After being here for several months, I am noticing a trend among several of our members... The phrase "You get what you pay for" is oft cited, and there seems to be an overall tone of "unless you are running a full stack of tube driven amplification and playing a minimum of $1,500.00 U.S.D. bass, well then your stuff and by association, your music is junk... I see similar arguments among forum members of all sorts of hobbies and professions. Woodworking, auto repair, other arts and crafts. Interestingly enough, this argument seems particularly commonplace here on TB. I used to be involved with a different bass site that has since gone bad (and if it weren't for that site going dead I never would have found Talkbass), Anyway, the boutique bass or nothing attitude was very rare at the other site... here it is seen pretty often. It amazes me, and honestly saddens me to see this attitude so prevalent coming from a site that should, I would think, encourage members, and even visitors, or all skill levels to pursue the art of playing bass... And let's face it, the guy or gal who wants to learn as a side interest most likely isn't going to be willing to drop $5K on a new bass, case, and shake the house apart amp just to learn how to play in his or her bedroom / den / garage or whatnot... And seeing the responses again and again that you need the best of the best of the best in order to play even acceptably well can be a real putoff to people... I don't know the real life identities of most folks here, but I am pretty sure there are at least some full time regional band type musicians, if not some well known big name guys hiding behind a screen name, and that's cool. I am somewhat curious if the folks spewing the best or nothing lines are making their living full time at making music, and if so, where did they start out? There is no shortage of musicians across this planet making fabulous music with nothing more than the voice and hands they were given at birth... It would seem that a skilled musician given a well adjusted and tuned instrument, run through even a mediocre amp and cheap, but clean signal cables should be able to make great music... I have seen and heard plenty of great live performances, and recordings make on gear that can be best described as scrap heap refugee material. I mean let's face it, you never hear about great painters complaining about other painters using cheap brushes, so why is it as music performance artists people seem to feel free to bash other musicians for the using budget gear?