Wow, these things are amazing. I haven't had as much fun getting to know and playing an instrument in a long time. My friend/bandmate/neighbor's wife recently picked up a basic spruce top Ubass and I was lucky enough to get to play it tonight. The feel is really foreign yet strangely familiar. The rubber strings and short scale demand that you play very simply and stay deep in the pocket. You have to be very precise with your fretting hand and mostly mellow with your plucking/picking hand. I actually think, setting aside the scale of the instrument, that if you want to work on your time and your feel and your touch this is the very best instrument you could possibly practice on as an electric bass player. Tone-wise, whether plucked or picked, it provides, at least through my little Fender RAD Bass practice amp, the truest old-school electric bass tone I've ever been able to produce. It sounds like John Paul Jones on the first Led Zeppelin record, or like a Stax bass or an early Motown bass. I've been trying to cop this particular tone forever and it just appeared as soon as I started playing the Ubass. I am well and truly blown away by this little instrument. The one negative to the evening was the pickup(s). After a bit of picking/palm muting it appears the bridge and pick up got a bit out of whack and the sound started to cut out. Pulling the bridge back helped to get it going again, but given this was apparently the first time this particular instrument had been given a workout I have to question how robust they are. Regardless, I still have to have one. If you want to have fun, whether you're playing or just practicing, you owe it to yourself to pick one of these up.