well, it came today, my first high-quality bass, the most expensive thing i currently own (and that's not saying a lot - it was a great deal, $775 new with hardshell case). i am VERY pleased with it. XL4 in aged white, gold pickguard, maple fingerboard. the tales are true: the neck is utterly perfect. great satin finish, i didn't even notice that my thumb was touching the back of it. perfect fretwork and relief so far, i had to fiddle with the saddles a little, but it's playing great. the composite body is really odd, not bad, just odd. i'll get used to it, and it's nice to have something different. the bass doesn't feel the slightest bit fragile, although it is semi-hollow. the electronics are dead quiet when both J-pickups are on. there is some hum when you engage the neck pickup only, but that comes with the territory. the sound is knockout, although i only have my crappy amp here at school so i can't fully appreciate it. the back of the neck is hand-initialed, a sure sign you're getting quality. many thanks to dave siff for answering my questions about this instrument. i doubt i'll ever need another fretted 4 again! did i mention that it's beautiful? as soon as i can find somebody with a webcam, i'll post a pic.