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What is the difference in MTD basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by waytoodeep03, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. The Saratoga, Kingston, Grendel and Z. They all are in the same price range. Can someone please tell me what the differences are in all them. Do they all sound different from each other? Is one made better than the other?

    Im real confused as to all these basses:confused:
  2. rodneyat


    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I will take my stab at this one but may not be 100% correct. The Kingston line has 3 models: The Artist, Heir and Z. All are made in Korea. The Artist series has only 1 MM style pickup, the Heir has one MM and one J pickup and finally the Z series has two humbuckers. The Z series has much the same setup and specs at the MTD American stuff but is made in Korea. The Grendel and Saratoga lines are no longer made and I believe Grendel basses were made in the Czech Republic and the Saratoga was made in Korea. I really do not remember the specs on the Grendel or Saratoga basses though. I do believe the Grendel Series ended up being what the Kingston series is today.
  3. Hmm so is the construction quality the same across the board or are the czech models comparable to USA in quality? These are mid level basses correct?
  4. I think the Czech models are definitely comparable to the American series. I have an MTD Beast, which is like the Grendel but a passive bass.
  5. I just modified my Korean made Heir 5. Took off all the finish and refinished it in Baby Blue nitro. Changed the pickups, bridge and tuners and, oh boy, this bass changed completely! It has the best low B string I've ever tried in my life. The sound is very growly, it doesn't remind me my other US made MTDs (because the MM+J pickups sound different) but the overall feeling and quality is pretty close. Which wasn't the case before refinishing. The thick finish on cheaper basses kills the natural vibration of the wood and makes them dull. So, if you have some extra time and skills you can get extremely good sound out of those cheap MTDs. :)
  6. I have a Grendel 5er. Actually contacted Mr. Tobias himself and he said it was an Artist model as denoted in the SN (xxx76A). 35" scale (early ones were 34" scale I believe), Hand crafted in the Czech Republic, MTD logo instead of the Grendel logo, Wenge fingerboard, Bart Jazz Pups, Bart 9v pre (mine has been modded). Beautiful flamed maple top. Not sure of the electronics in the Kingstons.

    Fit and finish are excellent. This is a very well made bass! I cannot compare it to a USA model because I have never played one (probably never will either as I don't have that kind of cabbage laying around).

    Overall, I love this bass. Mine can be active or passive (although I prefer passive), and the low B is KILLER! The tone is amazing and very versatile.

    I would say it is probably more comparable to the new ZX bass with barts than the Kingston Z5 with the Korean stuff. But not having played either, that is just a guess.

    So in summary, I am very pleased with my MTD. As always, YMMV.


    Attached Files:

    feschyn likes this.
  7. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    What did you change the pickups to - Nordstrand, Duncans?
  8. I have a Saratoga 5 that is the same as yours, except made in Korea and no passive switch. I love this bass, but have been contemplating selling it and getting a red Z5 with a maple fretboard and upgrading the electronics.
    bassguyky48 likes this.

  9. Actually I was planning to swap to Nordstrands but finally let one of our local builder just rewound the existing pickups. They sound good! A lot (!) better than the originals. :)
  10. PS! Nobody believes that it's completely passive! It sounds so good. :p

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