I had plenty of music experiance when I first started bass- but I really didn't know a difference between a pup and a frett when I first started playing. Before I even test drove one (or went to talk bass or even asked anyone who played bass) I bought my first axe off of ebay. It was a new Hamer. It looked really cool- was a great purple color. Had two pups (later I learned they were MM style) and it was only $600! What a deal! A year and a half later I own 2 basses that are five times the instrument the hamer is and cost me $100 less. Thanks to TB and some patience I was able to get some great deals. Hindsight is 20/20 but I really did a poor job of checking my resources and asking around. I advise people now to buy something used or to go with an SX for their first bass or guitar. You can easily get an excelent midlevel bass for under $300 if you take your time and shop around.