Hi ! I've allready read the newbies links and thought they were quite interesting, so I decided to join this forum ! I've been playing electric bass for 15 years and I want to get an upright bass now... actually I've been wanting one for about 12 years but now is the time. I read the tips you people left and I still have some questions/need some tips on some points. I've been shopping around town, got to meet luthiers and I tried a few instruments. The fact is I'm not rich and won't get any richer... so my DB will have to be bought on a budget. A few luthiers that have a good reputation around here told me something that was surprising to hear. They said Chinese made uprights were not the crap they were and that most german or tcheck instruments were now partly made of Chinese parts. They said both european and chinese instruments need the same work but the chinese will be cheaper. They also said that the double basses you buy from a music store are not bad either, they are just about the same has what the luthier sells you but without the work (setup,etc.) and new strings... I've always been advised against chinese unprights, and the tips I read on this forum seem to present opposite visions. The thing is I tried a real cheap Palatino in a music store and thought it sounded and felt OK. It wasn't worked on by a luthier but it seemed decent. Now a local store has a new chinese upright in stock that is superior to the "not-so-bad" Palatino... the price is good. I wonder how important it is to get a luthier's work on a new instrument and if that work was essential to the longitivity of the instrument, etc. The thing is... buying from a luthier seems at least twice the price for the same range of instrument ! Anything you can tell me to help would be appreciated ! Thanks ! Oh ! by the way: I'll be playing pizz mainly if not exclusively... they are no Englehart instruments available locally it seems... the only tchech bass I saw was a Strunal at a store I can't trust, having bought a few stuff there and being unstaisfied with after-sale service.