I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Mark Sonksen at Sonksen Strings this afternoon. He took me through his workshop, showed me several works in progress, and allowed me to play and fondle a number of the basses he is offering for sale. What I had come to see was the Orchestral Romanian fully carved bass. This is a modified 7/8 size with 3/4 strings. This bass has a wonderful bottom growl and a nice sounding upper register. it plays very evenly. I had to wipe the off a couple of times. I also saw another Christopher Hybrid (300 series). this bass also sounded real nice - but, IMHO, the Romanian was much more robust. No matter, that Christopher will make someone very happy. For desert, Mark played several of his higher end basses. More . One of these is a Nick Lloyd whose upper register has a wonderful cello-like quality ( I think this is a compliment - I do play cello). Unfortunately, my budget won't let me get anywhere near these. Mark also has several basses in for restoration. I think there was a Pfretscher, a Juszek, another carved Romanian and a early 1900s German item that he has high hopes for. Mark was very generous with his time and with his knowledge. I would recommend anyone looking for a bass to give him a call. He does work by appointment only. www.sonksenstrings.com Now . . . decisions, decisions. stay tuned (ouch).