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Gary Willis sig. bass (black one)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by aleksander_sk, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. aleksander_sk


    Mar 6, 2007
    I bought this fretlessbass a while ago. When I play it I have to boost my amp alot to get some power out of it. The action is really low.

    Is there anything I can do about this? Does anyone else own this and have the same problem?

    I talked with a guitarmanufacturer I know, he checked if there were any pots on the preamp inside the bass, but there weren't.
  2. If you've already checked the obvious things like pick up height, the eq bypass push-pull, and cut-boost, battery, and strings, then consider what you are comparing it to when you say, "have to boost my amp alot to get some power out of it".

    If you like the output of the OTHER bass then you could replace the electronics to match.

    Short of replacing preamps and such, Radial makes boxes specifically designed to balance 2 basses into one amp.

    That GWB35 is an economical version of the GWB1005 with "custom" electronics. If you like playing the bass, it may be worth it to upgrade to get the sound you want.
  3. aleksander_sk


    Mar 6, 2007
    What will this cost med. The only thing I haven't tried is changing strings, but I actually have a Gary Willis stringset around here somewhere, so I'll try that.

    The sound and playability is very good, so I don't think I'll replace it since I'm not using fretless too much. It's more a bass that I use when I need it for a special song, og if I get tierd of my Cort A5. There you have it. the OTHER bass.
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    Replace the battery?

    I have the same bass, and I hate the preamp. An Aguilar OBP2 is in the cards for her. :)
  5. aleksander_sk


    Mar 6, 2007
    I've changed battery many times. It's not that. I'll invest in a new preamp. Where do I get the Aguilar cheapest?
  6. Paulhauser


    Aug 1, 2006
    I by no means want to hijack your thread, but I have similar problem with my GWB35. Not really the output only, but the sound itself. So I posted the message below in the bass forum, got no replies. So instead of starting a new thread here, I think I put it here:

    "I have recently got an Ibanez Gary Willis sig model, the GW35 (this is the budget version )
    I really like to play this one, fits like a glove. But the sound is a bit... how to say, shallow, lacking room, or fatness, to say so. This is no way suprise for this budget, but as I have bought this used for under half of the orginal price, I'm willing to consider spending some bucks on upgrading the PU and the electronics in it.

    Any advice, info, input is welcomed, considering:

    - I would like to have a more fat, thick, warm sound, one that suits well to a fretless bass.
    - I would upgrade the PU and electronics, not really any other parts of the bass :)
    - Would spend around 200 -250 USD
    - The PU cavity dimensions are 30mmx100mm
    - The controls now are one volume knob, one stacked treble/bass knob. Would not drill more holes or do any modifications to the body
    - There is a spearate box for 1x9V battery and I believe I can squeze one more into the contol cavity
    - The installation would be done by a luthier

    I was toying with the idea of an Aguilar OBP-2 for preamp, as I love the OBP-1 in my Spector. For PU, maybe the Bartolini from the GW-1, but I dont know if it can be bought separately (found no info about it on the Bart site)

    I'm not really into modding, and know not much about aftermarket PU's and electronics, so any help would be great!

    Thanks! "
  7. aleksander_sk


    Mar 6, 2007
    I cannot guarantee this, but i think the PU on the GWB35 is a costum size. Please feel free to kill me if I'm wrong.

    If you find a PU you can use, please report it here.
  8. Paulhauser


    Aug 1, 2006
    Hey, I have no luck with this really.
    The PU size is somewhat 'custom', being 100x30mm cca. That sizing meanns there are not really a lot of AM PU options, if you do not want to modify the PU cavity.
    I was looking around to see if the custom Barts that are in the GW1 are available as aftermarket, but have not been succesful yet. I dont even know if they have the right size, but I guess so.
    I just brought the bass to the band rehearsal this evening, and the low output also caught my attention, too.
    (Usually I take my Spector Euro /w Aguilar OBP2 to the rehearsal)
  9. Paulhauser


    Aug 1, 2006
    I'm also in talks with some local luthiers to have custom wound Pu for me. There is a very notable small firm here putting out extremly good PU-s, called Fatline, and there is this one with 50x100mm size. Whhhoa. Needs a lot of PU cavity enlargement, but has a MONSTER tone. The PU would cost like half of what I paid for the bass, but probably would end my quest for tone forever....(or for some time :) )
  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I *believe* there's also a trimpot in the internal circuitboard to match up the active to passive output, or vice verse. You might want to pull the rear plate off, check for one, and see if you can get some more gain out of the preamp.
  11. aleksander_sk


    Mar 6, 2007
    I checked this with a guitarmanifacturer/repair guy I know. He didn't find anything, so I don't think there is a trimpot. I'll check again just to be sure.

    If anyone should find this trimpot, tell me!
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    The GWB35 doesn't have an active / passive ability, so it won't have it.
  13. Tslicebass


    Jun 12, 2007
    Hey guys
    i am about to buy one of these gw35s from a tber and i was looking around for some upgrades myself
    As far as i have found
    The pickup from any of the other gwb models will not fit into the gwb35. If you look at pics you can see that the ramp is much wider on the 35 compared to other models. The ramp matches the width of the pickup. the pickups and ramps on the other models are much thinner. Plus, i am pretty sure it would be near to impossible to find one of those custom pickups anyways. Bart site doesnt list them...ibanez doesnt either.
    I am probably going to put the bartolini NTBT pre into my gwb35. it is the stock preamp on the 1005 model...so you know if fits and is a good pick with the ebonol f.b. and light playing style. The 1005 has the bart ntbtg pre which has a seperate gain switch for the preamp inside the control cavity. However, i dont know if this one is easily available either.
    As far as pickups go. There is a bartolini pickup... i think it is the bart bc 5 string humbucker that would fit in the gwb35. I am not sure about this though. Another thing to be careful of is making sure that whatever pickup ends up in there is the right size to match the ramp and is able to accomdate the tight string spacing
    (16.5-17mm i think)
    If anybody has any suggestions on good single bridge pickups that would work please post them here. I was looking at nordstrand but i think maybe they only sell in sets of 2 and i think i would have to do a custom order for this bass string spacing
  14. Tslicebass


    Jun 12, 2007
    bump for some hope of getting some answers/opinions:ninja:
  15. Tslicebass


    Jun 12, 2007
    I think i finally found the elctronics combo i have been looking for. :hyper:
    It seems that the spacing and dimensions of this bass make it extremely hard to find an aftermarket pickup that will fit nicely and accomdate the tight string spacing.
    Bartolini makes a pickup (BS5CBC) that will fit in and accomdate medium curvature necks and tighter string spacing. I think it runs around $100 for a single bridge pickup
    I will probably just match it with the NTBT preamp.
    Hopefully this is the perfect combination because it looks like there really isint anything else that is practical or affordable.
    If anybody knows of any other good options please post
  16. Beta


    May 9, 2007
    Have you actually done this mod yet?

    I'm curious because I wanted to do the same thing, just not with a "classic" series pickup. I'm hoping I can still find some of the other, older series.

    Tell us how it worked out if you've done it. I'm sure the preamp wasn't a problem, given that it's stock on the high-end model. My concern is that the pickup won't fit into the cavity. I don't want to have to find someone to rout the opening.
  17. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Bump ...
    I wouldn't mind seeing some more activity on this thread. I just picked up a GWB35 and have run into similar issues. I don't find the tone bad, but the output is definately low (compared to my Cort/Elrick Josh Paul 5-string).
  18. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    What's the problem with turning the amp up? You've got to pick up the bass to swap so why not turn the amp up in the process?
  19. Beta


    May 9, 2007
    It's easy to say, "turn up."

    He probably doesn't do it because the results aren't satisfying. He'd have to turn the amp up more than he'd like to- even if he's not using an input with a pad on it.

    On top of that, I find that the stock preamp is noisy, and you can't eliminate the noise without turning the treble knob down. And there's no mid control to boost the more "hearable" frequencies.

    Tonight, I'm going to play my GWB35 through the same amp as someone I'm pretty sure has a Bartolini NTMB preamp, and I'm going to see how much higher I have to crank the volume to match his output. Granted, there are other factors at work in that comparison, such as lack of a mid cut/boost on the GWB, but I want get a relative idea of the difference.
  20. Beta


    May 9, 2007
    Well, I was wrong about the pre- it was an Aguilar, not a Bart. But the volume difference between the two basses was not insignificant, and as far as I know the other bass was not set up for 18v.

    The stock Ibanez preamp, for whatever reason, is just anemic. I'm not saying swapping in something else is a miracle cure. Upgrades never hurt, though.