On Saturday I had an interesting experience. I realize that I am not the first, nor will I be the last to make this discovery but I just wanted to write out my XXX moment to (hopefully) get some kind of reasonable perspective and to walk through the steps to reduce the chance of it happening again. Again, it's not a tragedy by any means, just an "Oh! I see, now!" moment. I have been wanting a Stingray since the late '80s. The first cognizant appreciation I had for them was John Glasscock's use of one on the Jethro Tull album, Heavy Horses. Admittedly, the "Real Thing" has been out of my financial reach. In the meantime, I did get into the position of being able to purchase what I thought would be a serviceable alternative; the SBMM Stingray Ray24 CA. I did what I thought was as much research as I could considering the limitations of COVID-19. I listened over and over again to online reviews and samples of the instrument. I did have to opportunity to see one at our local Guitar Center and was very impressed with the build quality and feel of the bass. Eventually, I picked one up from AMS. Over the months, I found myself playing my $229 Squier PJ far more often than I did the 'Ray. I could never quite put my finger on why this was the case. Why was I reaching for the cheaper bass so often? Why was the "thing" that I was so certain I desired just not "doing it" for me? Maybe I just was not comfortable on the Stingray? I had never had it set up so I took it to a local guy and had him change the strings and to a proper setup. He absolutely loved the bass (but no tech is going to bad-mouth a customer's ax if he wants that customer to come back, right?). So, there I was on Saturday -- the Stingray freshly back with a proper setup and better strings and for the life of me, I could NOT coax any tone of out it that I liked. I fiddled with the amp controls, fiddled with the controls on the bass, NOTHING! "Maybe the amp is the problem", I think. "Maybe I just 'bought in' to the Ampeg hype"... "I will try the Squier and that will sound just as disappointing"... MOTHER OF... There is the sound! Man, am I stupid... " What's wrong with me?", I continue to prod at myself. The Stingray had active electronics, that's supposed to be better, right? The Ray cost more, that means something... right? The Stingray was not exactly my dream bass, but it was close... Yes? Is it doing what I want it to? No. I need to sell it -- WHAT?!? Sell it and move on, it's not a big deal -- But, but I wanted it! Stop it, you're being ridiculous -- But... Stop! -- *sigh* You told yourself "one in, one out". There is a Gretsch on the way, sell this and pay off the Gretsch. Again, none of this is a huge deal. But I hope it's interesting enough to share, having (personally) never gone through this kind of experience with equipment before. I have always had only one bass and made do with it. I certainly learned a couple of valuable things: First, I am not an "active electronics" guy. It's not that there is anything bad with the quality of the SBMM, in fact, it is a great, well-made bass it's just not "my sound". Second, I might be a "Fender guy" after all. I have not had a ton of basses in my lifetime but I keep going back to them (yes, I realize that Squire is not a Fender in the truest sense of the word). And lastly, flats on a P all day. Man, there is nothing like it. I am still wanting to try out a genuine late '70s Stingray, so I need to start saving for that eventuality. In the meantime, I plan on playing the daylights out of my budget Squier and appreciating what I have already. I think that should be regarding whatever we have, yes? Thank you for your indulgence.