Had a small gig yesterday with two friends on piano and guitar/vocal. I brought my old trusted Yorkville Sound Bloc80 combo and my slightly modified LTD Vintage-204 with EMG Geezer Butler PJ mics. First gig I've done on a P bass since the 80s. It was wonderful. The setup had the right bark and bottom to it, and the bass gave me the right feel and attitude to keep the foundation and time of the band. I've spent a few hours working on the bass to get it to play well, but now it plays awesome, sounds great, and feels right. It doesn't have to cost a million. I think the LTD is a great bass at the price point but might require a little work to get its potential out. I like the extra character added by the EMGs But in the end, it's my fingers doing the job, that's where the sound really lies. I've played with this guitar player quite a bit, he's mainly a piano player... But anyway, I told him about the bass and how happy I was with it. His response was, "i don't care if you play a $50 plywood bass, as long as it's you playing it will sound good anyway." Not trying to brag, I just happen to agree on the point that the sound is in your fingers and is to a large degree equipment independent. Sure, there is subtle differences between pickups, amps and basses. But as long as the bass is "good enough", there's a lot more to gain in working with technique and feel. So, in my mind, the LTD and the Bloc80 proved to be a great platform for me to express myself on. I don't think my other basses and amps worth 10 times these would have made a difference in the world yesterday. It was a reminder to me, anyway, that GAS is in the eye and mind more than in the sound and feel. If you don't sound right, the biggest problem is in your fingers. Get what you can afford and make it work. Then practice. Make your fingers sound the way your want.