Talkbass members, welcome your newest DB owner! After 5 years of playing jazz with EBG, I've now got a real bass for the gig. Now I just have to learn how to play it. I received my Shen DB from Norton Customs earlier this week. She and I are getting acquainted. So far, so good. I must tell you about my experience in selecting this bass... I researched all flavors of DBs, mostly with the help of the Newbie links and posts of all you wonderful people here. While searching one day, I came across a classified ad for a bass in the sub-$2K range. I pulled up the photo and it was beautiful! It had a georgous finish with a cream outline. I went to the website for the seller--Norton Customs http://www.nortoncustoms.com/home.htm (I'm not an employee, just an extremely satisfied customer). After reviewing the website, I decided to call the number listed. Mr. Norton answered (Brent). He and I spoke for about 25 minutes. He was very patient and helpful, answering all of my questions with what I felt were insightful responses. After the call, I emailed more questions. And more questions. And more questions...With each email, Brent was very thorough in his responses. This is the kind of service and attention that is hard to find today. Anyway, after all of the emails, I decided to order a Shen (the one in the ad was already sold). Based on the emails, Brent suggested Obligato strings. I asked for a Pecanic tailpiece, low-medium action, an adjustable bridge, a gig bag and Bass Max pickup. Brent gave me a sweet price for all of this and I sent my payment. Within a few days, Brent had the bass, tailpiece, etc. and begin putting it together. He sent me some interim pictures and kept me updated the entire time. Brent uses EGL Logistics for shipping, and they did a fine job. The bass arrived a day ahead of schedule in perfect condition. The packaging that was used was quite impressive. The driver waited patiently while I carefully and thoroughly examined my new baby. Using the instructions that Brent sent, I removed the cardboard "shipping bridge" that he used and set the actual bridge in place. I tightened the strings and begin to lightly pluck. Ummm...real DB tone! Sweet!!! The finish on the bass and the tailpiece wood are more beautiful than I had seen in the pictures that Brent sent. I am very pleased. Before sitting down to type this, I was watching the Rufus Reid DVD that references his "Evolving Bassist" book. You can get it at Amazon if interested. For a newbie like me, it is fantastic. I will he taking my first lesson next week. I have researched teachers in Austin, TX and have found a few that have been recommended. I look forward to my first gig with my new bass, but I think it will be a while before I do. If you looking for a new bass, please consider Norton Customs. Brent is a fantastic person and deserves our support.