Wal Mach II purchased from BunnyBass Solid mahogany body Maple/hornbeam bolt-on neck Lined ebony fretless board PolyBlack gloss finish All hardware is gold-plated Weight just under 10 pounds Condition: showroom Handmade in 1996 Accessories: a beautiful grey fiberglass Wal flightcase an unopened set of DR strings in the box I was very anxious and excited to be adding a fretless bass to my collection again. Although I have been comfortable having played an upright for many years I had yet to find a fretless bass that I "connected with". I was also apprehensive about the weight based on many posts in various bass forums. I really didn't know what to expect. The moment this bass arrived I was tempted to post my first impressions, but in hindsight I am glad that I did not. This gives me the opportunity to gain control my previously-unbridled enthusiasm and to maintain a clear perspective for the purposes of this review. There are some important and striking features about this instrument that I absolutely love: Firstly, this instrument is the easiest possible fretless to play. I dreaded how I might sound after many years on fretted instruments exclusively, but the bass seems to magically keep my fingers in exactly the right place. I don't miss the frets at all and playing in tune is effortless. I've had a tendency to fumble a bit with the B string on my fivers, expecially when they're not in use. I own and have played many wonderful five-stringed basses, but the B string often seemed to be "in the way" for me. For this reason I would take a four-stringer to gigs and only use a five-stringed bass when needed. The Wal has solved that problem. The B string is not obtrusive but it is always right there when needed, and it does not slow me down or get in the way at all. Probably the biggest surprise for me was the fact that this bass can behave and sound exactly like a fretted instrument if you simply choose to play it as such. If you want the fretless "mwah" and expression it's ALL right there at your fingertips. Originally I thought that I would add the fretless for a few songs, and with luck have it do double duty where a five-stringer was needed. The end result is that I will only need to take this one bass with me to perform. If I took a fretted bass it would only be on an evening that I planned to do a lot of slapping. It's worth mentioning that the Wal fretless works very well for slap styles. This bass is well-balanced and comfortable and weighs in under 10 pounds. This is light compared to my Tobias or Warwicks (several of which I can now let go). Lastly I can confirm that all of the rumours are true. Wal basses are absolute tone monsters. You need some time to master the controls which are non-standard and take some getting used to. This is not 3-band boost or cut. There are many pages written to explain the operation of the Wal preamp and controls so I won't devote space to it here. I can say that after a little reading I am not only totally comfortable with this setup, I actually prefer it. In closing, I would say that if you get the opportunity to try (or even buy) a Wal don't hesitate. This has turned out to be the PERFECT instrument for me. This is likely to be the one bass that I will be buried with. Also, I want to mention what a great experience it was to deal with Jon & Harry at BunnyBass again. They worked overtime to help make my dream come true and I would highly recommend them. I hope they can forgive me for pointing you towards their photos of my bass. I promise to post my own pictures as soon as possible. http://www.bunnybass.com/basses/wal_5FL_black/wal_5FL_black.shtml Thanks for reading.