Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Great Tobias Toby Pro-6 Makeover BEGINS! (3 months late!)

The prologue

Way back in the mists of time (2003), Andy bought a Toby Pro-6 – a fine, very reasonably priced 6 string bass. He used it for many years, on many projects, and many bands – including the epic 15,0000 crowd gig with Janeiro in 2005 – and it’s been in use for 10 years. Over time, it’s picked up a few idiosyncracies – including a GK-3B, bracketed on with the pickup glued in place using the nifty shims Roland supply.

Bless em, the Internet Archive wayback machine even still has the Musicyo site on it!

It’s got a good sound, but… it’s always been a bit quiet. I cranked it as high as I could get it - I used to use the Bass POD to boost it further, then when I got the GK3B and GR20 I ran it with the output volume turned up, which made a big difference (and told me the pickups had a pretty good intrinsic tone).

Then I got the GR55 – about 3 months ago. That unit is excellent. My eyes were opened to a world of lower latency, and the modelling… I play the toby, and a vintage precision comes out. Now it’s a rickenbacker. Outrageous. But…

the bass is now in need to upgrade. D’oh, it’s G.A.S. (gear aquisition syndrome, if you haven’t heard of it). I thought I was past that… but there it is, the old familiar feeling.

So I decided it was time for a 10 year tune-up. The whole 9 yards – fix the buzz that appeared at the 15th fret… upgrade the electronics (I started thinking about aguilar preamps)… get the GK3B fitted internally.

This was all about 3 months ago – I approached a luthier in Reading, who initially sounded enthusiastic, then went utterly silent – no response! OK… I post a message to BestBassGear on twitter, and they give me the details of… BassGear (no relation) in Twyford! These guys are much more friendly. Much more interested. And they secure the services of Julian Mullen – round about my birthday in October, we get together at BassGear HQ and talk, discussing how to fit an aguilar OBP-3, 18v of battery AND a GK-3B kit into it.

Then Roland take over a month(!) to ship it! And today… I dropped off the Toby with them! Keep tuned for how this goes – I’m truly excited that this bass, which has served me well for a long, long time, is going to get a comprehensive makeover in every department.

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