Willis Bass Owners (GWB 1, 105, 1005, 35) - check in here!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kesslari, Jul 23, 2008.


  1. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Disclosures:
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I've got a GWB1 and she's just a super playable, great instrument.

    I know there was a "Willis Bass" thread here not long ago, but it devolved quickly into a mountain-bike and custom-bass (willis inspired) thread.

    I'm interested to know who's got and is playing these great instruments? And if you kept it stock or have modified it in any way (I know a lot of GWB35 players have modded theirs, not sure about the higher end models).

    I'm seriously considering swapping out the NTBT preamp in mine - I just am not a big fan of that pre.

    Obligatory Photo:
    [​IMG]
  2. Beta

    Beta

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    So I can't post my GWB2 here?

    I have a modded GWB35 with the usual NTBT pre and BC5CBC pickup. I had a photo in another thread, but I'm feeling lazy today.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Disclosures:
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Heck yeah - Post that fretted bad boy! I forgot about the GWB2's.

    Senior moment... :D
  4. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Disclosures:
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Bumping this for the weekend. Any other GWB's, or are we as rare as we seem?
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  6. Wwolof

    Wwolof

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    I have a 35. It's very nice, although the electronics could do with an upgrade.
  7. Paulhauser

    Paulhauser

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    Hungary
    I have the GW35 and I did the 'usual' mod, NTBT pre and BC5CBC pickup. While the bass does sound better, the caracter is pretty much unchanged. I'm not sure what has the bigger effect on the improvement, the pre or the pu, but have this feeling that the pu swap was not all that neccesary. (but I won't change back :) )
  8. Paulhauser

    Paulhauser

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    Hungary
    BTW, the playability is excellent. This is one of the most comfortable bass i ever played on and I dig the ramp so much that the new custom bass that is in the making for me will have a ramp as well.
    Funny sory that actually it it the 2nd GW for me. The first I sold as I felt playing fretless on a level I think I should is taking a lot of time, and I don't have that much. but I kind of regreted it, so I bought another, and did the mods.

    And a couple of months ago it was signed by Garry Willis, when I met him on a concert. He signed a played the bass a bit, and excused himself for not having the time to properly adjust if for me (!!!) Now that was one of the coolest things I have ever heard :)
  9. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Played my gwb35 for the 4th of July weekend @ a club in north Idaho. Lots of hot females - moved a bunch of cute rear ends and made decent money with the GWB. The thing sounds and feels great.
  10. InSearchOf...

    InSearchOf...

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    I've got the 1005 version. It's the current version of what the OP has pictured, only blond. I like the dark one as well, very nice. As I was selling off my 4 strings, at one point it was the only bass I had :eek: so as my default, I played it exclusively for quite awhile. That turned out to be an advantage. My intonation developed very well and I got rid of many a bad habit. I bought a Sadowsky fretted and I currently using just the two. I wasn't too loose before, but I can tell that even my fretted playing is a bit cleaner with more finesse translated to the strings. Lately. I'm considering another fretless with an ebony fingerboard. Although the ebonol board is working well, I'd like to feel and hear the ebony. Sadowsky is taking orders on Morado fretless Metros, but I don't have first hand experience with that material. Anyone have any experience to share?

    I don't think I would give up the GWB 1005; the mwah is killer, the ramp is great and it seems to clear up any bad habits that might crop up. I also use round wounds on it and after much use, there is nothing I would consider wear on the fretboard.
  11. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Disclosures:
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Keep 'em coming, folks, and post pics!
  12. Beta

    Beta

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    A meh body shot of my GWB35:

    [​IMG]

    I'm working on the GWB2. I took a couple of shots of it two days ago, but they were blurry.
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Disclosures:
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    We need pics.

    Beta - how much do you use the GWB2? I was wondering how versatile it is - I can see it being a tone that would work anytime I want fretless, but was a bit less sure for fretted.

    JK
  14. Beta

    Beta

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    I use the GWB2 quite a bit. It's supplanted my Thumb, but I prefer to tool around on the fretless.

    The thing is, I like hard rock/metal/heavier prog stuff, and the fretted basses are just more appropriate. I'm no Steve Digiorgio. I also don't care much for versatility. I'm looking for a useful tone, and that's about it. With my Thumb, I leave the pickup pan knob at the center position. On all my basses, the treble EQ knob stays centered unless I absolutely have to roll it off some, and the bass gets a little boost (about 1 o'clock if you were looking at the knob like the face of a clock).


    Here's the best shot I could get of it. "Player" is probably the best description:

    Attached Files:

    • gwb2.jpg
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  15. Erik B

    Erik B

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    Netherlands
    [​IMG]

    no mods yet, but i`m thinking about the Bart treatment...........
  16. Beta

    Beta

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    I didn't think of this earlier, but I have to say that I prefer the ramp on the GWB35 to the one on my GWB2. The slope toward the edges of the ramp is more comfortable on the GWB35, probably because it doesn't appear that any attempt was made to match it to the fretboard radius.
  17. Erik B

    Erik B

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I was wondering if anybody else had problems with the knobs on the tuners splitting and breaking?
  18. Beta

    Beta

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    I haven't.
  19. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Location:
    Parkersburg, WV
    I am interested in the GWB1005...if anybody has any opinions on the overall build quality, etc. it would be much appreciated. I am also curious about the sound/feel of the ebanol board.

    W
  20. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    santa maria,california
    have you ever played any fretless F's? the passive fretless 5 i bought from scott ages ago cured any willis bass gas i had. in single coil mode it gets that tone and the feel is sick. just got through re-wiring the push pull knob so single coil is default and im playing it a lot more.
  21. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Location:
    Parkersburg, WV
    Joe-

    It's funny, we were just talking about that bass. Scott said he could never get a sound he liked out of it, but when he heard your sound with it he loved it. :p

    I love the sound of the BN5F but I'm not crazy about the 34.5 scale (on fretted it would be OK, fretless might be a little weird....) I love the sound of your bass too.

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