Well, I went and gone and done it. Disregarding all common sense and good judgement ( do you have to actually possess something in order to disregard it? ), after 32 years or so of attempting to become somewhat proficient on the "slab", I have decided that now is the time to embark on a journey that will find me at it's conclusion either a "real" bassist...or a broken and embittered, financially destitute, half-crazed blithering idiot with giant callouses. Some may argue there's not much of a difference...but I digress. Thanks to DZ, I am now the proud owner of a Shen SB80, my very first double bass. Don gave me an awesome price, mostly due to it being somewhat "cosmetically challenged". Some yahoo made quite possibly the worst attempt at refinishing I've ever seen, but it actually isn't as bad as Don described it. From a distance it looks fine, and it isn't until you get real close that you notice all the brush marks and realize it smells kinda funny. But hey, I've known some very fine people I could say the same thing about. I drove down to Don's place this past Saturday to pick up the bass. Don and I are both Ken Smith EB fanatics, and as it turns out Don and Ken are good friends and Don's place is five minutes from Ken's shop. To make an exciting day even more so, Ken was kind enough to suggest we meet at his shop for a private tour. Needless to say, it was a great hang...and within ten minutes of owning my first student-level bass, I'm hearing Ken play (and even get to "play" myself) his circa 1800 English bass, and the Gilkes. I now understand why Paul Warburton spends all that time in the bathroom! Thanks again to Don for a great deal and to Ken for a great hang. But seriously folks, I am excited to begin this journey, and I do intend to study. This won't be a half-assed effort on my part. I promise to put at least 3/4 of my ass into this. I realize that until I have a teacher, I'm just a DB owner. Anyone have any suggestions in the Hartford CT area for teachers?