I have a friend who is a REALLY good player. He gets a lot of calls for gigs. Even though he owns multiple high-dollar basses, he typically shows up to his gigs with his Squier Jazz Bass. If he gets some looks, it doesn’t take long for him to change people’s minds because he’s a solid player and he has a Squier that has held up nicely. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that he’s just really comfortable playing it. And I believe him. But it’s also kind of his schtick. He’s got a bit of a reputation as “that guy who’s a great bassist... and he plays a Squier!!” It makes me wonder if it isn’t a bit intentional. I mean, does showing up with a Squier and playing well make him seem even better than he already is? I sat in for him with his main band a few times. The first time I showed up with a $4k+ Overwater and a Bergantino rig. The BL said “that looks like some expensive gear!” As if to say, “are you as good as your gear?” Fortunately, I did alright... lol (I got calls to fill in again. Whew!). I’ve always had the attitude of “play what you like” without excuse. But sometimes I wonder if boutique gear doesn’t set the wrong expectation on certain kinds of shows. It kind of makes me want to show up at my next gig with a $300 bass and see the response I get (as long as I play well, of course ). Should everyone own at least one inexpensive instrument? I’m gonna start shopping for one, just in case.