I'm looking at getting an extended range bass soon, and I'm trying to decide which one is the best choice. I was originally looking at the Ibanez 1206 line, but then I was told that the difference between the 1206 and the 506 was slight and the 506 had a better price:value ratio. But then I was messing around on Musician's Friend and saw that the Conklin Groove Tools 7 was shown as available. I thought that these instruments had been discontinued, but the GT-7 and the GTBD-7 were both up for purchase (though the BD model won't ship until the end of January). The concept of a 7 string intrigues me a lot, especially because I plan on using it mainly for solo sessions and the extended range seems like it would be quite useful. That being said, I don't think I would feel like I was missing out if I were to get a 6er instead. Conklin doesn't produce the GT line itself, if I understand correctly. They spec it out and make sure it's up to their standards, but there's a reason these instruments run in the $1000-2000 range rather than the $7000-8000 range; i.e. it's mass produced rather than hand-crafted. My question is, do you prefer 6 or 7 strings, and how does the Conklin GT line compare to the Ibanez instruments? Is the BD model worth an extra $600 over the regular GT-7? As far as I can tell, the main difference is neck-through design and improved electronics. And is the GT-7 itself worth the ~$500 more than the Ibanez SR506? Unfortunately I won't have an opportunity to try a Conklin before I place the order, which is why I'm asking you folks what your thoughts are.