Gear

Michael Tobias

NAMM 2008 I met Michael many years ago. He has always been sympathetic with my quest to find smaller basses. He and I have been working diligently the past several years to create a petite 5 string bass that has a shorter neck, smaller body size and is lighter weight. Of course the most important thing is that the sound must have a phenomenal low end with punchy mids and clear, sweet highs. Michael was able to make this happen. Here is a photo of the first of the basses. As you can see it’s a true beauty. The body is mahogany with a spalted maple top. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. This bass is a 34″ scale with 24 frets and uses the Buzz Feiten Tuning System. The new line that Michael and I are working on features a 32″ scale bass with 24 frets and uses the same tuning system. His basses are the primary instruments I use.

www.mtdguitars.com

 

Comfort Strapp

I can’t say enough about this strap. It has literally saved my shoulder. John Wleklinski was kind enough to make me a custom strap that is shorter than all the rest of the straps. This allowed me to use the strap of my choice and have it fit my needs perfectly.The Pro Bass Series Strapps™ consists of a wider design through the shoulder area, providing added support for the typically heavier bass instrument. Neoprene pad tapers to 3″ from 3.5″, and is available in three lengths:

  • Pro Bass Series Short 33″-37″ (Adjusts one end)
  • Pro Bass Series Long 38″-45″ (Adjusts one end)
  • Pro Bass Series Extra Long 42″-54″ (Adjusts both ends)

All measurements are from the inner most set of holes.
For more info: www.comfortstrapp.com

 

 

TecAmp

 

Peak Music Stands

More about SMS 20 Collapsible Music Stand

 

Mogami Cables

www.mogamicable.com

 

Line 6 Variax 705 Bass

Working in the musical theatre world requires alot of versatility as scores are often written for a variety of basses. The current show that I am working on requires a double of electric and acoustic bass. Although I play a KYDD electric acoustic bass I find the sound to be a hybrid of acoustic and fretless rather than the sound of a true acoustic bass. More often than not this sound works well however this score required more authenticity. In looking for an alternative I discovered the Line 6 Variax bass. I went to visit Line 6 and met with my old friend Tim Godwin. I had been told that the acoustic bass sound in the Variax was fantastic but I didn’t believe it until I heard it with my own ears. I was amazed at the accuracy of the sound. The world premiere of Sister Act began at the Pasadena Playhouse where the orchestra pit was barely big enough to fit all 10 of us without adding an acoustic bass to the mix! The Line 6 Variax was the answer to my quest. During rehearsals Alan Menken (Composer), Doug Besterman (Orchestrator), Michael Kosarin (Music Supervisor) and Glen Slater (Lyricist) all asked to hear the sound of this so called “computer” bass. When I played it I watched them turn from folks needing me to prove something, to folks who’d just had it proven. In unison I watched their smiles grow from ear to ear as they verbally admitted that they couldn’t believe the sound. They were thrilled, and if they were thrilled so was I!
www.line6.com

 

KYDD

I was in a local bass store some years ago and found this bass that looked like a cross between and acoustic bass and a telescope. I wandered up to it and began to play it. As I was playing it, Abraham Laboriel came up to me and announced that I had a relationship with that bass and that I must buy it! Although he and I didn’t know each other personally, I took his advice and bought the bass. The sound is big and fat with a surprising low end. Bruce Kaminsky is the designer and has been wonderful in working with me as an endorser. The scale is shorter than most at 30 and is called the carry on model. KYDD recently came out with a 35 scale and they are now developing the full double bass scale of 41 1/2. It uses long scale flat wounds. I also use a Sans Amp Acoustic DI with the bass as it enhances the sound immensely.
www.kyddbass.com

 

Thomastik-Infeld’s Jazz Bass Strings

I use the Jazz Series bass strings made of nickel wound steel. The highly flexible steel core gives them a smooth, balanced feeling with high output and an extended durability. I use the 5 string sets with gauges of .043 to .118. They’re bright out of the box but not brittle or harsh.
www.thomastik-infeld.com

 

Endorsements

MTD | TecAmp | Comfort Strapp  | Mogami | Peak Music Stands | Yamaha | KYDD | LINE 6