I remember being in my teens, in bed at night with a guitar, watching ambient nocturnal light…street lights, the moon…make mother-of-pearl dots glint in the fretboard. Studying that play of light and the grain of wood along the neck. Some instruments muster that original thrill. In a delightfully utilitarian way, the StingRay Special is doing it for me. I have a taste for boutique, but also an appreciation for a factory gem. In the factory is the birth of the bass as we know it…Leo and that unlikely plank, one of several from him, ugly at the time and making some dismissive or hostile or uncertain. Those planks put these instruments in the reach of regular people, where they altered the course of popular music. Tonight I admire plain black dots embedded in a maple neck (roasted maple; it's 2018). No MOP glint. But a similar pleasing, just-right feeling. The hefty yet sleekly navigable neck, the pantheon of sounds, the solid friendship of this instrument. All’s well. The recipe is different for each of us. Which bass(es) tickles your fancy these days? I'm obviously happy these new StingRays are out there!