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Whats with MTD and Tobias?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fragcon, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. fragcon


    Jun 23, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Whats the deal with this? MTD is Michael Tobias Design right? So he made the origonal Tobias basses or what? And whats with the Tobias Toby basses they sell on www.musicyo.com and whats with all the differant sections of MTD like Saratoga and Kingston and such?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    That would be MTD. Michael Tobias designed and built the original Tobias basses back in the 80's, then sold the company to Gibson when the demand got too great for his small shop to handle. Some of that history is here:


    Gibson started producing the cheaper imported Toby series, then stopped producing the original US-made ones completely (they just went back into production this year). They created Musicyo to sell the cheaper imported version of the various lines they'd bought like Steinberger and Tobias.

    Meanwhile, Michael Tobias got back into building basses on a small scale again when he started MTD. For several years he was only producing a few handmade basses a month from his shop in upstate NY. Eventually, he also started selling some less expensive imported models, and that's what the Saratoga and Kingston are.

  4. Tung


    Jun 26, 2003

    Read :)

  5. fragcon


    Jun 23, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    lol oops, yeah MTD, I guess I thought Design started with a B
  6. fragcon


    Jun 23, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    thx that link answered alot
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Fixed the thread title for you.:)
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    imho, the only basses worth the exorbitant price tags are the original tobias basses built by mike and the current mtd basses bulit by mike. i have a pre-gibson tobias and no gibson tobias i have ever tried even comes close.
    The MTD basses he makes now are my new favorite lust toys

    wow i had to edit this post after i saw all my typos - that'll teach me to post when i'm overtired :rolleyes:
  9. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    Also, the Grendel/Beast models (Active/Passive) came about a couple of years after Post-Gibson production began but before any Korean production. These Czech-Republic-made models supplemented the USA product until the factory went under. The Grendel and Beast are essentially Saratogas except they had Poplar bodies instead of Basswood and the fretboards were Wenge instead of Maple or Rosewood. There may be a few exceptions to the configurations but the vast majority of the ones that I have seen were configured this way.
  10. Grendels were damn good instruments,
  11. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    A store near me stocked them for a while. Everyone of them that I had a the opportunity to play was an absolute dream.
  12. They were sold over here at the Bass Centre Stadium range, and I was very impressed. I would have rather had a proper MTD-badged one though.

    Russ :bassist:
  13. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    Do you remeber the prices they were selling for there? I am curious if the prices were lower w/o any MTD markings.
  14. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    Was there any difference between the Grendels with the brown headstock vs the Grendels with the body matched headstock? I have not actually seen one of the later models in the flesh.