Tobias is bringing production home to America with a new line of basses handcrafted in Conway, Arkansas. The new U.S.-made Tobias basses will feature exotic wood combinations, custom Bartolini electronics, neck-thru-body construction.
Tobias basses offer a wide range of tone qualities and voicings from different tone woods. Because they employ a neck-thru-body design, the composition of the neck also plays a critical role in the tone. By combining different soft and hard woods, the sound is tailored to the needs of the player, making for an extremely versatile instrument. Tobias basses are fitted with highly respected Bartolini electronics, and Bill Bartolini is working with Tobias to design new pickups for the U.S. models.
The first Tobias basses were made by luthier Mike Tobias in Orlando in 1977 and sold through his store, The Guitar Shop, later in California. The Tobias company joined the Gibson family in 1990, and production was moved to Nashville in 1992. The new USA Tobias basses will be made in a facility previously used for Baldwin grand piano production; Baldwin was acquired by Gibson in 2001. The Toby line of basses, modeled after the Tobias line and produced overseas since the mid 1990s, will continue to be offered through Gibson's internet-based direct sales division, Musicyo.com.