I've been wondering this for a while now. A determining factor in the price of a bass is the type of wood that's used. However, if the bass is painted, you can't see the sometimes gorgeous appearance of the natural wood. And since the bass is electric, I can't figure out exactly how/if the wood has any effect on the sound of the instrument. On an acoustic instrument, it's easy to understand why the wood makes such a difference. But on an electric bass, does the wood really effect the sound of a plugged-in bass? I figure that tone, sustain etc are determined by the pickups, bridge, nut and the way YOU play it. Yet I still hear that the wood makes a big difference.... but HOW?