Hi guys/gals I need some help and advice here! I live in a part of the world which is not exactly overflowing with DB purchase options! So much so that I've booked flights to GAS in Germany next week. However, locally I've just discovered the following - a 3/4 fully carved, 4-5 year old bass with spruce top and maple ribs and back. The varnish is a really healthy looking oil varnish. The luthier who has the bass has offered to do a set up and sell for $3,000 / £1600 pounds - this bass has never had a set of strings on. The luthier bought it new and has had it in storage ever since because he deals and works almost exclusively with violins, violas and cellos. It's a beautiful looking instrument - the curved back is particularily nice and overall the workmanship seems very good. I'm afraid the attached photos taken with my camera phone do the instrument absolutely no justice. I'm revisiting the luthier on Weds - he's fitting tailpiece, bridge, strings at the moment so I'll have a chance to listen & play then. What I'd like to know is if it's possible to find a worthwhile carved Chinese bass which isn't a Shen? Does anyone have any experience of such an instrument? In fact, can anyone offer a guess as to the make of THIS bass - there doesn't appear to be a label. In terms of value for money - does this seem like a reasonable deal. I'm pretty happy that this instrument will be a couple of notches up from my hybrid Zeller but any words of encouragement/warning would be most welcome! Thanks for getting this far and excuse the rambling.....! Rod.