... is a very common reccomendation given to people on the internet who are soliciting opinions about basses. I have a different take: A music shop is one of the worst places you could choose to get to know a bass, and you will never have enough time to fully adjust to the instrument. This is especially true if you are trying something radically different than what you are used to. There are many basses out there that will dazzle you in one way or another in the shop (usually by feeling a lot like the bass you have already, or by having a hyped-up top end), and be a major let down in the context of your band, your amp, your gigs ... and some basses that you'd overlook in the shop that might be just the ticket in the real world. Let alone when you set it up with the strings and action you really like!!! My reccomendation to anyone looking to try a radically different bass from what they currently play: 1) Cruise the mags, the web, reviews, talk to friends, listen to recordings, and get a general idea of what you might like to try. 2) Start a thread here asking for specific reccomendations given your style. If possible upload an MP3 of your music. If not, describing your "influences" can help more than "desired tone" since their are only so many ways to say "deep, clear, and punchy". There are some monster players on here, and people with tons of experience, so you will probably get some valuable input. Someone will also tell you to go try them in a shop. Ignore them 3) Wait until you see the bass you want to try appear on the classifieds on this forum and JUST BUY IT!!! The used market is thriving! You can find just about anything you might want, at really low prices, and if it doesn't work out you can almost always sell it for what you paid. Then you take it home and shed. Then you take it to rehersals and make sure everyone is smiling, heads bobbing, guitar solos blazing above your killer new tone (or do your bandmates say "what the heck is that thing?"). Fingers are feeling good, you are throwing down fewer clams than ever (or are you ganking everything up with fret noise and wierd overtones?) You take it on gigs and see how the soundmen like with your new love ... People are dancing, at night's end you get compliments from the musicians in the room (or do you?) I think 5 gigs is a reasonable proving period for a bass. If you havn't found something to dislike by then, you've probably got a winner. 5 minutes or even an hour or two in a shop is not the same. If the bass doesn't work out, at any point, and for whatever reason, you've lost nothing and probably learned a lot about your playing and about basses. Sell it and start over from step 1!!!