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Anyone tried a Ibanez Gary Wilis?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickr, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. rickr

    rickr Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I was wondering if anyone has tried the new Ibanez Gary Wilis Fretless. I saw one the other day and it looked great. I have heard pretty good things about them.
    I am fairly tempted.
  2. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    When I was in college (not too long ago!) I was such a wannabe that I always wore a red Fox racing T-shirt on the gig!

    The Willis bass is, thus, tempting for me too BUT I've heard such varying things on the quality that if I were to do it I'd go this route ---->

    I've heard Mike Kinal makes high quality versions of the Willis bass with better parts and I'm sure better construction. Here is a pic in striking trans-blue: http://www.playthebass.com/DesktopBass/pics/ptb_KinalFretlsBlue_PC800.jpg

    Kinal's prices are pretty good so I'm sure it's competetive with the over-priced Ibanez GWB1 (not the newer basswood model which is pretty inexpensive).

  3. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    After I saw this Kinal again...I just got hit with hardcore GAS, thanks alot bub. :spit: :smug:

  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    If you mean the new less-expensive version of the GW signature, I tried one a few months ago.

    It's a nice little bass for the price. I'm not always a big fan of ebonol fingerboards, which the new GW comes with, but that's more of a feel thing than a sound thing for me.

    Nice tone and response down to low B, and the ramp on it works well if you're into such things. The premier version of the GW bass seems a little more woody and natural sounding overall, but V 2.0 is no dog by any means. I'd seriously consider buying one if they came in another finish besides that goth looking all-black color scheme.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I tried one a couple of weeks ago. It was a slightly used one hanging in a local store on consignment. this particular bass was set up very nicely. The action was set low, but not too low. It had a nice mmwah style tone. The onboard preamp is very effective for adding a fatter bottom or more high end. The neck was very comfortable and easy to play. The tuners are a bit unique but very functional; for those that have seen this bass's headstock and tuning keys, you know what I mean.

    I'm not excited about the overall look of the bass, but the tone and playability of the bass is excellent IMHO.
  6. vikunja

    vikunja Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004

    I tried the cheap version yesterday, and though I haven't played many fretless basses, I thought it was absolutly great! Have played fretless basses with rosewood boards and prefer the ebonol board on the Gary Willis bass (even though its not as good as real ebony). As mentioned, the bass had a great mwah sound which amazed me, as it is such a cheap bass. Only two problems in my opinion, the black colour of the bass and very noisy electronics (which is probably no issue with the more expensive model).
  7. Dynna


    Oct 23, 2004
    What I'd like is for GW to give Ibanez a call for me, and score me a fretted 6 in the style of the GWB1. Natural finish and extra cutaway. Now, where'd I put that phone #?

    I haven't played one, but having seen Willis play for a few hours via lessons, I'd be very tempted too if I hadn't my MM Stingray5 fretless.
  8. rickr

    rickr Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Thanks for all the feedback guys!
    I know, $1400.00 for a import Ibanez seems a little looney.
    The Kinal looks wonderful!
  9. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I've played the Willis bass. I thought it was actually quite nice. I thought it was overpriced though.

  10. Superdave


    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    They are nice basses, but in my opinion overpriced.
  11. I like the Kinal...

  12. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004

    I like the "real" thing but like you guys said, it´s kind of expensive. The cheap model doesn´t sound very fretless... :bassist:

    Actually, the GWB1 (the expensive model) is discontinued by Ibanez for now and they are designing a NEW GWB MODEL!!!!
    (Improved and built in another factory according to Gary Willis himself!)!! It will be called GWB15 or something and will be released during 2005. I´m looking forward to it since I´m planning to buy one :hyper:
  13. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    The GWB is indeed a great bass to play, I haven't compared it with the cheaper version. I was almost tempted to buy it!

    The Kinal looks great too... how much is the retail price of it?
  14. rickr

    rickr Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I actually purchased a Gw1 from MF. It was quite nice, I was surprised. It had a wonderful tone and feel to it. I ended up returning it only because I found that "good" fretless playing to a bit more time than I could offer.
  15. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    That is a nice bass. I have played the Gary Willis. I play fretless exclusively. I don't like lined boards. Otherwise it was very nice.

  16. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've not played the Ibanez, nor have I played Kinal's version of the Willis. But the several Kinal basses that I have played have had the nicest necks (as in fastest and most comfortable) that I have ever played.
  17. Bassius


    Nov 6, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar amps
    I have one and i love it
    and i only paid $1200 for it

    worth it IMO
  18. It's nice too hear Ibanez getting compliments.

    I have a fretless version of this www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDA905

    I think the ebonol fingerboard has a lot to do with its sound, which is very lively compared to wood, but you can make it sound mellow depending on your touch.

    I never played the GW model, but I was in Sam Ash one day when someone else was playing one, and it sounded very good.

    BTW, the fretless model was discontinued about 2 years ago, and I think the fretted model will be going that way too, as Musiciansfriend has them listed as *Limited Quantity*.

  19. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i have a great fretless f bass and yet i still lust over the gary willis ibanez. im a freakin' loon. :p
  20. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Michael, I think you have it backwards. I've never seen the fretted version on any online or physical store since the first year of production. From what I've heard from others as well as in this thread, it's the fretless that will be discontinued, replaced by the GWB35 in the low price range and an unnamed replacement in the higher. I believe any stock Musician's Friend has is NOS... and in fact, the only one I can find is the fretless version. I think seeing it in black when most of the fretted were dyed black and the fretless were natural threw you off. ;)

    ...and I agree with both the general ideas that the GW basses are well-made, good sounding instrument that are overpriced. I believe the whole idea when Willis designed his first "prototypes" in the early 90's from SR-885's was the it was support to be a utilitarian bass: simple ash body/maple neck/ebony fretboard with one pickup, a basic bridge, and the Willis Ramp and his Tri-tuners. Over $1400 for that design philosophy, even with the "expanded" Bartolini pup and electronics is simply a hard sell. But as good as they are at marketing (at both standard instruments and signature guitars) Ibanez has never been good on the bass side. You can argue that we're less driven by "name recognition" than guitarists, but the Willis, Wimbish, Fieldy, and Verdine White basses all suffer(ed) from lack of recognition, availability in stores, and overpricing for their features in an extremely tight market. It's a shame, because all have been great players.