Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Limo, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I certainly won't question the quality and craftsmanship of a Fodera as I understand (through no experience of my own) that they are incredibly well-made instruments.

    I'm all for the market dictating the pricing (i.e., whatever the market will bear), but I wonder what kind of a profit margin an $8000.00 bass produces in total (i.e., the profits to the builder as well as to the retailer who obviously has to mark it up further). Just curious - I certainly have no qualms with a company like Fodera charging that much if the market dictates that it is "justified".

    Also, and on a different tangent, what is it about buckeye burl that appeals so much to some? I honestly do NOT mean to offend here when I say that, to me, it is not exactly aesthetically appealing. I'm just wondering what it is that impresses folks about it. I appreciate "figured" wood, but, to me, buckeye burl just doesn't hold the same appeal as a nice flame maple, for example.

    And yes, I know it's all about preferences, but I'm honestly curious as to what it is about BB that is so appealing. No offense meant to anyone and I appreciate that " beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Just trying to understand the views of some "beholders".

    I hope no one is offended by that.
  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Normally I'm not too much of a fan of buckeye burl either, but I like it in this one (it doesn't look quite as "busy" as other ones I've seen.)
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Is that an actual price or a retail price? I would imagine a bass like that would be more around 6k.

    As for the price, you have quality, materials and market value that goes into the equation. Personally I have never owned or played better than the best of my basses. I would be very surprised if that bass was actually 8000 dollars my beez bass was not that much and it is one of the best they have turned out of the shop (so I am told).

    You must think about their costs as well. I have read in financial publications that 100,000 dollars in NY is like 40,000 in Texas. Makes you think.
  5. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    The thing that puzzles me is that there are so many Luthiers and manufacturers who are just top notch, but Fodera seem to get away with pricing their basses this much. Yeah beautiful craftmanship and great tone etc.... but although I've never played one I've seen and heard many and I just don't get why they are so much more expensive than a lot of other well or maybe even better respected bass builders. Jared: you can't deny that we can name more then a dozen of bass builders who have great craftmanship abilities but are a lot less expensive.

    Is Fodera maybe the new Fender?? The name is half the price??
  6. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Based on observation only, it would appear that part of Fodera's ability to charge what they do is based on there reputation. They are similar to Alembic in the sense that their basses are (starting to become?) iconic even amoungst those who know next to nothing about bass gear (you ahve to remember that the majority of bass players are not gear heads and they just play what they have access to - TB is not representative). Accordingly, many players dream of owning a Fodera or an Alembic as being the "ultimate bass" based purely on their existing reputation and iconic status. The fact that there are a lot of lutheirs out there producing products that are as good (if not better in some cases) for less money is irrelevant because many bass players will never find out about them, nor will they dream of owning one while they play their jazz copy in their bedroom.

    When these guys get older and finally do get the money to buy a bass, they go after their dream (even if they are still only a bedroom warrior) and that means sales for Fodera - this pushes up demand and price.

    In short, yes, the Fodera brand name drives up the price because, like Alembic, many people dream of owning these basses and chase their dream into reality (no matter what the expense)

    Just an observation.
  7. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Good post, thanks Mark
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Most people order an item custom made because they are connisuers (sp.), not because of sheer utility. i honestly believe that factory made basses are made well enough and are versatile enough to play the music in most musicians heads. Folks who buy customs, in some cases are vituosos whose sound requires a world class craftsman to bring it to fruition. Most simply really appreciate an instrument as a work of functional art. Both attitudes are legitimate. The bottom line is play what you want and be happy. One really good thing about a market society is variety available for consumers.
  9. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Guest

    May 15, 2003
    Wait til you see how much they're asking for their Benedetto archtop :)
  10. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    "Ones man Crate is another mans Eden." ;)
    Keep the Funk Alive!!!
    Like dude, can I drop D on that? :spit:
  11. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Mica and crew build some highend stuff!!!!!
    One day a plain Epic four string will be mine. But for $2100
    its going to be awhile..... :crying:
  12. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest I would never deny that. There are plenty of makers that I respect and would have absolutely no problem buying. But I have yet to play a bass that does it for me like Fodera. The best ones I have played have been incomparable in my opinion.
  13. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Incomparable in what respect? Construction, tone, playability, looks?

    It would surprise me if the difference between a Fodera and any high end bass (eg MTD) was so great that the word "incomparable" would be appropriate (ie in the sense that an Essex Jazz may be incomparable to a Series II Alembic).
  14. I think that it is interesting that the majority of posters on this thread thus far have never even played, let alone owned a Fodera.

    I have tried and played a couple that were nothing special in my opinion but some good ones (including my own) that are outstanding and one of the best feeling, easy to play (for me) intstruments ever. It WILL vary like any bass company, builder's products, which makes ordering such an expensive instrument scarey!

    I think that Mark said it very well. And the point made by the other poster about it being a dream/iconic thang is also very true. That said, I DO think that they are overpriced but having grown up near N.Y.C., I think the cost of living is probably a factor. Maybe that's one of the reasons that Smith moved to PA?

    I've also heard/read that the prices paid in Japan for Foderas is astronomical and have driven up U.S. prices, but I have no idea if that is "urban mythology" or not.

    All that said, a Fodera IS a lifetime instrument for many. I don't think most people would buy one ONLY for it's iconic "value" but because they feel and play so incredibly well. I waited for a good price on a used instrument and considered it my "gold watch" when I retired from teaching. The ultimate rationalisation! :p

    Now...even though I would have loved to have my upcoming shortscale made in the image of my Matt Garrison 6, and would have simplified ordering pres, pick ups, etc. I just COULDN'T do
    six grand plus for it's "little sister/brother"!

    I've chosen a Carey Nordstrand as it's builder because even though I haven't held/played one in person (so unlike me), his prices are reasonalble, his craftsmanship looks to be impeccable and he's extremely communicative!


    That reminds me, if any Nordstrand owners live in the Seattle or Portland, OR area, I would be extremely grateful for an opportunity to try one!
  15. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Incomparable in tone, looks and playability. I've played just about everything name it I have most likely played it (unless you choose something totally obscure).

    There is a reason their prices are where they are. It's not a matter of Fodera wanting to "rip people off," in fact quite the contrary in my opinion. Look at the quality of product, and their own costs. They work in Brooklyn. It is not a cheap area. Read what I wrote above concerning relative prices. I don't play Fodera because I think it's "cool" I play them because I don't think I would be entirely happy with anything else at this point for the above mentioned reasons.
  16. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Hey Jim, are you getting a six string short scale from Carey? I'd be real interested to see how that turns out since I have an idea for a six string piccilo that I am still tossing around.
  17. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Perhaps that's why we are so sceptical about them;)
  18. MikeBass


    Nov 4, 2003
    Ferndale MI.
    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    To me, FWIW, it's way overpriced.
    At what point can you really, and lets be honest here, tell a significant difference between say....that Fodera and a $3000 bass from (insert bass luthier here)??

    You can't really. And lets put it into perspective, I'm all for nice high end gear. I own some real nice stuff (Sadowsky, Warwick, Curbow, Epifani) and once you reach a certain point I feel that your paying for things that pound for pound, dollar for dollar don't make a considerable difference.

    Is that bass worth $5000 more than my Sadowsky?? I highly dought it. For all practical purposes, it nothing but a 5 string Jazz Bass!! I'm over simplifying to make a point.

    Is it built as well as one can be? Hell yeah!! Does it look sweet? You bet your sweet ass it does!! Does it sound good? I sure hope so for that price!! Would I like to own a Fodera one day? Yup!!! Will it sound that much different than my Sadowsky? I don't really think so. Maybe different, but not better IMO.

    I had the chance to pick a Fodera up a while back. Real sweet bass,5 string, burl top, double cut (Monarch I think), Pope 3 band pre-amp, (and heres the sweet part)Abalone block inlays with tortous shell neck binding. Like I said, sweet as hell!!! I went back with my Sadowsky and did the A/B thing and really not a bit of difference. Sure there was a difference, but nothing that would have made it worth it to get rid of my Sadowsky for, and I almost did!! Until I brought my bass in. BTW, the Fodera was $4500-USED!!!

    Will I own a all hand made exotic wood bass someday? Maybe, and it most likly will be a Fodera. Why? Well on thing for sure, I only ever played 2 Foderas that were not even close to what they wanted for them and I know for certin that they are extreamly well made. But $8500..........C'mon :meh:
  19. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well I would say speak for yourself. I can tell a HUGE difference between my bass and some basses I have played that were priced between 2-4k. If you can't, good for you.

    IF that bass is truly 8300 dollars as the site says YES it is more expensive than it should be unless there is something I don't know about it. It should be more around 6k or less (for being used). But Fodera's in general are not overpriced one bit, based on my experience with them.

    If someone cannot afford them that doesn't mean they are overpriced.