Epiphone Introduces Tobias-Designed Toby Deluxe-V Bass Guitar

Editor’s note: A reader pointed out to us a statement posted by Michael Tobias regarding this bass. We’ve added that statement to the end of this article.

Epiphone Toby Deluxe-V Bass

Epiphone has unveiled the Toby Deluxe-V, a 5-string version of the bass originally designed by Michael Tobias. The new instrument shares many of the same features of the last year’s reintroduced Toby Deluxe IV, including an asymmetrical neck profile, Tobias SCR and SCT split humbucker pickups, and the Active Tonexpressor Bass Enhancement control.

The Toby Deluxe-V sports a radiata body, hard rock maple neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. Toby basses introduced the asymmetrical neck profile, which means the neck is thinnter on the lower side than on the upper side. Epiphone explains that though it feels thinner to the touch, it still retains enough thickness to keep the neck strong and stable.

Controls on the bass include Master Volume, Pickup Blend, Master EQ, and the Active Tonexpressor Bass Enhancement Control, which both boosts and cuts bass and treble frequencies simultaneously to add bottom end without becoming boomy.

Available in Ebony, Translucent Red, and Vintage Sunburst finishes, the Epiphone Toby Deluxe-V is shipping soon with a street price of around $299.99.

Epiphone Toby Deluxe-V Bass Photo Gallery:

Epiphone Toby Deluxe-V Bass Specs:

Neck:Hard Maple
Neck Shape:Tobias Asymmetrical Neck Profile
Neck Joint:Bolt-On, Extended with Recessed Bolts/Washers
Scale Length:34″
Fingerboard Radius:12″
Nut Width:1.90″
Neck Pickup:Tobias SCR Split-Humbucker
Bridge Pickup:Tobias SCT Split Humbucker
Controls:Neck Volume, Pickup Blend w/Center Detent, Master EQ, Active Tonexpressor Bass Enhancement Control w/9-Volt Battery and Back Cavity Cover
Knobs:Knurled, All-Metal
Bridge:Flush-Mount, Low-Profile, Fully Adjustable
Machine Heads:Deluxe Diecast Tuners, 17:1 ratio
Truss Rod:Metal, Fully Adjustable
Truss Rod Cover:ABS - Black at Body End
Warranty:Epiphone Limited Lifetime

For more information:

Update: Michael Tobias made this statement following the news of this instrument’s release:

An important message from Michael Tobias of MTD Bass:

While the Toby instruments being marketed by Epiphone/Gibson today are likely based on the “Killer B” that I did design while at Tobias (Gibson) in the early 90’s, they no longer bear my fingerprints. I have had nothing to do with the choice of component selection, quality standards, or manufacturing tolerances.

There are certainly no “classic Tobias Design” pick ups (the original Tobias round top pick up shells were suggested by me but the coil forms and winding/voicing was by Bill Bartolini. The pick ups on the Toby bass appear to be “Fender” style J bass shells).

I have had no relationship and no collaboration with Gibson or Epiphone since the end of my agreement with them at the end of 1993.

Mike Tobias

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Share your thoughts

  1. Not a fan of the toby line. Something about the body shape just turns me off of them.

  2. I really love it’s lines… Best of all is that it’s still stylish and elegant for its 5 strings!

  3. I have to say I like these quite a bit, and a very reasonable price. On a different note, a few months back I realized a cheapy bass I own has a headstock design taken from Tobias’.

  4. WTF is “radiata”?

  5. I play the MTD (Michael Tobias designed)basses, and these have nothing to do with a real tobias, over than the fact that gibson bought the name. Iv’e also seen a ton of trouble with the epiphone bass stuff. pass………….

    • I suppose we should take their efforts to cash in on the MTD Kingston success as a compliment but I sure feel sorry for those that think they are getting an Michael Tobias Design and aren’t.

  6. Mike Ball

    I had always liked Tobias instruments. So when I saw these introduced I was so excited that is until I played one.