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Fodera Standard Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Does anyone have experience or own a Fodera Standard Emperor 6 or 5 string bass? I'm looking at them, hopefully buying one soon, but am curious as the price of the one I'm looking at is close to $7k. There are a lot of custom basses I could get for that price, but I've always wanted a Fodera and this seems the least expensive way to get one. Any insight is welcomed.
  2. I don't own one yet. However, I've already committed to purchasing an Emperor 6 Standard in 2018. I expect to be sending my deposit to my retailer in January.

    Since I had been looking into this for a couple of months, and had my retailer correspond with Fodera a number of times, I can tell you about their schedule. Fodera builds the Standards in batches from the same factory. The next production is set for completion during Q1 of 2018 (January-March). There will be another batch for Q2 (April - June). Personally, I need the extra time to send payments to my retailer, so I plan to get mine from the Q2 batch.

    By the way, if you want one right now, I have noticed that Sweetwater has 2 in stock. You can even compare pictures of their 2 available serial numbers.
    capnsandwich likes this.
  3. Yes, I was actually looking at Sweetwater's inventory. Not a bad way to go.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  4. Mr.Ace

    Mr.Ace Bass players rule!

    Sep 8, 2015
    Endorsed by Fusion ( maker of killer gig bags)
    I own a standard classic 5. The bass does anything. Got mine used for $5150
    TolerancEJ and capnsandwich like this.
  5. I played the Fodera Emperor Standard 6 that they have in stock at Bass Club Chicago. The string height was not set to where I would want it to be. It was too low for my taste, but it played really nicely in the upper register and the electronics, Duncan Dual Coils and Mike Pope preamp sounded great, very clear and articulate. I did not like the fenderish neck heal very much though. For $6,850.00, one would think they could give you a neck through bass or cut the wood so that I don't feel somewhat encumbered in the high end of the bass. I am not bashing Fodera at all but that was my experience with the Fodera Emperor Standard 6. Alternatively, a Ken Smith 6 string bass is a fair bit less, is neck through, sounded just as wonderful, looked even more beautiful
    and felt incredible to me. .... my two cents..... I am definitely a 6 string bass guy.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I check out an Emperor Standard 5 last year at my local SA. For that kind of coin I would most definitely be looking elsewhere. JMHE.
    songwriter21 and capnsandwich like this.
  7. campbems

    campbems Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    You start getting in the 5-6000 range in basses and you can get about anything you want through alot of great builders. I commissioned 1 build in my life that was around a $5000 build (that was with me being a multiple time customer discount) and I was never more dissatisfied with a bass in my life. I had basses in the past that cost me $1000 that blowed it out of the water. Definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. So be careful in who you choose when dropping that kind of money lol.
  8. I haven`t played an Emperor Standard 5 but I did get a Monarch Standard 4 a couple of years ago (as a retirement gift for myself). It`s a fantastic playing and sounding, versatile, well made instrument. It`s also really expensive! To put things into perspective, I received a Roscoe SKB 5 last week and it cost me half the price of the Fodera. Quality, playability, sound, and a great B string are all there.

    One question: Will you feel comfortable bringing a $7000 bass to a gig?
    songwriter21 likes this.
  9. Roscoe basses, in my experience, are also just as good, as are Elrick, Benevente, Warrior etc. I think it all comes down to personal taste.
    Bass Viking likes this.
  10. You just have to understand what you're paying for when you get into those price ranges. As mentioned there are plenty of builders making basses of the same caliber as Fodera nowadays. It is really up to you to decide which one fits your needs the best.
    MikeOnBass73 likes this.
  11. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    If you want a really nice bass, then many builders can deliver that. If you want a Fodera, then another builder won't quite do.

    I've owned a lot of different boutiques and invariably the best bass I've ever played is my YYD. I have owned a number of Foderas that I ended up selling - not because they were bad basses, but I was looking for something different. I will say that I don't necessarily agree with some of the brands that are tossed around as being "just as good as..." but everyone has their own criteria and subjective tastes.

    The Standards are every bit as good as the customs, you just don't get to spec the bass. I typically have never been an ash body, pau ferro FB guy, but the Emperor 6 Std I had was a sweet bass. I've had other Standards that were also great basses, but for a variety of reasons they moved on.

    I regularly gig expensive basses as that's what I bought them for. If the gig is safe for me, it is safe for my bass.
  12. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    I'd love a standard P. But $5k in the retirement account if prob a better use of the money.
    lowdownthump and MikeOnBass73 like this.
  13. I ended up going to Sweetwater and tried out some Foderas. I played a $12k Custom single cut and it was super nice. Then. I asked to see a a Standard Emperor 6'er. That one actually stood out better to my ears. The neck on both basses were super fast and slick. The single cut had a nice, warm tone while the Standard had a bit more punch and bite to it. If I were to purchase one today I'd probably go with the Standard.

    I know a lot of you guys are saying that other basses play just as nice for half the cost, however, I've always wanted a Fodera and will probably get one sometime this year.
  14. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I have ordered a couple of weeks ago an custom Imperial Elite 5 string and yes it will come to gigs when it is the bass of choice for it...
    capnsandwich likes this.
  15. I know what you mean. I love the idea of owning a Fodera too but I have decided to watch the used market instead, in hopes of finding a Fodera that is as close as possible to my ideal bass. That would be neck through, not bolt on, 35 inch scale, 6 string with some sort of preferably burled wood top. I know .... a tall order and tough to find. I may end up waiting forever. Wait .... I think I just described a Ken Smith 6!
    capnsandwich likes this.
  16. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Nope - Smiths are 34" scale, and he doesn't often (ever?) use burled top woods (typically walnut and maple, some cocobolo and others)

    I've owned/gigged both Smiths and Foderas - very different beasts.
  17. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Not sure if you were thinking along this route at all, but MTD USA is freakin' unbelievable...one of the best that I played at NAMM. Mike Lull had some incredible stuff, too.
  18. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Also, and I've never played one, but Quadzilla (TB user) raves about his Dragonfly (Japanese). The vids I posted in the link below, show how awesome their stuff can be. If my current band does well enough, I'll be ordering a custom Fat J5. Btw, Danny Stewart is one of the guys that gets it (as in how a bass really should play, like Mike Tobias)...lowest playable action without buzz. Like I said, I've never played a Dragonfly, but Danny says that you can easily get 1mm on the G, no problem. I dig that.

    Dragonfly (Harry's Engineering of Japan)...holy cow!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  19. That's great that you prefer the less expensive one!
    capnsandwich likes this.
  20. campbems

    campbems Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I'm just now getting into the Roscoes and their Custom basses are as good as anything you can find in build, tone, and definitely play ability. He Pleks the fretboard and frets ensuring the action can be setup at the lowest without buzz. I've owned a few $4-6000 basses and my custom Roscoe is the best I've owned.
    MikeOnBass73 likes this.

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