I just found this forum the other day -- what a great resource! Here's my situation: I've been playing on a no-name German bass probably made in the 70s (this according to Dave at the Chesapeake Bass Viol Shop). It has been great considering I paid $5k for it 10 years ago. It is realtively small and lightweight with a decent tone - works well for both classical and jazz. Also, it has a 41" string length -- good for me since I have small hands and am 5'9". So now I feel the need for an upgrade - something with a big sound and a C extension that I can use on symphony gigs (I plan on keeping my current bass for a backup and for jazz gigs). My plan is to hit the road this summer and try out as many basses as possible. I'm hoping to find something under $15k, but will go higher if necessary. Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.