I just went to a local Fender dealer and I was really blown away by two new basses. The first to catch my eye was the Victor Bailey five string. It is beautiful bass with attractive gold hardware that really matched nicely with the top wood (korina?) of this bass. The bass was wonderfully finished and had a beautiful Fender Jazz tone. I played it through an Ampeg stack with four tens and a fifteen if I remember correctly. This bass sounded to me exactly like an active Jazz should. It had the great scooped soon with pronounced high and low that one expects from a Jazz. The B string is excellent, I say that as a bassist who owns a Skyline 55-02 and who has owned several 35" scale basses and nice SR5, in other words, I know a nice B when I play one and hear one. I have never played any of the boutique Jazzes, but they would have to be damn good to be better than a Victor Bailey V. Although I do not have experience with boutique Jazzes (except the Pedulla) I have owned and played several "hippie sandwich" style boutiques, plus Modulus and USA Lakland basses. The Victor Bailey V is in every a comparable instrument IMO. The dealer said it was $1,500 cash out the door, and I had to say that sounded darn good to me. If I take care of a few other issues, I could seriously see me getting one of these basses. It would be a wonderful compliment to my Skyline, it might just put my 55-02 on the shelf! As much as I liked the Victor Bailey, the manager told me to check out a another bass that he had not even priced yet. It was the new CIJ, Jaguar Bass. As great as the Victor Bailey V was, I was not blown away. It is a top of the line MIA Fender, and I expected it to be good. The Jaguar was an unknown quantity, and damn, it is a hell of a bass! Imagine a Geddy Lee Jazz with active electronics and really nifty tone shifting options. That is basically what the Jaguar is. The knobs are volume and tone, the various switches appear to cut on and off pickups and do a bunch of other stuff. If this bass were a person, I would probably get arrested because the thing just begs to be slapped! IMO this bass is perfect folks like me who liked the Marcus Miller Jazz but weren't to thrilled with a bass that is so completely designed to sound like another player's sound. The Jaguar is a great new take on the Jazz sound and it sounds incredibly good! The best part is that this bad boy is around $700! I may have to put this thing away tomorrow! I really want another five, but damn, this bass sounds good! IF that new Tony Franklin is anywhere near as good as these basses I played today, Fender is going take a bunch of Bass players money!