I've read the FAQ for new players and I've researched several of the suggested beginner basses online. I currently play electric bass (fretted and fretless), electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and I have played clarinet, bass clarinet, and various percussion instruments in the past; so I have some musical background. I'm trying to narrow my choices down a bit. I live in the middle of nowhere so I will likely have to order a bass without trying it first. There is one music store in town that rents orchestral instruments and they have 1 double bass that I will be looking at tonight. I live in an area that has frequent sudden and often times drastic weather changes. We have literally gone from 70 degrees and sunny to 20 degrees and snowing in less than a day, and then been back to the 70s in another day or two. It's pretty humid in the summer here, and really dry in the winter. So a bass that is not sensitive to weather changes would be really helpful. I'm still trying to nail my price range down a bit. I can do about 1500 fairly easily, but could do up to around 5000 if I finance it or save up for a bit first. For me there is no question of "sticking with it", I know I want to learn double bass and I have learned a lot of instruments over the years. In this price range I am looking at the various Gollihur offerings. The laminated Estle Louis, their Englehardts, the carved Estle Louis, and their carved Bulgarian bass. For the upper end of my range I really seem to like the Wan Bernadel and Giovani Battista offerings from String emporium. I am also interested in their Thomson plywood and hybrid offerings. I also like the Shen Willow. I am interested in both Pizzicato and bowing, so I'd prefer an instrument set up decently for both. I'd also like to eventually start being able to do some gigs with a double bass should the need arise; I currently gig electric bass, and on occasion electric and acoustic guitar. I suppose the first thing I really need to do is pin down a price range. My questions. Of the beginner quality basses on my short list (Englehardt, Estle Louis, and Thompson) which do you recommend and why? Of the higher quality basses on this short list (Shen Willow, Gollihur's Bulgarian, Wan Bernadel, and Giovani Battista) which do you recommend and why? (I understand that $5,000 is relatively inexpensive for a double bass, but its a significant amount for me.) I am open to any other suggestions you may have. Thank you for your time.