Pretty clever variation on the 4 string vs 5 string theme, eh? Reason for posting is that I have been re-assessing these two approaches a lot lately. I personally just went with 5's pretty early on and never really got to know how to use the Hipshot. Guess I figured I didn't need to. Anyhow, here are a couple of points I've noticed: Takes a little time to get used to the alternate tunings with the Hipshot. Maybe I just wasn't willing to fight that battle 20 years back. But, its really not all that bad. I'm now getting pretty comfortable with the Hipshot set for either Eb or D drop tunings in working situations. I think that was the barrier I hadn't considered worth the effort. Here's why it is worth the effort: OK, IMO/E, I like the lower notes on the de-tuned string with the Hipshot better than on the B on a 5. The de-tuned D or Eb just sounds to my ear way better than the stopped notes on the B string. I say this based on several very good basses with correct setups etc etc. I believe that, as in the 34 vs 35 rationale, the longer string length just helps; simple physics, no way around it. Anyhow, this makes a compelling case for the Hipshot, IMO. Second, I am just not using the notes below D a whole lot (mostly playing covers); and for the few cases where I would/do, transposing up doesn't cause any significant issues. Third, I get the across-the-string advantage of the ERB's. But, quite honestly, I was pretty heavily schooled in position shifting on the upright; so, in my own case, that aspect is not so important. All of this has me re-evaluating my own take on the 4 vs 5 debates; and for reasons I don't see discussed much. One thing I am tempted now to re-evaluate is to setup my 5 strings with E to C and put the Hipshot on the E string. Guess there are just always new ways to look at things. Part of why playing bass seems to a have an endlessly interesting well of things to think about, understand, and practice.