It has recently occurred to me that I really want to focus on my bass playing and in doing so I will be thinning my herd of 6 string guitars. Low pitch and rhythm is where my heart lives when it comes to playing. I have some really sweet guitars and thus with some sales I should be able to pull down some pretty fine basses. Right now my current main Bass is a 1980 Guild B401. This is an active bass that generally fits me well (I prefer larger basses) and sounds good. Here that is. I am looking to pick up 2 or 3 basses for my arsenal. I love to collect odd or vintage instruments, but when I know I'm going to be using an instrument rather steady, I like to buy new or nearly new. (Although you might not get that considering my current main bass is 34 years old.) Here is what I am looking at in that new(ish) category. 1. Fender Deluxe 5 String Jazz Bass. Starting with whatever year the latest pickups were introduced. Maybe you folks can help me here. What year did the latest installment of the N3 Noiseless pickups come into play (I'm thinking 2011 or 2012). Main reasons for choice: I like the way these pickups sound and for whatever reason I have faith in the Fender Jazz as a platform for 5 string more than many other basses. I think string spacing is one aspect. This might go back to when I had good success with a 1996 5 string Jazz Bass (that one had the slightly downsized body). Here is where I could use some advice on this one. Is there any other USA makers (like perhaps Suhr), that would produce a good Jazz 'copy'. 2. 2013 Gibson Thunderbird. I don't know much about these except that I always liked the way the standard reverse looks. Main reason for choice: I tried one out in a store the other day and it just felt really really good. Just one of those experiences where the thing seemed to play itself. When I get that feeling, I usually do what I can to purchase said instrument. I am infatuated with the 9 ply neck and how the head stock is carved. I also love the ... now tell me If I am saying this right .... 'raised central part of the neck' ... perhaps there is better terminology for that. If so, please comment. Also, there is apparently a USA maker that does a TB copy as one of his main instruments. The company is simply a persons name, I want to say Tom, but not sure. Can anyone help with this? And if so...how are his/their basses? 3. If a 3rd newish bass comes into the mix. I am playing with the following ideas: Parker (pricey, I know, never played one), Rickenbacker (never even tried one), or an Ibanez with lots of crazy tonewoods and maybe 6 strings (I already have a 4 string 2005 Ibanez SR1000EWN which I think was one of their flagship basses at the time). Its a very nice and well playing bass but I am thinking something with one of their more radical shapes. If I do go the Ibanez route, I want to be careful about not getting something that is made in one of the Ibanez junk factories. So from a price point I am guessing at least $900 and up. I'd love to have a Japan made Ibanez Gary Willis Fretless, but that would financially destroy any chance at getting any of the other two more practical axes. I realize The Parker and the Rick are both potentially bank breakers as well, esp the Parker. Please add comments or advice as you see fit. Thanks.