My band has been experimenting with A standard tuning, and I just could not get my Fender 4-string P bass to handle it and keep its tone the way I liked. (love the P bass though for anything C standard and above!) So I was in need of a cheap 5'er. Ordered a Brice HXB-405 - the stock photo being: http://www.rondomusic.com/hxb405natb.html Today, UPS brought me this: Quick review so far- WOWOWOWOW! How can they sell a bass like this for less than 300 bucks?! Finish is -beautiful-...dark blood red with the grain clearly visible. Pictures do not do it justice. Not a flaw on the finish either. Neck/Frets/Nut: Fret job is very good. No sharp edges, no high frets that I've found so far. Nice and even. Neck has a very comfortable profile, and the action was like butter right out of the box. The Nut is a -little- sloppy, but it doesn't need to be yanked or anything, and I can always replace that later very easy. 6 Bolts for the neck, so I am going to hope this thing is very stable. Fit and finish is very very good. Neck pocket is nice and tight, bridge is sturdy and well made, tuners are fine. Set up was surprisingly good. Intonation is a little off on the B string, but I can fix that in about 2 minutes. So far, other than that, the set up seems just fine as is. Nice, medium-low action. Strings are eh, but not as bad as what comes on an SX standard. I'll change them out after this weekend probably. Weight - less than my P bass. Rondo lists it as a 9 pound bass but I'm guessing it's around 8. Sits very comfortably, no neck dive or anything atrocious like that. Tone - I haven't been wanting an active bass in a while, but the only "cheap" 5'er alternative was an SX Jazz, and I just didn't want a Jazz. So I just figured "what the heck, for 280 bucks if it's not great I'll just send it back for a refund and get something else, no big deal. The tone on this in passive mode...it has active and passive... is incredible. It's deep without being flat, and punchy without sounding too clanky. The B string is all there, nothing weak about it. I easily dialed in a tone I liked in about 3 minutes of meddling with my eq pedal, my amp and the bass. The active mode is a bit weak, but that's fine - I don't plan on using the active mode anyway. This thing seriously sounds better than my Ibanez ATK at this point :/ and it was a lot easier to get the tone I wanted from it. It's not quite a P-bass, but it's one of the best feeling and sounding 5'ers I've played in a long time. I am, so far, very pleased. We will see how she holds up in practice this weekend.