MTD Kingston News & Updates!

A special note from Michael Tobias

A note from Mike Tobias



Bubby Lewis hosted Masterclass in Perth!

On April 22nd Thump Music brought in MTD bassist Bubby Lewis for a special bass Masterclass in Perth, Western Australia. Bubby proceeded to drop the jaws and open the minds of the sold-out crowd as he shared his talents, experience and wisdom.

Following the clinic, Thump Music had a ton of gear available for the audience to try out and jam on, which included several MTD Kingston basses.

If you get a chance to attend one of Bubby's bass Masterclasses, DO IT! You will not be disappointed!

Thump Music!

Bubby Lewis clinic in Perth!
Thump Music brings MTD Kingston's Thunder Down Under!
Thump Music!

We are extremely proud to announce that Thump Music is the Australian MTD Kingston distributor!

Thump Music was started by Jon and Nadia Carruthers. Although a relatively new company they are already one
of the most successful importers and retailers in
Australia. Jon is passionate about bass gear (he
has played bass for 5 years) which is why he is so
effective at marketing and selling MTD Kingston
basses and accessories.

One aspect that makes Thump Music so unique is that
they have established a recording label to endorse
artists and musicians in Australia and New Zealand.
Their strong contacts with major artists and
corporations allows Thump to connect and support
new artists in building their musical career. Very cool!

You can connect with Thump Music by emailing them

Join us in welcoming Thump Music to the MTD Family!

Ryan De Arcos is the newest MTD Kingston endorsing artist!

We are very excited to announce that bassist Ryan De Arcos from the band Telemetry is now a MTD Kingston player!

Telemetry is one of the hottest new bands on the scene, with a sound that is so diverse that is actually hard to label. At the root of it all is Ryan's melodic bass lines, which are amazingly mature for such a young musicians. As a trio, Telemetry gives Ryan the room that his playing needs.

Ryan's first MTD Kingston bass? The Heir 4-string!

Welcome to the MTD Kingston family, Ryan!

Telemetry's Ryan De Arcos
The ZX Files, with bassist Peter Davyduck!
Peter Davyduck

"Case no. 041011ev

Three months in and the shine of my Kingston ZX hasn’t faded. The first gig on my ZX was no less than 24 hours after getting it - just enough time to wrap cables and get it in the bass safe and on the plane.

That first gig would be a true test of tone and versatility as the setting was in-ear-monitors only - no amps on stage. So I made sure NOT to bring any preamps or gadgets with me but rather go direct into whatever house DI was there and let the ZX (Barts and all) do the talking. After plugging into Radial JDIs on both the afternoon’s more intimate stage setting and then the mainstage that evening I wasn’t disappointed in the least! Rather I was blown away at the subtleties in tone that I was able to draw out of the bass and actually hear. Stunning.

After leaving the snow behind and heading back here to the coast it was back to the grind of rehearsals, restaurant gigs, lessons, and continuing to wrap my hand around the thing that endeared me to the Kingston series and all MTDs for that matter, Mike’s asymmetrical neck shape. This neck just does not let down, it’s inspired me to play more and with an ease of expression in my left hand like no other neck shape. Then there’s the whole thing about the Bartolini pick-ups and electronics.. all I’ve gotta say is that the mid knob is THE equalizer, not parametric or graphic but rather flatten-the-playing-field-and-level-all-that-are-on-it sonic equalizer!! So versatile.

Moving forward there have been a few sessions now under it’s belt, everything from a couple of tunes for a Dutch artist, a Lebanese Pop producer, German Gospel artist and some down home West Coast singer/songwriter material. And in every case the ZX provided every tone needed.

To the future…. Well, let’s just say some sonic alchemy is brewing in the far reaches of Matsqui. As if Baron Munchausen himself blended equal parts Zappa, Satriani, Foo’s, and a dash of Pixies…. ya, that cool! ; )

Agent @Pduckify"


Thanks for the great update on your MTD Kingston ZX experience, Peter!

Update from the Road: Pete Bremy and Vanilla Fudge shine on Late Night!

As Vanilla Fudge continues its successful tour across America, bassist Pete Bremy checks in again with a report from the road:

" All the crowds have been very enthusiastic. Of the five concerts we played, three of them were sold out. Our first show was The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. The second show was BB Kings in NY. I have played there and been there dozens of times and I have never seen that many people stuffed in there. The show was officially sold out and after they seated all the ticket holders, they opened the box office again for SRO, but had to close it again when they filled to fire code. I was told they left a line in the street. My sons Adam and Matthew were there, and Adam even posted on the Fudge guest book that the people were standing three and four deep around the back wall and the bar. BB Kings has two video screens, one on either side of the stage. Some fan of Carmine's had sent him a home made video of the album version of You Keep Me Hanging On synched to collage of video clips of Vanilla Fudge performing it on various TV shows back in the 60's. He did such a good job that we decided to have BB Kings play it before we went on. We were in the dressing room and heard this noise, so I went out by the stage to see what it was. The whole place was singing along with the video before we even went on. Our live show went just as well.

Pete Bremy reports from the road

Next was the Boulton Center on Long Island which was sold out previously too. At some point, Carmine (sorry Carmine!) actually dropped a couple of drumsticks, one ending up on the stage by me so, with the crowd being so enthusiastic, I picked it up and used it to play overhand slide bass with it. I'd never done that before, but the crowd sure liked it. A professional photographer got some photos of that show, including the "stick bass". I'll toss in that we had to come up with a new arrangement of You Keep Me Hanging On for the Fallon show. The original version is seven minutes long, and we were only allowed four minutes on the show. That obviously required a hatchet job. We were divided on the idea, but in the end decided to play the "Fallon version" as an encore to rehearse it and promote the show. So, the crowds got to hear the song twice. Carmine told the crowd that they would be among the first to hear the new arrangement of the old song, and it went over better than anyone expected, so we played it at every show after too. Same response, it was great!

From there it was up to the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA near Boston. That's the one they said wasn't sold out, but we didn't see any empty seats. This crowd was off the wall, they were on their feet most of the time. From there it was on to Sellersville, PA and the Sellersville Theater which was also sold out.

What can I say about the Jimmy Fallon Show? It's the highlight of my career to be playing on the number one show of it's slot on national television. He is a big fan of Classic Rock and Vanilla Fudge. I mean, he always seems excited and enthusiastic about all the musical acts on his show, but he just seemed that much more excited about Vanilla Fudge. If you saw the beginning of the show where he announced who is on and mentioned us, you can see what I mean. He even said how excited he was about it, and started singing, "Set me free, why don't you babe!"

Thanks, Pete, for keeping us posted on your tour adventures!

Update from the Road: Pete Bremy and Vanilla Fudge Rock! B.B. Kings
Pete Bremy with Vanilla Fudge


Last Saturday Vanilla Fudge played to a sold-out crowd at the legendary club B.B. King's in New York. Bassist Pete Bremy reports, "It was crazy! They turned people away. We showed a special video of "Hangin' On" before we went on and the whole place was singing along with it before we even took the stage."

We are not surprised that Vanilla Fudge is having such a successful tour. They are an iconic band that played such a vital part in writing Rock's history. Check the tour schedule in the news post below to see when they are coming to a venue near you.

The photo on the left was taken at the B.B. King gig, and youc an see that Pete is playing the new MTD Kingston CRB. "The guys love my sound," says Pete.

Thanks for keeping us updated on your touring adventures!

Pete Bremy to hit the road with Vanilla Fudge!

MTD Kingston bassist, Pete Bremy is currently rehearsing with the legendary rock band Vanilla Fudge, in preparation for their 2011 tour. Although dates are being added on a daily basis, here is the tour schedule so far:

March 18, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 25, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 27, 2011
March 28, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 15, 2011
May 27, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 29, 2011

Asbury Park
New York City
Bay Shore
New York


The Stone Pony
B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
Boulton Center
Regent Theatre
Sellersville Theater
Jimmy Fallon Show - NBC TV
Wolf's Den at Mohegan Sun
Irvington Town Hall Theater
Zep Fest 2011
Zep Fest 2011
Zep Fest 2011

If Vanilla Fudge is not coming to a venue near you, be sure to watch them on the Jimmy Fallon Show on March 28th! Pete is touring with both a MTD Kingston Saratoga and a CRB, so this is a great opportunity to hear these new basses being played by a great bassist, in one of the greatest bands of all time!

Tito Vallejo laying it down at Busch Gardens with MTD Kingston!
Tito Vallejo at Bush Gardens!

Originally from the NY/NJ area, Tito Vallejo began his music career by singing in church at only two and a half years of age. At the age of thirteen he discovered the bass guitar, through which he discovered his true passion for music. Under the tutelage of former Lionel Hampton trumpeter, Lee Romano, Tito developed a rich musical sensibility which was centered on listening to other players and the ensemble as a whole. That sensibility was rewarded when he won "Outstanding Instrumentalist" in a high school jazz band competition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Tito went on to study at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ and has studied with Richard Clark, Chico Mendoza and NJ Symphony Orchestra bassist Jon Thompson. In addition to his academic work he had a great experience playing so many different styles of music in so many different venues across the NYC area.

Tito now lives and works in the Tampa Bay area. Since moving to Tampa he's had the opportunity to enrich his musical growth and experience by studying with Elias Tona, and former Maynard Ferguson bassist Joe Porter. Over the years he has had the privilege of playing with some amazing musicians, including, Sussex County Symphony Orchestra, Oracle, Shelly Starks, Buddy Brown, Pete Dorian, Chico Mendoza, Captain Music, Lester Freeman, and Belinda Womack. Currently, Tito can be found in the Tampa Bay area as a freelance bassist, and also as the house bassist at Busch Gardens Tampa.

We are very honored that Tito plays a MTD Kingston Heir bass!

Meet MTD player Ed Brandt!

Ed’s musical background is extremely varied which makes his style all his own. When he was 4, he discovered his mother’s Beatles albums, and that kicked it all off. He began to play the guitar at the age of 8, and on a random day in 1987, when Ed was 11, an older friend called him and told him to watch the MTV World Premier of Guns N’ Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle Video (imagine- MTV once played music videos)… and the rest is history.

Ed has been playing guitar in bands since the age of 16. In college, he ran the sound for open-mic nights at the college center, played in his own band, and ran sound for a friend’s band when they played shows in the local bars and clubs. After college, Ed worked as a hired guitar player for a local bar band, and played at least a show a week. After he got sick of playing covers – Ed decided he needed to start an original band that showcased his own talent along with the amazing talent of two close friends in a thrash metal band. After his band hired and either fired or had six bass players quit, he decided to take on the role of bass player for himself, and found his niche. His last band opened for Testament, Danzig, Agents of Man, Murphy’s Law, and tons of other acts between NYC, Albany, Mass, and Ct. After some very hard personal decisions and life changes, Ed decided to part ways with his last band to pursue his career in Environmental Remediation.

After 18 months in hiatus, Ed got the itch to jam out and found Silver Spade – and here we are.

"I have been a fan of MTD basses for a long time, but had not been able to afford one until the Kingston series came out. My wife bought me a MTD Kingston Heir 4-string in trans cherry back in 2005 after I played it for an hour at the music store. It is still my only bass that I use for sessions, gigs, and recording. Honestly, I love that bass."

Thanks for sharing your stroy with us, Ed!

If you play an MTD Kingston bass be sure to send us your story and we will feature you on the MTD Kingston website! Email it to us at


Bassist Ed Brandt Live!
Ed Brandt's Gear
Abel Sanchez wins the free MTD Kingston Artist!

Abel Sanchez with his new Artist!

Meet the winner of the free Kingston Artist! When Abel Sanchez (pictured above) subscribed to the new MTD Kingston e-newsletter he was instantly entered in a free bass giveaway, which he ultimately won.

Abel Sanchez is a young bassist recognized for his versatile style of playing. Born and raised in Orange County, music became one of his passions at an early age. Having an optimistic attitude towards life, he became known for his charismatic stage presence. Performing with artists like Jahny Wallz (, Triztan and local Top 40's Bands, Abel is gaining experience and recognition. He keeps improving his music skills and will continue to perform and practice to maintain a professional level.

Congratulations, Abel!

If you would like to have the chance to possibly win some cool prizes be sure to subscribe to the MTD Kingston e-newsletter. Just go to the homepage and look below the News & Updates section to sign up!

Ron Shumake is playing a ZX!

Recently bassist Ron Shumake purchased an MTD Kingston ZX and sent us an email and a few pics (you can see one below). Ron is the amazing bassist that has played with some of the most important bands and players in music history, like Willie Nelson, Danny Gatton, Glen Campbell and, of course, Canned Heat. He was recently drawn to the ZX, with its great variety of tones and killer neck, and ended up buying one to add to his arsenal of classic basses.

You can learn more about Ron by following this link.

Ron Shumake!


Stay connected with MTD and Michael Tobias!

The bass community is an amazing group of men and women. Low are the egos and high is the sharing! MTD wants to offer a hub for bassists to gather, share and educate each other. In a few days there will be a MTD forum on this very site, so be sure to look for it and JOIN!

Also, we will be putting out a monthly MTD Kingston newsletter that will have personal messages from Michael Tobias, product information, and even some giveaways! You can subscribe to the newsletter by going to the MTD Kingston homepage and clicking on the "Subscribe To Our Newsletter" link.

Lastly, MTD Kingston bassist Dale Titus has started video taping free bass lessons and posting them on this site and on the Dana B. Goods YouTube channel. Be sure to check those out often!


10/21/10 - Finland bassists can now get MTD Kingston basses!

The international MTD Kingston family is growing! We are very happy to announce that Modulen Music Group Oy is our new distributor for Finland! If you are a bassist in Finland, contact Modulen Music and see where the nearest MTD Kingston dealer is!

You can visit Modulen Music Group Oy by going to

Welcome to the MTD Kingston family Modulen Music!!!!

8/20/10 - Bubby Lewis picks up his new MTD Kingston!
Bubby Lewis with his new MTD Kingston!!!

Snoop Dogg's master groove maker, Bubby Lewis, stopped by our Ventura office to pick up his new MTD Kingston Artist 5-string bass. Snoop's epic "DoggyStyle" tour has a special set design that requires all musicians to play blue instruments, so Bubby jumped at the chance to get a new Artist with a translucent blue finish.

The commemorative DoggyStyle tour will feature several great guest artists helping Snoop play every song on his iconic recording with the same name. Do whatever it takes to catch this great show and watch Bubby play his new Artist bass!!!

7/28/10 - The CRB and Saratoga basses are HERE!
The New CRB and Saratoga basses!

The new MTD Kingston CRB and Saratoga basses have just arrived at Dana B. Goods! After individual inspection is completed we will be shipping them out to dealers across the USA.

We have not experienced the kind of buzz that is surrounding Michael Tobias' new babies before. Players are extremely interested in playing this classic, passive basses. Pre-orders are incredibly strongs - so much so that we have already placed several replenishment orders.

Be sure to ask your MTD Kingston dealer when they are getting their CRB and Saratogas in stock!


7/9/10 - Max Bennett LIVE!

The Max Bennett Band
Max Bennett is playing a special concert in Santa Barbara on Thursday, August 12th. His concert is part of the "Concerts at Chase Palm Park" series that Santa Barbara holds every summer. For additional concert information please call (805) 897-1946. It is destined to be an unforgettable night!

5/28/10 - The MTD Gig Bags are HERE!
We have been flooded with emails asking when the new MTD Gig Bags would in stock and I am very happy to announce that they are here! Available in single and two-bass versions, these gig bags are incredibly durable and designed by the man himself, Michael Tobias. Contact your favorite MTD dealer and ask when they will be getting the MTD gig bags in. You are going to LOVE them!
MTD Gig Bag!
3/23/10 - The Transparent Black Heir catches Sam Ash's Eye!

Sometimes there are things called "Happy Accidents." Due to a misunderstanding in manufacturing, we recently received 24 Heir basses in a transparent black finish, which is not a color that we have ever had before. The transparent black finish really brings out the flame in the body wood, making the grain look more intense. Simply put, the basses look amazing! In fact, they look so amazing that when Sam Ash saw them they fell in love, immediately buying 21 of the 24 that we got in.

Many of the most valuable collectors' guitars are ones with similar stories like the transparent black Heir. Initially seen as a mistake, the instrument later becomes highly sought after due to its uniqueness. The same thing could definitely happen with this rare Heir!

If you want to get one of these "Happy Accidents", contact Sam Ash as soon as possible!

The Heir in Transparent Black
9/14/09 - MTD Kingston event at Sam Ash store a smash!

At 5:00pm on August 18th the Sam Ash store at 156 West 48th Street welcomed bass players to a very special MTD Kingston event. The man himself, Michael Tobias, held court and discussed his design concepts and theories behind the creation of his MTD Kingston basses. Players were encouraged to ask questions, as many did, which Mike enthusiastically answered.

The event was so big that some of the Bass World's biggest names were there, including Bakithi Kumalo, Larry Hartke, John Montalbano, Suzanne Sterne, Pete Bremy and many, more. The smiles and laughter were evidence that a good time was had by all!

This particular Sam Ash store was recently remodeled and looks amazing. Not only is it an extremely cool hang for bassists, it boasts one of the nation's biggest inventory of MTD Kingston basses. On an average, they have eighteen to twenty basses on the wall, all are set up and ready to be played.

We want to thank Sam Ash for hosting this great event! This particular store is located at 156 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. You can call them by dialing (212) 719-2625.


Mike Tobias at Sam Ash event
5/21/09 - Fresh from the first day at Summer NAMM!

Mike Tobias and Dana Teague shoot a brief introductory video for Bass Gear Magazine! Check it out!

4/28/09 - Legendary bassist Max Bennett plays MTD Kingston!

We are so very honored and excited to be able to inform you that the iconic bass player Max Bennett is now playing a MTD Kingston Z 6-string bass with a maple fingerboard and a burled maple finish!

Fans and followers of contemporary jazz need no introduction to Max Bennett. An internationally known bassist and composer, Max has an impressive background and an extensive list of credits. The scope of his experience spans from concert touring, recording and producing to composing music for feature films and television as well as being one of the most famous studio musicians of the jazz genre.

Max has toured and performed in concert with Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, just to name a few. His many years of working in the studios have given him the opportunity to exercise his affinity for jazz, blues, rock and latin music and to combine those elements into his music. The list of outstanding artists with whom Max has recorded includes Quincy Jones, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Frank Zappa, Celine Dion, Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Ray Charles, Michael Franks, Frank Sinatra, Michel LeGrand, Phil Spector and countless others.

Also he has performed with such jazz greats as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, The Crusaders and many more. He then created a new concept of jazz in the world renowned L.A. Express which included Joe Sample, Larry Carlton and John Guerin, under the leadership of Tom Scott. Max then formed his own group “Freeway” and currently heads his most recent band “Private Reserve.”

Bill Kohlhasse of the Los Angeles Times says, “Max Bennett is the genuine article himself, having come up through the “bebop” era to become a central figure in the contemporary jazz scene.”

“Private Reserve” represents the best of contemporary concepts and Max’s original compositions blend the richness of jazz, blues, rock and latin music. Max says, “We feel that people identify with our strong melodies, rich harmonic structures and diverse rhythmic concepts. It is our goal to create original music of substance and intrinsic value.”


Marvin Gaye
Barbra Streisand
Paul Anka
Elvis Presley
Four Tops
Frank Sinatra
Frank Zappa (Hot Rats & 4 others)
Ray Charles & Cleo Lane
Seals & Croft
Ella Fitzgerald
Quincy Jones
Kenny Rogers
The Beach Boys
Carole King
Paul Williams
Joan Baez
The Temptations
Joni Mitchell
The Crusaders
Tom Scott & The L.A. Express
L.A. Express
Judy Collins
John Williams
Henry Mancini
Lalo Schifrin
Percy Faith
Peggy Lee
Stan Kenton
Celine Dion
David Foster
Michael McDonald
Jose Feliciano
Joe Sample


Nelson Riddle
Michele Columbie
Quincy Jones
Tom Scott
John Williams
Henry Mancini
Johnny Mandel
Charlie Fox
Artie Butler
Billy Byers
Elmer Bernstein


The Oscars
Quincy Jones
Bill Cosby Show
Jack Benny Show
Judy Garland Show
Danny Kaye Show
Count Basie Special
Frank Sinatra Special
Tony Orlando
Smothers Brothers
Grammy Awards
Aretha Franklin - Johnny Carson Show
Red Skelton
Peggy Lee Special
Carol Burnett
The Partridge Family
Paul Williams
Johnny Mathis


Stan Kenton Orchestra
Barbra Streisand
Frank Zappa
Ella Fitzgerald
Peggy Lee
Pearl Bailey
Victor Borge
Bill Evans
Andre Previn
Michele Legrand (Carnegie Hall)
Billy Eckstine
Joni Mitchell
The Crusaders
Stan Getz
The Fifth Dimension
Tom Scott & The L.A. Express
Aretha Franklin
Miles Davis
Sammy Davis
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Billy Holiday
Jack Jones
Frank Zappa
Billy Eckstine
Max Bennett & Freeway
Max Bennett & The Maxx Band
Max Bennett & Private Reserve

Whew! You will not believe this but I actually had to delete a number of names and credits from this list!

Max Bennett!

Max Bennett again!

Max Bennett a third time!

Max Bennett encore!

Um....another Max Bennett!

3/3/09 - Michael Tobias gives his personal set-up instructions

We have been getting several emails asking for the preferred set-up instructions for MTD Kingston basses, so we went to the source to get the answer, Michael Tobias himself! Keep in mind that every player has his or her own playing technique, so you will probably need to tweak the set-up suggestions to best fit your style.

Setting up your MTD Kingston bass by Michael Tobias

Optimal set up is individual but I generally use the low B or E as a straight edge, holding it down at the 1st and 16th fret and adjusting the truss rod until there is about .010 - .015 space between the top of the 8th fret and the bottom of the string.

Then I adjust the high string so that it is 1/16 (2/32, 1.5mm) from the top of the last fret. I check for buzzing...if that is good then I adjust the rest of the strings following the curvature of the fingerboard and moving them up slightly until the low B is at 3/32 or about 2.5 mm.

The rest depends on your technique and attack. If you have a lighter touch you can get away with a lower action if you want. If you have a harder attack you will need to raise the action to keep the strings from buzzing.

Pick up heights are generally set by holding down the outside strings at the 24th fret and raising or lowering the bridge pick up to about 3/16 under the strings, top parallel to the strings when loose. Then I use the blend pot to raise or lower the neck pick up to match the output.

Buzz Feiten Tuning System Instructions

These tuning instructions are only applicable to MTD basses that include the Buzz FeitenTuning System. Luckily, all MTD Kingston basses come with the zero fret installed. These tuning instructions are only applicable to electronic tuners that include the Buzz Feiten Tuning System. Currently, this includes Peterson Tuners, starting with the VSI up to all current models; Planet Waves Tru-Strobe Tuners with Buzz Feiten
Tuning System; and Korg DT-7. With one of these tuners you can do the following:

When I string a bass or guitar with new strings, I usually stretch them for a bit before doing BFTS intonation… for about ½ hour or put them on and leave them overnight. Make sure the neck is set like you want and that the action is also set the way you like it. Tune the bass to pitch using the tuner.

Match the:

F string open at pitch against the F at the 12th fret 1 cent flat
C string open at pitch against the C at the 12th fret 1 cent flat
G string open at pitch against the G at the 12th fret 1 cent flat
D string open at pitch against the D at the 12th fret 1 cent flat
A string open at pitch against the A at the 12th fret 1 cent sharp
E string open at pitch against the B at the 7th fret 1 cent sharp
B string open at pitch against the F# at the 7th fret 1 cent sharp

If the note is sharp, that means the saddle is too close to the 12th fret, if it is flat then it is too far away.