I've been lurking for awhile, and hope I can get some solid advice. I'm currently playing in a country (but still kind of rockish) band and things are going well enough that I'm starting to worry that my 1987 Peavy Patriot isn't cutting it sound and tone-wise. Also, I admit I'm a little embarrassed by it in the sense that no serious musician would ever show up to a paying gig with one. The way I see it, I have a three options in the $400 - $600 budget range that I'm working with - 1) new bass 2) pawn shop with upgrades and 3) get a bass amp. 1) there are plenty of new options in that price range, even if they are all made in mexico. 2) I found a 5 string mim fender jazz bass in a pawn shop. I could maybe throw in some decent pickups and maybe a new bridge and have something pretty nice for around $600. 3) I practice on a crappy old crate guitar amp. For gigs I usually plug straight into the mixing board. $500 would be plenty for a decent if not ideal bass amp right? What gives me the best bang for my buck? Feel free to add other options if appropriate?