Lately I've discovered that the 35" scale on my Lakland is not always the most comfortable scale to play, so I started searching for a 34" scale five-string. Sadowskys are a little out of my price range, but my wife did give me the green-light to "try out" a bass or two this past weekend. Note to self: The fact that I gave her a really nice sapphire ring last week probably had something to do with the "green light." I decided to go down to a Guitar center across town, since I hadn't been to that one before, and I was pretty sure they'd have 5-string Stingrays and Bongos. I had heard many great things about Bongos, and virtually no criticism other than about their looks. As someone who played a Steinberger as his main bass for over 15 years, I'm pretty immune to concerns about how a bass looks. Sure, I love the spalted tops and gorgeous finishes as much as the next guy, but to me, the three most important things are playability/ergonomics, construction quality, and tone, which is why I love my Steinie. Anyway, I walked into the GC, and they had two 5HH Bongos in "desert gold" (see below) marked down from $1299 to $874. I played both of them, along with a 5-string 'ray, and I was absolutely blown away by the Bongos. The color wasn't my first choice, but the price was good. I talked the guy down to $800, including a nice original Musicman hardshell case, and (thanks to no sales tax in Oregon) scored a brand-new Bongo w/case for $800. I'm a convert. I love my Bongo. The tone is thick and rich -- if you haven't played one of these, and you can live with the looks, it's worth a try -- it is the most powerful-sounding bass I've played -- absolutely massive tone. It also plays like a dream -- it practically plays itself. I got one with a great neck, and I'm beginning to really like the color. I've also posted a new family pic -- left to right, in order of purchase: 1981 Ric 4003, 1988 Steinberger XL2, 2005 Lakland DJ5 w/J-retro, Tacoma Thunderchief 5-string ABG, Godin A4 fretless, and my new Bongo 5HH. Sorry about the lousy pic quality -- it was getting late and the sun was going down when I got all the basses out for the photo. You can barely see the Steinberger sitting next to the Lakland.