Okay, so my main bass is a 4 string Alembic that was made during the 80s. I purchased it from a nearby guitar center without doing too much research because I needed a really great bass sound for a record I was doing, and this was the only bass I found in 3 guitar centers that spoke to me. It's heavy as hell, seems like standard Alembic character but isn't as "exquisite" as some of the ones I've seen. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may have been one of the old Fernandez copies, but I haven't checked up on that yet. Twould be interesting if that were the case. ANYway. The bass sounds good through my mPulse/4x10, and we tracked the record and got a very respectable "picked bass" sound. Well I broke the strings for the first time last night and swapped them out for a set of Dean Markley BLUE STEEL strings. When I tuned it up, turned on the amp, and played through our set with the group, we were all literally DUMBFOUNDED by how much better the sound was. Literally night and day. It was the sound I've always wanted from a bass guitar rig- full, clear, defined- wheras the usual sound sounded and FELT restricted and cloudy. Now here's the truly bizzare part. We came back down an hour later to run the set again, and the sound/feel had returned a good portion of the way to the "cloudy/not right" position. Is this just the result of the strings settling in? We couldn't figure it out. But it seems like the bass now fluctuates between sounding absolutely incredible and sounding just "pretty good" and it's driving me crazy.