Tobias Growler 4 String Reviews 5

I paid about $1,000 at Sam Ashe in New York City 2 years ago. This was an impulse buy. I originally went to Rudy's to buy a used Tobias 4 string (handmade in 1984), but that sold like lightening. Then I heard someone testing this model out. Wow! I'd previously ignored it because it's machine made by Gibson.

No matter where I stood in the store this bass sounded great. The bottom was huge and warm. Great tone! It's also a sparse and beautiful instrument, with a good blend of woods of various density, so higher notes sound full as well. The electronics are high quality, and generate no noise (everything is well grounded). In active mode, thumping and plucking sound huge.

The neck is too narrow! Sometimes when I'm really diggin in on stage and do some kind of slide up the E-string, the string bends over the edge of the neck causing a mute. This is frustrating, and has never happened on any of the other 5 basses I've owned. The plastic knobs are cheap, and will pop off eventually (see ya!).

The wood is beautiful. The fit and finish are precise. There were no buzzes on any of the frets. The electronics were well soldered and grounded. I've banged this thing around plenty, and it's very durable.

Ultimately, you are playing a piece of wood. Generally, the better the wood used, the better the bass sounds. Considering the price, this bass was made from very high quality wood. If you plan to spend $600-$1500 on a Warwick, Fender, MTD or Lakland, check out this bass before you spend your money.

AJ rated this unit 5 on 2002-08-01.

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