Always wanted one of these but they were in really short supply in this country. Finally got my hands on a natural-tortoise-maple one for a reasonable price, slapped some 6-month old strings I had lying around (the ones the previous owner had were ancient, 5+ years old - my 6 months strings were an improvement in zing but not near as good as new strings) and headed for band rehearsal. I love it. Never had the chance of playing a MM pickup bass in a band setting, and was pretty much in love with jazz basses. Whoa! I love the way this thing cuts through two guitar stacks in a rock setting. Sometimes too middy/nasal, but ever present and in-your-face. Another first, I found myself actually cutting bass on the amp EQ. Never had done that before! The drummer loved it too, said he could hear what I was playing better so we could lock better. Interesting that after being convinced of being a jazz bass guy (10+ years playing only jbasses) I find this blissful tone elsewhere. Can't wait to try it with new strings! So far I don't think I'll be looking for aftermarket pickups or anything... this is hitting the sweet spot pretty consistently. Anyway, last night I was excited about my tone in a way I haven't in a long time, and wanted to share.