It's really that simple, this post is my drawn out WoW! Visited a handful of music stores the last couple of days in search of a Spector for sampling to determine if I want to play one as much as I like to hear them recorded. Until now I'm torn between installing new electronics in a Schecter which I love or just putting that couple hundred toward a new instrument and a P/J Spector is at the top of the list. Alas, none where to be found - however, I've always been curious about a Sterling with maple fretboard and picked one up. The store has this nice little box loaded with a buttkicker and some sort of preamp with headphones for 'silent' demos. The neck profile and nut width are great on these things, the small body eliminates my biggest gripe about the Stingray. From the first plugged in note it instantly went to the top of my must have list. What a marvelous one trick pony - a powerful commanding sound with no processing and eq set to flat. The mids have an amazing crunch and the playability is suberb. For comparison I've always been curious why the Geddy Lee gets so much love over other Fender models so I picked one up, plugged in, and was left with the realization that I am not a passive Fender fan. It was definately a Jazz bass tone, but in comparison to the Sterling just not what I want to hear without a good bit of outboard processing. A bigger surprise to me was how the neck feels on the Geddy, or rather my reaction to how it feels. I don't care for the extra thin profile and that was one of the things I expected to like the most. The instrument as a whole felt much less substantial than the the Sterling. Decision on upgrade vs. new machine is made - now I need to compare a Spector, Sterling, and try a Bongo as well.