In the December issue of Bass Player, in a manufacturers round table,I was struck by the fact that the discussion started off with an acknowledgement of the quality of low cost basses. Ned Steinberger, Rick Turner and Mike Powers (Peavey) all said how great CNC mass produced basses can be. Powers mentioned that CNC had to watched so that tolerances are kept tight, but he definitely acknowledged the advantages of CNC technology. The other thing that is interesting is what Bruce Kaminsky noted. He said that bass players are into the image or mystique associated with an instrument as much as the actual quality of the instrument. I guess the bottom line is that young and less affluent basses have it better than ever, provided they are not too deep into image or the idea of owning the same bass that so and so has on the cover Bass Player or his/her latest album. That said, there's nothing like owning a really cool bass!