This was motivated by a related thread over in "bluegrass", but it applies to several genres. I often see, and sometimes hear, people stating that a "thumpy" sound is frequently preferred for certain styles of music. For example, I hear this about the older bluegrass styles, traditional country, old-time, and older jazz and swing styles. Typically there are comments relating this to the use of plywood basses and/or gut strings. I play fairly often in bluegrass and old-time settings. I have a carved bass with steel orchestral strings. (Bel Canto.) My bass gets a very tonal sound with good sustain - kind of the other end of the spectrum from the supposedly valued "thump" supposedly characteristic of those styles. I frequently get positive admiring comments on the sound of the bass. I never hear anyone say anything like "less sustain and less tonal sound would be better for this style; you really ought to be getting a sound that is more percussive and 'thumpy'". Does this mean that people think they like the percussive thumpy sound but what they actually like is a more tonal sustaining sound? Or is it that I have no idea what the heck I am talking about?