1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Fodera vs Ken Smith

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    This may be a tough one as I couldn't find a comparison in previous posts. My '83 Smith sold me on the PJ configuration (thanks to its active/passive option). I've always wondered about the Fodera Vic Wooten bass, so here goes. Does anyone know how these two basses would compare?

    '83 Ken Smith as pictured [or current model Smith]
    Fodera Vic Woot Classic [or Fodera bass in general]

  2. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well I couldn't answer on the Ken Smith because I've played only a few and they weren't PJ but I do know the Vic Wooten basses must be cool based on what I've played...I think Vic's yin yang bass is better than his original though which is what you posted a pic of (the reissue).

    Either way you'll get a good bass maybe someone else around here has some good experience with a KS like you posted...
  3. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    Fodera and Smith basses were the ones I considered the most to substitute my beloved Tobias 5.
    I've never played a Smith like yours,but this is what I feel:
    Foderas are modern basses but still with Fender oriented tones

    Smith's tones are all on their own;they are more modern and personal;no Fender oriented.
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Fodera will build to your specs they don't have to be Fender oriented really...I've heard some really "modern" sounding stuff of theirs both recording artists and in person.
  5. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    I see what you mean.
    An Emperor Bo with ash or alder body,J pick ups,maple Fingerboard is really Fender oriented,for example.
    But Fodera offers so many options that it is really possible to get a very different bass,of course.

    What I wanted to say is that in my opinion,for example,even an Imperial with walnut body,ebony fingerboard,Aero pick-ups etc...... is still a little bit moving on a Fender scenario.Fender tones are in the back-ground anyway;while Smith basses haven't that back-ground.They are much far from Fender tones,than Foderas.
    This is only my opinion.But Enrico(Fodera's guy for Italy)tends to agree with me.
  6. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    I've never palyed a Fodera identical to another.
  7. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I may be WAAAY off the mark but this is what I'm thinking:

    The construction quality of a current model Smith
    the Fendery PJ sound of the '83 Smith
    the Fodera Vic Wooten (sort of)

    As always:
  8. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    The more I look at the Vic Wooten Classic, it appears to be Fodera's rendition of the '83 Smith. Seeing as how Fodera helped build the '83 Smith, maybe the Vic Wooten is the '83 Smith evolved. :meh:

    When did Fodera first build these?

    Vic Wooten:
  9. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well, Wootens bass is an 83, so it might be the other way around, that your Smith is Smith's take on the Fodera. ;)
  10. i think this thread is just a ploy to show pics of that 83 smith again. ;)
  11. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    If so, then thanks for the bump! :D

    But seriously,
    I've been going back and forth between the two Smith 4's all weekend. And I kept saying to my self that I would love to have a current-model Smith-4 with the PJ configuration. The current model Smith's are thinner, lighter and faster. I don't want a basic Fendery ash/alder body with a bolt on maple neck. I really like the compact feel of the Mahogany/maple laminates. Ken doesn't do the PJ configuration anymore, therfore, the closest thing out there is perhaps the Fodera. Do you know any Luthier that does the following:
    - 3-5 piece neck
    - Mahogany back
    - Maple top [back]
    - Morado or ebony board
    - PJ configuration
    - Quality construction
    - Active/passive preamp

    I also wonder what the above would do to the "P" sound.
  12. hmm, i've played a couple of Pedulla fretlesses that sounded very nice with the PJ pickups, but the body was all maple if i remember correctly. i'm not sure if the fretted versions would do the wooten thing like you're looking for though.
  13. out of curiousity, how much does that 83 smith weigh? have a digital scale handy?
  14. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    not to put out any misinformation here, but it's been my impression that Vinnie Fodera used to work for Smith back in the early 80's before forming Fodera...so there's a good chance that that old Smith might be pretty close to the Fodera. :)
  15. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I don't know. I think it weighs about 2 pounds more than my other Smith, but is not really that heavy. The '83 Smith is smokin' and once you pick it up, it's hard to put down. The current set-up favors finger style: TI Jazz flats with low action and no buzzing even when digging in real hard. I don't want to change that set-up at all. Now all I need is a PJ for slapin' :bassist:

    - Fodera did work for Smith in the 80's. I think he built the first 500 Smith basses . There was some overlap in Fodera making Smith and Fodera basses in the mid 80's starting at around 1983. With both basses being made in 1983, they could in fact be very close or closer than I think. (I could be wrong).
    I'm going to call Bass Central in a few minutes.
  16. so... 2 pounds heavier than your other smith eh? well that explains everything! ;)

    any clue how much your 'other' smith weighs? my smith 6 weighs 10.5 pounds, which is almost all i can take if i'm wearing a it on a strap for any length of time.
  17. i want an 83 smith like JR's :D
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Sure, except for the multi-piece neck (other than esthetics, no need). Easy;)
  19. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Ken, Thanks for the clarification, good info! :)


    - My '83 Smith weighs 9.5 pounds and my CR4V weighs about 7.75 pounds.

    - The Vic Wooten Classic is not built exactly like the original bass. The current models are scooped on the back and is therefore lighter than the original. The body is 1/8" narrower than the '83 Smith but has the longer upper horn. It weighs about 8.5 pounds depending on the weight of the mahogany used.

    - You want an '83 Smith? Anything is possible. ;)
  20. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    And the answer is. . .? :)

    Hanewinckel popped into my head of course, but really there are quite a few out there who'll build a bass like that.