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Author Topic: Why I can live without a MTD  (Read 8772 times)

brotee

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2008, 09:00:28 AM »
Actually all top line Bass guitar Makers put a lot time in their craft. Traveling for the best woods, specking out electronics string tension and so on. (Tip)  Ken smith Owner of Ken Smith basses LTD, when he goes to the Middle East and Africa for his woods, he has a person come back with his material to make sure that what he picks out he gets. One of his top line Orchestra Bows go for 2-5 Grand, hes the Strauss Varies of  bass guitar making.

My opinion, my choice so far.

Offline bassthumpa

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2008, 12:01:20 PM »
Actually all top line Bass guitar Makers put a lot time in their craft. Traveling for the best woods, specking out electronics string tension and so on. (Tip) 

I agree... big hitters like Mike Tobias, Keith @ Roscoe, Ken Smith.... and even up and coming luthiers like Pete Skjold (www.skjolddesign.com) and Pavel de la Fuente (www.pavelmi.com)... they all have a pride in their craft that shows in their products and support.  Each instrument is unique, and some like Mike Tobias has an incredible gift of matching woods and options to the specific needs of their clients to get their perfect tone.

And to think... back in the day it was P-bass, J-bass or nothing.  We are blessed to have so many fantastic options!  The low end has come such a long way, and there is something out there for every bassist, even on a tighter budget.

Offline mjl422

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2008, 12:27:47 PM »
I agree... big hitters like Mike Tobias, Keith @ Roscoe, Ken Smith.... and even up and coming luthiers like Pete Skjold (www.skjolddesign.com) and Pavel de la Fuente (www.pavelmi.com)... they all have a pride in their craft that shows in their products and support.  Each instrument is unique, and some like Mike Tobias has an incredible gift of matching woods and options to the specific needs of their clients to get their perfect tone.

And to think... back in the day it was P-bass, J-bass or nothing.  We are blessed to have so many fantastic options!  The low end has come such a long way, and there is something out there for every bassist, even on a tighter budget.

Yeah, it's been at least 10 years since I bought a new bass (made alot of mods to old basses though).  I look now at what's available for the amount that I paid for my bass and am amazed at the quality of instruments out there.

Offline Ken Felder

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2008, 03:14:07 AM »
May be four years ago i would of prefer a  Ken Smith and a David Eden Rig. but thats When i was Always out on the road giging hard playing for evrery Body. But now I Have A Family, a mortage And like floded Said. i cant see my self paying for a instrament that cost the same or more than my mortage. i just cant see it. But thats just me.  i dont need a high end bass. Some pepole think a high end bass will make them sound better. but thats not true at all. one of the baddist bass player in my area plays a squier four sting jazz bass that he had  fixed up. He Also had a pre gibson Tobias five.and End up Selling it. I think the yamhas TRB Seris are a best. When i Did A concert With Mrs. Norwood, I Played The TRB Six String It Sounded just as  Good as any high dollar Bass thats out there.If your good enough you can make any bass sound good. thats just my take on it.  Keep Thumping Ken!

Offline jmain

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2008, 09:28:40 PM »
yeah Tims a great guy.

It just amazes me how his basses sound. 

I think that the J(unk) 5 is capable of producing the dreaded "BROWN NOTE"..HAHAHAHHAA

I'm digging those!  I gotta look into this some more for that 'one day' down the road type of thing.

Glad you found the sound you were looking for!!
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Offline ptidwell

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2008, 02:07:54 AM »
Once you understand how much time Mike Tobias puts into making just ONE MTD, you'd understand the price, which seems to be the real issue here. First of all, he actually takes trips to buy woods, the price of which are directly affected by things like oil prices, civil wars in African countries, (where he gets a lot of his wood from!), and other things as well. Secondly he builds them for the most part, by himself in a workshop outside his house, (sometimes a guy named Chris comes by and helps him out). He spends about a to make about three basses. The Preamp he uses is is made for his basses. Having said all that, EVERY MTD is unique, (I'm talking about 635, 535, and 435's), so every one sounds different, different wood combos, neck woods, etc. Many of his basses are made to order, so he'll make wood combination that you want. The problem with that is, MOST people dont know diddley about how different woods sound, so they end up picking something that they regret later! The best to do is tell him the tone you're looking for, he understands you, and he makes it! A lot of people ask me the wood combinations of my basses, I tell them call Mike, cuz I don't know! All I know is he knows my sound and he makes it.  I understand the issue of price, but the bottom line is, a Ford don't cost as much as a BMW, it's a good car, and will get you from point A to point B, but make no mistake, it'ts NOT a BMW! MTD basses are the standard that most luthiers go by. I've had at some point in my life owned or played most brand of basses, but MTD is that best  bass I've ever touched in terms of quality, versatility of sound, and customer service. Mike Tobias stands behind every bass he makes, he remembers everyone ever made, and you can call him on the phone and talk to him. I love Fenders, Smiths too, I own them, but for me it's MTD4LYFE!!!

Andrew,
I am so glad you replied here, you hit the nail right on the head. Mike is not only one of the best (if not the best) luthiers on the planet, but his customer service is second to none. He's returned my calls while on vacation with his wife, and got me what I needed. Someone mentioned Roscoe which I thought sounded nothing like an MTD, never got to try there customer service I had the SKB 3006 for a month and sold it to get a (you guessed it) a MTD 635/24. Love my F-Bass and George is another great luthier, but his customer service is not on the same level as Mike's, now need we talk about some of the replies in this thread? An Ibanez being equal to an MTD that may be one's opinion and yes you are entitled to your own opinion,  but it's hard to compare a hand crafted precision instrument with one that is CNC'ed same for Scheter, Lakland, and Fender all of which were mentioned. Hands5 said his formerly owned  a 535, and a 635 that were better pieces of furniture, he even went as far as too destroy a masterpiece (IMO of course) and put Nordstrand pickup in a MTD. Now I own a Nordy vJ5
and I think the pickups are great, but I would not pull the pickups out of my MTD's to put nordy's in it. Floaded27 said he won't go on tour, play huge concerts or be a well known recording artist, but would rather make a $100.00 bass sound good. I am the senior pastor and my touring days are far behind me, I only play with the praise team these days, but my hands and my ears both feel and hear the difference between a hand crafted MTD than something on GC wall. Andrew said he doesn't know what woods he has, but he knows what sound he hears in his head and Mike knows how to give you that sound. Now I asked Mike what the woods were that Andrew was playing on MTD4LYFE, now mind you I already had poplar/myrtle top/wenge/wenge, 535, Ash/Crouch Walnut/Ash/Maple 635/24 both had completely different sounds. Mike said the bass in the track was Tulip wood with a maple neck and rosewood board it's the one in my avatar, different sounding from the other two. If you listen to the MTD4LYFE track and Hubert Eaves IV on Erykah Badu Live you will hear the diversity of MTD, while maintaining the highest quality of craftsmanship in the world. Now maybe this is about price, yet Smith's were mentioned also, and they are pricy as well, but I can identify a Smith tone easier than a MTD but all this is just my opinion, and like the rest of you I am entitled to it. That's what makes these discussions fun.
BTW, Andrew if your still reading, when is the CD going to drop, I thought that was going to get done while Chaka was out. Hope to hear it soon. Let me know if you got something happening her in LA Baked Potato anytime soon?
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Offline hands5

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2008, 12:30:00 PM »
Andrew,
I am so glad you replied here, you hit the nail right on the head. Mike is not only one of the best (if not the best) luthiers on the planet, but his customer service is second to none. He's returned my calls while on vacation with his wife, and got me what I needed. Someone mentioned Roscoe which I thought sounded nothing like an MTD, never got to try there customer service I had the SKB 3006 for a month and sold it to get a (you guessed it) a MTD 635/24. Love my F-Bass and George is another great luthier, but his customer service is not on the same level as Mike's, now need we talk about some of the replies in this thread? An Ibanez being equal to an MTD that may be one's opinion and yes you are entitled to your own opinion,  but it's hard to compare a hand crafted precision instrument with one that is CNC'ed same for Scheter, Lakland, and Fender all of which were mentioned. Hands5 said his formerly owned  a 535, and a 635 that were better pieces of furniture, he even went as far as too destroy a masterpiece (IMO of course) and put Nordstrand pickup in a MTD. Now I own a Nordy vJ5
and I think the pickups are great, but I would not pull the pickups out of my MTD's to put nordy's in it. Floaded27 said he won't go on tour, play huge concerts or be a well known recording artist, but would rather make a $100.00 bass sound good. I am the senior pastor and my touring days are far behind me, I only play with the praise team these days, but my hands and my ears both feel and hear the difference between a hand crafted MTD than something on GC wall. Andrew said he doesn't know what woods he has, but he knows what sound he hears in his head and Mike knows how to give you that sound. Now I asked Mike what the woods were that Andrew was playing on MTD4LYFE, now mind you I already had poplar/myrtle top/wenge/wenge, 535, Ash/Crouch Walnut/Ash/Maple 635/24 both had completely different sounds. Mike said the bass in the track was Tulip wood with a maple neck and rosewood board it's the one in my avatar, different sounding from the other two. If you listen to the MTD4LYFE track and Hubert Eaves IV on Erykah Badu Live you will hear the diversity of MTD, while maintaining the highest quality of craftsmanship in the world. Now maybe this is about price, yet Smith's were mentioned also, and they are pricy as well, but I can identify a Smith tone easier than a MTD but all this is just my opinion, and like the rest of you I am entitled to it. That's what makes these discussions fun.
BTW, Andrew if your still reading, when is the CD going to drop, I thought that was going to get done while Chaka was out. Hope to hear it soon. Let me know if you got something happening her in LA Baked Potato anytime soon?
Peace, Love and Jesus!             

Offline hands5

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2008, 12:43:00 PM »
and  what you've mention what Gooch said is exactly why I don't own my MTD's anymore because my ears had changed,and the sound in my head ( 60-70 Jazz bass sound) was what I was hearing, not the MTD which  ironically were pretty much the same basses with the same type of woods that you have, now I do every now/then will take  out my preGibson Tobias ( which were the best basses Mike ever made IMO ),but the MTD and the Tobias are nothing alike.But the MTD is still no doubt a great bass,its just not my cup of tea.

Offline ptidwell

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2008, 02:59:25 PM »
and  what you've mention what Gooch said is exactly why I don't own my MTD's anymore because my ears had changed,and the sound in my head ( 60-70 Jazz bass sound) was what I was hearing, not the MTD which  ironically were pretty much the same basses with the same type of woods that you have, now I do every now/then will take  out my preGibson Tobias ( which were the best basses Mike ever made IMO ),but the MTD and the Tobias are nothing alike.But the MTD is still no doubt a great bass,its just not my cup of tea.

Hands5,
I hope you did not take my comments to be a slam against you. I totally understand what you are saying, unfortunately this process of finding the sound you hear in your head can be costly, especially if you decide to modify an instrument tying to capture that  sound. That may work on a less expensive bass, but a custom hand crafted bass to me is a no, no, on modification. That's why I moved the Roscoe so quick, the workmanship and quality were top notch, I even liked the tone, but the neck on the sixer was a bit to chunky for my not so large hands, while the MTD felt very comfortable in my hands and the sound was right to my ears. My F-Bass BN5 actually felt and sounded great, but I found the nitro finish to wear off easily, so I refinished it with poly, only to find the preamp to have low output as compared to my other basses, so it gave way to a MTD 535 that I didn't keep because I already had a wenge/wenge MTD although with a different body wood I wanted more versatility. I discover that is was much easier moving these basses and getting top resale value for them when they have not been modified. So after much trial, i have come to find MTD, and Skjold to be my tone oh and my Nordy vJ5 PJ/JJ. I am sure I will try other basses, but I know what gooch means when he says MTD4LYFE. We all experience the quest for the ultimate tone, that is in our head and one way or another, and over time it is going to be costly. I know someone who modified a MIM Fender Jazz he bought it new for $299. When he finished modifying it he had $1200 invested in it. I told him he could have gotten a used custom shop for that, but to each his own.
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Offline floaded27

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2008, 03:57:45 PM »
ptid, i get what u sayin and 1200 dollars worth of mods for a 300 bass is a bit insane. But do you think that it wasnt just about cost, it was about the whole joy of doin what u want puttin in what you feel? the experience.

the whole big selling point about the MTD, more than the tone, as you guys mentioned (and read the previous posts) is about how mike hears what you want, mike decides whats best for your tone, mike goes out and picks the wood, mike chops down his own trees (added for humorous effect, (no offence mike LOL) ). but all that goes for YOU. so why would someone wants someone else's used? he didnt do all that for them, he hand crafted that for the person thats selling it. now for some people thats good enough and they'll swoop in on that deal in a minute. for others its like buying a custom shop car that was customized for "that other guy over there". it has no special thing about it. and i know several musicians - some treat everything they buy as the next piece of equipment, others treat everything they acquire as a part of them. those guys dont want someone elses part.

for me, my budget is going to be determined by my skill level. and that only makes sense. just like im starting practicing keyboard to enhance my bass playing. I didnt go get the $4000 yamaha. i got me a $150 keyboard. and i know the $4K joint is better, but does that really matter when all ur playing is the major and minor scales and major and minor triads? nope. all the synth effects and precision sounds in the world, if u cant play a c-major chord, you cant play a c-major chord. period. if i cant lay down the bass proficiently as i should or create musical ideas as i would like to, a more expensive bass isnt going to help that.

so for the "gotta have that great tone" guys, then this whole discussion is really for ya'll, but i think ya'll pullin some people into the hype who are not even at that level. for the rest of us, (well maybe i should speak for myself) i hear of all of these names (some of them look horrible in my opinion anyway) but none of them are even on my radar. And if anyone disagrees, the first time your kids say "i wanna learn bass", put Mike on speaker and let them tell him what tone they want. LOL

that was a fun post. LOL
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Offline dhagler

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2008, 04:12:47 PM »
Floaded speaks for a lot of us, the guys who are holding it down at (insert name of church here) every Sunday, playing for an audience that wouldn't know Tone if he introduced himself to them.  I honestly can say that I might not know him either!  I play a $325 MIM Fender Fretless Jazz and a $150 SX Fretted Jazz through a $300 Fender Bassman 100 and an $80 Crate BX-50 (I know some of you are cringing as you read this).  If someone let me play a MTD through a Genz Benz rig then I would probably hear a difference but hearing that difference wouldn't cause me to take out a second mortgage because, at the end of it all, I am still going back to Weeping Mary Baptist Church and be drowned out by my Clavinova player! ::)

To mod or not to mod, which strings, how often should you change strings, which amp, which head, what settings on the amp, what settings on the pre-amp, which cab....to each his own.  Tone is in the ear of the beholder, and assessing the quality of it is subjective at best.  And there are way too many variables to go chasing windmills.

My two cents, humbly submitted.

Offline ptidwell

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2008, 05:34:27 PM »
This is an interesting thread. Floaded27 you bring up a good point I have modified a bass just because I wanted to try something different and to have the experience. The danger in that is you may not be happy with the results after you have spent you money. Yet I would never do that to a boutique bass costing a few grand. It is easier to sell it someone will be eager to buy your custom I have bought a few basses that list for 4500-5500 for under 3K either because someone fell on hard times wanted something new or different. Saved me $$$$ for a fine crafted instrument. I have also ordered basses to my specifications from Mike, Carey, George, and Pete and the excitement of watching it come together for me is greater than modifying an instrument. However, I understand that this is not the way for everyone from a financial standpoint and or musicianship standpoint, a lot of people here are everyday working people who love the Lord and get great pleasure out of give him the glory with the gear they are blessed to have. When I played professionally it was on keyboards for the most part, bass was my second instrument, but I acquired an ear for the quality instruments. I began playing bass at the church when the two previous bass players went on tour leaving the band bottomless.  Now I could probably play on any CNC'ed bass from Sam Ash or GC, but I prefer and enjoy playing MTD's through Epifani, Aguilar, and ThunderFunk, because I am well established, more mature, and have a lot more patience than I use to. Playing key i would buy a new board for 3-4K every three years or so. A bass has a lot more longevity the a keyboard and hold their value much better. I also realize that Mike's work is sough after worldwide. Where does the value of his instruments go once he's gone (he's no spring chicken, although I wish nothing like that upon him anytime soon) so it is also an investment. I am teaching my 7 year old grandson how to play, these masterpieces will be his one day with a value as a 62 Fender J.
bottom line high-end may not be for everyone because not everyone will be able to appreciate or utilize some of these types of instruments made by great luthiers, for them a Brownville may suffice. It takes time to understand and learn woods and their attributes pickup placement, the windings and all that goes into build a precision instrument  But let he that have an ear to hear, hear.   
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Offline jeremyr

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2008, 07:07:33 PM »

bottom line high-end may not be for everyone because not everyone will be able to appreciate or utilize some of these types of instruments made by great luthiers, for them a Brownville may suffice.


as a mod of the bass section I'm tempted to try and get you a 3 day suspension for saying that anyone will suffice with a Brownville.......ROFL ;D :D
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Offline floaded27

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2008, 10:06:57 PM »
as a mod of the bass section I'm tempted to try and get you a 3 day suspension for saying that anyone will suffice with a Brownville.......ROFL ;D :D

im "spittin my juice out" laughin. even i got an ear beyond one of those. LOL

@ptid, i get what u sayin. i would never mod a bass i paid a few grand for. if i didnt get what i wanted in that few grand then i shouldnt have bought it. plus i would think that the maker would be offended if u modified a custom.
i guess i have a certain viewpoint being from Brooklyn,NY where a lot of people tend to put flash over substance. Guy 1: "Yo I just got this new MTD. It cost way more than your bass plus it got better tone and everything." Guy 2: "Wow. So let me hear it" Guy 1: "I dont know how to play yet"
As a youth leader in my church i constantly have to tell the young teenagers about these kinds of things (they wanna be all about the flash and hype) so after a while i tend to look at things in a certain way. i have no doubt that they're great instruments (all of the names mentioned) but as long as no one is made to feel that they cant be great without one (the main reason why people fall into hype in any situation), then im a happy camper.
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Offline Ken Felder

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2008, 04:49:33 AM »
Floaded speaks for a lot of us, the guys who are holding it down at (insert name of church here) every Sunday, playing for an audience that wouldn't know To mod or not to mod, which strings, how often should you change strings, which amp, which head, what settings on the amp, what settings on the preamp, which cab....to each his own.  Tone is in the ear of the beholder, and assessing the quality of it is subjective at best.  And there are way too many variables to go chasing windmills.

My two cents, humbly submitted.

I thought i was the only one who notice that Some of people Talk about thhose kind of things on this site .    you hit it right on the head . Its the Bass Player Not the bass.

Offline hands5

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2008, 10:03:30 AM »
Hands5,
I hope you did not take my comments to be a slam against you. I totally understand what you are saying, unfortunately this process of finding the sound you hear in your head can be costly, especially if you decide to modify an instrument tying to capture that  sound. That may work on a less expensive bass, but a custom hand crafted bass to me is a no, no, on modification. That's why I moved the Roscoe so quick, the workmanship and quality were top notch, I even liked the tone, but the neck on the sixer was a bit to chunky for my not so large hands, while the MTD felt very comfortable in my hands and the sound was right to my ears. My F-Bass BN5 actually felt and sounded great, but I found the nitro finish to wear off easily, so I refinished it with poly, only to find the preamp to have low output as compared to my other basses, so it gave way to a MTD 535 that I didn't keep because I already had a wenge/wenge MTD although with a different body wood I wanted more versatility. I discover that is was much easier moving these basses and getting top resale value for them when they have not been modified. So after much trial, i have come to find MTD, and Skjold to be my tone oh and my Nordy vJ5 PJ/JJ. I am sure I will try other basses, but I know what gooch means when he says MTD4LYFE. We all experience the quest for the ultimate tone, that is in our head and one way or another, and over time it is going to be costly. I know someone who modified a MIM Fender Jazz he bought it new for $299. When he finished modifying it he had $1200 invested in it. I told him he could have gotten a used custom shop for that, but to each his own.
Blessings!         

  No my brother no offense taken, I was just saying that the sound of the MTD ( and proably alot of what I call modern sounding basses) just isnt my cup of tea anymore,I even got to try out a Nordy J5 with both the fat stacks/and a real nice sounding passive one with just the regular single coils  and the one with the singles coils I like better,but the radius ( 12') and the string spacing ( 20 ) no thanks.I did have a F bass about 2yrs ago,and although it sounded good,it still was a little soft in the volume area,funny thing is I still do have a couple of high/end basses hanging around ( Sadowsky MS5/ Atelier Z, and believe it or not a Cort/Elrick Josh Paul-that my son has pretty much taken it over ) that I'll play,but my MIM 97 Jazz Bass/with the Dimarzio ultra J pickups is getting most of the work

Offline michaeldalton7

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2008, 02:49:37 AM »
Sound and Tone is going to preference. I have an MTD 535. I actually spent 3 years of researching different "gospel" leaned bass guitars and found that the gospel industry bass players were using MTD or Ken Smith. Without trying my MTD before purchase, I was very fearful of not liking what I ordered. So I asked Mike himself and he explained the tone to the T. Everything I put in words he delivered in my bass. You have to be careful what you tell him. If you say something like I want a fender jazz bass sounds he'll be honest with you and tell you to purchase a fender jazz. If you say I want an Andrew Gouche bass. He's going to tell you a poplar body, myrtle burl top, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. He is the master of tone.

Understand the MTD are very hifi. My opinion, I would call them thin, but I know what you are trying to convey. I have a modified Ibanez SR505. I installed an Aguilar OBP 3 Pre, Bart PU, and a Hipshot tuner. Much warmer than the MTD but it's the wood not the electronics although they have subtle part. Mike told me that it's typically best to play the instrument your going to buy before you buy. An instrument that is strong acoustically will be strong (providing decent electronics). If you play without an amp and cab and you find a fluttery B string with week punch. More and likely when plugged in you'll get the same results. I know, I've done this. I have an Tobias Pro Toby 6 (Cheap Tobias from a website that used to exist musicyo.com) and I hated the tone. I installed customer Bart PU's, custom Bart Pre, and the sound didn't get noticeably better. It was what I call thin. It was the wood combo.

For me to be happy this is my recipe:

MTD 535-21Fret, Ash Body, Walnut Top, Ash neck (chords and tapping woo-hoo), and birdseye maple (slappy) coupled with Epifani UL502 and Epifani 2 UL2 4X10.

Offline Torch7

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Re: Why I can live without a MTD
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2008, 10:45:40 AM »
Welcome to the site, MichaelDalton7
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