Fellow bassists. I don't post here anymore but I feel that this information is important to the community of professional bassists. For those that don't know me I am a professional bassist who travels about one fifth of the year touring. Over the years I have found that renting is the best option and as many of the places I play are in or near large cities I usually have no problem finding a good shop to help me out. In fact, I have never been denied a rental in the past five years or so, even in as far flung locales as Budapest. Bass players are, in my opinion, a special breed of musician and we share an understanding of the difficulties of our chosen profession. With travel restrictions tightening and oversized baggage fees skyrocketing it is, in my opinion, vital that pro bass shops provide some kind of rental option for the traveling professional. I have had no difficulties in this regard until my recent trip to Arizona. Steve Koscica is the owner of a shop that has established itself in the Phoenix area, here is Steve with his fine Italian bass String Emporium, About Us. Many may have heard of Steve here on these forums, he has been the subject of some debate in the past, mainly for using the forums to promote his business but also regarding some discontent with his business practices. I have been to Steve's house and played his basses and he seems like a nice enough guy to me, I even went so far as to defend him here on the boards. I recently contacted Steve about renting a bass and he told me that he doesn't rent due to 'insurance' concerns. Fair enough. I wrote him a few times suggesting ways we might get around his concerns (i.e. me paying for the bass up front on my VISA) but, in the end I didn't even get a response from Steve to my inquiries. I had hoped to appeal to the 'bass player' in Steve as, in my experience, there is a kind of bass player brotherhood among us who choose this difficult profession. Well, Steve, true to some of the character analysis on these boards, didn't come through for me. I ended up having to rent a Czech Ease bass here in NY and drag it all over the country which cost me over $500 in baggage fees. It's important to note that Czech-Eaze is a little bit of a misnomer at this point. Continental and Delta charged $25 but US Airways charged $200 each time I boarded a plane. I understand this is really just 'my problem' (we could say that about most things in life if we choose to be cynical) but man, would life have been much easier if Steve could have found a way to help me out. My two gigs I needed the bass for were local and at very fine musical theaters (be sure to check out the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix which is a world class hall on par with the small hall at Carnegie). Luckily, I didn't have to play the boxy little Czech-Eaze at the MIM thanks to The String Shop of Tempe. The String Shop of Arizona - Musical Instruments | Facebook They have a limited web presence which is why I hadn't heard of them but Terry at the Shop provided me with a very fine Chinese instrument for the MIM performance, perfectly set up, with pick up, delivered, for a very reasonable cost. The difference in service and attitude from the Bass Cafe could not be more striking and my faith in the brotherhood of bass had been immediately restored. Please make a note when thinking of traveling to the area to check out the String Shop of AZ as your go-to professional bass shop in the area.