So on Saturday I go to the local music store to pick up some odds and ends. Like, I literally went there for a cable, some cleaner and like a clip on tuner. I have a look at the basses as is customary, and see the Sire basses everyone is raving about. They look kinda cool. Store owner comes up to me and says 'you checking out the awesome basses everyone loves?' and I say 'well it looks nice!' She then tells me they're selling like crazy (and truth be told, I personally know like 4 people who have recently bought one) so suggests I try it out. I plug it into an Orange combo they had and wow... feel and finish are amazing! I mean, they're not quite as good as my Marleaux Consat but damned close. Like, incredibly close. Huge array of tones available, coil taps, passive/active switch, satin neck finish, ebony fingerboard, rolled fretboard - the fretwork is INCREDIBLE, 18v preamp, wood electronics covers... the works. Gorgeous looks too. I look at the price, and she tells me she can knock off a bit for me. She tells me apparently Sire have really narrow profit margins compared to other builders, which is why they can pack all these features in for such a good price. I ended up leaving with a new bass for less than what I'd pay on Thomann or other online retailers, in addition to supporting a local store which gave me that warm fuzzy feeling. Had practice/jam session last night, just 2 guitarists (our drummer is in Denmark) and I could really easily find an ideal sound to work with. I'll have a chance to properly play about with it tonight through my very acoustically transparent GK practice combo and will add some thoughts. So far, the only cons I've detected is that the knobs feel kind of plasticky and cheap (the pots are fine, smooth and solid, I just don't like the knobs themselves), which is only a bit jarring because the rest of the bass is such high quality and it seems off, but that's a relatively easy and cheap fix. Also the gigbag could really do with a handle on the front, bit of an oversight more than anything. I'll be adding some straplocks too because I tend to run all over the stage like a maniac. Overall pretty sweet purchase, and I'll give a running review now that recordings, rehearsals and a few gigs are coming up!