Hey Y'all, If it's Thursday then any music equipment I'm waiting for must have been delivered while I'm at work - since I go directly from work to band practice. Yesterday was one of those Thursdays. My wife gave me a call and said that not one, but two large boxes arrived (actually she now knows that large boxes are basses - no telling her "it's just a mic stand"). So I ducked out of work a little early, ran (OK, drove) home, unpacked my boxes and headed off to band practice with new basses in hand. Box #1 - Epiphone Jack Casady Sig bass from ebay Black finish, second, has a spot on the black that looks like someone applied flat black housepaint with a brush. But you know what? You don't notice it unless you know it's there. It does have a crack in the finish where the fingerboard meets the neck on the bass side ~ 1 inch long. I emailed the seller and will try and get it checked out this weekend to see if it's the start of the dreaded fingerboard lifting or what. This was the first one plugged in at practice. Output is really low - the strings are bronze-looking things that really look like acoustic strings. But the sound is awesome. Warm, warm, warm. And clear. You can hear all the notes. Playing with the band even being lower in the mix than I like this bass provided a warm, pillowy foundation that just supported the songs. I couldn't really get much out the impedance switch because I was down too low (going through the PA) and didn't fight my way through the clutter to turn up. I've got lots of time to experiment. The neck was very good for me. Nice width, slim but not too slim. Just a really good fit. Jack questions: Are the bronze-looking strings the original equipment? I see that Dean Markley Blue Steels (nickel) are a favorite type - I'll have to try those. Where I would like to hang the bass my belly allows a drastic top-away-from-me lean. So while I did not have a headstock dive problem I do have a lean problem. I either held it in with my right forearm or leaned it back with my right leg. Neither is particularly comfortable. I think I will get one of those acoustic guitar headstock strap things so I can attach the strap there. I had a full acoustic bass guitar for a while and had no problems with it standing using one of those. Anybody else have any other suggestions? Box #2 - MTD Beast new from closeout The blue pearl is striking - it's almost a blue-green (or teal) pearl. With the maple fretboard it looks great. As I had two of these before I knew it would fit like a glove. I had to tweak the truss rod so this was the first time I had the cover off - it moved smoothly and was set up in no time. With the maple board (my previous ones were wenge) the steel strings didn't seem as annoying to me so I may keep them a while. This is the first maple board I've had in a while and I think I may actually like them better (than rosewood). Playing it was like coming home - the neck is just perfect for me. I'm not selling this one and am sorry I had to go through my last couple bass gyrations. So with the Jack for warm sounds and the Beast for snappy, growly sounds I think I've got things covered. Now I just need to sell the last two "other" basses I still have and convert my head/cab into a combo and I can stop the madness. Maybe not. I'll try to get some pics of the Beast this weekend to show the bright (some might say obnoxious) color. All the MTD Beast/Kingston pictures of Blue Pearl I found on the web do not match what my bass ended up looking like.