Like many other bassists, I discovered the New Standard basses and then Arnold Schnitzer's work from talkbass.com. The on-line commnents have been so strong, that I decided to take a chance on one sight unseen. I got more than I bargained for. I ordered what Arnold and Wil at New Standard call the Schnitzer & DeSola (S&D) model - it's a fully carved, custom 7/8, kind of like a "supersized" La Scala. I got it a week ago and had an opportunity to play it acoustically in my practice room and in comparison with my Wilfer No.12 carved 3/4. With both basses having just about the same strings and the same string heights, the S&D is tonally much clearer and even in all positions. It's like hearing Pavoratti with and without a chest cold. The S&D is at a big disadvantage in this first comparison - its Corelli strings are new and if you know Corelli's, they are thin and edgy sounding for hours until they settle down. Yet the S&D sounds and plays better than any bass I've yet tried. Today, I had the chance to use the S&D with a pickup and amp with my jazz trio. We rehearse and record at a studio we put together at the pianist's house. I thought the bass sounded amazing. "That sound that's in my head", that I used to have to work to get out, came out effortlessly. I has a rich, dark and lush sound that blooms into the room. And the sustain! I never realized how important the decay of the note was until I heard it done on the S&D. It's really wonderful. I wasn't the only one impressed, the band was equally happy. The upgrade from what they were used to (including a Pollmann) and the S&D made for a great rehearsal...the band really went nuts over it. The pianist didn't want to stop the rehearsal and go to his day job, something he never says; little did he know what would happen next. As I was leaving for my car, I noticed the drummer speaking with someone out front. It turns out he was the director of a Latin American TV show called "Lo dejo en tus manos" that runs on Telemundo, one of the biggest Spanish speaking TV networks (www.telemundo.com/entusmanos/index.html). They were shooting an episode three houses down the street, heard the band and really liked it. They wanted us to be on the show - today! The program is one of those reality shows where they fix up part of a house and then surprise the homeowner. The director wanted to do an insert where they cut to the band (us) that they heard down the street and ask us to play louder so the fix-up crew can work better. Sure, it was a little goofy and staged, but it was a lot of fun to do. We signed our releases and did the shoot. They shot several minutes of us playing. While we normally play a lot of Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver and other material from that era, we had to play purely improvisational as there wasn't money to get the releases to copyrighted material. So we ended up playing 'free'. I hope they run all of it! We were told the episode airs March 27th on Telemundo - I assume worldwide. Now that's some double bass!