First I 'd like to thank all of you that gave me so much encouragement to start learning to play the bass at a senior age. Now I am looking for bass and amp and have decided on this setup. Budget is playing a big part in my decision but I am also taking the word of several pros that I have chosen a good setup to purchase for a beginner. First I chose the Ibanez 4 string (GSR200). I played this along with several other basses in it's $ range and it just felt right and sounded great. We played them through a CRATE amp BX50 (50 watts) I enjoyed the the features and effects that this amp had. Probably won't use alot of the effects but they are there if I get bored and want to spice things up. I haven't purchased any of this yet so let me know pro or con if I am heading in the right direction. Looks like I am going to be spending around 275.00 for the amp and 225.00 on the bass does that sound reasonable. I have looked at 20 or more used basses and they are in bad shape or over priced. Some I didn't know what I was looking at so decided go new unless I could buy privately and get a good deal. Thanks again and hanging out in these music stores is cool. Learned a lot just keeping my ears open and my mouth shut.