Hey, first thing, mind you, I am in Canada. I am planning to purchase a new bass in january. I will have about 250CND from my bro and 250-350 from myself. But before i decide my main problem with my current six string passive (brice 860) is that it doesnt seem to cut through too well. Now, it did with a peavey combo+1x15 cab I used at a studio wtih a drummer and another guitarist, but when i use with my other two bands at high volumes it just doesnt cut through. Now all i have for amplification is a hartke kickback 15 (120watts) combo. This has a good tonal variety, but it distorts at high volumes when i boost the lows, which is fine by me, cuz i use that tone for metal. THe problem I have with my bass/amp is that when i play songs with a cleaner smooth bass line (not sloppy or without a heavy attack) it just doesnt cut through the band no matter how loud. I was thinking of getting one of Rondo's Brice Swamp Ash 5 string jazzes (the heavy ones) but I'm not sure if i should probably get some active bass in order to boost the output. The other problem is that it might just be my amplification system. Anyway if you even bothered reading all of the above...my condolences...I am looking for a 4-5 string bass which can really cut through and has a really nice tonal variety (or just a really good tone in general). I'm used to smaller string spacing having only used a 6er, but that shouldnt be a problem. So heres the summary: $500-600 CND (about 450US) to spend. (if from US border duties are ~$100CND, shipping from 30-40 US) Need to cut through with some nice clear tone. Might need amp upgrade (my amp goes loud, not sure about the bass cutting through or my amp). So, any help/suggestions/comments would be appreciated.