My Washburn Taurus T24 ( http://www.washburn.com/basses/abt/taurust24.htm ) feels perfect (which was unexpected since it was only $400), but doesn't sound so great. I just can't seem to get the tone I'm looking for from it, there is always some humming or buzz or something. So I've decided to replace the pickups and put in a preamp. At the moment, I'm thinking Bartolini 9J#1's with a NTBT. On the other hand, DiMarzio Ultra Jazzes, EMG J/JVs, and SD Basslines sound great from reviews. I'm fairly certain about the preamp, although an Aguilar OPB1 sounds pretty tempting. By the way, I play in a jammy rock/blues/funk band and I'm trying to get a punchier, more distinct sound but with enough versatility that I can change my style over time. I'm also going to replace the crappy plastic nut, but I don't think that's really relevant.