Ibanez GWB35 - Trigger pulled!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Darth Moley, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well, I finally did it, I pulled the trigger on a shiny new GWB35, my first fretless! Buuuut, Sweetwater isn't expecting it to be in until sometime in May. In the meantime, I thought I might live vicariously through my fellow TBers that own or have previously owned a GWB35. What do you guys think? Most of what I have read here is pretty positive. My own experience with the GWB35 is limited to playing a somewhat battered used one at Guitar Center, and I really liked it. Any quirks or tips to get the most out of it? Not that I am looking to do so at this point, but are there any mods that are recommended or that have worked out especially well? Thanks!
     
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  2. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    Congrats! Can't wait to see it! Been eyeing one of the new GWs myself.
     
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  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have a GWB 205 and it is fantastic. Your GWB 35 should be wonderful.
     
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  4. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    The GWB205 was definitely in consideration, and, seeing as how I have until May to really think it over, I have been considering just biting the bullet and changing my order to the 205. For all of the info I have found here, I haven't really seen a solid comparison of the 35 and the 205. The biggest questions, of course, are what are the real differences in actual use, and are they worth the extra cash?
     
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  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have not had a GWB 35 in my hands but I can say for certain that the GWB 205 is a killer bass and a bargain at $1499.
     
  6. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Can anyone comment on the weight of the 35 and the 205? From what I've read, the 205s tend to be pretty light. Are the 35s typically really light as well?
     
  7. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I will weigh my 205 after my gig. It is light.
     
  8. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    The GWB35 that I owned about 10 years ago was very light, around 8 pounds, but I've seen some listed on Sweetwater more recently at over 9 pounds, so I'm not sure.
     
  9. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    My GWB 205 weighs 7 pounds, 12.5 ounces. It is the lightest bass I own.
     
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  10. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you for all the info! Weight is a fairly big concern for me due to some nagging lower-back pain. That 205 is becoming more and more tempting by the minute...
     
  11. Unless you just gotta have a Jazz Bass it's probably the best thing around for sane money.
     
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  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i'm pretty sure that i haven't played that particular ax, but i thought i'd chime in and say that you've made a good move by going for a fretless! they're easier to play, require less overall maintenance, and they get more attention from the better-looking audience members! congrats on making the best decision! :thumbsup:



    of course, we'll need to see pics in may! ;)
     
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  13. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks! I've always loved fretless, but I'm not usually in a position to buy gear so I really try to "make it count". This new bass represents my first instrument purchase in SIX YEARS, which I'm sure is nearly unheard of on this forum! :laugh: As much as I loved it, I never really thought of fretless as necessarily being usable for most styles, thus not maximizing my use and my limited purchasing power. I've been listening to a fair amount of Gary Willis and Bunny Brunel lately, so fretless has been pretty prominent in what I have been hearing. Add to that seeing a video of a guy using a 6-string fretless in a metal tune and that more or less killed my thoughts of a lack of versatility.
     
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  14. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    UPDATE: I should have know this would happen... I changed my order to the 205. The electronics and the active/passive option were making me lean a bit in that direction, but the weight issue kinda sealed the deal for me. Oh, and in case anyone is interested, Sweetwater says that the natural finish is still available (even though it's no longer shown on the Ibanez website) and that they are expecting more anywhere between early April and early May. I don't know if this was an order they placed last year and Ibanez is just fulfilling it or if they will be able to place future orders for the natural finish. Got mine on reserve though! :hyper::bassist:
     
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  15. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sooo... still waiting. Could be sometime in the next week, could be next month. The uncertainty is the worst part! Of course, there are other fretless basses that are in stock, like the Tony Franklin p-bass. It’s an unlined 4-string, but it seems pretty nice. Ugh, temptations, temptations.
     
  16. If you are comfortable with a close - spaced 5, the Ibanez GWB is a gem.

    Made money with one, loved the tone and neck and playability. Worth the wait... be patient...
     
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  17. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    That is the plan! It also helps that pretty much every time I see a video of Gary playing this bass he's using my amp/cab setup. Couldn't ask for a better demo.

    I always thought it was strange that tighter spacing felt more comfortable to me, even though I have fairly beefy hands, but then I realized, "Oh yeah, I played guitar for two and a half years before I started bass." People used to ask me how I could get my hands to play those tight spaces on a guitar and I always gave them the same answer - practice.
     
  18. Darth Moley

    Darth Moley

    Jun 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    It seems that the GWB205 in the natural finish is no longer available from Sweetwater. I would hope that the change in status wouldn’t affect existing orders, but I sent them an email to check just in case.
     
    Inara likes this.
  19. dramatwist

    dramatwist

    Sep 27, 2019
    Good on you, mate! Enjoy!
     
  20. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Ibanez discontinued the natural finish version, or at least they removed it from their website, sometime in late 2019 or early January 2020. I can't remember exactly, but I posted a thread when they reintroduced it in the Tequila Sunrise finish they had used on the 20th anniversary model. Someone else who had a natural on order with Sweetwater posted in that thread today that he had to change his order to the new finish: New version of Ibanez GWB205 Gary Willis sig

    They had back stock for a while ... Someone else in the thread did receive one a bit ago, but then dated it and found out it was made in 2014. Guess they're all out of the old finish now. I personally love the new look, but the natural is the classic Gary Willis finish, and I'm sad to see it gone as an option.