I was discussing this with a friend earlier (over the interwebs lol), and I have come to the conclusion that even tho I may buy an active bass sometime in the future, I will never be able to bring myself to play most "signature" basses. My reasons? Read on! Most sig basses nowadays seem to be emblazoned with various motifs of the person using it. My problem with this is I could see it affecting how people see you on stage, and how they figure your going to sound even before you hit a note. Obviously there are levels to this. One great example (IMO) that I stumbled on quite recently is the ESP TA and the HTB basses. The TA is Araya/Slayer, and the HTB is Blacksmith/CoB. I'm sorta considering the TA200 cus its passive (wow im old-school) and 35" scale. Now, for a sig bass its not bad. Sure it has pentagrams (generic IMO), but they go with the pointy style and the black color. The block "Araya" inlay isn't too bad either and I figure most peeps would just see it as a block from any distance. The HTB on the other hand has COBHC written across it in bold white print on black. My thinking is if you go up on stage with the TA most peeps are gonna be like "oh cool, here comes some metal" and for the most part I figure that would be a pretty good/fair assumption. When I see the HTB tho, I think "who the **** would bring that on stage, or even buy it in the first place". It just seems kinda strange to me. Bring that one onstage, or even out of the house, and people are gonna be like ***? and anyone who figures out what COBHC means before you play (which I figure would be most people at a metal concert) would intantly make an assumption about the band even if you don't really play that kind of metal. As a side note I do like the way Ibanez does they're sig models. All of them except the Gary Willis and Paul Gray ones is just a lightly modded version of another "basic" model. Want a bass like Shadows Fall or Killswitch, but without the motifs? Get an SRX (tempting for me, but I kinda wanna try something with big pups). Want to get a bass like Korn but with out the "K5" makeing your audiences eyes bleed p and hopfully not wanting to sound like him )? SR FTW. Want a bass like Sharlee D'Angelo, but with black hardware and blocks (cus maybe iron crosses offend/burn you[sup]1[/sup])? The ICB300EX is for you! Whew! Anyways I just thought I'd use the internet for something other than pr0n0, and give y'all my view on sig instruments. As you read this im totally considering getting a TA200. Stupid GAS! /rant Footnotes: 1: I am talking metal/goth, and you never know, a vampire might wanna play some bass to. And vampires gotta worry bout looking cool, but must also worry about the garlic/christianity content of whatever he uses.