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For the subsequent reissue of this guitar, see BWM1 (2016–2017).
BWM1 BS
BWM1 Brown Sunburst Red copyright sprite

The BWM1 is a solid body electric guitar made by Ibanez. It is a signature model of Bob Weir, who is best known as guitarist of the American rock band Grateful Dead. It is perhaps the first model sold by Ibanez which was built by Sugi in Japan.

The BWM1 is a re-creation of a custom guitar that Ibanez made Weir in around 1976. The reissue was revealed at the 2005 Summer NAMM Show and is referred to as a "cowboy fancy" model which comes from an answer Weir gave to Jeff Hasselberger of Ibanez who had asked him what he would like his guitar to look like. Referring to the often ornate inlays on the guitars of the old country and western stars, Weir replied, "Let's go for the full cowboy fancy."[1]

Original design

The body shape of the Cowboy Fancy was intended to be a compromise between a Gibson ES-345 and the Ibanez Artist series. Weir requested a larger headstock to increase sustain, the actual design of which ultimately made its way into smaller versions for other Ibanez jazz guitars.[1]

The guitar is heavily decorated with vine inlays on the body, neck and headstock. The word "Ace" on the fretboard refers to Weir's nickname.

Reissue

The Cowboy Fancy was reissued to coincide with the release of the Ibanez history book The Untold Story that had a picture of the original guitar on the front and back cover. Only thirty (30) of the reissued guitars were produced. Each was numbered and signed by Weir on the rear electronics cover.[2]

It was the first in a line of three limited edition classic reissues, the second being the 2670RE in 2006 and third the AR5000RE in 2007. Each of these reissues was produced by Sugi.

This model was once more reissued in 2016. The updated BWM1 with only very minor changes was revealed at the 2016 Winter NAMM Show.

Specifications

Specifications for BWM1 (2005)
Model name: BWM1
Year(s) produced: 2005
Sold in: Worldwide
Made in: Japan
Finish(es): BS (Brown Sunburst)
Body
Body type:
Solid body
Body material:
Swamp ash wings w/ pearloid vine inlay and abalone binding
Neck joint:
Neck-thru
Bridge:
Acc-Cast Replica
Hardware color:
Gold
Neck
Neck type:
BWM
Neck material:
5-piece maple/ walnut
Scale length:
648mm/ 25½"
Fingerboard material:
Ebony w/ binding
Fingerboard inlays:
BWM special pearl vine w/ "ACE" @ 21st fret
Frets:
22 / medium
Nut:
Half bone/ half brass
Electronics
Pickup configuration:
HSH
Bridge pickup:
DiMarzio Virtual PAF (H)
Middle pickup:
DiMarzio Virtual Vintage 2.2 (S)
Neck pickup:
DiMarzio Virtual PAF (H)
Controls:
see below

Electronics

BWM controls

The guitar features a pre-amp with a three band active EQ and DiMarzio pickups. Weir wanted as much flexibility of pickup selection as possible and so a lot of switches were added to the model.

Controls

The first three toggles in the upper horn turn the pickups on and off individually (1=Neck; 2=Middle; 3=Bridge). The fourth toggle switches the neck and bridge pickups between humbucker (in the down position) and coil tap (in the up position). In addition, there are 3 small plastic screws, accessible thru the rear control plate which allow the level of each pickup to be adjusted independently. The main three knobs control master volume, master tone and EQ level. The three smaller knobs are part of the Ibanez EQ tone system. They are center notched to accurately provide plus or minus 15db of gain in three frequency bands: bass/ mid/ treble. The red LED is a power indicator for the active EQ's 9-volt battery and the toggle is a bypass switch that turns the EQ System on or off.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Specht, Paul; Wright, Michael; Donahue, Jim (2005). Ibanez : the Untold Story. Bensalem, Penn.: Hoshino (U.S.A.). p. 193. ISBN 0976427702.
  2. Shea, Jeanine; 2005 Ibanez Bob Weir Cowboy guitar; Vintage Guitar (magazine); archived October 2005.
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