Let me start by saying this is probably not the normal type of work Chris does on his instruments. This was something he conjured up for NAMM, and the detail was most certainly not the same as a custom ordered bass. This is also long so get a cup of coffee and sit back!! The bass arrived late Saturday morning. It was about 33 degrees outside, and my wife & I were getting ready to leave, so I just signed for it, and placed the box in the unheated Florida room we have (it's about 50 degrees in there). When we got back about 4 hours later, I pulled the case out of the box, and put it in my "bass" room to sit for a couple of hours. About 7:00 I opened up the case, and was fairly impressed by the looks of this orange beast, and overwhelmed at how large the bass was. My wife was standing right beside me, and as I looked over the bass I started to get less enthused. I was purposely going over the bass looking for things wrong with it. Unfortunately, I found several. The finish on the bass has several flaws in it, including a half dollar size orange peel that looks like a huge thumb or fingerprint in the finish on the back cavity cover. There is a spot of orange finish on the maple fingerboard, and several cracks in the orange finish underneath the clear coat on the back of the neck. That was the worst of the flaws, the rest were very tiny, and almost un-noticeable unless you are looking specifically for things that are wrong (which I was). So.. to say I was disappointed before I even plugged the bass in, is a huge understatement. After all, I think we all expect (and deserve) perfection in a boutique bass. Compared to my two Roscoe's, the difference in craftsmanship was night/day. The Roscoe's had much greater attention to detail than this Benavente. I'm not saying that Chris is sloppy, or inattentive to detail, this bass just didn't live up to expectation of a hand crafted boutique bass. It looked more like it was rushed and hurried. I plugged the bass in, set all the controls flat, tuned it real quickly, and turned it up. Wow... was I sick. It sounded like crap. It had a huge buzz on the open E. I was flat sick!! Of course, I was already depressed, so that might have had some bearing on it. But... a MIM jazz I had sitting there sounded better than this thing. I turned some knobs, got to messing with it, and started to wonder... well, maybe it's not SO bad. I was in a hurry for a gig, so I packed up all my stuff (left the orange beast at home) and headed out. On the way to the show I told my wife I was just going to send it back. (Which I thought would make her extremely happy) instead she told me to give it some time, play around with it, and remember it is supposed to be DIFFERENT than what I already have. The next morning I woke up early before church. I went in and played around with the bass some more. While I was playing with it, the D string unraveled on me. (No blame on Chris for this) I had a new set of DR low riders I was going to put on my green Roscoe, so I changed the strings on the Benavente. While I was at it, I cleaned the absolutely filthy fingerboard, and then fixed the intonation problems that it had. I played around with it some more, then had to go to church. I again left it home, and took one of the Roscoe's. When I got home, I just decided to completely re-set the bass up. After giving it a complete set up, and cleaning, and re adjusting the intonation again (because I raised the strings and gave the neck some very slight relief instead of it being completely straight.) I turned the live rig on ,and plugged it in. WOW... suddenly I was starting to dig the new bass. However; there was still a problem with a Buzz on the open E. Another look at the nut showed a huge burr between the B & E string, (shown in headstock photo) so I loosened the E, and took some fine sandpaper to the nut where the string sits in it. I Plugged it back in, and the problem solved. The more I played the bass the more I liked it. I think I just needed to re-program my brain. This new bass is NOT a Roscoe. It's not supposed to sound like a Roscoe, and that's why I wanted it, to NOT sound like a Roscoe. It also sounded a lot better through my live rig, than my practice rig (even though both were all set flat!) I was amazed at how defined and clear the low end is on the Benavente. It's not a Roscoe "B". It's just not that huge. But it's more defined than the low B (that is dropped to A) on my ash body Roscoe with Ebony board. It's "cleaner" than the naturally compressed low end I get. It's all around a more mid to upper mid bass. The low end is there, and it's big... but the mids and upper mids are killer on this thing. I think they would cut through a steel wall, without sounding "tinny" or harsh, or obscenely bright. My slap skills are not the best in the world. I've been working on it though. This bass just automatically slaps itself. Great attack, and the wider string spacing than I am used to made me seem like an old pro. With clean, clear concise notes. My thumb just seemed to instinctively know where to go. Even my dogs were impressed. (and my wife too). After an hour or so of playing around and goofing off with the new bass I was surprised at how well I was able to handle the wider neck. My puny little man hands never felt out of place on the neck, and never fumbled for notes. I put a cd of some new tunes I was supposed to be learning in the PA system, and cranked it up. I started to play along and really dug the tonal variety this orange beast offered me. The push/pull active/passive is really nice... I always thought it would be nice to have on the Roscoe. The pu/preamp combo (DiMarzzio Ultra Jazz and Benavente preamp) offers soooo many tonal options. It really seems geared towards the mids. However there is no want for low end. Its all there and then some. The treble is even and smooth. Its not harsh and brittle like I was afraid it might be. There are not any high or low spots. The voice is even all the way across the board. Just the slightest turn of the knobs give it a huge difference in tone. Also after spending a couple of hours with the bass strapped on, it was great to find out that even though the bass itself is HUGE... it wasn't awkward, or heavy, or uncomfortable. Sunday nights gig was called off at the last minute, which left me depressed that I wasn't able to try the bass out in a live setting. I did get to try it out last night in a band setting, and wow.. it cuts through like a Ginsu butter knife (if thats possible) It cuts through the mix superbly and at the same time, it was all buttery smooth. We all know that these higher end basses and rigs will amplify the things you do wrong. (as well as what we do right) This bass is exactly that. Ive found new flaws as well as better ways to control my right hand just in the few hours I have spent with this bass. It certainly accentuates every nuance of my playing. Thats good but just reminds me that I can always improve. For the first time ever my slapping and my fingering are the same volume. My slapping is already 100% better and cleaner. Im not bragging, heck Ill never be as good as the great ones, or probably ever be as good as the average ones. But this bass has already helped me become a better all around player, and Im finally getting outside the rock box and into something a little more exciting. I NEVER wanted a jazz bass, and now I have one I love. Now if you will excuse me, Ive got to go get the finish off my maple fretboard, and polish up the nut some more. The flaws in the finish are just added character.!