This weekend, I went down to the Guitar Center and tried out all the basses, amps, and keyboards they had in stock. Here's what I thought: Liked Music Man Sterling- I was really impressed with the tone and playability of the Sterling. In fact, I prefer it to the Stingray 4 (and most other basses). I ended up playing this more than any other bass at the GC mostly because I felt right at home with the thin neck and string height. Mesa Stack- I had never played anything built by Mesa until this weekend. But wow, just wow. Great punch and tone. It's nasty when you want it to be nasty, clear when you want it to be clear, and punchy when you want it to be punchy. Fender Geddy Lee- One of the best value basses I have ever come across. I don't even like Geddy Lee! Totally nails the vintage tone, great for slap! Fender Marcus Miller- Another one of the best value basses I have ever come across. Sounds a lot like the Geddy Lee. The shell that covers the neck pickup is a stupid idea. I was so tempted to remove it right there and throw it into the bushes outside. It didn't get in the way as much as I thought it would though. Music Man Stingray 5- Great bass! Most playable 5 string I have ever come across. Sounds like the Sterling. I'm deciding whether I want to buy this or an MTD Heir or Kingston for my 2nd 5'er. G&L L-2000- Holy crap! Tone is somehow extremely unique and eclectic at the same time. Monster slapper. Monster finger style. Monster bass. Fender 1968 Jazz Relic- Yup, they let me play it! Pedulla Buzz Fretless 5- I've heard a J/J fretless before. There is no fretless bass as good as a Pedulla, period. Ken Smith 6- Best designed bass I have ever come across. Passive is about equally as loud as the active so you can switch back and forth between the shows. Construction was awesome, the pickup and preamp blew me away. Aguilar 4x10 and 2x12- A fart would sound beautiful through one of those. Top-of-the-Line Yamaha, Korg, and Roland Keyboards- Keyboards these days are just rediculous. meh Warwick Streamer I 5- This bass ended up playing an important role in my life. Specifically, my previous philosophy of string spacing, "wider is better." It made me realize that there is a point where I will say "too wide," like this bass. However wide that string spacing was, it was just too wide. It hurt my wrist to play it. Otherwise, the bass was just meh. I didn't like the tone as much as the Stingray 5. Ibanez SRX Series- The tone of these basses is terrific, but the necks are just too thin. I can't play 'em. All Ampeg Stuff- I like Ampeg cabs (in fact I have one), but I've never liked their heads or preamps. Their combos are awesome though (yes, I know the combos have Ampeg heads in them). I played through a 1x15 combo amp, and a SVT-4 through a SVT410HE, both were meh. Specter Euro 5 - Meh. Tone kind of sucked. SWR Stack- I played a 350x through a Goliath III. The subwave feature was awful. The tone was okay, but because its only feature was bad, the head became featureless and thus meh. Music Man Stingray 4- I don't like the neck. I find it to be too chunky. But it is a Stingray! Music Man Bongo 4 and 5- I was a bit underwhelmed by it. It didn't seem worthy of the rave reviews. I don't think the tone is as good as a Stingray or Sterling. Disliked Fender P-Basses- I hate the sound of P-Basses. Fender MIA Jazz- Extremely poor value. Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller sounded exponentially better. Other Ibanezes- They just sounded like crap. If you want something inexpensive, buy an SX or a Tribute G&L. Other Warwick 5's- These were utterly impossible to play. I don't know how anyone can play a bass with that thin string spacing. Warwick Thumb Bleached Blond 4- Appallingly poor value, worse than the MIA Jazz. The tone is cool, but not $3500 cool. Schecter MM/J- Lousy tone. I don't know why, the pickups were designed by Seymour Duncan. Maybe it was the preamp. Or maybe I screwed with the knobs too much. SWR Workingman's 2x12- You might as well play through a tin can. With this amp, all you're paying for is the SWR name. It doesn't really sound like an SWR. If I think of anything else, I'll make sure to post it.