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The battle of jazz music bass guitar - Fodera vs. Ken Smith

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pmaraziti, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. pmaraziti

    pmaraziti Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    I guess that in an imaginary bass guitar for jazz championship, this might well be the final game...

    I like the Fodera Imperial Elite 6 a lot ! I like the Ken Smith Fusion Elite 6 as much !

    Since I'm GAS-free at this point in time, I thought to safely ask your feedback about these two contenders...

    Ding, ding, ding ! let Round 1 begin ... ready ? fight !
  2. I've owned both a Smith and a Fodera. You can tell that Fodera was very much influenced by the Smith design (which makes sense given Vinnie's association with Smith back in the day). I guess Vinnie has some impact on the Smith design also. I also dig them both.

    The newer Smith design that isn't horribly neck heavy like the original old 'Big Head/Black headstock' designs is a great improvement IMO, and Fodera has started to crank out some lighter weight instruments in the past few years, which is also an improvement on the earlier 'boat anchors' that seemed to be the rule versus the exception.

    I find that a Smith with the Series switches option can punch pretty much as much as a Fodera with Aero's or Seymours. I do like the ability to go into single coil mode with the Fodera's though (at least the ones with the dual coil pickups).

    Both wonderful executions for certain playing styles. My G.A.S. for a Fodera is totally gone, but I get a hankerin' for a top of the line bolt on Smith with the series switches on ocassion... I dig the 34" scale and that thin, flat neck a lot, and nothing sounds like a Smith other than a Smith!

    IMO and IME.

    All good stuff!!!!!!!
  3. I've been to your beautiful city a couple of times. My wife and I love Madrid, and have even looked into purchasing some property in Segovia (at least we did before the dollar did its big fall), which is a beautiful little town!!!

    I see you have an LMII/410UL(I). Isn't that just a wonderful, articulate sounding rig, especially with the basses you have!
  4. pmaraziti

    pmaraziti Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Thanks Ken, actually I'm in Italian, but Madrid is "hosting" me since 9 years now... I like it as well. Let me know when you're around next, I owe you more than a beer for the precious suggestions you gave me about the rig.

    I also have recently a DB750 which blows me away. I accepted to trade a bass I had and I'm very pleased with the more tubey voicing with respect to the LMII which I'm at the moment anyway retaining. The Markbass is just a feather compared to the quite heavy DB750...
  5. Will do! We are planning a trip back sometime within the next year or so. I forgot that we PM'd about rigs a while back. Cool!

    The mighty DB750... that's quite a head!!! Hope to meet you sometime.
  6. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I guess my only comment is that the dual-coil Smiths tend to get a pretty modern sound (to me) while the dual-coil Fodera sound, while still more modern than a J-style, will still be a bit more round and thick. They are both immaculately constructed and have similar design philosophies. I don't think there is a winner, only personal preference.

  7. +1.. that Series mode on the Smith's 'grits and punches' the tone up a bit, which moves the Smith tone a touch more 'traditional' to my ear (or at least more punchy. In the standard parallel mode, +1... very clean and modern sounding IMO.
  8. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    When talking about specifically jazz, there are more jazz guys using Foderas than Smiths so the Fodera tone (fat, warm, big) may be more closely associated with that genre thanks to guys like Tommy Kennedy, Matt Garrison, and Richard Bona. I certainly like the Smith tone in jazz though - I think Patitucci's best tone is on his early records with the Smith.

    A disclaimer I would also add is I'm thinking about the modern fusion type of electric jazz...in the smooth jazz world you would see alot more Smiths...

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