Tobias Growler

Gear Reviews by Forum Members. Got a great piece of gear? Tell us about it!
Post Reply
Gold Member
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:36 pm
MySpace Page: not available
Bands / Groups: Pony Jones
Location: Chch

Tobias Growler

Post by foal30 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:11 pm

this is a c.2009 Gibson Tobias Growler :shock:
it's a reissue/update on the original run which Gibson started c.2001 - 2006

Tobias is Michael Tobias who in the pantheon of Bass Making Genius probably (IMO) sits in position #3 behind Leo and Ned. He sold his Tobias company to Gibson, then started his new company Michael Tobias Design. It would be fair to say that there is a considerable fan-boy and snobbery around collecting/owning his instruments. The most looked down upon instruments are arguably the Gibson- era Tobias lines and this Growler is part of that set. I have a MTD bass and I think it is wonderful so I am certainly keen to try a Tobias before he sold to Gibson.

34" scale
1x Bartolini active pick up and pre-amp
18 volts, and powerful as all f***
lot of options with the eq/switching, this bass is no one trick pony
the older Growler model has switches and Mr Bartolini no longer makes these electronics as it was too hard work. Most punters prefer the older version too the new (knob only) Growler.

ABM Bridge and Tuners both good quality. My E string bridge saddle is broken but tuned string holds it in place.
Dual truss rod system... body end access... works well but not a job for the nervous or drunk.

Body Wood is swamp ash, Finger board is Wenge. Light and bright. Asymmetrical neck shape is cool.

these occasionally turn up on TM for 5/8's of FA. Far prefer this to any MusicMan I have played. (mind you I'd still go a pre EB or a Cutlass). potential for bargain is high, bang for buck rating on this Bass is great. I've strung it with half-rounds to tame the top end a bit, although the Bartolini always add low end heft.

If this is the least regarded Bass with the Tobias name on it then I'm well keen on a go with one of the 'good ones'.

foal says 7/10 , more if you compare it to a MusicMan.
Last edited by foal30 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Slave to the Rhythm Changes

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2312
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Tobias Growler

Post by beagle » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:52 am

Nice review ... thanks. Looks like a great bass for the $.
Interesting that this has a dual truss rod.... I had assumed that was for larger 6+ string basses.
My 6 has dual rods and it makes me nervous even thinking about tweaking it.
I don't think anyone's ever posted about how to correctly adjust a twin truss rod neck.... got any tips?
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

User avatar
Gold Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: Tobias Growler

Post by BluesBass » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:28 am

Not sure I dig the body shape... the horns look way out of proportion to the rest of body.
Still - what do I know?

Oh, and for the record... the headstock looks naff too.

User avatar
Pablo Basso
Bronze Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:50 pm
Bands / Groups: Not active
Location: Ardmore, Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Tobias Growler

Post by Pablo Basso » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:10 pm

Rickenbacker basses use dual truss rods and are highly regarded as being very stable.
1979 Kramer 250B, 1981 Kramer DMZ5000, 1978 HH Electronics VS Bassamp Combo, 1985 Jansen Crusader 220 Magnum head, Jansen SR450T poweramp, 2x TL606 cabs with Electrovoice EVM15L.

User avatar
Gold Member
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:10 pm

Re: Tobias Growler

Post by Crazykiwi » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:06 pm

I tried this, its more than a match for a stingray. In fact it's a little warmer and smoother sounding than a new stingray even. I'd definitely consider a 5 stringer for a gigging bass.
Stuff: Shuker Headless MIDI 6, Spector NS5CRFM, Self-built 5 string semi hollow headless, Status Series 1 5 string, Pedulla Pentabuzz, Alembic Series 1 graphite, '78 Musicman Stingray, Genz Benz Shuttles, Trace Hexavalve and fEARless F112 cabs

Post Reply