This may get a bit long, but I feel compelled to share my Engelhardt experience. I played/attended a fairly large bluegrass gathering yesterday. Very nice. Tons of families, plenty of food and some very good players. Even had a few decent fiddlers show, which is unusual and always nice. (I was reminded how wonderful it is that Missouri is the pork steak capital of the world) Anyway, there was a decent crowd and maybe a dozen or so groups that either showed or formed on site. So, we were playing, and I was playing my Engelhardt. When we stopped for a break, I was approached by another bass player who asked to see my bass and commented on how good it sounded and that it threw really well. So, he played it and was equally impressed with the fit. I guess he was impressed enough to share his thoughts, because by the end of the day, I had been approached by almost all the bass players to check out my bass. Some thought is was a little stiff, but I can understand that if you are used to playing guts. These guys have old Kays. I saw a king. One guy even had a 30s vintage American Standard. (Man it was loud) Did they ever do carved basses? It looked like a carved top. Anyway, my Engelhardt (it's an ES9 BTW) hasn't exactly been worked over by a luthier. Everything except the strings came from the factory. I re-shaped the bridge a bit myself and my teacher "fit" the soundpost with his pocketknife. Just easing the edges and altering the angle a bit to get it to flush out better and not have an edge boring into the table or back. I did install a flexible tail gut and trash the stiff wire. I use spiro weichs ( with a mitt on the E) so I am thinking that maybe some aren't used to actually hearing tone in a string. But it can't be just the string, I mention this only to say that you can get a good Engelhardt and it is true that some do come out of the box fairly playable. I wish I could say that I selected it from a vast pool of Engelhardts, but the truth is, it came off a freight truck and landed on my porch. I guess I am a blind hog. I am so excited that I am actually taking it to a respected luthier this week to get a new endpin installed and have him give it a once over. I hope he doesn't screw it up!!!!