Obviously good strings will make a big difference. On the one I tried the bridge collapsed, so that would be my next upgrade after the strings. I thought the endpin and shoulder hardware were pretty junky - I'd be trying to upgrade that as well. And the preamp was noisy - if you're planning to use any sort of external preamp, try bypassing the internal one - or replace it with one of fdeck's little DIY circuits. Apart from that I think they're a fairly good cheap bass - the basic woodwork seems OK. I would have bought one except that in Australia they're not cheap (I paid the same price for a nice hand-made one from Bill Paulin - www.fittell.id.au/eub).