So I wandered down to Jive Sound yesterday to continue ing over his IP112/EX112 combination (which I WILL own one day), and it came out that he had received his first Skjold a few days before. I'd never played one, so I figured that this was as good a time as any to check out a new instrument. It was a 35" scale 5-string Pro Series (of his four series, the second-lowest line) with a mahogany body, no top, and two Skjold Design SC-1 pickups (split coils). The electronics were active, with bass and treble cut/boost pots and a four-way rotary knob made famous by Dingwall that gives you either pickup soloed or series/parallel configurations. It had a bolt-on three-piece maple neck with a maple fingerboard, 24 frets with a zero fret. The neck had a very comfortable shallow C profile with a satin or natural finish (can't remember which), which suited me just fine. Let me tell you... I was blown away! This bass left a marked first impression on me. It had a ridiculous range of tones, and playability was outstanding. Here's a semi-review of my time with it (for what it's worth, Jong told me when I left that after I was done with it, he'd have to mark it as used): Sound: I was really impressed with the way that the pickups and preamp allowed my playing to come through (not that my playing is anything to marvel over). The pickups sounded clean and even across all 5 strings (which interested me since Pete's website describes his pickups as being 'vintage'). With everything flat, the bass had a very pleasing, fairly modern sound (probably largely due to the maple neck and fingerboard and brand new steel strings on it). It had a sweet upper midrange, and low end was softer and warmer than I would have thought. One of the main highlights of this bass was the preamp, though. Let me tell you... this is one LOUD preamp. Without anything in the signal chain boosted very high (IP112, mixing board, bass preamp), we were pumping out some serious volume. The bass and treble boosts were super powerful too, and their frequency centers were at very comfortable positions. I'm really weird with treble boosts... I have found very few that I feel comfortable using because I never seem to like what they do to my sound. This treble was different... it was pretty much exactly where I wanted it to be, and it felt really natural and musical. The bass control really made the bass low end come alive. Set flat, the natural bass wasn't overly present, but with the boost, the low end could go from round in-the-mix to way over the top. All in all, it was easily one of the most usable preamps I've ever run across. I didn't like the style of the knobs, but that's certainly not a deal-breaker for me. Playability: The setup on this bass was top-notch. The neck had a hair of relief, and the action was set perfectly at medium-low. The neck profile was very nice, and my stumpy little fingers weren't limited by anything except my own ability. The fret ends stuck out by the slightest amount, but that's common here in Virginia, where we often have three climate shifts per day. It wasn't anything that Pete could have helped at the shop, and it's nothing that would have even given me a second thought about purchasing the bass. The lower cutaway is pretty massive, which looks kind of odd in pictures, but it was the first bass that has what I would call truly unobstructed access to EVERY fret... even the 24th fret on the low B. In pictures I'd seen before yesterday, the jury was still out on the Skjold body design (this one was the Offset '92 body style), but after having my hands on it, I'm totally sold. The bass is perfectly comfortable to play and is fairly light (I'd guess 8-9 lbs.), and it balanced wonderfully on a strap. Fit/finish: Flawless. Couldn't find a problem anywhere, with the exception of the fraction-of-a-millimeter fret ends that stuck out along the bottom of the neck. Like I said, this happens a lot in Virginia, and it could happen to any luthier's work. The glossy finish showed every detail of the beautiful mahogany body, and I couldn't find a single factory flaw anywhere. The headstock still looks kind of funky to me, but I wouldn't hold that against the bass... it's not important enough to me to change my opinion of the instrument. It's been quite a while since I've come across a bass that has amazed me as much as this Skjold. Jong said that it would go for something in the neighborhood of $2000, which sounded like a bargain to me. If you get the chance, definitely take a long, hard look at Pete's work. I've been thinking of getting a custom for a while now, and I hadn't looked much at Pete's work at all. Based on what I saw yesterday, I couldn't justify dropping the dough for a custom without thoroughly investigating Pete's operation. Hopefully this review has been somewhat helpful, and feel free to PM me with any specific questions!