OK - I must admit - I find pretty much any thread started by nick to be really funny. Better than any sitcom that is out there IMHO. Certainly stirs up a lot of mess. I have to admit I empathize with him sometimes though and find myself always chansing the latest bass, amp or effect that has caught my eye - thinking this will be "IT", that tone I am looking for. I must admit I've been thinking the same type of things lately. My SWR isn't warm\round enough. My jazz bass (despite all I've invested into it) just isnt cutting it. All of this despite the impressive list of artists who use both brands with amazing results. Interestingly enough - I had a GREAT practive session tonight. First, I experimented with hand position - instead of playing with my fingers close to the bridge or between the pickups (like I normally do) I went to playing right near the neck (and places between). What a difference in tones. I've heard about this before, but never spent a lot of time experimenting - tonight I spent several hours on this. In conjunction with a trying a softer approach vs. a more aggressive attack, I came up with a wide array of useable (and often amazing) tones I had not heard before. The sound really is "in your hands". Technique is important - whle I thought I had good technique before, I realize there is a lot of ground for me to cover, still. I also messed around with info I found useful in the "song beginnings that remind you of intervals" thread. I guess I never thought of things that way before, but it really helped me unlock that mystery of hearing chord changes. I was able to figure our simple songs like "Happy Birthday" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" in seconds - and I never really have been able to figure out a lot by ear before. Tried some more current\mainsteam stuff as well and had a much easier time figuring out the basslines than ever before and am excited about learning more. So, do I still want that Sadowsky\MTD\???... played through that Ashdown\Thunderfunk\Eden? Maybe! BUT - I realize I've got pretty good gear and I'm the weak link. Playing bass is a journey... Thanks for listening!