I've been playing with a pretty entry-level GSR200 from Ibanez for a couple years now (first bass, played for about three years). I haven't played with a band in a while, but I'm looking find some other people and work on some music a bit. The GSR200 has treated me pretty well, but I'm concerned that it won't hold up to playing live all that well. I've never experienced the extreme tuning issues that some have, but especially since I put on lighter strings in order try more tap and slap, it does need regular retuning. Also, when I try and tap, it can sound oddly out of tune. I freely admit some of these issues may be due to my own bad setup, but the neck looks fairly level and the bridge is as low as it will go without having horrible fret buzz. Overall though, it's an okay bass. It's served me well in learning the fundamentals of the instrument and playing some minor gigs. But now, I'm looking to move on. Or maybe mod it somehow, let me know. I had a few minutes the other day to try just a few basses at Guitar Center. I first bolted for the Serling Sub RAY 4 & 5, because I've only heard good reviews of those. I plug it in all excited and then...it just felt wrong. I like mounting my thumb on a pickup, and the RAY only allowed me to play near the bridge that way, while I really like the round sound closer to the neck. The fact of the matter is, most of my bass inspirations played P-basses, and that simply is not the right sound. The RAY was buzzy, and just felt a bit one note for me. It both lacked character and subtlety, somehow. I also tried an Squier P-Bass, PJ config, though I don't remember if it was Vintage Modified or Affinity (I didn't want to ask for the staff to pull down a properly nice one like 70's style P Bass). Either way, I was shocked by how much I disliked it. The sound was okay, but the whole thing felt heavy and a tad lifeless. But then there was the shocker: I saw a super cheap Yamaha TRBX174EX. I pulled it down, with its kinda goofy mango wood exterior, and plugged it in. Simple three pot layout, I tried both the P and J pickups, and really enjoyed the sound of the bass. It was amazingly light and I could play quickly on it, which I loved. I did find it didn't play harmonics that well (because of the string tree?), but overall I was really surprised. I also tried a TRBX204, and even not knowing what the pots did, I coaxed some sounds I really liked out of the bass. But then I had to leave, before I could try anything more upscale. So what should I be thinking about? I've figured I'm probably not that good at setup, so used basses may need more work than I can put in myself, which is cost added. My budget is still not huge, even for my "step-up" bass, at around $350, though I can stretch. I liked the PJ Yamahas and I've liked my PJ Ibanez. My main favorite bassists are all P bass guys, I don't tend to lean to J bass sound or any of the Stingray slap monsters. I mostly play pick and finger style, nothing too fancy. How does the Ibanez SR300e stack up against a Yamaha TRBX304? Should I still avoid both because I disliked the humbucking RAY? Would the TRBX204 even be a step up from my Ibanez? Should I look at the Yamaha BB34? Or is there a brilliant alternative I'm missing? Or do I try and mod my current bass somehow?