"Hand a cheap generic beginner bass to an accomplished bassist like Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey or Jaco Pastorius (insert name of your favourite bass legend here), and they will make it sound like a well made boutique bass, and not only that, pull off a legendary performance on it". *edited to include my post later in the thread: For clarification though, when I said 'cheapo beginner bass', I am not referring to a bass that has been rusting for the past 20 years and about to fall apart, with strings that haven't been replaced in years. I was thinking more along the lines of, say, the cheapest Rogue 4 string that had been set up properly (albeit with stock strings, pups etc) by the shop for the kid that bought it. And the scenario I had in mind was very much how Bruce Lindfield described it earlier in this thread. I've been to summer schools and/or workshops and/or classes where the accomplished musician has picked up a relatively cheap student's instrument and blown everyone away with a spontaneous performance. The best part is seeing the kid's (or young adult, or older) face light up with fresh inspiration in their own playing and their 'cheap' instrument.