I bought a 60th-anniversary Fender P -- the "blackguard blonde" model -- almost 8 years ago. It's only the second bass I've bought brand-new in almost 20 years. It arrived with a nearly perfect setup -- just needed some minor tweaks -- and the only adjustments to the setup I've made since have been for occasional string changes. I love everything about this bass and have barely touched any of my other basses since then. However, one thing I've noticed about it over the years has been that it always sounds like I have some kind of mild "dirt" or something turned on. I've generally liked this just fine, as I usually like to add a little something anyway (e.g., a Sansamp VT Bass) to my signal. But every once in a while I'd like to have a completely clean tone, and when I've turned off all my pedals it still sounded like some kind of (mild) effect was on. I never gave it much thought, though, and just assumed the sound was being colored by the the amp, or a not-true-bypass pedal, or something. Then it finally dawned on me recently, while reading a discussion about pickup height here at TB, that maybe my pickups were too high. I'd just never thought about it; I guess I assumed the pickup height was "correct" when I bought it. A quick "nickel test" suggested that they were indeed too high, so I brought a screwdriver to my next band practice and lowered the pups a smidge to see if it made a difference. It did. After practice I asked one of my guitarists if he had noticed any difference in my sound, and he said that it was "punchier" than usual and that he liked it. A few days later, at practice with my other band, I lowered the pups a little further. I really wanted a clean sound that night since our drummer couldn't make it and -- holy crap -- I finally got the clean sound that had eluded me for 8 years. So yeah, I'm an idiot -- but have you checked your own pickup height lately?