Right now I am using a Musicman Sterling with a Nordstrand MM4 pickup installed. I run straight into an Ampeg BA115HPT combo amp. The Sterling feels and plays great but I'm having a hard time getting the right sound out of it. I'm looking for a nice big bottom end with tight mid-punch. I also want high end clarity that allows upper register fills to really pop out. I've run into some issues in attaining this sound: The Sterling doesn't have a naturally big bottom. If I crank the bass EQ and cut some of the highs/mids it becomes bigger but at the expense of muddying the entire sound. In addition, if I really push these lowest notes hard, the sound becomes kind of farty. Perhaps this could be called the Musicman 'growl' but I want room filling bass when I ring out a drop D. Y'know? Also - despite being known for midrange punch, I've found that my mid-register notes actually have the least amount of punch. They are particularly weak when played in the lower frets. This might be a neck issue, but the fact remains that this range of notes is lacking force. The lowest notes are the ones with the mid-punch and the middle notes just have nothing. Overall it's just not cutting through like these basses are supposed to. By itself, it has a very aggressive tone which you'd expect to slice through the mix. However I'm getting the sense that with all the treble growl it puts out, it is hitting along the same frequencies as the guitars in my band but isn't loud enough to compete with a Mesa half-stack... thus getting lost. I think my guitarist pinned down the situation best when he said: "I couldn't really hear you at all but then if you stopped playing I noticed." Thats basically the pheonomeon I'm experiencing. My bass is there, adding to the sound, but is blending a bit too well. I believe in the reputation Musicman basses have, they are good instruments. Therefore, I feel like my weak link here is my amp. I mean its a $700 combo amp. For tweaking I have only a simple 3-band EQ and the lame 'style selector' switch. Plus - I'm cranking an aggressive active-pickup bass through 220w and a single 15" speaker. I'm no expert but it sounds like the amp could be the culprit. I really like the look of this bass and have obviously invested some $ in it. I'd like it to work out for me. Any suggestions would be welcome!