Even during this trying time in my life wherein I do not have a bass, I love TalkBass because I can find numerous answers to any questions I have. It has taught me that, by and large, questions about instruments can be answered with opinions, many of which are entertaining as well as informative. So I welcome your opinions on what I am about to put forth. I already said I don't have a bass. I got rid of my bass and amp to make some extra money and lighten the load before I move far away. The only instrument I currently own is a bagpipe. In my relentless bass-fantasizing, and examining sounds, benefits and drawbacks, I've noticed that there are several different basses/configurations I've been looking at, which all have different benefits, and basically, presented with these options, which would you tend to go for? 1. The Fender Precision Benefits: Nice and basic, and I love the sound. I have pined for that mellow and ballsy sound for years. And even though the lefties have limited color options, I find Fender instruments to be generally aesthetically attractive. Drawbacks: they're expensive and only have rosewood fingerboards for the lefties. 2. The MTD Kingston Heir 4-string fretless Benefits: I also love the sound of fretless bass. I am aware I would have to relearn things like intonation and really keeping my ear keen, but I just love that I can emulate the sound of bending notes like I would on a guitar, just by sliding my hand around. Also, having no frets, would give me a pretty mellow sound, which, paired with the 3-band active EQ, I could probably quite closely emulate the sound of one of the old P-Basses and get tonal options other than that as well. Drawbacks: what if I need clunk? Or buzz? I could be playing a grunge tune, and really need to poopify my tone, and be unable to do it because the fretless tone is invariably clean. 3. The MTD Kingston Heir 4-string fretted Benefits: Because frets are classic. Fretted basses are the standard tool for modern music-making, and I can do a lot with them. These basses also come with a maple fingerboard in lefty, and are made of ash with a maple top. These are the materials I would prefer tonally on a bass. I also like the thought of playing in tune anywhere on the neck with the Buzz Feiten tuning system. My previous two basses did NOT play in tune all over the neck, no matter how well I intoned them. Drawbacks: Kind of a bland setup. Time-tested and good-sounding in my opinion, but relentlessly bland. 4. The MTD Kingston Heir 5-string (fretted or fretless) Benefits: I really liked the lows I could get out of the 5-string. If I liked nothing else about it, the lows were pretty nice. Drawbacks: During my short ownership of a 5-string, I noticed a lot of things I personally don't like about 5-string. Mine had an extended 35" scale, which made the tension on the B-string perfect, but the other strings felt tighter than they would on a 34" 4-string. Also, it always felt like there was a sort of "hangnail" on my playing, as no matter what, I had to be aware of muting an extra string while I was playing. I like 4-strings because I can use the thumb-anchoring technique instead of the floating thumb, and I barely have to worry about muting at all. So this is my current existential crisis, and in a way I'm thankful for that, because it does not impede my ability to survive or function in society. And at the same time, it drives me nuts. I'm waiting to strike it rich as a high school teacher after I earn my Master's </sarcasm>, and will be wanting to start off with the one bass that I could do the most with. Since I often hear that the kind of music one wants to play has a strong bearing on how many strings to use, here's what I usually listen to and play: rock, hard rock, heavy metal (old school as in Ozzy and Metallica and nu-metal as in Marilyn Manson and Slipknot), blues, slap/funk, pop (top 40), solo, and stuff that sounds like The Police. So given that information, which of the 4 above options would you personally choose? And do you have any other ideas for things I should consider that I might have left out?