Tobias Toby-Pro 5B Custom Reviews 5

I have been playing bass guitar since 1986. Before I played electric guitar, which I also still play). I have been in several bands, and have gigged numerous times with crowds as large as 5000 people when we played as cover band of the spanish "El mago de oz" in 2001. Now I do not play in a band because of the work and the family. I have built a small home studio at home and I join colleagues to play for fun.

I bought this bass from Musicyo for 399 $ (yes, the price is correct!!!). With the shipping to Spin and the customs I paid a total of 450 Euros (clearly still worth it).

The construction is flawless. The unit arrived in perfect conditions. The strings had some kind of oil (?) that I did not liked so I changed them for my favourites (DR) and the result was incredible. The sound if full, but not excessive (I play a Warwick Corvette $$, so I know what "excessive" means). Most bass guitars can produce good bass sounds, by themselves or aided by some external eq. However the beauty of natural midrange and highs is practically impossible to get with some eq-based treatment. In this case I particularly like the beautiful highs and the soft growl of the Tobias' midranges. With the original strings the sound of the high D and G strings was very different to the lower three strings. Maybe they were not from the same pack (?). Once replaced by the DRs it is much more progressive, but there is still a slight change, which I believe is intentional. The change does not produce a bad effect, on the contrary, once you get used to it and adapt some of your playing, it becomes an added tool (that's why I think it has been done on purpose by the designers).

The unit is a bit heavy, but given the ergonomic design and how comfortably it fit with the body, this will only be a problem when you transport your Toby.

This bass is extremely well-crafted. My unit was completely flawless. No single element had any sign of quick and mass production. I do not know if the "Custom" word in the name means they are fully hand-made, but given the result I would not be surprised if it was so. The neck was straight and the strings low as I like it so it was not necessary for me to adjust the unit, except for the low B which was a bit too high. One interesting thing to note is that after a very long trip (from Memphis, USA to Malaga, Spain), crossing the atlantic in a plane, etc. the bass was in tune when I received it !!! It was tuned exactly half note down, which I think was done in purpose. The hardware used (machine heads, bridge, ...) is not top-of the line, but the bridge is very solid and very flexible in terms of possible adjustments, and the machine heads are soft and keep the tunning perfectly. If I have to mention something on the negative side, the only thing I can think of is that the Tobias logo is a sticker. Although it is very nice and seems to be well applied, for me it is a negative aspect. After the nice work with the construction and the wood, this was quite easy, so I don't know the reason why they decided to use a sticker.

In summary, a professional instrument that has an impressive look and excellent overall quality. The sound is very versatile, and the active preamp does not make the sound "unnatural" in any setting. I would have gladly paid twice the price for it.

Antonio Maņa rated this unit 5 on 2006-09-16.

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