Yesterday took an afternoon trip with my guitar player in-laws to most of the major stores in the local area. I usually don't get the opportunity to get out and wank on new basses since I have a 2 year old, but I got to try out: -EBMM new sterling 5's (don't really like the spacing or neck profile, but a pretty instrument) -MTD Z5 (these look really wild in person) -New fender American standard 5 string jazz and 4 string p. (I loved the 5 string. It was black/maple and was setup perfectly for me, good spacing, slapping easy, classic looks) -Lakland 44-02 and 55-01: I am sold on getting a lakland at this point. I am not going to trade my Q5 but save up instead. The neck, string spacing, pickup configuration, everything about these basses is right for me. Then I got into trouble when I played the really nice stuff: Fender custom classic jazz: I have yet to play a better jazz. The people who get blasted for being "snobbish" re: custom vs. american standard are actually correct on this. There is an appreciable difference in looks, playability, quality woods, everything. It was a 4 string with beautiful rosewood fb, blocks and binding, flame maple neck, green body with tort guard. Stunning. Lakland usa 5594 and decade with chisonics: just as there is a difference between the $1000 dollar fenders and $2500 fenders there is a difference here. For me the most appreciable thing was the quality of the woods. Gorgeous birdseye boards, ash bodies that were resonant and had cool grain patterns, etc. The necks practically played themselves (particularly on the decade), and the chisonics have a sound all their own. The finishes were really nice too. The decade had a white trans finish that just let out a bit of the wood grain. Me and the guys are going to hit the chicago area sometime soon. I really want to play more laklands.