Hello all, Just a little bit of background about myself, I've been playing the upright bass, on-and-off, since I was 9 years old (I recently turned 30). My weapon of choice for the past 16 years has been a pre-WWII plywood bass from some luthier in Canada (Mike Shank told me who it was, but I forget the name), that my parents bought for me when I was 14 years old, for $800. It's an old bass-- the section leader in the amateur symphony orchestra I play in (Hershey Symphony Orchestra) says he loves the sound. But, I've been practicing more lately (something I didn't have the discipline to do when I was younger), and it's pretty clear that my primary interest in the double bass is Orchestral (I play bass guitar in blues, rock, and metal), and I think it's time to start looking into investing in a new instrument. I realize there are some pretty big-sounding 3/4's out there, but I happen to be a big fellow (6'2", 300lbs), and can certainly handle a 7/8 or 4/4. Here is what I think my "ideal" bass would be like: 1) All solid woods-- one of the two things I strongly-dislike about my current plywood bass is how it de-laminates over time. 2) 7/8 size, although I'm also open to large-ish 3/4's, as well. 3) Flat-back, Gamba shape. I prefer a flat back because I play sitting down, and use my left knee and thigh to support the weight of the instrument. I like the Gamba body shape because I like its elegant simplicity and lack of fragility in its appearance. 4) A meaty, hand-filling neck and string length >42". The other major complaint I have about my current bass is that the neck is too slim and short (currently about 41.2" string length). I find it hard to practice for extended periods with my hands and forearms fatiguing quickly, thus "fudging" some of my fingerings. Practicing on school basses with thicker necks eliminated this problem. 5) Full-depth (8" to 7.5") ribs. Additionally, I'm not sure what my preference is for regarding back and sides-- I've played Maple basses my whole life, so I'm not sure just how much of a difference something like Willow or Poplar would make. Does anyone else have some experience with this? So far, I have found that Samuel Shen makes a bass matching most of my criteria. Both Mike Shank (Welcome to ShankStrings.com) and Jeff Judd (J.R. Judd Violins) carry a Maple version. Shank's is a 1999, and I'm guessing Judd's is of similar vintage, seeing as how Shen's current 7/8 Gamba is made of Willow (according to both Upton and CSC). Apparently, there is also an Andreas Eastman, the 605, that can be made pretty close to my criteria, although It's not stated anywhere if that model has a round or flat back. Anyone with advice or useful input regarding basses out there matching my criteria would be greatly appreciated.