I finally got my new bass... I was down at a local music stor checking out the fretless basses, when I saw a DeArmond Pilot Deluxe... I immediately noticed the ash top, and the maple/ash/walnut laminated neck. I also noted the neck through body construction. I hooked it up to the nearest amp.. and Damn... it played great.. It has a great active pre amp and nice humbuckers.. excellent for slap and fingerstyle rock... All for a price tag of $450. Guitar center had it for over $100 more... So I think I did well.