As I type this little thread, behind me rests my new double bass. Let me say that again... My ... new ... double ... bass. Although, to be clear, it's not new, (although I suppose with these instruments, that's a good thing). Now, to make a long story short. The drummer in my band, www.westgrandblvd.com, Anna, has a friend whose father, let's call him Doug, was helping someone move. The man Doug was helping move had an old DB lying around, and chose to "unload" it on Doug. Doug's daughter, Anna's friend, mentioned it, and Anna knew that it would make the perfect birthday present to me. So here it lies. For some reason, the strings were removed, so the bridge is, of course, detached, along with the long black doo-dad, (someone give me the name for it), that is below the bridge, at the bottom of the bass. I have no idea what the make or model is of the bass, I have no idea whether it is carved or plywood or styrofoam. For some reason, someone, using black electrical tape, spelled the word/name, "Alma", (spanish for "soul" but also a popular name, of course), onto the front of it. Luckily, this is easily removed. She's beautiful. Beautiful. I love her and she's mine. Now, we need to get her playable. So, in my neck of the woods, (A.H.) Bob Gollihur mentions three accessible luthiers on his website; Ifshin Violins in Berkeley, Michael Olivola and Hannah Mayne of "The Bass House" in Oakland, and Allan Droyan of "String Bass Shop" in San Francisco. Just outside of my area is Bruce Sexauer in Petaluma and Alex Friedman of "Acoustic Bass Shop" in South San Francisco. Can anyone give me any feedback on these individuals/shops, some guidelines on what exactly needs to be done, (besides purchasing strings, of course), and a rough estimate of what I'm looking at? Thank you all. And, obviously, as soon as she's playable, well the toybass will no longer be accompanying me on my lessons. It feels good. It feels real good.