off to the local guitar tech to get sorted out once and for all! New action set up for my heavy fingerstyle playing (the bass came playing nice but with 40s for somebody who doesn't dig in... added 45s and the actiin just went) and also having the ultra ultra hot pickups looked at... I know the they are supposed to be punch but there are punchy pickups and then there pickups that clip and drive your amp way too hard, in a way that is jsut plain wrong! If they are beyond help i'm going to slam a seymour duncan quarter pounder in there. Don't get me wrong - Lakland basses are awesome - I just the whole set up before it leaves the factory is taylored to a specific type of player and looks like i've been subject to a bit of bad luck with the pickup... nobody is perfect tho!