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Fodera vs Alembic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dreadhead, Jul 3, 2002.


  1. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Hello! I hope that this 3d will not bore you... however I have some questions.
    I've found two deals... one for a Fodera Monarch, and one on different models of Alembic.
    Well, I'm pretty sure that the Alembic would fit my nees perfectly, and to be truthful I like them more than Fodera. But: what about the sound/playability of these basses? I hope that some one played both... thanx a lot!
     
  2. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've played 'em both and have liked models of each. I think I prefer Foderas, but strictly out of personal preference.

    What was it that drew you to the Alembic over Fodera? Maybe that's your answer.;)
     
  3. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I really like medium and short scale... besides I usually make solos plucking the strings ala Stanley Clarke, and I'm not sure that the Fodera would fit the style. I know that aesthetics shouldn't affect the decision, but the Fodera is ugly! :)
    What about the sound? I LIKE slap! I guess they are both perfect slap basses...
     
  4. VS

    VS

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    I think I'd go for the Alembic,but that's my personal preference. Pick which one you think sounds better with what style you play. -Luke
     
  5. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Slap...hmmm...good question. For Fodera, think Victor Wooten slapping. Alembic has Stanley Clark.

    As far as short scale, Fodera's now building Anthony Jackson's contrabass' at 33" instead of 36" due to hand problems.
     
  6. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    I have huge hands, so I wouldn't be "forced" to get a medium or short scale bass... it's only a matter of taste. I can heasily handle a 35" or more.
     
  7. I think it's an apples-and-oranges comparison. If you were talking something like Fodera vs. Elrick or Fodera vs. Ken Smith, you might be able to make a judgement one way or another, but Fodera and Alembic have profoundly different approaches to luthiery.
     
  8. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Yeah, you're 100% right! But since I can't play them (I live in Europe!), I wanted to know what's the difference in sound/playability...
     
  9. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Dread,

    Which Alembic model are you looking at?

    Bones
     
  10. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I've found:

    1) A Custom Omega Heart Body with Europa electronics and 32" scale

    2) A '77 Series I with Shedua top

    3) A Series II (but it's too expensive for me!!) :(

    4) Here a NOS Mark King Standard at $2,200.00
     
  11. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Emperor, eh? The one I've found is a Monarch... but I don't know Fodera line. I guess it's the less expensive model?
     
  12. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I know it... in fact I didn't say "inexpensive", but I said "less expensive"! :D
    However I don't think that a Wooten song can explain how Foderas sound... I think that even if Victor played an Alembic in that record, the tone would be almost the same... don't you think?
     
  13. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    I've played a few Foderas and a few Alembics...
    they both are great... but as before.. apples and oranges..

    i personally like the feel and sound of the fodera a bit better IMHO... at this point in time, i can't afford either one of them.. but hopefully in the next 5 years :) one will fall from the sky into my hands.. maybe.
     
  14. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I've sold a lot of basses to afford one of them... if you could know... :(
    However I'm PROUD to say that I'll buy it with my money... and I'm sure that it will be my only axe for the future, so I must choose well and choose fast ;)
     
  15. Requiem

    Requiem

    Feb 26, 2000
    Costa Rica
    in my opinion Fodera is a beautifull basses, that are mostly handmade and you can make them build one just for you...but o think you have some kind of deal going on. Fodera is a very good bass, like the mercedes benz of german cars. not the best but very luxury with artistic wood inlays and other precition details....alembic is a bit more comercial...again this is my opinion...

    First find what is it that you want and buy or order these 2 cdc's: "A show of hands" VWooten
    "If this bass could talk" Stanley Clark.
     
  16. Unfortunately, the only way to tell is to play the basses and see for yourself. In my opinion trying to compare the Alembic sound to the Warwick sound by listening to Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten just woudn't work. The the thing that determines how an instrument sounds more than anything is the person playing it. If Victor and Stanley switched basses you probobly woudn't even hear that significant of a difference. Not to mention the strings, wood, pickups, and amp, all of which do a great deal in changing the sound of an instrument.

    I can tell you from personal experience that Fodera basses a extremely nice. I played a few of them at Bass Day 2001, and although it was so noisey in the room, that I couldn't hear the sound that well, the Foderas all played better than any other basses I have ever tried. I actually got to play Victor Wooten's tener bass, and it was just ridiculous because of how thin the strings are (he usese low gage strings to begin with). I'm not sure that the playability of Fodera basses is necassarily a good thing however. For most people it probobly is, but for me, I think I needed something fighting back. I can't quite put my finger on it.

    Good luck with your decision. Just make sure you really want an Alembic or a Fodera, because there are a lot of really nice basses out there.
     
  17. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I've owned two Alembic Series I's (a medium scale and a short scale). While they played and sounded very nice and got a lot of praise from recording engineers, I thought they were very neck heavy (that's why I no longer own them). Maybe they are balancing them better now though (I had mine in the early 80's), and maybe those other models you are looking at balance better than the Series line.
    I've never played a Fodera but I imagine that they are better balanced.
     
  18. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I perfectly agree about the bass switch... but this choice is really hard to do!
     
  19. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    I know that a lot of Alembics are REALLY neck heavy... but I don't care... to be truthful, I LOVE neck-dive!! :)
    I know, it's strange... however I usually play sitting and I have strong arms and shoulders. What about the sound/playability of a Series I? Do you think that the electronics are worth the extra money?
    I've found a '77 one with Shedua top... guyz, it's STUNNING!
     
  20. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Why not check out the European bass scene?
    Since you're in Italy, anything made in the EU might be less pricey than US basses.