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Fodera Emperor Elite 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tyjacks, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. tyjacks

    tyjacks Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Any Fodera Emperor Elite 5 String owners, seriously considering purchasing one. Please give any advice with playability, sound and support. I played one recently and it was more than I could imagine. Trying not to become infatuated with it, but realistic. Any advice would help...
     
  2. Hi tyjacks

    I don't own a Emperor 5 but I own a Emperor Elite 4 which is one of the basses I ever played. The sound is sweet and the playability is the best. I have small frets and the action is real low which I like. The bass is so easy to play. I'm not much into 5 strings but if I where I would get myself a Emperor 5. There are mostly Emperor 5 Deluxe around and not so many Elite's.
    People here on TB doesn't seem to like Fodera mostly of their prices I think! But if you played a Fodera and it smoked I'll say go for it!

    -Christian
     
  3. I owned and played one for a number of years. Very nice... but very big and most are very heavy. I just couldn't take the weight anymore. The Pope pre is nice, but rather mellow. The Duncan pickups will give you a little more grind, and Aero's a little more warmth IMO. The dual coil design is nice.... for both a humbucking and single coil sound... although many brands offer this (I have Aero Duals and a Pope 4 band in my Stambaugh... it's small, light and sounds great!).

    If you like that very large neck profile at the nut (the necks are BIG), and the very full, warm sound, they are great.

    You can see a picture of mine in my profile.... nice! If I were to do it over, I would seriously consider the bolt-on Emperor.... less costly, same look, quicker build time, and I personally like the sound and feel of a bolt on neck.... pure personal opinion. I also like the Monarch body style better (the single cut Imperial and the Garrison model are based on that smaller body style)... however, if you get the dual coils, the smaller body can seem a little crowded versus the Emperor or EmperorII.

    Also.... if you order one, the wait time is very long now... I believe approaching two years or so. I have a buddy who is at 15 months now for his EmperorII Elite 5, with nothing in sight at all!
     
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    It's a good bass, expensive yes, but you get what you pay for and even more when you buy used. The weight is about the same as in other bass in the same class and I would imagine that depends on what woods you select or the woods that have been selected. Personally I'd keep my eye out for used a much better value for the dollar unless of course you absolutely positively need to have it brand spanking new, if that's the case best to get your name in now.
     
  5. +1 on the body woods at least partially determining the weight. However, the Emperor body is very large. A Mahogany or Walnut body on an Emporer is REALLY heavy... in the 12 pound+ range. Ouch.

    Regarding used, the good news/bad news regarding Fodera's is that due to the high demand relative to the production capabilities, the used basses go for just slightly less than new. I actually sold my Emporer for more than I payed for it. Used Fodera's are pretty expensive due to the fact that you have to wait between one and two years to get a new one.

    That being said, there is a lot of variability in the Fodera line (due to the true custom nature of those basses). I would highly recommend finding one you like on the used market vs. having one built. You won't save a lot of money, but you will know exactly what you are getting.
     
  6. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I think I disagree though about the bodies being large though.... I don't really find that at all. They are very comparable to a J-bass. Imperials are slightly larger but I still wouldn't consider them "big".

    Anyway, you can't go wrong with a good Emperor. Just make sure you know what you want before you order one as the weight can be long and there are so many variables that influence the end result.
     
  7. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    A "big" body would be an Alembic Series body.

    The wait can be heavy as well. :D
     
  8. hippiesandwich

    hippiesandwich

    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    Both of my Emperors sound and play amazing but are on the heavy side. The Elite (in the middle below) has a walnut body and the Deluxe (top) is alder. Excuse the inclusion of the Monarch Elite in the pic :p
    [​IMG]
     
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    will you either adopt me or marry me or something :help:

    I'm a great cook, don't mind doing windows and I'm pretty handy with the power tools :smug:
     
  10. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    L - Anytime you get sick of the Wal-dera, I'll take it off of your hands. I could use the exercise.;)

    Marshall
     

  11. I was going to let that 'Freudian slip' pass... :D
     
  12. No kidding! I didn't realize that Ben let that bass out of his grasp. You are a truly sick man, L.
     
  13. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I really like that Deluxe, and the middle one kind of has wal-ish pickups in it? What kind are they?
     
  14. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Not wal-ish, but Wal pickups and electronics. It's quite a bass...stunning in person.

    Marshall
     
  15. Wow... that's a one of a kind. I bet it sounds awesome.
     
  16. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Dang! Nice guess on my part..

    Probably would be my favorite fodera ever if i were a walnut guy.
     
  17. Joel!

    Your Emperor is killing me :crying:

    -Christian
     
  18. [​IMG]

    Just had to post a larger picture on the Emperor Elite 5 that I played on about a million gigs. Sorry for the goofy/smiley photo. It really was a beautiful bass.... five piece neck with purpleheart stringers, a AAAAA+ solid top, one of the first Fodera's with wood pickup covers (at least that's what I was told).... the cocobola covers really matched the mahogany body color. Finally, an very old piece of ebony for the fretboard... no dots... nothin'! With the Seymour dual coils, it could get very aggressive and funky in single coil mode.

    Anyway, as you can see, they are big horses and my back finally had enough of it. To the credit of the Fodera brand, I played it for 5+ years and sold it for a little more than I originally payed for it... not bad!
     
  19. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Wow...That bass looks like it's playing you! ;)

    Pretty one.

    Marshall
     
  20. That's how it felt some nights!