Just bought a new Willow 3/4 from Nick Lloyd. I know that the correct way to buy a bass isn`t to have an unseen one shipped to you, but bass shops are few and far between down around these here parts, and my schedule is extremely busy. So, after reading many reviews and considering Nick`s reputation, I thought it would be a pretty good risk. Price was also a factor as my budget and skill level dictate that i stay below 5K. Right out of the box I was a little disappointed in the sound I was able to out of it, but it seems to be playing in very quickly, and Nick`s setup up work spoiled me too badly to go back to the old Kay anyway. The Shen responds to a more subtle technique than my usual wildass yanking, probably a good thing. Is it usual for a new bass to change noticably with only one week playing time, or is that more likely attributable to pyschological factors ? It even has a nice slap tone, and yes, that is possible. Anyway, Nick set it up for me with plain gut tops and Helicore orchestra E and A, a pretty good tonal match which will probably get better as the Helicores warm up, and a much lower string height than I`m accustomed to. He actually tried several strings trying to find the best match, including dominants. I may end up with a synthetic on the bottom eventually. The bridge he cut is not just fitted to the table, it is part of the table. Very impressive work, especially on such an economical instrument. I compared it to a friend`s laminated Cleveland, and found the Cleveland to be warmer, but not as loud and with less of the Shen`s immediate low end punch. The Cleveland did show better attention to construction detail, and for those that haven`t seen one, is just a hellaciously nice bass. Tonally, probaly not a perfect comparison due to completely different setups. His Cleveland had a set of older Obligatos very low on the board and mine with guts and more string clearance. So, I`m very pleased with the transaction, and though he doesn`t need them from a south Alabama hack, kudos to Nick.