Simply put, these are the quietest, most transparent pickups Ive ever experienced period! What follows is for the benefit of others considering the Q-Tuners. Sorry if it rambles a bit. A few years ago I was searching for a new 5-string bass and settled on a Yamaha BB-405. Its a solid chunk of alder with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. Cost aside, I tested quite a few basses and found I liked the way it played better than the other name brands. Its weighted nicely, isnt too heavy and has a great feeling 24-fret neck. The fact that its one of the least expensive 5 strings helped cinch the deal. But there was a problem Yamaha had to cut corners somewhere and they did it in the electronics. It comes stock with a pair of single-coils that act as quasi-humbuckers when both pups are set the same, but even then there is an audible hum. When the volume on the pups is set differently, say more neck than bridge, the hum becomes overwhelming. To my ear, even when set optimally, the stock pups are muddy particularly noticeable on the low B where there is hardly any definition to the notes between B and E. So I Googled on pickups and found Talkbass. After hanging around a while I learned a couple of things: 1] The single most important factor in determining the sound of an electric guitar is the pickups. Wood type, neck thru or bold-on mean little to nothing. This has been confirmed in discussions with several luthiers. Basically if you are comfortable playing it, the rest is window dressing [and marketing bs]. 2] Many pickups color the sound a particular way. There is a jazz or p or soapbar sound that is what some people actively seek out. I believe sound color should come after the instrument in the effects and amplification part of the signal chain. IMHO its the responsibility of the instrument/pickups to deliver the players performance as transparently as possible. Not everyone will agree, but thats what makes the world go around. Enter the Q-Tuners. Theres a thread on the Knuckle bass that expounds on its virtues, so I wont belabor the point. As an aside, I did get the opportunity to check out the Knuckle at Accugrooves booth at NAMM and was quite impressed with it and the sound of the Qs. I took the plunge and ordered a set of Q-Tuner BXLs in December after chatting with a number of references Erno @ Q-Tuner passed along. Their website isnt very helpful and I was a bit apprehensive because they are not a straight replacement being considerably bigger than the stock pups requiring the body to be routed. I received the pups on Monday [Feb 14th], dropped them off at my luthiers on Tuesday and had the guitar back on Wednesday. Ive been experimenting off and on and so far I couldnt be happier. They are dead quiet even when cranked all the way up they introduce absolutely no noise whatsoever - keeping in mind this is by ear only, I dont have a scope handy. They provide note definition to spare my low B string plays beautifully with clarity to even the lowest note. All strings are bright something that caught me a bit off-guard at first the muddiness I was experiencing before is completely gone. Summary: Since the BB-405 is fundamentally a Jazz clone, I dont think it unfair to compare the two. A 5-string Jazz was selling for around $2,000 [Canadian pricing] when I bought the BB, so Ill use that as the benchmark. Heres how a Q outfitted BB works out: BB-405 - $500 DAddario Chromes [stock strings are garbage] - $80 Q-Tuners - $300 Luthier installation - $200 ------------------------------- Total BB-Q-405 = $1,080 =================== Aside from the fact that IMO the BB-Q plays and sounds better than any stock Jazz, Ive got $920 still in my pocket to spend on other stuff. Not sure I could sell the bass and get back what I spent on it, but thats not the point. I have a beautiful playing and sounding instrument for ½ the price of a comparable name brand and highly recommend Q-Tuners to discerning musicians looking for the best pickups money can buy. Besides, I think they look pretty cool on the BB. PS Paul, thanks for re-thinking the sig policy.