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February Giveaway

Ibanez GWB35 - Black Flat Reviews

4.5 stars based on 4 customer reviews
Questions about the Ibanez GWB35 - Black Flat?

Questions about the Ibanez GWB35 - Black Flat?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Andy Rice

    Th GWB35 from Ibanez is an amazing bass for the price! The feel and sound is even throughout the whole instrument. It also plays as good or better than many basses that cost twice as much. It's extraordinarily well balanced - and looks really cool to boot! No matter their budget, no one looking for a fretless 5-string bass would be disapointed with this one!

  • Mark Stein

    I've been a Gary Willis fan for a long time, so I had to get my hands on the Ibanez GWB35 as soon as it arrived at Sweetwater. It is light and well-balanced, and comfortable whether sitting or standing. The coated Ebonol fretboard helps bring out the "singing tone" and M-Wah I expect, plus the neck has a comfortable low profile. Gary designed the finger ramp so that he can't dig into the strings. As a result, it doesn't get in my way and keeps the fleshy part of my finger in contact with the string. The EQ is simple and effective, and compliments the humbucker nicely. I also love the Sure Grip tuners. Bottom-line, this bass should not be considered a budget-priced instrument! This is one of the nicest fretless basses I've played, regardless of the price.

  • from Novato Ca September 21, 2015Music Background:
    Long time Hacker of Instruments

    lafawnduh... it's all in a name

    My Son named this bass lafawnduh (Napoleon Dynamite). He got it for his 18th Birthday and he gets a ton of comments on both the looks and the sound. He loves the fast, fast neck of an Ibanez. It's fret-less, but it's hard to tell with the flattened frets on the fret board. Amazing Sound and quality you expect from an Ibanez Bass.

  • from Idaho January 10, 2017Music Background:
    45 years

    Ibanez GWB35

    Having been a fan of Gary Willis his entire recording career, I have wanted to see his signature basses for years. Not willing or able to spend thousands for his ash/Bartolini high-end model, the GWB35 was within reach for me. The fact that no dealers seem to regularly stock these instruments, and after nearly a year wait for Sweetwater to have 2 in stock, I decided to try one.
    I should preface my comments by saying I'm not a particular fan of Ibanez nor am I comfortable buying an instrument sight unseen, but for the price, I took a chance.
    The bass I received arrived in fine shape, plays well out of the box, intonates accurately and at this point, needs no further adjustments. The bass balances great on a strap, and at just over 8 pounds, is the lightest instrument I have ever had. The response of the bass to my touch is amazing - it growls,sings, and has the lowest action of any bass in my experience which for me, helps with my intonation and muscle memory. The ramp works as Willis intends by limiting digging-in and playing hard which reinforces his dynamic technique concepts and also provides a thumb rest between the pickup and end of the fingerboard.
    As Willis says, the decision to play fretless bass is not a casual one, and this bass is not for the heavy-handed.
    Two things I have to point out are: I expected the bridge to be slotted for quick string changes - the installed bridge requires the strings to be threaded through. Not a big deal, but not what I expected. Secondly, the stacked bass/treble - boost/cut pots are scratchy & noisy when turned. Using contact cleaner had no effect. I don't expect this to be a problem playing live, but will have to see if problems become apparent when recording. At some point, they may need to be changed and would appreciate knowing which pots Ibanez used.
    I'm surprised the techs that do the inspections didn't notice or point this out. I'm not going to return the instrument, but had to let you know.

    Overall, I love how this bass feels and plays and look forward to having a lot of fun with it.
    Lastly, my opinion is that if manufacturers and dealers are going to sell instruments without cases, they should at least offer suitable options available at the time of purchase rather than as an after thought. I understand the marketing strategy, but would suggest listing choices with the instruments. For a working player, not having a case is not an option.

  • from NY February 25, 2014Music Background:
    part time jazz musician

    Enjoying my GWB35

    I have owned this bass for about a week now and I really appreciate playability and tone. The bass weighs in at about 8 lbs. and the flat black finish looks great. The Sweetwater specs list the fingerboard material as ebanol but I believe Ibanez changed the material to ebony. My only complaint about the bass is that it comes strung with round wound strings which can scratch the fingerboard. I quickly changed the strings to flat wounds. Sweetwater provides great service and quick delivery.

  • from Ohio, USA July 17, 2013Music Background:
    Bass Player of 40 years

    Great Bass Great Value

    Fantastic first fretless, if you are considering making the move. Great build quality and really nice tone for a bass in this price range. Very "giggable" and I'm sure will sound great in the studio. I really like the "ramp" that keeps you from digging too deep with your right hand. Simple controls and comfortable neck. The faucet knob tuners aren't for everybody, but I supposed I'll get the hang of them in time. My bass is a bit headstock heavy while playing seated. Otherwise, I couldn't be happier. Buy one! Sweetwater will deliver incomparable service!

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