so what's it gonna be? i need some advice here, folks. i'm a newbie to the upright bass and believe me, when i say newbie, i mean NEWBIE. anyways, i've done tons of reading in the newbie part of this forum and i still have questions. many of you advise to try as many basses as you can. i have to be honest and tell you that this doesn't help at all even though i played (and still do) electric bass (heavy metal a la sabbath but tuned down and played much slower) for twenty years, you would think that i could tell a good instrument from a not so good one. well, trying a good student upright (2k range) and a not so good one (the infamous ccb) doesn't seem to be that different to me as i have never played an upright in my life. so really, they all feel pretty much the same. on top of that i want the bow to be my main focus (not that i won't play pizz, but the bowed sound is what "moves" me) and since i have never bowed in my life... you get the idea: the sound i would get from a 200 year old euro carved bass would probably be the same as the sound i get from a fresh off the assembly line ccb. so all i really have to go by is this: a reputable local luthier/online store would not sell me junk as they want to uphold their reputation. i could buy w/ a teacher but what the teacher thinks is good may not be what i need or what i feel comfortable with. also i must be honest but going to buy a bass with a teacher is like going to buy something with a parent. i know i am going to get a lot of !$#@ for that last comment one thing i would like to mention before you even bother to read further is that playing music is a hobby for me. meaning that i do plan to take lessons but once i get the basics under my belt i will go and experiment on my own. if i feel that i am in a rut i can always take another lesson or check out the posts on this here awesome site for some inspiration. okay, that said, let me continue with this long post i may be relocating from sunny los angeles in the near future to a place were the winters are harsh so i'm not sure i would want a carved instrument (even if i would want one my budget isn't geared to that anyways) since cold temperature seem to play some serious tricks on that kind of instruments. my budget: 2.5 K BIG maximum and that has to include shipping to los angeles ($150.00 is what i gathered) as well as a bow (looks like the bows and rosin that bob gollihur sells get great reviews $160.00), a pick up (revolution solo seems to be a good choice $100.00) and a bag ($150.00). so that's give or take $600.00 right out of the bag. i've investigated quite thoroughly and the two online retailers that have caught my eye are: upton- hawkes or medio fino (which one would you recommend for my purposes?) $1600.00. strings (spirocore or obligatos) and the store's set up are included. so with shipping, bag, pickup, bow and rosin around 2.2k. nick lloyd- (his site btw, is really well put together) samuel shen model sb 80 $1380. comes with gig bag, french bow, strings (many choices) and nick's set up. so with shipping and pickup around 1.7k. sb 100 $1750.00. comes w/ gig bag, strings (many choices) and nick's set up. add bow, rosin, pickup and shipping, so about 2.3k i've been to a local luthier, stein on vine, and gary was super nice and helpful. he let me play a bass for 15-20 minutes and explained/showed me a few things. from him you get a bass (not sure of the brand) with a gig bag and a bow for 2K. include local tax and a pick up on top and that's a somewhere around 2.3K. i talked with a woman named lisa at la bassworks and she could get me a carved top laminated back bass (hybrid?) for 2k. i plan to go by her shop and talk to her some more about this. of course there is the rent to own option but for some reason i find it not that appealing. one thing that already influences me as far as from whom i would buy (if i can't get anything local) is that i would much rather get an instrument from a place that sets up their basses before shipping. i think it shows pride and commitment in their work and product (hint to nick lloyd and the folks at upton). okay, i'm done, although i'm sure that once some advice starts coming in i will be even more puzzled so i would love to hear from all of you who have bothered to read through this quite lengthy post. one thing i do know: i am getting an upright!