I recently read(skimmed through) a thread about top highly skilled artists having instruments custom built to look like the one they are known for but with better quality, features, craftsmanship, and yada yada yada than they can get from a major manufacturer. I'm not sure if this is true or not nor do I care. The concept does give me an idea for a possible solution for a problem I've been having for years though. I have not been able to find a bass that is equal to my skill level. Perhaps I should try one of these custom shops and see if they can do it. I mean.... I have literally tried them all.... SX.... Rogue.... Ibanez GIO..... First Act..... Starcaster by Fendre...... Wishbass..... I cannot find a bass that is not too good for my skill level! What does a person have to do to get a bass bad enough around here? Before you ask... Yes, I have tried to do a poor set-up and the cheapest strings I could find. I've sanded down the fretboard edges so the frets stick out more but it's still not enough. I've removed the string height adjustment screws so the saddles sit directly on the bridge plate and it is still too good for me. The truss rod is as tight as I can get it without stripping it out. The strings fret out on every single note no matter where I play but I still feel that the instruments far exceed my musical ability. What do you all think? Should I keep trying decent instruments and try to get them to suck as bad as I do or should I get a custom built? What suggestions do you have to make a bass worse? What kind of features should I ask for if I decide to go custom? Thanks for the help everyone.