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Michael Tobias’ handcrafted offerings are the instruments of choice for a number of notable players, while his overseas-built Kingston series provides bassists a taste of his innovations at a more comfortable price point. Bringing hints of MTD’s classic characteristics, the Kingston Saratoga Deluxe—the luthier’s most recent offering—spruces up the style and sound of the original Kingston Saratoga, yet still comes to the party at under a grand.
The Kingston Saratoga Deluxe’s contoured J-style body is constructed of basswood and capped with a nice piece of flamed maple. The deep cherry burst finish of our test bass adds fire to the flamed top and also colors the matching headstock.
The maple neck has an asymmetrical neck profile—a hallmark of MTD design since the late ’70s—so it was no surprise to see (and feel) the comfy, fast shape on the Saratoga Deluxe. A rosewood fretboard fronted the neck of our tester, but those seeking brighter sounds can opt for a maple fretboard or fretless ebony fingerboard.
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