I'm on the lookout for a new bass. There's a used Ric 4001 at the Guitar Center nearby. (Well, not nearby. Nothing is nearby where I live.) They also have the Cort Artisan B4 - which I played last week and was pleasantly surprised with. (Especially considering the price.) I was also considering a Bongo. (I know, I'm all over the board.) I try the Bongo on for size - someone whacked the volume knob so hard it's practically sideways. It's bent very badly. Forget it. I try the Ric - two of the knobs just keep spinning and spinning, and the bridge pickup is whacked diagonally. The knobs probably just need a tightening, and maybe I'm extra picky, but if I buy a bass I want it close to being ready to play. (Minus a setup and some minor tweaking.) Plus there were dings all over it. I can get a brand new one for what they had it tagged at. (About $1,200.) I return to the Cort B4 - one of the knobs is missing. Just ripped right off the body. Forget it. Out of curiosity I tried a used headless Kubicki - the strings are deader than... Something that's really, really dead. Not warm-dead, dead-dead. I realize that's easily fixable, but if I can't get a feel for it, I guess I'll just move on. I swear I wanted to spend some money. I was in a particularly irresponsible mood today, and I want/need a new bass. But now I'm so wary of the way their guitars are treated, I seriously doubt I'd buy anything there. I'm not necessarily blaming the GC guys. It must be a nightmare to try to keep track of kids coming in and wailing away on the instruments. (What a din in that place today!) But still... They should've seen me coming a mile away - stupid grin, faraway stare, GC card in-hand, and GAS to beat the band. Ah well.