I am beginning my research for my 1st upright. I have already done a lot reading here. So far I have contacted 2 shops (seller and repair) in the area, and at one, when I explain my situation, I was answered "you want to get a plywood bass" (namely an Engelhardt ES-1), and was explained why: they are more solid than hybrid or carved. That I can unerstand, more precautions need to be taken with an hybrid or carved. He also told me that professionals always have a plywood bass, and this is the one they can rely on when a carved needs to be maintained or repaired. I have to admit I was a little bit surprised by such a definite statement. I went to another shop in the area when I have tried Eastman basses: plywood, hybrid and carved. The carved one sounds much better than the 2 others, but it is also more than twice the price. The Engelhardt (plywood) is priced halfway between the Eastman plywood and the Eastman fully carved, (All with new strings and professionally setup), which, unless Engelhardt is a nice step above Eastman, does not justify the price difference. I plan to go to that other shop try the Engelhardt. Besides, does anyone know shops specialized in Maryland or Washington, DC area? Thx.