If you are a newbie and you don't have a "nice" bass, don't worry about it! You probably don't play well enough to get most out of a higher end bass. First, these days, most budget basses sound very good. Recently, I have been playing an Affinity P-bass that I bought for $57, and it gets a proper P-bass tone. I was offered a gig last night after a choir heard me play it. My church, especially the youth group is going for more of a Praise and Worship sound instead of Urban Gospel, and a Pbass works quite well. The P even works with the urban material. I don't want to brag, but my tone on the Affinity is very close to the tone on the 55/64 I had (I may have to buy another!) The difference between the two basses is in wood quality, fretwork, and hardware. The Affinity has really bad tuners and a rickety bridge. I had to shim to get action high instead of unplayable. I will play until I buy another P because it would not make economic sense to mod such a cheap bass. My point is that a good action is probably wasted on someone who really has not yet developed a touch. Although getting a nice bass is great for those with the money, a newbie needs to actually learn how to play before he or she can really get something out of a nicer bass.