I have a super-fancy Benavente neck-thru 5-string bass (which does have a lot of finish checking, but that's why I'm offering a crazy deal on it!). I'd trade it for a RB-5. My bass has active EMG soapbars with passive v/v/t controls; very thick, modern tone. The checking didn't show up in the jpegs I have (these are from the guy who sold me the bass); I don't have a digital cam to try again. Since the finish crack lines run parallel to the flame maple striping, it's hard to get a picture to show them. However, you _can_ see how incredibly cool the bass is -- email me at email@example.com for the jpegs. Any takers?