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  1. I would say that your best bet would be to find a shop with plenty of basses in stock, go in, sit down, and work through as many as you can. Be objective, what do you like, what don't you like, can you live with X over Y? Does it feel good? Does it play well? Don't be swayed by anyone but yourself. Buy the one you like the best.
  2. Likewise (but a bit later, from '83 to mid 90's), and I bought records from Probe! Don't recall them either.
  3. Find a shop that has a Good selection of basses. Sit down, and play through a bunch of them. Objectively review them, what you like, what you don't like, how they feel, how they sound (ok, this one is very subjective!). The point is to try out a bunch of different basses, and eliminate ones that don't float your boat, and find things that you like. If one speaks to you more than the others, take the plunge. Don't worry about styles, scales, pickups etc., just try to find something that suits you.
  4. Marlin Sidewinder's... they weighed a ton IIRC. There again, so did the Kay P Bass I ended up with.
  5. IIRC, it was a reaction to the stricter controls on Rosewood, and the use of certified timber from known sources. It pre-dates the CITES Regs, but they knew it was coming and had to come up with a viable solution.
  6. Line6 HD500x. Preamp, MultiFX, sounds great and a fraction of the cost of a Helix second hand.
  7. If you're not interested in the Amp Modelling technology, then the HX FX would be the best option IMO. One of the benefits is that you can keep your current set up, and just use the HX FX for effects, as you've been using the Zoom. Another benefit is that the list of modeled effects is still growing, so if you keep the unit updated with the latest firmware, then you should have a relatively limitless supply of effects on tap to play with. If that's something of a "Sledgehammer to crack a nut" approach, then maybe look at something like the Zoom B3/B3n, the Line6 M5/9/13, or something like a Boss GT-10B. Older technology, but they still work.
  8. Thomann's budget hard cases are pretty good, though at around £40, they aren't the cheapest. Had a Thomann gig bag for a Thunderbird I bought a while back, and that was pretty good. Not the best, but durable, and looks like it would take a beating. Have a Thomann bag for my MultiFX, and that's really good.
  9. Outline, you could use an electric jigsaw. However, for pickup holes, it may be an idea to use a coping saw or similar fine toothed saw after having made a hold first. I've "made" a few scratchplates in the past, with varied success, using a Dremel and a Jigsaw. The best results were achieved with the Jigsaw, however, I made an derrière of the pickup hole, which was a real shame. The Jigsaw is that little bit too big for the pickup hole, and a Dremel is just not right for the job. Most important thing to remember is to take your time, and realize that you may need to make multiple scratchplates before you're happy.
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