i went to guitar center today, but on the way i met up with TBer kohanmike who kindly let me re-try his double four and his new aquila bass. and you know what? the little aquila REALLY sounds like an upright with mike's favorite flats - it gave me chills. awesome bass, particularly with those strings, and thanks to an awesome guy! then off to west l.a. guitar center. i was actually there checking out amps, and maybe it's the room but everything sounded a little boomy and unclear to me. so off to the acoustic room where i tried the ibanez parlor acoustic bass, which is nice, but my husband handed me a guild jumbo junior bass, and wowzers! how do they pack all that tone into a 23.75" scale bass? not as comfortable to play as the ibanez parlor bass, though. but i kept playing it anyway till my shoulder started to hurt. while my husband was looking at guitar parts, i headed back to the bass room and just happened to pick up a thunderbird - and Epiphone Thunderbird Classic IV. i've played a fair number of epi and gibson thunderbirds, but this one wowed me. yes, it was heavy, although not as heavy as some including the used one right next to it. but that tone! words actually fail me - it's like there was more tone in every note. a more serious bass tone. more deep but very clear musicality, crisp mids. and that doesn't really describe it, but words actually fail me. but i had a wonderful time playing it while i was there i also checked out two mini strats for weight. the older one with the front plug weighed a little more than the newer version with the side plug. i'd say they both weight around 5 pounds. i think i'd rather get a small bass than do a conversion, but they're an option. btw, there's a used 5-string sadowsky in the bass room.