Today is a great time to be a musician - for GEAR. Amplifiers can produce decent power / tone so massive Ampeg 8x10s aren't needed. Assuming most other instruments are similar to basses - for a couple of hundred bucks, you can get a decent imported instrument. For $1000 to $2000 you can get some decent European or US-made basses that work & sound great, and for a few thousand, you can get an essentially custom made instrument, with your own choices of woods, electronics, etc. Not too shabby.