I guess we all know people who have bought super expensive gear (because they have the money), but can't really play (yet/ever), but think that they need the best possible gear to get better. And then there are others who can make an 80$ bass sound like a dream and play everything on it, because they can play on just about any instrument and make music. So, when in our journey from bloody-nosed beginner to decent amateur or gigging pro can we REALLY begin to appreciate what a good instrument offers compared to a mediocre one, or what a top-notch luthier-made bass offers compared to a run-of-the-mill Squire? In other words: would you start with a, say, Fodera if you had the means, or do you upgrade your instruments as you progress? What does it take to appreciate why an Alembic is "better" than a Gio?