I’ve seen this said a lot around TB and I’m not sure I agree with it. It seems to pop up a lot. Sometimes it's advice to someone looking for a bass-- "Don't buy it til you play it first." Sometimes it's talking about high-dollar basses-- "I'd never buy such an expensive bass without trying it out." I understand this line of thinking. It kind of makes sense, in theory. But in my world, if I only bought basses I could play first, I’d have whatever Fender or Ibanez my local guitar shops have to offer. Nothing against Fender or Ibanez. They make some wonderful basses. But I sometimes enjoy high-end basses too... and my local & regional guitar shops do not stock boutique gear (If they do, it's usually a fancy Les Paul or a Custom Shop Strat or Tele. Never a bass). So I have two choices: Choice #1: Fly to California, Chicago, New York or Florida to play the instruments that interest me, because no one within a couple hundred miles of my home sells Fodera, Sadowsky, Elrick, MTD, Suhr or even Nash. Sometimes I might see a PRS, Brubaker or Ken Smith in the DC area (a couple of hours away from me). But usually that's just one or two, and many times they're entry level instruments. Choice #2: Shop online using Google & YouTube to get as educated as I can and buy guitars and basses without ever holding them in my hand or plugging them in. Since return shipping is cheaper than airfare, I choose the latter. Almost every bass I’ve ever owned has been purchased this way. Most times it works out. But on the very rare occasion it doesn’t, the cost to send back a $6000 bass is pretty-much the same as a $500 bass (except for the insurance). And if dealing with Guitar Center (yuck!) or Sweetwater, they have really inexpensive shipping rates, so the return shipping is negligible, if they send you a label. Dealers who sell online understand this risk. And as long as return policies are not abused, they’re happy to accommodate. That's why they're online. They understand we have to be able to try out a bass, even if we can't visit their showroom. And I assume that risk is factored into the cost of doing business? Of course, I’ll do all the homework I can. But I will never let the price tag of an instrument keep me from buying, even if I've never played it (let's not get started on custom built basses... what a crapshoot!). Who here buys basses without trying them out? Who refuses to do so? Why or why not?