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! :)

How good are Foderas guys?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. I may be able to order one of these bad boys very soon - but should I take the plunge? Bearing in mind that I am going to have to order it from the UK and wait for it to arrive in like - 6 - 8 months time - and only play it then this is a bit of a risk - but then again I kind of know what they feel like, and obviously, what they sound like - so, <b>should I go for it?</B>

    I will be taking a few soundings on wood choice for the body and neck but I am thinking ash and alder - any other suggestions would be good - it'll be either a Monach or a Garrison 5 BTW.
  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Dont forget about international shipment and import duties, munki :)
  3. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    You won't be disappointed; thery're quite nice. Bass Central may have some in stock, though; you might want to check with them first.
  4. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Yeah, BC always has a few - mainly Emperors if you want 5 strings, tho.

    I'll go ahead and cast my vote for "they're Grrrreat!" but qualify it with the following: at least half of the price is craftsmanship. These basses play amazingly and you can get many great tones out of them, but to be honest, that can apply to many a bass that doesn't cost nearly as much, as well.

    So if you go Fodera, make it worth your while and $$$$ in getting something stunning as well. My Yin/Yang may not be "unique" as in one-of-a-kind, but it certainly is stunning in the woodwork department.

    I should also mention that mine was bought and paid for in my mind the second I played it - the playability is just that good. I've played few basses which could compare, but all things equal I'll bet others have found this level of playability on other and cheaper basses, which is why I stated the above about cheaper alternatives.
  5. Cheers JD, how long did you wait for yours? That's assuming you ordered it...

    Your other comments are reassuring - if they sound the way they look, then I would definietly love to own one.

  6. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Heh, funny story about that - I played the one hanging on the wall at BassCentral when I was visiting Orlando on vacation. That night my girlfriend and I figured out a way I could actually afford such a beast, and we called Gard - but it was after hours, and by the time he got in the next morning, it had sold via phone call to another customer!

    So, they pulled a couple favors and the next one already in production was redirected to me - I still had to wait, but only about 2 months. Fodera's notorious for sliding deadlines, too, (at least 2 extra weeks in this case) but I can't blame them, it's only a couple guys! (And it was made up for by the fact that Vic Wooten signed my headstock, which I wasn't expecting at all.)

    I have discovered that my favorite tone in the Monarch Yin/Yang, is EQ basically flat (a hair of bass boost where needed) and soloing the J pup. That gives me the Geddy on Jazz tone that I personally always dig. That said, other Foderas have different EQ circuits from the Wooten basses at least, so I really don't know what the complete range of tones is.

    Hope this helps - at least, go play as many as you can get your paws on =0)
  7. Foderas are very cool, but IMO very are a bit overated. (Please don't take this as a flame!)
    I have personally found other basses (Fbass, Nordstrand, Sadowsky, MTD, Lakland USA,) to be just as good, if not better for me. Even in the looks category.

    So I strongly suggest you try those other brands first. You can get two of what I mentioned instead of one Fodera, and two great basses are better than one great bass.

    Just my two cents...
  8. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    My negative comment is very specific, so I feel it might actually be worth saying.

    Fit Finish and work, all top notch. Other may rival it, I don't think anyone exceeds it.

    My only concern comes with tone. With all the fancy stuff going in some of the basses these days, I feel some of them are lacking some tone. Of course, slap some awesome electronics in, and everything comes to life. But there were a few Foderas I played that, without the elecetronics, did not have much of an acoustic sound. That will translate to the punch when you plug it up and all. Keep in mind, all the fancy stuff is usually a request from customers, so it is most likely not Foderas fault for the recipe.

    So, next question is how often does this happen. I'd say less than 15%, and that is of the more 'recent basses'. I think the usuals from back in the day all sound fab, at least any of the older ones I have played. There are 2 different ones I can think of where the tones did not strike me as worth all that much. That said, I have played many more of them that were just awesome tone machines.

    Out of the two that I did not think were great, one was usuable, and one was plain crappy. The crappy one I am not sure if there were other issues, it was sitting at the Sam Ash next to Rudy's in NY, I have no idea how long. I fiddled with amps and knobs for a bit, and just did not work out.

    Other than that, freakin nice basses, and freakin nice guys.
  9. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK

    Check out this website: www.station-music.de

    They always seem to have a good selection of Foderas in stock. Could even be worth your while getting a cheap flight to Germany to check them out.

    Don't forget that there are a number of European luthiers who can match Fodera for quality (for equal money or less): Ritter, Jerzy Drozd, Sei etc.
  10. Thanks Dave, I'm going to PM you, but that's all good.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    My Fodera is the best bass I've ever played. It fits my playing style like a glove, and it's versatility is great. Additionally, it's beautiful, and rugged, while being comfortable and functional.
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Very good point.

    There are dozens of custom builders who can make amazingly top of the line instruments, but just because they are very high quality, doesn't mean it'll work for you.
  13. I feel the same way about Fodera - I play in a similar style to all the guys I love who that play them i.e. Wooten, Tom Kennedy, Goines, Pope - I'm going for it.
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I've only played one; it was a five string single cut with the puke wood on top. It was beautifully made, and sounded ok, but I thought it was ridiculously overpriced. $8500 is alot of money for a bass, and I didn't feel that it was truly worth that. If it was around $3000, I would have thought that was nearer to the mark of what it was actually worth.

    I see it as a point of diminishing returns; how much better is an $8000 bass than a $3000? I seriously don't think it will play/sound $5000 better.
  15. Hey Ben,

    I couldn't agree more but I have an opportunity to get one - I know I've given my opinions on over-priced instruments before - but I just wanted to get a few soundings on the basses, not the price of them, just for once - with the greatest respect to you - I don't want this to get into another expensive bass bashing thread - though I hear what you're saying and agree with you 100% ;)

  16. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Yea, some foderas are really overpriced, mine was used, and the price was amazing(For a fodera) I don't think I could stomach spending $6000+ on a bass.
  17. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm not aware that we have "expensive bass bashing" threads - I don't hang out in basses too often. I will agree that it was a nice bass though, but it wasn't for me at all. Tone was very dark, and not very nuanced, and the B didn't strike me as being very good at all. Smoke if you got 'em, though.
  18. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I have never seen an 8500 dollar Fodera five string. I think something is up with that. Most of them are around 5000 and up to 6000 for the really loaded ones.
  19. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey, I thought of something.

    The title of this thread. My answer is really freakin good.

  20. Well, I've played an AJ Contrabass once that a friend of mine had, and it was amazing. I'm not sure if it was worth the price tag, but defintley the best feeling bass that I have played to date. The only thing that I hated about that bass was that you had to play it sitting down because there were no strap-locks, and there weren't any volume/pan/eq knobs to play with. Everything was fixed, so you had to play it with a series of volume and eq pedals to change the sound, so to me, that was a big deturant. I'd love to be able to own a Fodera at some point, but I don't think that I could hang with the sticker price and build time to justify a custom, so if one pops used that catches my attention, I would entertain going that route.