Ever since their introduction in 2011, our Standard line of bass guitars has featured one-piece, quarter-sawn necks. Effective January 1, 2016, all future Standards will utilize three-piece neck construction at no additional charge.
Why did we change to three-piece necks for the Standards?
Simply put, our ability to reliably source high-quality, quarter-sawn material that is sustainably harvested and meets our exacting standards for dimensional stability, tone and visual appeal has diminished significantly over the past twenty-four months.
Did Fodera do this to save money or cut costs?
No. Actually it is significantly more expensive for us to spend the extra labor hours involved to build three-piece necks. However, using sub-standard material is a non-starter for us and it was getting to the point that we were rejecting more than 50% of the quarter-sawn material we were purchasing. This is absurdly wasteful.
Does this switch make my older Fodera Standard less valuable or desirable?
No. A great one-piece quarter-sawn neck is a wonderful thing. The only reason that we are switching to three-piece necks is because we can no longer reliably source the material necessary to continue making one-piece necks of the same quality we want to deliver.
Do three-piece necks sound different?
Yes and No. Every neck has its own personality and tone. The difference in tone between necks built the same way (i.e. one-piece necks compared to other one-piece necks and three-piece necks compared to other three-piece necks) is, in our experience, more significant than the difference between necks made from the same material using different build methods. Simply put, switching to three-piece neck builds for our Standard instruments will in no way materially change the tone that these instruments have become known for.
Are three-piece necks more dimensionally stable?
In theory, yes — practically speaking, no. One of the reasons that our rejection rate for one-piece, quarter-sawn necks has gotten so high is because part of our build process involves culling out those billets that are not dimensionally stable enough to use for a Fodera neck. So from a practical standpoint, the one-piece quarter-sawn necks that we have put out into the world are every bit as stable as their three-piece counterparts will be.