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Fodera Imperial-vs-Emperor:help me!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Amoilbasso, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    I decided to revoke the order for the Wal fretless 5:I'm not a great fretless player,and it would have been silly to spend 3400 euros for a fretless.

    I'll sell my Tobias and get a chaeper fretless(may be an amazing Modulus Q5 I've found here in Italy for 2000 euros);or I'll keep the Toby and de-fret it,I'll see.

    So I've decided to realize my dream:the "alter ego" of my AMAZING-ABNORMAL sounding Jazz'78 will be a Fodera 5.

    I've ordered an Emperor 5 Elite for the moment;but the bass I really got creazy about was an Imperial 5 with the following features:
    alder body
    chestnut maple top
    Aero Dual coil
    Ebony fingerboard.
    That imperial was my dream bass(after my fender,of course):it was not only fantastic as every Fodera;but it was "the One" which had exactly what I was looking for:a blend between my Tobias and a Ken Smith.
    The single/dual coil switch system was much more effective on this imperial than on any other Fodera I tryed.Sigle coil:modern-fender like tones;dual:ken smith's tones!!!!!!

    the emperor I ordered will be builted with the same features of that "magic imperial",since the italian "Fodera guy" assured me that the only differences between Emperor and Imperial concern felling and aesthetic.
    But it sounds a litlle bit strange to my hear:I think that the body-shape is very important for the tone of the bass;not only feeling, and look.

    What do you think about that:Imperial-vs Emperor

    Do you agree that an Emperor and an Imperial would sound the same when they have the same features???
  2. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I like the Imperial better. I like the way the body feels & looks more than the Emperor.

    A tough choice, but I will take the Imperial.

    Anybody seen one?
  3. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    The imperial is more expensive:but I worry that I wouldn't get exactly what I want from the emperor,since I listened it in that "magic imperial" only.
  4. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    If you're going to spend the money anyway, get what you really want. If you're buying an Emperor Elite, you're already within striking distance of the the Imperial.

    The single-cut design of the Imperial is intended to improve neck-stability and transfer of vibrations from the neck to the body. So, from that angle, there are some differences between the Imperial and the Emperor.

    Just to confuse you more, I've played some really amazing Emperor five strings. So, as long as you're ordering a wood combo that you know works for you (sonically), you shouldn't worry too much... it'll be fine.

    Good luck!
  5. Benbass


    Jan 28, 2002
    I can't really answer that question because I've only played one Fodera. I know who can though. David Beasley has played hundreds of Foderas. If you sign up for the Yahoo group called Foderabassguitars you could ask him online.
  6. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Ok I own both an Imperial and an Emperor and they are both great but totally different beasts...

    The Imperial you described is exactly like mine except for the aero dual coils (I have the SD's). My emperor definitely has more of a vintage vibe to it but I prefer my Imperial for both looks and sound. They both feel pretty much the same so if people say they feel terribly different it's not really true. So yes the two basses should sound roughly close to each other if they have identical features but I don't think it would be the *exact* same sound...the Imperial has more mass to the body so the sound would be a little different I think. I can't test this on my two basses though because the only thing they have in common are the pre amp.

    Personally I like the looks of the Imperial a lot more, in fact it is my favorite bass design of anything out there. They are awesome looking, especially in person. Here is my Imperial...and if you want an Imperial I'd change the order. I'm getting another one soon...

    Oh yeah, this Imperial is currently getting some work done on it...I'm getting smaller frets put on it (don't like the jumbo's very much) and Im getting a full neck inlay put in...it's gonna be sweet when it's done. Then when I get my second Imperial I'm tuning this one E-C.

  7. kridrazil


    Nov 10, 2002
    If the Imperial is your dream bass then buy an Imperial.
    Even if you will pay much more dollars, a Fodera is already a big purchase and you will keep this bass for a long time, so my advice is : buy your dream bass not a similar one.
  8. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000

    Hi bassandsax,
    thanks for you reply!
    I have an important question to you:
    Is the single/dual coil switch system so dramatically effective on your Imperial, as I described?
    For example:single=slap similar to a jazz bass;dual= slap very similar to a Ken Smith.

    please let me know;)
  9. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    On my emperor YES it is a HUGE difference in sound. My emperor has aero dual coils. On my Imperial it is noticeable but not as much as my emperor, but I am not really sure because I haven't played much bass lately since I've been busy and even less of the Imperial. Plus I don't have it right now because of what's being done to it so I can't test. But the Imperial has the duncan duals in it, and while they are a different sound, switching between dual and single coil is not as dramatic as the Aero's but only in THOSE two basses I have. So I really don't know. But what you described above is exactly what my Emperor is like with the Aero's...single coil mode is an awesome awesome vintage jazz vibe but with that Fodera cleanliness and punch and sound. Dual coil is a bit of a smoother sound...

    If you are looking for what you just described I would go with the Aero's if my basses are any indication of what you will get...but also my Emperor is swamp ash/kingwood while my Imperial is alder/ebony so keep that in mind...
  10. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    The point is that Enrico is sure 100% that an Emperor will play exactly as that "dream imperial"
  11. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I dont think they are going to play any differently. Ive tried my share of Fodera's, I own three and have played many more and they all play the same to me - great.

    Seriously though if you want an Imperial change your order. For the amount of money they cost you need to get EXACTLY what you want and nothing less. It sounds kind of like the guy you are buying it from doesn't want to hassle with changing the order.
  12. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000

    Enlightening answer!
    As I supposed,the drammatic effectivness of the switch seems really due to the Aero Pick ups then.
  13. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    well like I said it might not be a universal thing. However I can say that the difference on MY basses are certainly much more noticeable with the Aero pickups yes. Huge difference, without a doubt with just the flip of a switch. I even demonstrated it to my girlfriend once and she basically said "whoa."

    I think the gain on my Imperial might be up a bit too high though, not sure if that would affect the tonal differences when switching between dual and single coil mode. That being said though I like my Imperial more but I still really like the Emperor...or I wouldn't have kept it. :)
  14. kridrazil


    Nov 10, 2002
    Amoilbasso : is there a big difference of price between the Emperor Elite 5 and the Imperial 5 that you want ?
  15. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    There shouldnt be...list price difference is only 400 bucks.
  16. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    The wood combo is important too:at the frankfurt musikmesse,I tryed an emperor2 with the same woods as the "dream impreial",but with Bartolinis on.
    The switching was more effective yet on this emperor 2 than on the others:I'm quite sure that if it had Aeros,the effectivness of the switch would have been just the same of the famous imperial.
  17. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    I'm waiting for Enrico to let me know the price for an Imperial identical to "the one".

    May be I'll use a part of the amount I'll get from the selling of my Tobias to fill the gap.
  18. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Are there pics anywhere of this imperial?
  19. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    It's a demo bass,and it isn't for sale.
  20. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    The guy is demoing a 6000 dollar bass? Wow...is it his? :)