I tried two Alvarez basses yesterday, and I must say they were pretty good. They have quilted maple tops on an alder body and a graphite reinforced maple neck. I tried the 5 and 6 string versions. I guess the only complaint I have about them is that they are both passive. I've never seen a passive 6 string before, but this one played and sounded just fine for the money (cheaper than a cort curbow 6). Does anyone have any experiences with these basses? BTW, the Cort Curbow 5's and 6's that I tried were very lacking in quality control. The big problem was fret buzz, and the only bass that sounded good had the action really high to compensate. I like the cort curbows, but they need a better setup or design.