Ibanez Gary Willis bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sobie18, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Anyone own one? How do you like it? What did you pay for it?

    I had a chance to play one in a music store in OKC and I was debating on getting it. Any thoughts, experiences, etc. will be very helpful. Thanks.
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I don't own it, but I've played it and I was impressed. Seems like it's a solid bass with a more clear, even tone than a lot of other Ibanez basses are known to have.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I really liked it when I played it. It is a very easy fretless bass to play and it has a decent B-string. I seen the budget version running anywhere from $480-550. The actually replica of Gary Willis' bass runs about $1,800. I would tell you where I saw the prices, but I'm thinking about picking it up myself! Just kidding, www.bassnw.com has one at a good price.
  4. BlacktotheBlind

    BlacktotheBlind Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    I've played one as well. It's pretty sweet for the price, I probably spent about 45 minutes jamming with it in the store :cool:
  5. I played one of the cheaper models, and it was OK. It was nicely made, all appointments present and correct (ramp, Bartolini pickup, "knob" turning keys). The string spacing was a little tight for me, and the sound was punchy, but very dry with little "mwah". The fingerboard also felt weird, kinda plasticky. Maybe it was phenolic or something? Anyway, I didn't like the feel of the fingerboard much. But I guess that's just my taste, try it and see if you like it. :)

    Russ :bassist:
  6. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    I own one of the GWB1, and at one point owned another. I think these basses are a fantastic value on the used market. (Usually $800-1000). I have recently checked out one of the budget series models (GWB35).

    The neck on the model I played was much chunkier than the higher end signature models. Other than that, many of the ideas that Willis incorporated are still on this bass (special tuners, ramp, control layout.) I do like the matte black finish, but I'm not sure why they changed the neck dimensions.
  7. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I have a GWB35 (the "cheap" version) that I bought after I had a lesson on one from the man himself. I paid just over 6 beans with shipping. It's a very nice bass for the money. I actually like the "ebonol" (synthetic) fingerboard better than the pau ferro board on the GWB1, and the electronics (Bartolini licensed) are actually a bit hotter, although less refined, than the USA Barts in the GWB1. My bass does have some obvious manufacturing flaws, including a weird buzz at one single spot on the neck that I believe is caused by a finish flaw. I bought mine from a mail order outfit, but didn't find the flaw bad enough to send it back. I would recommend buying from a retail store where you can play it first.

    There is a nice used GWB1 available from G Guitars in New Haven CT. I highly recommend them...very trustworthy and great to deal with. Here's the link http://www.gguitars.com/ib25003.html
  8. First I haven't tried one - but I saw Willis give an awesome clinic recently and he talked about the bass - he got one for a student of his. Gary took delivery of the bass and checked it over before passing it on to the guy who ordered it, and Willis himself wasn't overly impressed with the one that had been sent - mainly because the 'mwah' wasn't happening on the neck - but the guy had a recording he needed to do with the bass - so Will assurred him that if he wasn't happy with it after the session, that he should return it and he'd get it replaced with a 'better' one. This was all cool, but the guy said he wanted to swap it, but the bass still came back to Gary first before going back to the factory - and Willis said that in the three months or so that had passed - the wood had come to life and the 'mwah' was now happening - so it's a tough call playing a bass 'cold' in a shop and then hoping that it will play like an old favourite or your current axe.

    Don't know if that helped... :meh:
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV

    While I think there's no denying the benefits of a well designed, built and finished instrument, a bass which is played regularly will always sound better than an identical bass new or one that has sat unplayed. This is more apparent with upright basses, but it's a good point here as well.

  10. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    I definitely agree with Munki and Wilbyman. A good setup and many hours of playing will improve the sound of just about any bass out there.
  11. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Not sure if this is the right forum for this, but is does seem related to this thread...

    There is an Ibanez GWB1 for sale on bassgear.com. The pics look like the has been taken care of, and the price seems pretty reasonable.



    I am not affiliated with this seller in anyway, only posting because some TBers in this thread may be interested.
  12. I think that the GWB1 has an ebony wood fretboard, at least mine does.
  13. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Yes, my bad. Ebony board on the GWB1. :oops:
  14. quatre03


    Aug 20, 2004
    i have a print out from a website that offers the gwb 1 for 1339 or something in that price range

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