that fit the EMG 40 Shape housing and get close to that type of tone.

    Basically, the tone was extremely smooth (not growly), but not muddy in the least. Once the right places were boosted/cut the slap tone was incredible as well. Those are the only natural tones of the pickup that I need. Everything is secondary.

    This is the bass I'm working with. CLICK HERE Maple body, maple/wenge neck, rosewood fingerboard.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Bartolinis are a big part of that Tobias sound!
  3. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I know. The thing is, I'm trying to figure out if I can get the tone of those "Tobias style" Bartolini's in that EMG 40 housing. I guess that Bartolini's version of EMG 40 is the M4 shape.

    These are my options. Any advice?

    5-string M4 soapbars - EMG40 soapbar shape - available in matched pairs - available in Black only

    Classic Bass Series - up to 72mm string width at the pickup top
    M45CBC dual coil - powerful lows and low-mids - bright treble $ 120
    Original Series
    72M45C dual coil - deep tone $ 135
    72M45M split coil - deep tone $ 135
    xxM45M split coil - deep tone - extended width - low curvature (64 to 80 mm st. width) $ 140
    xxM45C quad coil - deep tone - extended width - low curvature (64 to 80 mm st. width) $ 181

  4. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    ,and the TCT preamp that is mated with these pickups.It is still the very reason that I still own mined,and sold my MTD 635.
  5. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Do those earlier Tobias basses use stock Bartolinis? I know that all the post-Gibson basses I've tried have a very different tone than that pre-Gibson I loved.

  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Mine say MT5C on them, and seem to be a version of the Bartolini RT. Unfortunately, the TCT pre is long-gone from my bass, and I'm going to replace the current pre with a Bart NTMB.
  7. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I still think thay you can order the tct preamp for the pregibson Tobiases if that is the preamp you want.
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I have a Tobias Classic....I also have a Toby Pro5 that went through what you are trying to do.

    1. The Toby Pro routs are kind of odd ball in sized and the pickups your looking for are smaller than the rout but available along with the old Tobias pre-amp from bartolini.

    2. Installing a bart HR 5.4 is a HUGE improvment.

    3. Taking the existing preamp out and running the pickups straight to the jack passive is a HUGE improvment. The current pickups are a little dark and not at all Tobias sounding but WAY tighter on the low end (and Louder) with nothing at all for a preamp. I found the pickups to be as loud without the preamp as the bass was with the preamp maxed. Thats how much sound that pre sucks out of your signal. You can buy the exact pre from stew-mac for about 30 bucks.

    4. My Tobias Classic sounds exactly like a Tobias Classic unplugged and NOTHING at all like the Toby unplugged so I think build and wood is a lot bigger component then people generally give it credit for. The sound you'r looking for is in the bass not the electronics. The electronics just reproduce whats already there not create it.

    5. If you looked at a NEW Tobias Classic, Thats a completely different pre amp set up then whats available and listed on the Bartolini site as the "tobias" set up. The newer model has an extra module for the adjustable slap contour.

    I got my HR 5.4 from Gard at bass central and it was well worth the investment didn't get me were I wanted to go which I think is where you're trying to get to. I didn't change the pickups becuse I didn't want to look at an eighth inch gap all the way around them. That may get you a little closer than I got but...what your looking for just ain't there to begin with.

    If you're looking to repropuce that exact electronics package, it's going to take someone like Gard (and bass central) who has juice with Pat Bartolini to get the info and parts that you need. You also need to think in terms of oh...close to $400.