I spent wome time at a440 in Chicago yesterday helping a friend select a german bow. They have quite a selection of bows right now, including a bunch that formerly belonged to a retired Pittsburg Symphony player. My friend purchased a very nice pernambucco stick made by the Brazilian maker Muniz (Arcos Brasil I think). Runner-up was a Codabow. Both were in the $650 range. While he was trying bows, I checked out several basses. My favorite was a Lombardi, but, at $29k, that won't happen. There's a Martin Sheridan there which is very nice but a tad too big for me. The one I am most interested in is this one by Conrad A. Gotz: http://www.a440violinshop.com/products.asp?catId=23&subCatId=68&id=40 I did not have a chance to spend a lot of time with this bass (I'll be back to play it some more) but it seemed to be well built and, based on my brief trial, very even and warm. It's No. 556 from 1974. My one concern is the two repaired cracks: one running down the middle of the treble side rib from the neck joint for about 10", and the second on the treble side of the top plane towards the bottom and running about six inches. The luthier assured me that these are well repaired and stable. After all this narrative, I'm wondering if any Chicago area, or other folks, have played this bass and would like to share their comments. Please feel free to PM me if you would rather not post. If I become seriously interested, I'll ask for a trial and take the bass to another luthier for a second opinion. I'm also curious as to what the general opinion of Gotz basses is. My limited research, both here and on the 'net, does not yield a lot other than the knowledge that Gotz is mostly German based distributor of products made by others. Thanks for the help.