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What are your thoughts on Gibson-made Tobias basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Trace Nut, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. I've recently been given the option of buying a Gibson-made Toby Pro 5. I know they aren't what they were before Gibson bought them out but are they still a quality bass? I've never played one but I've heard mp3's and they sound awesome to me. I'd love to hear your input on the matter.:confused:
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Are you getting it from MusicYo (http://www.musicyo.com)? I've sometimes seen folks trying to sell them on Ebay for hundreds of dollars above the price of a new one....

    In any event, I'll assume you know that the "Toby"s are Korean-made basses, and not what folks usually mean when they talk about "Gibson Tobiases".

  3. I do know that Tobys are Korean made now and no I won't be getting it from MusicYoYo.....LOL
    I have a friend that is a Gibson dealer and may be able to get me one at his cost. are they worth the cash or no......give me your thoughts:confused:
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I've seen Gibson Tobiases in the past and they were lightweight and well balanced. To me, the easiest way to tell between the US Gibsons and the MusicYo basses is that the US models have Bartolinis installed.

    I think that once Tobiases weren't made by Tobias people, they became much less desirable, mainly because the hands-on aspect was gone. Tobias suffered more than Fender because unlike Leo Fender, Mike Tobias is a respectable builder in his own right.

    Nowadays, I'd say you should get an MTD if you really want a Tobias. or a Grendel. If you just like the Tobias shape, though, sure, go for it.
  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I played a Korean Tobias in a pawn shop a few weeks ago.. It was built solid.. but the electronics and the pickups left me feeling empty inside.

    On the other hand, USA Tobys are great... and I would look into getting an MTD Kingston or Heir bass if you want a good bass at a decent price..
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, the Toby Pros are kind of interesting, since they're one of the few neck-throughs with wenge neck that you can get in that price range. It's been a long time since I played one (long before MusicYo was around), but they seemed pretty decent to me. I don't really see much to distinguish the bolt-on Toby Deluxes from any number of other cheap basses, though.

    On both basses, the electronics are kind of the weak point, I think--that's often the case with cheaper Korean instruments.

    Whether they're "worth the cash" depends on exactly how good a deal you're getting, but if I were getting a 5 in the $500-$600 range (like the MusicYo price on the Pro), I'd look at an MTD Kingston or Heir instead. If you're getting it for a lot cheaper, well, that might be another story.

  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a Toby Pro 4, and love it. The construction is amazing for the price, and it plays like a dream. The only problem, as some have already said, are the electronics. They sound good, but are very low volume, lower than any of my passive basses. I replaced the preamp with a Bartolini, and the bass sounds awesome now. Even with the original electronics I think they are good basses, though. I paid less than $500 for mine, on sale from MusicYo, and I couldn't have found any other bass of the same quality for that price. I spent another $160 on the preamp, and have a great bass that is the equivalent of a $1500 bass IMHO. The attention to detail is amazing for that price. They have threaded inserts on the control panel cover, instead of screws going directly into the wood, for example. The body is solid flame maple, not just a thin top. The 5 piece neck is Wenge with maple stripes, and is very thin and comfortable to play. A good bass. That is my Toby in my avatar.

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