I took my bass to a different luthier who focuses on setup issues. I told him I wanted the sound loosened up and the action lowered. He lowered the action, moved the strings a little closer together, and put steel cable on the tailpiece instead of the 'coat hangar'. Man, what a difference! Even through the pickup, it sounds like a new bass, and a lot closer to what I want. I can't put the thing down now, not that I could before.