Hope this isn't an "illegal" thread. I checked RG's Newbie Links thread and couldn't find the info I'm looking for, so.... I've got a student, about 15 years old, who has been playing on a crappy Samick rental bass since he started his lessons. His father wants to buy him a bass, and knows I recommended a 5 string, but due to financial difficulties has to put a limit on the budget at $400 dollars. Being mainly a DBer these days, and having played the same two BG's for many years before buying my first nice one ( a Smith 6), I really don't know what's out there in that price range, and don't want to steer these poeple in the wrong direction. I've sent the student's father a few links to possible basses in the price range: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7...9083046654/search/g=home/detail/base_id/59176 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7...9083046654/search/g=home/detail/base_id/59174 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7...9083046654/search/g=home/detail/base_id/39297 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7...9083046654/search/g=home/detail/base_id/39676 The first three are Yamahas, which I only recommended because I've never seen a Yamaha bass that I absolutely hated (other than the John Myung signature model, which they can't afford anyway). Sure, the electronics sometimes kind of suck, but all of the ones I've seen have played at least decently well. The fourth link is an Ibanez, slightly out of their price range, which I included only because another student has one of these and it's not bad for the price. Anyway, my question is, do any of you out there who keep up with this stuff more than I do have any suggestions I might pass on to these people in this price range? The student is a really good kid, going to be a fine player, and I'd like to see him find a bass he can be happy with for the foreseeable future, as I don't know if he'll be able to afford anything more expensive any time soon. All suggestions are welcome, but please limit suggestions to basses you have personally played or have some hands-on experience with. Thanks in advance, and my apologies to the mods if this topic is "forbidden".