If you are sure about the Ibanez, more power to you, but I believe there are some very very reasonably priced instruments out there that are simply of a higher quality than any Ibanez bass besides the very very high quality ones. For example, my Schecter Diamond Series RobDelo bass cost me 499 and I would put it up amongst any Mike Pulcinella, EB/MM, etc. that I have ever played. It does the fender bass sound as good as any bass I've ever heard. The new Ibanez Ergodyne (sp?) 5-string, however, is an absolutely great 5 with a ton of features, a lot of snap, and a rich low-B. In terms of cables, use Carvins, they are extremely affordable and very transparent. I know people who like them better than Monster or George L. In terms of strings, I hear nothing but good things about the Dean Markley strings. I don't know what my Schecter came with stock but I am thinking that I want some really bright steel strings when I restring- maybe Thomastik Infeild? In terms of amps- I have to recommend the SWR Working Man's 12. It's very affordable, portable, and has an amazing pro tone without touching a dial. I got a 1x10 just because that's what guitar center had in stock and I had a gig 20 minutes later, but I haven't looked back on my decision at all. This is one hell of an amp and you can carry it in one hand and have amazing pro tone at your finger tips. If you are looking into effects, I find the danelectro to be very high quality and musical, albeit a little noisy, for a very low price compared to high end stuff. It might be a good idea to own a chorus pedal just in case.