I had the privaledge of playing a fretted, fretless, and lined fretless (5 string) barker. This is my blunt opinion. Barker basses are no replacement to the stand-up, of which they don't claim to be. It is no replacement to the bass guitar, of which it doesn't claim to be. Barker basses play very smoothly, and the new playing style is very quickly learned. I am not quite sure where, in terms of genre, this instrument falls, because it is not a typical bass. It may not have the tambre of an upright, but it has the feel, and it is much easier to move around on it. All in all, they are fun to play. I would not buy one personally, but that's due in large part to the fact that I'm going into college this year and I have no disposable income. The sound is warm and it sustains pretty well. And because it is a bass guitar neck, there are many things technique-wise that you can do on it that can't be done on an upright bass.