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Fodera Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Mar 19, 2001.


  1. I was just wondering what people who have played Fodera basses think of them. Obiously they are expensive instruments, and at the price of even the cheapest of them, you gotta imagine that they would be great instruments. So those of you who have played them, what do you think of them? the feel, the sound, the versitility? All of it.
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    They make several models that vary in sound. The least expensive is the NYC Empire, which is a nice, Jazz inspired bass. The cost of ownership leaps from there (think $4k-$6K+). I've played a bunch of Foderas and have run across about an equal number of "Wow" and It's okay" basses. It depends on what you like, as always.

    As much as I don't need a four, I played a used 4 string Fodera (with EMGs, which I don't usually like!) from the Bass Palace that was just ridiculously nice...then I played a 5 string that was merely adequate.

    I consider myself more of a proponent of the bolt-on sound so neck throughs for the most part are a little too refined for me. That's what I've found to be true of Foderas.

    The high price doesn't guarantee an excellent bass (for you, specifically) but you will get world-class build quality, very good playability and in some cases some seriously over the top woods. Then you have to decide if it's worth it to you;)
     
  3. Oh yeah, i know that the price doesn't mean that much on the playability and such. THe only reason i said that about price is only cause they are so highly priced, one would assume that for that price you would get something real good.
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've had some interesting conversations with several luthiers on the subject of price vs cost ;)

    The funny thing about a high price is that it can only guarantee one thing...that it'll be high. No bass can be all things to all people
     
  5. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I've owned alot of Fodera basses (as well as many others) and can honestly say that they are the best instruments out there. Granted, they are expensive, but if you contrast the quality of the instrument with "production/semi-custom basses" there really is no comparison. At Fodera you get EXACTLY what you order. With that said, every bass is different (unlike Lakland, Sadowsky, etc.). If you pick up a random Fodera in a guitar shop, it may not blow you away simply because it was not designed for your tastes.

    If you know what you like, and your willing to invest the time and money in an instrument, you should serioulsy consider getting a bass from Vinnie and Joey. They make the greatest stuff on the planet.
     
  6. Are Fodera's great basses ? Yes absolutly.

    Are they $6000+ good ? Certainly not to me, I think it's ridiculous, but to each their own.
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The funny thing is, you basically get the same thing as the original owner of an Alembic but the Foderas maintain their resale value and Alembics drop like a stone.

    I've never understood why.
     
  8. As the previous posters have said it's all about personal taste.

    So here's mine ............

    I own two Foderas a four and a five and IMHO they are awesome on all fronts. The value question is a different one but to mee they are worth every penny. By the way the guys at Fodera are some of the nicest most helpful I have come across.
     
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I'd have to agree with this. The more stuff you play the more true this becomes. I own a Fodera Emporer 5 and have played others as well as Alembics, Ken Smith, etc..., and there's not much of a difference in build quality, it's all superb, though the ergonomics with each brand differs and is a factor for comfort. For example, some Ken Smith's are designed to be played sitting for studio work. In the end, sonically, I think the electronics package is the one item that can give you the sound that you want. Sure, the woods are a factor, but if the electronics package is sophisticated enough, you can dial in the sound you want or need for a particular gig or project.
     
  10. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Electronics are important, but if the tone isn't there acoustically, you'll always be fighting the instrument. I'd rather get my tone from quality woods than from a 9-volt or two.

    Fodera for example only uses high quality woods that have aged for a certain period of time (10 years or so). Alot of builders use younger woods that haven't fully tried out yet. Moisture in wood equals poor tone. Many builders also don't have the luxery of (or choose not to invest in) allowing woods to sit in their facilities for 5-10 years without being used.
     
  11. Bass7755

    Bass7755 Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    I have an Emporer 5 too. I thought about buying
    a Fodera for years before I actually made up my
    mind to get one. I saved for a while and made payments to Fodera during the 9 month wait. Is it
    easy to play with great action? YES. Can you get
    lots of usable tones? YES. Does it look great? YES!
    And yes it was expensive...but to me it is worth
    every penny! I will never part with is bass (or my new MTD535!)
    Dan
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Sounds like most people agree with my mantra:

    "If you like it, it's worth it".

    There are exceptions, of course:D
     
  13. I've read an article in Bassplayer magazines about their review on Kinal basses. They were saying that Kinal basses are phenomenal!!! But they cost a fraction of what other custom bass manufacturer charge for their bases. So the question is, it's either Kinal basses are extremely under priced, or other basses are over priced!! If you consider the price of raw exotic wood, high end electronics and etc...at bulk price....and add all those up, the retail price of exotic basses doesn't make any sense! Fodera basses are nice, great and freakin expensive!! Too expensive...for the tone....but if you're into "cosmetics", names, "reputation" and etc...then they're alrite. Again, for the tones, they're where they should be for the standard of exotic bass......anything less (in tone quality) would be simply ridiculous fpr that price!
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It really is up to the individual to decide whether thye're too expensive or not. If you think they are...they are. If you don't...
     
  15. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Careful, there!;) That's not really true. Builders dry their wood as much as possible so it doesn't continue to "grow": a shifting in wood that makes it difficult to keep necks from twisting, bodies from warping, etc.

    Then, if you've ever noticed, many high-end shops actually humidify their showrooms to protect the instruments. If they dry out too much, the wood is more prone to cracking.
     
  16. Brad, you're right. It's subjective....they're phenomenal bass though..don't get me wrong. But just a bit pricy(for me)...:)
     
  17. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    RAM
    Moisture in wood AFTER it's finished is not a good thing. Yes, manufacturers do humidify their showrooms, not their raw supplies warehouses.
     
  18. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Moisture in wood is a bad thing BEFORE it's finished, because it makes wood more susceptible to environmental changes. Therefore, it becomes very difficult to work with.

    Moist wood has dampening characteristics to it that dry wood does not, and you cannot label that as good or bad, because different sounds are desirable for different reasons.;)

    And, FYI...once wood is finished, moisture is definitely a GOOD thing:D
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    They're pricey to me, too:)
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's why I keep mine in the shower.

    (sorry RAM...couldn't resist;))