She got here yesterday and I literally haven't been able to put her down. I truly believe that I caught Jeff in a weak moment just after he got his incredible Nordstrand SC5. (Thank you so much Jeff!!! And Carey for creating such a wonderful bass so that Jeff was weakened) Jeff felt that he just would not get the opportunity to play the Monarch. This bass belonged to Jeff Rader and when he got it I was so taken by it. When I first saw Jeff's photos my jaw actually dropped. I just couldn't imagine such a beautiful bass. I was so enamored by the Koa top. It just looked so perfect. I had been wanting an VW Monarch ever since I'd played the first one at Morgan's, in Garland. I made a few trips to Dallas, recently and got a chance to visit Jeff. It was a brief visit but I got to play the Monarch and of course the Nordstrand. That just made it worse so I had to sell some stuff, that was very dear to me, to make this happen. This bass IS everything that I had imagined and more. It really plays itself. The neck is so fast and comfortable. There is no fatigue. I wish that I was a wordsmith, like Joker, so that I could convey just how incredible this bass really is. The Pope/EMG is so very nice. I was fooling around with what little Marcus Miller stuff I can play(in my dreams) and I was amazed at how much I was able to cop that tone. Then I just roll the blend toward the neck P-type pickup roll off the mids and highs, and I can get sweet reggae tone. Then it's got this incredible finger-funk think on the bridge pickup. Then back, favoring the neck pickup, it's got a very smooth bluesy thud. It's almost impossible to make this bass sound bad, even with my poor technique. Although, through a Demeter/PLX/Epifani T310 rig, every mistake is apparent. So really the only way that I've found to make it sound bad is to let me play it. I know that this has been very difficult for Jeff to let this bass go. He has been unbelieveably great to deal with. We discussed being able to keep the Monarch in the TB family. I think that this made it a bit easier on Jeff. Jeff, I really appreciate it so very much.