#2
Well, the added inch will help your Low b come out a little better, but the two band Active EQ isn't something I'm a fan of. If your willing to shell out a little more I'd say look into Fender Deluxe Active J-bass V. (Check my page for pictures of a Black one) And Ibanez Sr505 I think. Don't know if the numbers right.
#3
id go for the schecter
my gear:

Schecter Hellraiser Sunset FR
Line 6 spider 2: 212 combo 120 watt =\
Line 6 guitar port
EVH frankenstein painted Explorer
#5
Feh, I've found little use for that extra band of EQ on the Studios, if I need any more detail in my sound I just change it on the amp for the same effect. If you're willing to spend the extra money, the Elite is the way to go. it has neck-through construction for extra sustain, the S-tek bridge is beautiful (why they didn't put it on the studio I will never understand, I can't stand that diamond custom) and its cheaper. The Elites always have been and always be the top of the Schecter line, and for good reason.

As for the Deluxe itself, its a decent place to start, but its worth it to save a little more and get the Custom at least. It gives you the upgraded pickups and bridge, and its made of mahogany rather than basswood, which I at least consider to produce a better sound. If its out of your range, the Deluxe would work just fine, but Its worth it to save that extra it for the Custom, or Elite.
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