opinion on the Fodera NYC

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by otto B, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. otto B

    otto B Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    El Paso Texas
    I would like to know everyone's opinion on the Fodera NYC 5 string bass.
  2. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I kinda dislike them. Get a Celinder instead.
  3. sounds similar to a low end jazz which I don't like much the tone. Get a Celinder instead.
  4. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I would describe it as very smooth and warm, but at the same time punchy
  5. otto B

    otto B Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    El Paso Texas
    so you all saying it has a cheap sound
  6. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Nope, I actually really like the sound. Here's sound clip.

    Now everyone has there own personal opinion but i love the tone that thing is giving out!
  7. otto B

    otto B Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    El Paso Texas
    after seeing that video if all the NYC sound like that then I will agree that is a sweet sound
  8. Coelho


    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    I asked everyone I know, and they said they like it. :)
  9. "Bleh" is what I think of them, personally. I've had the opportunity to play four of them, and while they're all consistent in looks, feel, tone, weight, and construction, I've found them to also be uniformly unpleasant. For $3500 there's a LOT of options that are, as far as I'm concerned much better. Mike Lull puts out a superior product, a used Sadowsky NYC can *sometimes* be had in that range (I'll admit it, that one's cheating), and a Dingwall Super J will absolutely destroy the Fodera in looks, feel, weight and sound. Not to mention Nino Valenti, by all accounts, makes a killer J-bass for about half the money, although I have no personal experience with Nino's stuff.

    They're well constructed, which makes sense given the Fodera pedigree, but they're no better than the Lulls I've played and certainly not up to Sheldon Dingwall's construction standards (that man just can't be human). They don't balance terribly, but there is certainly more neck dive than I like, but to qualify that statement, I am the pickiest person I've ever met about neck dive. I didn't find the neck profile pleasant at all, and the large size of the bass was a serious turn-off. Of course, it is a Jazz bass-style bass, so it's going to be big, may not bother some people. The few I've played have not been terribly heavy, likely in the 9.5-10.5 lbs range, which is just fine for a Jbass, but the solid, thick maple neck makes for some neck dive, as I said.

    The electronics I was very displeased with, you can do much better for a modern tone with either Sadowsky or Dingwall. The preamp is noisy and colors the tone pretty heavily, and the pick-ups just didn't have the growl that I look for in a Jbass. It's kind of strange, the pick-ups want to behave and play nice, but the preamp pushes the gain. It's sort of confused, tonally. I had the best results keeping the pre at center detent. I think the NYC's tone would be much improved by the Audere pre-amp, or possibly an Aguilar OBP-1/3.

    Honestly, if they were $2500-2800 they'd be a steal, but pushing that far past the $3000 mark opens up competition the bass just isn't prepared to deal with. In the same price range there's better to be had, and comparable products from the likes of Valenti or possibly Stambaugh, if you're not married to the pure Jbass aesthetic. I realize I'm being a little scathing here, but I really don't like these basses.

    disclaimer: the last time I checked the price on one of these was in 2007, I don't know if they've gotten cheaper/more expensive.
  10. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I agree with Rocketpriest, the electronics left me wanting...I have played 3 and while they are nice, if I were gonna drop that much coin on a new Jazz bass I would go with the Xotic XJ-1. I played a couple of those and they kill!! The other choice I would make in that price range is the LowEnd Jazz. You can't go wrong with the LEJ.

    The Fodera NYC's are nice basses but I think they are more suited to be in the $2500 range, not $3000. Nice bass but the Fodera name does not warrant the extra dough.
  11. I love the tone that bass player from Poland gets on his videos with the NYC. It's killer, in my opinion. His chops aren't bad either. :p
  12. WildTrkey

    WildTrkey Inactive

    Mar 1, 2009
    I just can't believe that Fodera is asking for over $3000 for those. Like the other posts stated, there are numerous options in that range and cheaper that far exceed what Joey and Vinny think are blessed with their midas touch.
  13. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Just want to add Nordstrand to the list of alternatives that I would consider over a NYC.
  14. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
  15. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Commercial User

    Mar 7, 2008
    NE United States
    Manager and Partner, Fodera Guitars (10/14/09 - 12/16/19)
    2009 List starts at $2,999 and unless you throw an exotic top on it, with all of the high-end options (3 piece neck, inlaid blocks, angled headstock, the works) they top out at $3,600 LIST. Since no one pays list (especially in this economy) and assuming you can negotiate 20% off list (just a guess), your looking at a product priced between $2,400 and $2,880.

    One other point, the NYC's have had a new preamp since the middle of 2008. I have never been able to do a direct comparison between the old and the new, but the new ones sound pretty fantastic. By way of example, checking out Oteil Burbridge on opening night of this year's Allman Brothers run at the Beacon, he used his Fodera NYC on only one song and the rest of the time played his 1960's P-Bass. The tone on the NYC cut through the mix soooooooo much better than the P-Bass did. It was the only song where Oteil's full artistry and nuances could be clearly heard.

  16. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    After playing a Dingwall SuperJ, I've yet to play a bass that comes close to being worth big money when it comes to tone, feel, and playability.

    High end basses are certainly great and a lot of work goes into these instruments for sure. For $2k+, there are certainly better options...but everybody likes something different.
  17. gregmerrill


    Jul 27, 2009
    Very very upsetting JustThumpin. I paid $3700 out the door brand new. I see your post and go crazy looking at web sites for the prices on NYC. Yes your right they must of lowered the price since I bought a few years back. What a horrible investment I made. Now to sell them used you would be lucky to get $1500. This bass is not working out more on it later
  18. Greg, you should be able to sell it for much more than $1500. I'm almost certain I have never seen a used one go for less than $2000.
  19. gregmerrill


    Jul 27, 2009
    Current owner of Fodera NYC 5 String Bought 2007 $3700 New

    Customer service was not good I bought from Fodera direct. Kept calling and emailing them for receipt but still never got it. Lady kept saying “Ok we will send it out”. After many long distant calls and emails I gave up. Have had no luck when needing tech help. Just got receptionist with poor English then put on hold and nobody picks up. Recommend to use dealer if you purchase. Fodera is in the business of making basses not in customer service.

    I guess they wized up on the price they seem to be selling for less than what I paid. Maybe because they got a lot of complaints or maybe because of this sluggish economy.

    It is a big bass with big neck for me it’s hard to play. The center pickup is to close to the next so it makes it hard to pop. In that respect it has improved my technique because you have to be dead accurate to get your fingers in between the pickup and next, a very small space.

    Gets pick-up hum when not evenly blended. Seems to be worse then your standard hum you get from single coils.

    The volume knob that has the treble roll-off always crackles and hisses when you touch it. I have got it repaired 3 times. It will work for a few months but then it goes out again. Now my preamp is making a strange sound. Static and hiss comes and goes and really disrupts the signal flow. Because of this I have been running the bass passive and I can not believe how much I love the sound. The pre amp in general seems to fight with the amps that I use (Aguilar, Eden, Gallien Krueger, Ampeg). The preamp is good for direct sound but I would use sparingly. What Rocketpriest said about the preamp was right on. I think this bass has a natural beautiful sound. The pre amp has been discoloring it. Maybe I just bought a lemon as I have heard other players swear by it.

    I must say this bass at times sings. It’s unfortunate that I have had these issues. But, it’s my fault for not testing out this bass before ordering it direct from Fodera. The ongoing problem of not having music stores that stock high end basses-you can never test them.
  20. if your bass has aeros, ime aeros hum worse when solo'd than any other single coil ive used. dont know why though. maybe the taller coil:confused: