Hi folks, I've had my bass about a year now and am getting close to the sound and feel I want from it. It's a decent Chinese-made fully-carved instrument which I paid £2500 for, and it plays and sounds better than some more expensive instruments I've tried. What I'm puzzled by is the wood used for the neck. The fingerboard is a decent piece of ebony, but the neck itself doesn't seem to live up to the quality of the rest of the instrument. A lot of basses I've seen have the neck grain, or perhaps it's just the flames in the maple, perpendicular to the fingerboard, whereas mine has a very ordinary-looking piece of wood with the grain running in the direction of the fingerboard. It feels very nice to play (once I'd sanded a little gloss off it), but it doesn't look as good as the maple-flame necks do. I'm not contemplating having a new neck fitted or anything, but I just wondered whether the longitudinal grain will be less stable in the long run, or has less sustain, or whether this is more a cosmetic issue and a hallmark of the better basses? What do you luthier types think?