You're right about just paying the extra 20%... it was just a little disappointing, along with a 8 week wait for custom pickups (but, its only 8 weeks - I've waited MUCH longer for other pickups).
About those SBCs.... very mid aggressive
and it seriously cuts through the mix (my guitarist uses Mesa gear, including a 4x12 and a 2x12!). There is some meat to the bottom end, but nothing booming, and the highs are present and never harsh. There is a nice edge to upper mids that lends to that cutting crispness (maybe a better way to describe those mids is very articulate). Some of the mid aggression also belongs to the way I play and my signal chain (Carvin BX1500 --> Ampeg SVP-Pro --> ISP Beta Bass [amazing unit!] --> GK 2001RBP--> -->BBE BMAX-T --> Berg NV610). I know, its a lot of preamps going on in the signal chain, but I love each piece and the magic it adds
oh yea, almost forgot, I'm using Ernie Ball Cobalts with that bass and love what those strings do.