Looking at all the NAMM photos, both here and elsewhere, seems to show a huge lean toward wierd shaped basses made from a piece of timber that most furniture manufacturers would discard, and an almost universal lean toward Bartolini pups and preamps, which is going to mean that most of these basses are going to sound quite similar, given that different woods have little effect on the sound of a bass when used in any sort of volume setting. (Quote from the Lakland web site - "a cap of quilted maple will have very little or no effect on the sound"). Is it me, or have a lot of boutique builders been so obsessed with "being different" that they have mostly all ended up being the same or similar. I have been looking for a lightweight 4 to replace my heavy Tobias 6 for gigging (I have a bad back), and after looking at all sorts of exotic stuff on the net, I settled on one of Steve Barr's ltd edition Lakland Joe Osbornes with Fralin pups and J-retro preamp. This would seem to me to be "different" when all else is Bartolini equipped. Dont mistake me, I am not knocking Bartolini, or any of the boutique luthiers. I just think they have ended up with the equivalent of "wind-tunnel syndrome", where, because all car designs are wind-tunnel tested, they have ended up all looking very similar to one another.