(Disclaimer - this is in no way an endorsement of buying a DB online, sight unseen.)
I wanted to buy a beater, and I wanted an Engelhardt. Don't ask why, it isn't a part of this narrative. I ran across an interesting/weird DB at Jim Laabs that I asked about on this forum
because the curious thing was that the outer-layer of plywood on the table was figured maple instead of the usual spruce. Since all I wanted for my purposes was a beater, and nothing I'd use for orchestra gigs, I pursued it. (As always, many thanks to KUNGfuSHERIFF for the info. You were correct.)
I purchased online August 16, 2013 and received a DB two weeks later. It was nothing like the one depicted on their website as "Special Purchase". (They have, since then, changed the website pictures.) I received the usual slab-cut plywood with no discernible features, and rather poorly constructed at that - fingerboard, nut, joinings, tuner fittings, saddle, etc.
Long-story short, six months later, many phone calls and emails later, I got what was represented on Jim Laabs website. It is still a beater, but it is well constructed and fitted, has the figured maple table, figured sides and back. The six month wait was due to Troy Laabs having this bass made specifically for me by Jim at Engelhardt.
Moral? There is none. Except that Troy was a stand-up guy who cared about an insignificant customer and had the connections to get the job done. Thanks, Troy.
And I swear, without fingers-crossed, I will never again buy a production DB sight unseen.
Here's exactly what I finally received...
Maple table and sides
And Maple back
Now, off to my luthier to get the bridge and soundpost fitted.