Looks like the Skyline JO 5 is catching on. More and more TBers are picking up on this great deal. I just received one of these with a factory installed J-Retro and have been lightly breaking her in. This bass sounds great and is very easy to play. To start off with, I must say that even the bass's passive tone is great. You don't really need a preamp (I just had the J-Retro installed because the bass's price is so reasonable and I had some extra cash), the passive tone sounds as good or better than basses at twice the price. The playability of the neck is first rate. It has enough width without being too wide or too narrow. The neck is not at all chunky like the Roscoe Beck or Fender 5s. It's extremely easy to play for my small/medium size hands. One thing that I noticed right off is its weight. At 11 solid pounds, the JO is noticeably heavier than my F Bass or MTD 535. For a Korean made instrument, the workmanship and finish is very good. I used to own a US made 55-94 Deluxe and can attest that this Skyline's quality workmanship is probably 95% of the US made basses. You can pretty much nail the Marcus Miller or the traditional warm Jazz Bass tones with this bass running in passive mode. With the J-Retro engaged, you have more tonal possibilities with more bottom and highs than you would ever need. Then the semi parametric mid is another story (boost/cut with selectable frequency between 150hz and 3K). You can tailor the mids to suit your taste. The passive / active switch is also nice feature. One small issue is that you lose the blend function when in passive mode (only options are both pickups on full, or bridge pickup soloed). This minor short coming doesn't bother me when you consider all of the positive attributes of this preamp. For more info on the J-Retro: http://www.j-retro.co.uk/ I highly recomend this bass if you're in the market for a quality Jazz Bass in the $1,000 to $1,300 price range.