I got to try one of these today. Although I only had it for about ten minutes, I got a really bad vibe from it. The neck was comfortable despite the high-gloss finish, but the string spacing didn't feel right--something was out of proportion. I'm used to either narrow neck/narrow spacing or wide neck/wide spacing, but the G&L didn't fall into either category. This made fingerstyle a little bit tricky to get used to, although slapping was a bit easier than on my Dean. Sonically, it wasn't bad: I was testing it through a Fender Bassman 200 combo, and in preamp-bypass mode it had a fat but snarly tone that could prove useful for many types of music. Parallel mode sounded a bit more supportive, while series mode could come in handy for those of us cursed with guitarists who think playing clean is for pansies. A great slap tone could be found from both modes. Unfortunately, the preamp sucked. It added a lot of noise and compressed the tone, and the curve of the treble control was utterly unmusical. It had way too much treble boost on hand, and the control was noisy throughout all but the lowest extremities of its range. Where the bass really failed, however, is the B string. In a word: unacceptable. No double-beating, but no definition, either. I'm not about to pay >$1000 for a bass with that crappy of a low B. I know that the strings weren't dead, and it had an excellent setup, but I just couldn't get a good sound out of it. I think G&L made a bad move when they made their 5-string necks smaller and started using basswood bodies, because the low midrange that you need for a solid B just wasn't there. It's funny, too, because the MTD Kingston 5 uses a basswood body and has the best B I've ever played, bar none; I think it has to do with the K5's neck being somewhat similar to a Louisville Slugger, while the G&L has a more "modern" (IMO, wussy) profile. So, this makes me even more curious to get my hands on a Stingray 5. I thank everyone who has recommended G&L to me, but I think I'll pass. I now know what people mean when they say that G&Ls are love/hate instruments.