Exclusive distribution for Spain
Fodera guitars need no introduction. They've been leading the high end bass market ever since Vinnie Fodera and Joey Lauricella joined forces back in 1983. Many of today's accepted features found in modern basses such as the singlecut design, the ramp, etc. were first pioneered by them. Any player (professional or aficionado) who has chosen a Fodera bass has never looked back. If you get the model that is right model for you, it will be the only bass you need for a lifetime, believe us.
Fodera basses are simply amazing instruments but what's even more incredible is that a small team of craftsmen have developed a number of models that are really different from one another but where the quality of them all is just second to none. Most brands and top luthiers have devoted a lifetime to perfect a particular type of bass with just aesthetic variations but Fodera have taken this one step forward and have developed and perfected basses that are completely different from one another as they are made for different types of players. That’s pretty amazing.
Fodera have worked closely with the best players in the world ever since they started back in 1983. This 40+ years of listening to very specific requests from top players has made Fodera basses what they are today: instruments that come out of the shop with top marks in all departments be it ergonomics, playability or sound. When you buy a Fodera bass you are also buying the vast amount of experience and expertise that these luthiers have gathered over the years. We see a lot of cool basses our there all the time when you think "O.K., nice bass but maybe this spec needs to be changed/improved, etc." Well, that's never the case with a Fodera bass. The are simply built better because they cut no corners at all. Sure, quality comes at a price but if you think of a bass as a means of expression that will last you for a lifetime, then the investment is not that big. Just think about it for a minute.
What’s more, 100% of Fodera owners claim that owning their bass has made them better players in a short period of time and that's absolutely true. When your instrument doesn't restrict you in any way and it is a continuous source of inspiration you end up practicing more and more which eventually makes you a better player. Techniques that take a lot time to master on any other bass are simply easier to play on a Fodera bass. This is a brave claim, we know, but that's what all the customers who test or buy a Fodera bass from us tell us and we know it’s true becase we experience that same thing with any new Fodera bass we get.
This model is the Fodera Doctorbass Edition 2023 Fretless 5 and as we said earlier it is part of a Very Limited Edition run of 10 basses for Doctorbass
The Monarch model is the oldest model in the Fodera catalog as it was developed at the very beginning (1983) and it's the model that Victor Wooten has been using ever since. The symmetrical body is really comfortable and the two horns have been strategically designed for the best playing experience. The top one falls over the 12th fret for a perfect balance while the lower one gives you unrestricted access up to the 24th fret and it also acts as an excellent rest when you play seated without a strap. Fodera are firm believers that in order to achieve the best experience, ergonomics are paramount. Actually their goal has always been to build basses that you can forget about and let you concentrate on the music. We can assure that's always the case with Fodera basses although it is not easy to forget about the instrument itself because each of them is so beautiful that it's a work of art.
When we sat with Mike, Vinnie and Joey from Fodera guitars to choose the specs for this limited run of basses we had a clear idea in mind: lightweight basses that would play like a dream, would be versatile, had a really vintage and powerful sound with some modern appointments and would look great. It was really exciting discussing with them what ingredients could achieve all this and we have to admit we are really thrilled with the result. We couldn't have hoped for a better outcome, honest.
- Lightweight butternut body
- Semihollow body to reduce weight and improve resonance
- Handpicked flamed redwood top
- 3 piece white oak neck
- Top class ebony fingerboard
- Small side lines and redwood dots for intonation reference and clean looks
- Ebony ramp
- Fodera/Duncan Dual Coils in Garrison spacing
- Bronze nut for BEADG tuning (installed)
- Additional bronze nut for EADGC tuning
- Black hardware
- Vinnie Fodera and Joey Lauricella's signature at the back of the headstock
The butternut body and bolt on white oak neck is a perfect platform for a very clear and deep sound. The beautiful ebony fingerboard is a joy to play and it adds extra clarity to every single note.
We are absolute fans of Fodera/Duncan pickups. These are made by Seymour Duncan exclusively for Fodera guitars and they are just great. They deliver the absolutely best Single Coil sound we've ever heard: warm, vintage, with excellent midrange and just the right amount of treble. Incredibly dynamic too. There's a switch for Dual Coil operation and in this mode you get a slightly more modern and compressed type of sound that reminds us of a Music Man bass but on the warm side.
String balance is spot on and this is something we cannot stress enough. Moving from one string to the next or from one note to the next is absolutely smooth and consistent. Not many basses achieve this, as you know, but Fodera basses are famous for this feature. Again, this lets you focus on the music instead of the instrument.
Of course, the Mike Pope Standard Preamp is the perfect match for these pickups. All 3 bands do what they are meant to do in a very musical manner. You get deep yet clear lows, incredibly detailed midrange and smooth highs. We love the fact that the Passive Tone works both in Passive and Active modes. This preamp works at 18 Volts so there's extra headroom in case you need to boost the lows and really dig in when playing. A clean sound is warrantied at all times because of this feature. cool.
The whole bass feels and plays like a dream and we can't stress that enough.
Of course being a fretless bass you will be looking for that vocal quality and we are glad to report that this instruments delivers that big time.
The bridge pickup in passive mode is just perfect for that task. It has a true singing quality to it that is addictive. No matter if you play a groove, a melody or some double stops, it will always deliver. Bring the active preamp in if you need to beef up the sound or get a bit more treble detail. So cool.
The neck pickup has a beautiful throaty P Bass sound with some added definition that is just great. It’s really easy to get a pseudo upright type of sound here.
Using both pickups delivers a beautiful all round type of sound that you can use for just any style. Actually using both pickups in active mode with a slight bass and treble boost produces a very convincing "fretted bass" type of sound provided you don't make any glissando and play just pure notes. This is no mean feat as it means you can use this bass for a whole set and choose when you want to highlight the fretless part or go for a more straightforward groovy sound. Amazing.
One of the features that we are really proud that we chose for this Limited Edition basses is the "Garrison pickup spacing". As you know, Fender brought the bridge pickup 1/2" closer to the bridge in the 70's and of course this produces a really different sound.
Matt Garrison is a tone fanatic and in his quest for the perfect sound he has experimented a lot with Fodera in order to create his signature model. One of the things we've always loved is the full and warm sound that Matt gets from the bridge pickup on his basses. As you know, 60's location in the bridge pickup yields a warm and full sound but it sometimes lacks a little bit of bite. On the other hand, 70's location (closer to the bridge) makes for a sound with more attack but it usually lacks a little bit of warmth and you have to tweak the EQ in order to get a more balanced sound. Garrison spacing means that the bridge pickup is located right between the 60's an 70's location so you get the best of both worlds. When you solo the Bridge pickup you get an absolutely perfect sound with plenty of attack but also enough warmth too. It might look like a small feature but believe us, it makes all the difference. We love it. The Garrison spacing also works great when you blend both pickups together because the sound remains fuller and less hollow (mid scoop) than if the bass had 70’s spacing. So cool!
We also dig the small white lines and redwood dots on the side. These are all you need for intonation and they keep the ebony fingerboard completely blank for an amazingly clean and classic look.
The white oak neck feels just incredible under your fingers. It feels similar to maple but with an added organic feel to it The 19mm string spacing at the bridge and 47mm nut are really comfortable and of course the ebony board is just fantastic under your fingers
As you would expect, the low B behaves just great. It is loud and clear and matches the rest of the strings perfect. No surprises here as Fodera’s low B’s are always perfect.
100% of customers who have bought Fodera basses from us report that only a short time after making their purchase they feel they are better bassplayers. When the instrument you play doesn't restrict you in any way at all and is incredibly inspiring you tend to practice more and more and the result is that you become a better player, no question about it. Sure, it's you who have to play but we can warranty that owning a Fodera bass opens the door to the next step in technique and musicality.
Sure, it's not a small investment but if you think that it will give you years and years of satisfaction and that it will allow you to become a better bassist then we think they are worth it. Think about it.
This could well be the only freltess bass you need so just book a visit in our store and come to test it or order it through our online shop and your search for the perfect bass will have ended.
Fodera Monarch Doctorbass Edition 2023 Fretless 5 string