New Tobias Growler Bass from Gibson USA

Started by famed luthier Michael Tobias in the mid ’70s, Tobias basses have always found their way into the hands of world-renowned bassists like Bootsy Collins, Jimmy Haslip, Dave Pomeroy, Dave Baumberger, David Bonk, Dean Back, Mario Guini, Vernon Heard, Duane Propes, Kern Brantley, Del Atkins and Volley Craig. Thirty-plus years later, the quality and precision of a Tobias bass has reached new heights in the new 2009 Limited Run Series Tobias Growler from Gibson USA.

Starting with its solid, multi-piece swamp ash body, the Tobias Growler is one of the most resonant basses ever made by Gibson USA. Swamp ash tonewood is characterized by huge, open pores and soft layers, which give each new Growler a deep reverberation and fullness of sound across the entire frequency spectrum. The Growler’s tone is hard to match. Like all the guitars from the Limited Run Series, only 350 will be produced and distributed. Each one comes with a black Gibson hardshell case and a special Limited Run Series certificate of authenticity.

The Tobias Growler gets its power from one of the best bass pickups in the business. A quad-coil, 5-string bass pickup from Bartolini delivers an extended and more resonant frequency range, along with more air and definition at the top end without sacrificing its lows and low mids. The pickup is cast in epoxy to remove any unwanted feedback and microphonics. A separate pickup-blend control lets you sweep between all four of its coils for unlimited tonal possibilities. Additional controls include the volume knob, and separate bass, mid and treble controls.

The new Tobias Growler features two key differences. First, Gibson improved the Growler’s truss rod by making it bi-directional. The new, fully adjustable “Quad Bass” truss rod allows players to adjust the Growler’s neck in both directions, a feature that integrates well with what is arguably its best overall enhancement — the revolutionary Plek system setup. The Plek is a German-made, computer-controlled machine that carefully measures each fret, along with the fingerboard height under each string, and then automatically dresses each fret, eliminating string buzz and improving overall playability. Every fret is accurately aligned, and the bass is properly intonated, leaving the instrument “Plek’d” and amazingly playable.

Still another key feature of the Tobias Growler is the change from using a bolt-on neck to gluing it in place. Gluing the 34”-scale length neck to the body of the bass ensures an exact “wood-to-wood” contact, leaving no air space in the neck cavity to ensure maximum contact between the neck and body. The neck and body function as a single unit, resulting in better tone and longer sustain. The neck is constructed from pure maple with purple heart laminate for a creamy feel and comfortable playability. It is matched with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard without inlay markers or binding.

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This is a Press Release

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