So I've been playing bass for about 12 years all together. I put it down for about 6 years since I had to sell all my equipment (one of those rough financial situations ) and in the last year, I've just been getting back into it. Playing in a band - death n' roll, groove metal, black n' roll, and I like a rather punchy tone as opposed to more muted, "warm" tones. I really like a bright growl rather to smooth and mellow. Other than my first bass - a really awful Lotus that I bought without really knowing what to look for other than " hey, a cheap bass! And so-and-so wants me to play in his band so I'll learn bass!" I've always played Ibanez. For a few reasons: I like their tone. I had an SR405 and 406 before I sold them, and just liked the way they sounded. I also have really REALLY small hands (seriously, small.) - being female and coming from a small-in-stature family, a slim neck really helps me out a lot, and Ibanez has the slimmer necks. I've been using, since I picked playing back up, a rather battered (my fault, I sorta abused this bass since I knew I'd be replacing it soon - though it still sounds alright! ) Ibanez SR-300, old model... probably about 8 years old ... and it's time to upgrade to the five string again for the low end that heavier music just sounds so good with. So now I've got a dilemna. I'm thinking of trying a Traben Array 5-string, as I've -heard- pretty good things about them and some notable musicians do use them. However, I'm not going to have much chance to try to play on one since... heh, there are no music stores where I'm at that carry anything except Fender (just not a Fender fan, sorry). If anyone could give me some info on the tone of these basses, action, neck-size, (in terms of thickness, not scale) and other general thoughts I'd appreciate it! I'm inclined to go with another Ibanez SR model 5-string, but at the same time... if there's something that sounds better for heavy music at the same price (and is comfortable to play) far be it from me to be a brand-snob and not try it. Thanks!