Ibanez GWB1005 Review & Prices

Ibanez GWB1005 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2020 GWB series
  • Gary Willis Signature
  • Made in Japan
  • 5 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Swamp Ash body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Ebony fingerboard fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Bartolini GWB (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • Std. bridge
  • Bass GWB Bolt-On neck
  • 0 Fretless frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 72
Sound 78
Build quality 70
Value for money 58
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez GWB1005
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Active Preamp
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $2500, which means that the Ibanez GWB1005 costs around 84% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 5 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Japan.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez GWB1005 meets 2 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez GWB1005
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez GWB1005's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this bass—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez GWB1005's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez GWB1005 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez GWB1005's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale bass, and it's the most popular choice for several reasons. Even though it might be more difficult to play than short scale basses due to their increased string tension, their punchier low-end results in a clear and defined bass tone that can cut through in a mix, making them well-suited for genres like rock, metal, and funk.

Neck Profile

Ibanez GWB1005 Neck Profile
Ibanez GWB1005's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez GWB1005's neck thickness is approximately 0.748'' (19mm) at the first fret, and 0.827'' (21mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Ibanez GWB1005 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez GWB1005 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez GWB1005's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez GWB1005 has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez GWB1005
This model
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
23.622'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez GWB1005 Nut Width
Ibanez GWB1005 Nut Width

The Ibanez GWB1005 has a nut width of 45mm (1.772''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 5-string bass. This is what most players find as a balanced width for both playing chords and single notes across different strings. If you have an "average" hand size, or you're not sure what nut width you'd like, this is a safe bet.

Frets

The Ibanez GWB1005 has 0 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Ibanez GWB1005 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez GWB1005's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez GWB1005's frets are Fretless size. This offers the advantage of greater pitch flexibility, allowing for smooth slides and microtonal variations. They can produce a unique, warm tone. However, they require precise finger placement, making them less forgiving for beginners and potentially leading to intonation issues.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 70
Playability 72

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Pickups

This bass comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Bartolini. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

Preamp

The preamp is an electronic circuit that serves as an intermediary between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its primary function is to boost and shape the bass's raw signal before it reaches the amplifier. This allows for greater control over the bass's tone, volume, and other sound characteristics. Preamps often include tone controls, equalization settings, and sometimes even onboard effects, enabling bassists to tailor their sound to their preferences and the musical context.

This bass has a Active preamp. Unlike passive basses, which rely solely on passive pickups and tone controls, active preamps require a power source, typically a 9-volt battery, to operate. The active preamp offers several advantages, including the ability to boost or cut specific frequencies, resulting in a more versatile and customizable tonal palette. Active basses are favored in genres where precise tonal sculpting and extended tonal options are essential, such as jazz fusion or progressive rock. However, they do require occasional battery replacement or recharging to ensure optimal performance.

The Ibanez GWB1005's configuration is H. A single humbucking pickup will give you all the space you need for picking, and it might give you a bit more sustain since less magnetic fields are messing with the strings' vibrations. However, you won't have the same versatility as with other guitars with more pickups. It's recommended if you want to use it mainly for high-output riffs.

More with the same pickups

Ibanez GWB1005
This model
0 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini GWB Bridge Pickup
0 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini GWB Bridge Pickup

Versatility

Naturally, the Ibanez GWB1005 doesn't come with a pickup selector because it's a single-pickup bass. These instruments have less versatility, but they're good for practicing. Besides being cheaper, limiting yourself to a single-pickup bass can help you improve by learning to control the tone with your technique and playing style. Things like playing further away from the bridge for a warmer tone, or plucking the strings fast for a snappy sound can help you become a better player.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 5 strings, Solid Body bass with H configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Jazz or similar. However, you can use almost any bass for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 95
Sustain 70
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 78

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez GWB1005 is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

Bridge

Std.: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your bass. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez GWB1005 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the bass meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This bass has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 70
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 70

All Specs

Ibanez GWB1005
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2020
Configuration: H
Strings: 5
Made in: Japan
Series: GWB
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Swamp Ash
Bridge: Std.
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Ebony fingerboard
Neck Material: 3pc Maple
Decoration: Off-set white dot inlay
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass GWB
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.748'' (19mm) - 12th Fret: 0.827'' (21mm)
Frets: 0 Fretless
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 45mm (1.772'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Bartolini GWB (Humbucker / Passive)

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