My Upton Deluxe Hybrid (Made in America) arrives on Tuesday. It's ironic, but somehow unsurprising given my general luck, that I should just now begin reading a lot of posts critical of Upton basses, giving me a rather serious case of doubts about whether I made the best purchase or not. I'm not trying to knock Swanson or Clink - far from it, I think every viewpoint ought to be shared, especially when thousands of dollars are at stake - but these fellows' comments about their Upton experiences are now making me wonder if I made the right choice! I went with the Upton because it seemed like the best option - there are no good bass shops around here in Southern Indiana, at least none that I could find info about on here or on Gollihur's site. All the local music stores in town have maybe one or two basses between them every few months, and they all seem to be low-end Knilling plywoods, which my teacher warned me against. Furthermore, I heard NOTHING but good things about the Uptons up until now on this board, and their free shipping and free setup really seemed like the best deal going. And as soon as I started corresponding with them over the phone I was sold by their professionalism and great service. Finally I asked around about it here, and was told that the Upton is a great instrument by many posters, including drurb. Also, my teacher said it was a good choice, and I trust him. So I went with the Upton. My only other options for a hybrid or carved bass in the same price range were basically: 1. The Eberle / Wilfer basses from Ideal Music, which were priced very very well but I couldn't stand the ultra-glossy look of the finish. 2. a Christopher bass, which I also did not like the finishes on. (Yes, I care a lot about the appearance of an instrument as well as the sound.) Or 3. a Samuel Shen bass. I had read a lot of good things about the Shen basses but admittedly - and I may be wrong here, or just prejudiced, but whatever - given the choice between an instrument made in Europe (or, America, which is even better,) and one made in China, I'd go with the former. I know there are a lot of basses coming out of China which are supposed to be great but when I read that Upton was switching to American-made production, that sealed the deal for me. An American-made instrument with free setup, free shipping, a finish which looked really nice to me, and a very very good reputation - the Upton won out in the end. Now I'm reading a few things that are giving me doubts. Not only here but on Ken Smith's forum also. I realize that Ken of course is a businessman and of course he wants to push his basses over the competitors' (of which Upton represents a major one.) This is not a bad thing, it's perfectly reasonable for any smart person. But Ken also obviously really knows his stuff when it comes to basses, (or as he would say, Basses ) so when I read some of his posts which are critical of Upton's instruments I'm not just going to ignore them. Specifically he brings up a very good point about Upton having saturated this website with advertising and consequently gaining a lot of "hype" which may or may not be warranted. I guess what I'm trying to say is, some people sell sizzle and some people sell steak - I hope that Upton is selling steak here. Ah well, in just a few days, I'll find out. Keep in mind I am just starting out so I am unlikely to be able to be a good judge of the Upton's quality once it arrives. (My teacher will be the judge of that, I suppose.) Hopefully it will sound good to ME and play well for ME, which is all I could hope for really. For an entry-level instrument that would also have a carved top and sound good arco as well as pizz., and with a high-quality setup included in the cost, I figured I couldn't go wrong with the UB Hybrid. What sayest thou?