I'm very pleased to report that I am now the proud owner of a brand new fully carved Samuel Shen 3/4 Willow Bass! After hearing nothing but good things about Shen basses I was able with the help of a fellow TB'er here in China to make an appointment today to travel to the Shen factory, about 100 killometers from Shanghai, where I'm currently working. Sam Shen is a very gratious man, who allowed me to have my pick of his instuments. I narrowed my choices down to three of his fine carved basses, two of his Roggeri models, and the Willow 3/4. The Roggeri's are wonderful, but the Willow bass got me. I can't say enough about how nice it sounds now, and I know that as it plays in it's going to get even better! Sam installed a set of Spirocores and an Upton Solo pickup that I brought along with me and set it up. Plays just fine. It's first rate in every regard, nothing "cheap" at all about Shen's basses. Wonderful wood and workmanship. This bass just sings! Sounds like a bass in the $8000 to $10,000 range, yet is modestly priced. Can't wait to take it to the gig tommorow night!