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Fodera vs. Sadowsky

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by john nam, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Can those with extensive experience with both Fodera and Sadowsky (both US versions) chime in on why they like one better than the other? Specifics will be greatly appreciated!

    I know the two vary considerably in price and looks, but putting those two things aside, which do you like better and why?

    As for me, I've played a Fodera NYC (Japanese made), briefly tried a Fodera Monarch 4 and have played Sadowsky NYCs (jazz and modern) and the Foderas didn't have what I was looking for in terms of light weight (under 8.5 lbs for a 5 string), punchy and zingy tone in passive mode, and ultra thin neck (front to back). I'd love to hear what others think.
  2. bass_snake

    bass_snake Banned

    Aug 13, 2008
    Stouffville, Ontario
    Bump! I' d like to see what people have to say about this comparison. I' m interested in getting a bass with maple board exclusively for slapping. I' m looking in to couple of basses including Sadowsky and Fodera.

  3. Odd how the Fodera "NYC" line is made overseas.
  4. Laklandlover

    Laklandlover Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA BABY
  5. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    I own a Emperor 5 bolt-on and have played Sadowskys. The Fodera has Duncan Dual Coils. If you really want to compare them: I think the main difference is that the Sadowsky is a "real" Jazz Bass and the Emperor can "mimic" a Jazz Bass. They just sit in the mix differently in most situations - sometimes it's "close enough", sometimes only the real thing will do.

    Other than that the different body/neck designs make for a very different playing experience. Which one you prefer is purely personal taste.
  6. Brams77


    Jun 30, 2009
    Basically you gave the answer allready you tried a few Fodera dint like how they felt... So Fodera is not for you, feel is very important. I have tried Sadowsky's and didn't like how they felt so I didn't buy them.
    All basses sound different even within a certain brand, first figure out what you want to try out thinking in what sound you would like to produce then go out and try as many of those basses as possible hoping to find one that suits you best.
  7. I'm actually not trying to decide between the two, I'm just wondering for what specific reasons one would choose a Fodera over a Sadowsky. As I've mentioned, for me, I chose Sadowsky over Fodera because of the lighter weight, thinner neck (front to back) with graphite rods, and active sounding passive mode (NYC Modern 24-5). Am I missing any other factors? Don't get me wrong, I'm still tempted to get a Fodera just because of the name and butterfly headstock, but are there any other concrete differences that I'm missing?
  8. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Just because of the name and butterfly headstock? .....choosing to not participate in the thread after that.
  9. Gkbass, so what other factors are there, besides the ones that I've listed?
  10. I totally understand this part, lol :D.
  11. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    This is like comparing granny smith apples to motor oil.

    I've played instruments from both companies. I've spoken to members of both companies. Fine instruments all-around, great people working at each one. Personally, I prefer Fodera for the more innovative body design and because I'm not a fan of Fender-style instruments (also, my love for 6-strings leaves only one option between the two). If I were a session musician or had a passion for Fender, I'd head right to Sadowsky right away because I like what Roger brings to the table.
  12. Hestan


    Jan 29, 2007
    Hey John,

    I use both - they're both great basses, a Fodera Imperial and a sadowsky ultra vintage jazz. Very different basses but both excellent in different ways.

    If it's a grooving gig or session i prefer the sadowsky - it's a bit more up front and ballsy. The fodera sounds beautiful, probably richer i suppose (on it's own for solo stuff or trying out in a shop on it's own with an amp it's probably unbeatable for richness) but sometimes the sound of a bass within the music calls for something different or not quite so 'multi-colored' and then i'll head to the sadowsky.

    it's a bit off topic but... The more I get into recording and production the more I realise that the 'best' sounding bass whatever that means doesn't always give the 'best' sound when at the core of an overall mix.


    bassomane likes this.
  13. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hmm, strangely, these are both common tasting notes for higher quality German Rieslings... :smug:
    el jeffe bass likes this.
  14. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    I own a Sadowsky NYC 24-5 and I love it to death. I went with the NYC primarily for the reduced weight... but considered the upgraded top and choice of color a bonus.

    I'm sure I'd love a Fodera just as much.

    But, I think "a fodera" is apt.... I can't afford it!
  15. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    I have never been that impressed by sadowskys, whether US or import. The point is there is better out there for what you describe in your first post.
  16. marchone


    Nov 30, 2009
    For what you describe (light weight, thin neck) you may want to wait for a Sad NYC Will Lee 5'er to be produced.
  17. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm guessing you never gigged on one. ;)
  18. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I have a Fender MIA Deluxe 5-string Jazz with Sadowsky pickups and preamp. Where does that leave me?

  19. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Why? Do they magically sound better?
  20. That's a great way to put it, and the reason why I sold my Emperor Elite 5 and have been playing a Sadowsky J with single coils (and an Alleva-Coppolo) for the last few years.

    The weight is quite different also (most of the Fodera's I've played are boat anchors), as is the neck profile (Fodera neck/nut/bridge spacing is VERY wide).

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