Hello all. This is my first-ever post to the double bass forum. I am a bass player in need of an ultra-affordable, yet serviceable upright. I am getting enough gigs these days to where it's time to stop borrowing my friend's every time I play. As I work in a music shop with access to Cremona instruments from the Saga company, this is what I have to choose from: the SB-2 (maple plywood top, back, and sides) and the SB-3 (spruce top, maple back and sides, and much more handsome). We have one of each in the store right now. Here is my initial comparison: The SB-2 is set up much lower and slinkier than the -3. It feels more lightweight, and has a decent (for cheap) tone, though moderate volume. The SB-3 has currently a higher setup, so it plays rather more stiffly, but seems to have a better projection but more stuffy tone. It is significantly louder. The price difference is negligible for me, as I am getting whichever instrument I choose for cost. My question is basically, what would you guys do? I believe the SB-3 is likely to be a more rugged instrument down the road of gigging reality abuse. It also is much nicer-looking, though I am treating that as a nonfactor. The SB-2 sounds decidedly better as they sit. I am wondering, will the spruce top open up tonally at all, or will it remain pretty static, being plywood? I am thinking the lighter weight of the maple SB-2 top is making it sound better out of the box? If the SB-3 has a tonal future, then I think it would be the better choice. I can have the action lowered and better strings can be obtained, if the stuffiness/wolfiness can be played out of it. I need to decide within the next few days though, so the one I don't pick can go on the sales floor. Any experience/opinions/advice for a student bassist on a budget? Thank you very much, and thanks for maintaining what I consider to be a reference-quality forum!