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who makes a fretless like an Ibanez Willis?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jzucker, Apr 11, 2009.


  1. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Looking for something under $1500 with narrow string spacing. Does anyone other than ibanez make something like this?
     
  2. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
  3. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Look for a used Hamer Cruise bass. The fivers have narrow spacing and they can be had for less than a grand. Added bonus that they are MIA.
     
  4. wizay

    wizay

    Mar 5, 2008
    Norway
    works for me
     
  5. WRXbase

    WRXbase

    Jan 14, 2009
    Clayton, NC
    Kinda missed the question, huh?

    OP: are you looking for a small production/boutique builder? Check out the Luthiers Forum . If you look, you'll proly be able to get anything you want, within reason. Or you can scour Craigslist and/or eBAY.
     
  6. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    haven't had much luck with custom basses. Given that, if it's not available *TODAY*, I'm not interested. ;)
     
  7. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks. I haven't seen a 5'er in a cruise bass. Any ideas?
     
  8. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    They pop up from time to time on ebay, you'll just have to be patient. My friend has a fretless one and it is nice, if not too narrow for my fingers.
     
  9. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks. Any other suggestions?
     
  10. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Why not just get the Ibanez? A used GWB1 will fit your budget, and it's a helluva bass.
     
  11. My Spector ReBop 5 DLX FM fretless is pretty close - bolt-on construction, 2 pickups but both fairly close the the bridge like the Wilis, tight string-spacing. You'd likely have to custom order one as I've never seen one stocked (demand reasons) but it's my "go-to" fretless and all I could ask for in one.

    Try one of the "EX" exotic-topped Zebrawood models - given the density of the wood, I can't imagine how punchy it would make a fretless, given the tonality of my "ZeBop" 4-string.
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Isn't the spector 35" ? I really want 34". I don't want zebrawood or other xotic woods. I just want ash really.

    Regarding the GWB1, i'm a bit leery as I've heard the pickup is terrible and that the ebonal wears quickly.
     
  13. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The ebanol is great, I don't think you should be concerned about it. I have a buddy who picked up a nice GWB (ash ebanol) for $500 recently.
     
  14. I've always heard that ebanol is pretty durable.
     
  15. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    thanks. I guess the other issue is the basswood. Never liked any of the other ibanez basswood basses I've played.
     
  16. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Arlington,Tx
    Roscoe Basses, 64 Audio IEM, GHS Strings
    There's an original Willis with an ebony board on bassgear.com for $1300.
     
  17. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    One more note on the subject, though I think I've said this before...my friend got a score on his korean Ash/Ebonol GWB (before they went to the GWB1005 made by Sugi in Japan). He brought it over for me to set it up. It needed quite a bit of setup, more than I could really give it. I think the fingerboard probably needed to be sanded. I did as much of a non-invasive setup as I could including neck shims. Even after that, it was just OK. The GWB-1005 is absolutely perfect in every way out of the box. There is massive difference in the workmanship. The fit, finish and setup of the 1005 slaughters every instrument I have ever had. If it's a Willis bass you must have, I would just work on your Ibanez dealer and see what kind of deal can be had on the 1005. It is worth the jack.
     
  18. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Jzucker - there are 2 "lines" of GWB.
    There's the GWB35 - basswood, ebonol fb, mediocre pickup and electronics. It's an OK bass, quite good if you upgrade the electronica.

    Then there's the GWB1 (ash, ebony fb, custom Bart pickup that rocks, and Bart NTBT preamp. That evolved into the GB105 (same bass, but with ebonol instead of ebony) and GB1005 (same bass but hand built by a single luthier in Japan).

    The 35 is a different animal from the others.

    I bought my GWB1 sight unseen, and it is a very, very sweet instrument.
     
  19. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    yes, I know that. That was my point!

     
  20. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Any other thoughts?
     

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