GWB35 Serial Number

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by beobass, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Hey Everyone! I just purchased a used Ibanez Gary Willis bass in black (GWB35BLK). It was bought used from GC online. I love it but am trying to figure out about its origins. It was listed as '2002 Ibanez GWB35 Fretless Black' with serial number 02984 (no letters). It is stamped on the back and notes 'Indonesia'. Upon research, it seems that this bass would have debuted in the lineup in 2004. It is flat black, Ibanez pickup (not the Bart or current Agi), has the heavy Ibanez bridge and labeled Gotoh tuners. The fretboard is definitely ebony not ebonal. So it lines up with the 2004 models, but those seem to have come from the Korean factory not Indonesian ... the serial number does suggest 2002, but this model doesn't seem to have been made until 2004 according to the Ibanez archives on their website. So my question is when and where was this bass made? I mean the country is obvious, but there is no letter before the numbers... and I am curious if it was made in the prestidge factory or regular production?

    Any ideas????
     
  2. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  3. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    The serial # doesn’t fit. Are you sure there’s no letter, even a faint imprint?
    Being a sig. model it may fall outside of the patterns but the year stamp of 2002 is hard to ignore.
    Ibanez and other Asian builders have used a lot of different factories over the years and often the serial #’s get muddled for a time when different countries get involved.
    I would guess yours was made on the prestige line being s sig. guitar and may have been an early model made before they sorted out the details if your hardware is different from later ones. But I’m shooting in the dark here so ..... hope it plays well and you got a good deal regardless.
     
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Don't believe everything those at GC tells you.

    Contact the source for the truth - IBANEZ.
     
  5. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    I sent Ibanez an email. I’ll post the answer here if they get back to me. The bass is in mint condition aside from the usual roundwound marks on the fretboard. Whoever had it took amazing care of it if it is 18 years old!
     
  6. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    I’m guessing it was probably made in 2008 or later. That’s when production moved from Korea to Indonesia.
    BTW, I think I briefly owned that bass. Was it at the Tacoma GC when you bought it?
     
    beobass likes this.
  7. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Ha!! Yes!! That’s exactly where I bought it from! What can you tell me about the bass? I tweaked the neck and re-strung with Mangan Custom Strings. Plays like a dream now. Just curious why did you part with it?
     
  8. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    For those interested... I contacted Ibanez and they were awesome. The serial number on the bass headstock is actually that of a replacement neck. This bass is ACTUALLY circa 2012, built in the Cort Premium factory in Indonesia. The neck was replaced because it didn't have the logo. My guess is maybe the signature was missing? The rep provided me with 2 actual serial numbers it could be. Either way, mystery solved! And what a fantastic bass!! Highly recommended if you are looking for a very playable and clean sounding fretless.
     
  9. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    AAANND the fretboard is Ebonal... bummer... that's pretty disappointing. Some of the fretlines are slightly risen and I am not sure you can dress an ebonal fretboard...
     
  10. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I would carefully tape off and file down the lines. Then coat with epoxy....
     
  11. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Well here's the rub, if you will, I was under the impression it was ebony this whole time... I mean I see grain in it and it seems like wood. I am happy with the sound of the bass... so if I could correct the lines issue, then it'd be a screaming bass. Its already awesome. So the ebonal thing is mostly in my freakin head...
     
  12. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    I’m still convinced the board is ebony. 75A10DF9-F574-4B6A-A3B8-240DC7B6447F.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  13. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    58CDB8AD-53F9-417A-A4F5-286746968FC3.jpeg
     
    franklindayala, kobass and Reedt2000 like this.
  14. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    That’s the bass.
     
  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    What made you think it was ebonal?
     
  16. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Maybe @Turnaround could shed some light on the fingerboard material?
     
  17. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    When I contacted Ibanez the rep said our records say it’s ebonal. But this looks like wood not ebonal.
     
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    It looks like it was barely played. Not a lot of lines from string wear.....
    That makes me think it’s Ebony. But I am not an expert.
     
  19. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    When the neck was replaced, they probably had old stock with ebony boards. I’m thinking this one got one of those Korean necks and was stamped Indonesia. That’s my only guess.
     
  20. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Someone should be along soon to figure it out.