Since 1983, the heart and soul of Fodera Guitars has been our custom basses. Our team of luthiers combine over 30 years of innovative design, building, and real world playing experience to handcraft a custom bass guitar suited for your individual playing style and working needs. From customizable options for exotic wood combinations and custom color finishes, to custom neck profiles and fret/scale combinations, the possibilities for your custom instrument are endless.

We understand that ordering a custom bass can often be an intimidating process. At Fodera, we work one-on-one with you during the process to help determine the perfect specs for your needs. Below are some of the basic aspects to consider when designing your Custom Fodera.  From here please visit our Custom Quote page and one of our team members will get back to you with an accurate price and help to further guide you through the build process.


Need a little help or inspiration? Check out our Recent Builds Gallery where you can see recent custom bass guitar builds from the shop.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact info@fodera.com

Monarch

Emperor

Viceroy

Emperor II

Imperial

Imperial MG

Imperial II

AJ Contrabass

AJ Presentation

Bolt-on

This option offers a very quick and direct response while also allowing for the full character of the body wood to shine through. (Bolt-on necks are not available on Emperor II, Imperial, Imperial MG, Imperial II, or AJ Presentation Body shapes)

Deluxe

Our Deluxe (dovetail) option shares the same quick and direct response of a bolt-on but also allows for uninhibited access to the upper register. (Deluxe necks are not available on Emperor II, Imperial, Imperial MG, Imperial II, AJ Presentation Body shapes, or 6 string models)

Elite

Our Elite (neck-through) option has a very immediate response, easy access to the upper frets, but also allows you to further sculpt your desired tone by utilizing various heel block and body wood combinations.

Pickups are a intergral part of your bass or guitar sound. At Fodera we offer a wide range of stock pickups so you can achieve your desired tone. Below are some of the brands and models that we carry. Interested in using a pickup not listed below? Contact our team and let us know what you have in mind!




Fodera / Duncan Dual Coil

Designed in collaboration with Seymour Duncan, our passive Dual Coil pickups were designed to provide a punchy and focused tone with a natural and smooth upper midrange.  Compared to an active soapbar style pickup, the tone is warmer and more organic. Wired in parallel, these pickups offer a noise-free single coil sound with added body and weight yet come with the added flexibility of full single-coil operation providing the snap, warmth, and mid-range punch of classic single-coil Jazz Bass pickups.

JJ Pickups

Available in both single coil and humcancelling versions, these pickups are a a period correct reproduction of the originals. Warmth and mid-range punch combine to keep the pickups vintage integrity intact while also providing a clear and smooth top end.  Note: Single Coil options are of opposite polarity and wind makeing them hum-cancelling when both pickups are on.

P Pickup

This P -pickup is designed around the original 50’s design delivering a warm and woody tone, with a slightly softer treble response. You will hear all of the familiar body and depth of a P-Bass, but a clear and smooth top end to dial in classic tones. This pickup is available to combine with our J pickup for a passive PJ set.


Custom Humbuckers

These Custom Humbuckers from Seymour Duncan offer a full, even, and rich sound with smooth highs, thick lows, and growling midrange.  This even reponse makes it extremely versatile and great for all types of music and playing styles.


Single Coil Pickups

This single coil set will give you the authentic chime, sparkle, and feel that only vintage single coil pickups deliver.  This set is wound to provide better overall balance between each pickup and increased versatility without losing the vintage vibe.



PJ Pickup Set

Most notably used by Victor Wooten, the EMG PJ Set are an active and modern sounding pickup set. The P-pickup delivers a punchy and tight low end, while the humcancelling J-pickup provides a tight mid-range and articulate high end response. Paired with our preamp, they can accommodate contemporary and traditional playing styles. These pickups are humancalling and are active.


JJ Pickups

Available in both single coil and humcancelling versions, these pickups are a a period correct reproduction of the originals. Warmth and mid-range punch combine to keep the pickups vintage integrity intact while also providing a clear and smooth top end.  Note: Single Coil options are of opposite polarity and wind makeing them hum-cancelling when both pickups are on.


EMG 40 PJ & JJ Sets

Most notably used by Victor Wooten, the EMG PJ Set are an active and modern sounding pickup set. The P-pickup delivers a punchy and tight low end, while the humcancelling J-pickup provides a tight mid-range and articulate high end response. Paired with our preamp, they can accommodate contemporary and traditional playing styles. These pickups are humancalling and are active.



AG 4P-60

This P-pickup is noted for its balanced and round overall tone. It catpures the classic vintage tone of 60’s era p-pickups but features a  very even string-to-string response giving just the right amount of lows, mids, and highs.


DCB Pickups

The DCB pickups use dual ceramic bar magnets that provide a dynamic and responsive attack with a punchy midrange and articulate high end. These soapbar style pickups are available for 4, 5, and 6 string instruments and are fully passive. These pickups cannot be coil split.


Super Double Pickup

The Super Double  pickups use Alnico V magnets that provide a dynamic and articulate tone with a more aggresive attack compared to DCBs. These soapbar style pickups are available for 4, 5, and 6 string instruments and are fully passive. These pickups cannot be coil split.

Imperial Humbuckers

The Imperial Humbucker features an airy top end, balanced mid-range, tight lows, remeniscent of original PAF pickups. Its medium output is in the vintage range with a hotter wound bridge pickup compared with a typical vintage set.

Don’t see the pickups you’re looking for? No problem! We’ve installed many other pickups from companies such as Lindy Fralin, Bartolini, and many more. Contact info@fodera.com and let us know what pickups you’re interested in for your Custom build!

Fodera proprietary preamps are designed to react to both the individual playing style and musical setting any player may ever find themselves in. Combining 30+ years of real-world feedback and engineering by Fodera artist Mike Pope, our preamp showcases the true tone of the instrument rather than coloring it. Utilizing up to 4-band of EQ with carefully selected frequency points, Fodera preamps offer players enhanced flexibility and with 18v of power, provide ample headroom from clubs to stadiums.






The Fodera Custom Shop Internal Preamp is made from the finest components available. It was conceived jointly by Joey Lauricella and many of the great players who are part of the Fodera Family, and it was designed by bassist Mike Pope.  Our current preamp is made up of two discrete modes, one passive and one active and are optimized to work with each other seamlessly.

Guide to the Fodera Custom Shop Internal Preamp
2010 and Later Preamp Instructions





Flexible EQ


Via a series of jumper switches, players have the option to tailor our 3-band EQ to their taste. Each of the three bands of EQ are user selectable for your specific tonal needs.

Bass – 12db cut and boost at 46Hz or 90Hz

Treble – 15db cut and boost at 6kHz ot 10kHz

Midrange – Switchable between low and high mids via the Mid Selector switch. Low Mids: 12db cut and boost at 330Hz or 473Hz. High Mids: 15db cut and boost at 1kHz or 1.8kHz.




18v Battery System


Our Custom preamp is powered by 18v which provides more than ample headroom  for even the most nuanced playing situation. When in passive mode, the preamp will draw little current in order to guarantee a longer battery life when  your preamp is entirely active.


18v Battery System


Our Custom preamp is powered by 18v which provides more than ample headroom  for even the most nuanced playing situation. When in passive mode, the preamp will draw little current in order to guarantee a longer battery life when  your preamp is entirely active.

The Standard Preamp was designed for us by Mike Pope to be a flexible and simplified alternative to the Fodera Custom Shop Preamp. Offering full three-band EQ functionality and a neutral sonic signature, the Fodera Standard  Preamp is built from premium materials and offers unmatched value. This preamp can be used in either active or passive mode.

Guide to the Fodera Standard Internal Preamp

To see the Overview of the Standard Internal Bass Preamp components, click here!

3-Band EQ


Our Standard Preamp comes with 3-bands of EQ which have been carefuly selected to offer a neautral sonic pallette. It is a highly musical sounding preamp that is designed to enhance rather than color the natural tone of your bass.

Low Noise Floor, Premium Components, 18v System


Our Standard Preamp is built using ultra premium components based around an 18v system. The combination of these elements create not only a reliable preamp but also one with a very low noise floor and clean and powerful output.

Tonewoods are at the heart of every great electric instrument. At Fodera, we believe that a great electric instrument is a great acoustic instrument, and that the tonewood selection is critical to how an instrument performs regardless of what electronics are put in the instrument. We have developed wonderful relationships with our lumber suppliers over the years to ensure that only the best quality of materials are used on our instruments. Below is a list of tonewoods that we use for our instruments and some descriptions to help you determine which woods best suit your tonal needs.


Alder

A classic tonewood that is generally light in weight. Tonally, Alder is a warm sounding body wood with a good dose of low end and balanced mid and high frequencies.

Ash

Another classic tonewood which can range in weight from medium-light to heavy.  Ash is a brighter body wood compared to Alder with a slightly scooped midrange and more pronounced high frequencies while still supporting the low frequencies well.

Walnut

A warm yet puchy sounding body wood that is heavier in weight compared to Alder and Ash.  Walnut supports low frequencies very well, has a compressed midrange, and a bright top end.

Mahogany

A medium to heavy weight body wood. Mahogany is warm and full sounding wood with a rich lower midrange.

Black Limba

A medium weight body wood that is visually appealing with black streaking throughout. Tonally Black Limba is similar to Mahogany with a pronounced midrange character and slighty muted highs.

Korina

A medium to heavy weight body wood.  Generally,  Korina is nearly identical tonally to Black Limba.  However, heavier / denser pieces will sound brighter.


Hard Rock Maple

A very hard and dense wood that yields a fast response with a punchy attack that is our go-to neck material.

Northern Ash

A dense material that has a more open tone compared to Maple with a pronounced lower midrange.

Red Oak

Similar in tone and density to Northern Ash yet with a pronounced upper midrange.

Indian Rosewood

The warmest of the rosewoods which has a smooth and mellow top end.

Brazilian Rosewood

Very even and nuanced fingerboard that caries high frequencies very well. Cannot be sold to customers in the European Union due to CITES regulation.

Amazon Rosewood

Warm with a slightly wider tonal pallete than Indian RW and more pronounced highs.

Pau Ferro

Very dense and even. This material is a great compromise between rosewoods and a Maple fingerboard.

Kingwood

Very similar tonally to Brazilian Rosewood. Though it is CITES regulated, this material is allowed within the European Union and is a great alternative to Brazilian RW.

Birdseye Maple

A classic material that has a very bright, punchy, and snappy tone great for slap style playing.

Ebony

Brightest of all the fingerboards. Very articulate with a clear bell-like quality.

Pink Ivory

Very similar articulation to Ebony yet slightly warmer.  Tonally sits in between Maple and Ebony.

A toneblock is the center portion of a three-piece neck-through body, onto which the outer body wings are glued.  With toneblocks, you are able to further sculpt your desired tone by pairing different tonewoods for various combinations.  The toneblock will either subtract or add certain characteristics to the body wood.  Love the warmth and low end of Mahogany but desire a bit more punch and top end?  With the toneblock you can add a denser wood such as Maple to add some of those brighter and punchier nuances.  Below is a list of available toneblocks:

Toneblock Options

Alder, Ash, Maple, Walnut, Mahogany, Black Limba, Korina

We have a wide variety of topwoods available for Custom Foderas. Generally speaking, topwoods do not have a large affect on the tone of instrument, however, dense topwoods such as olive wood, ebony, and denser burl woods will affect the tone by adding more high end to the instrument.  To view a selection of some of the topwoods currently available, visit our topwood gallery by clicking here!

Number of Strings

Custom basses are available in:

  • 4 – string
  • 5 – string
  • 6 – string
  • 7 – string

Neck Profile

  • Custom bass necks can be carved to your preference.
  • Additionally, Custom basses are available in our Standard series neck shapes:
    • Standard Profile
    • Thin and Fast

Scale Length

  • 30.75″
  • 32″
  • 33″
  • 34″
  • 35″
  • 36″

Frets Size

  • Frets are available in two sizes:
    • Small – A shorter fret reminiscent of vintage fret wire
    • Large – A modern wide and tall fret wire

Number of Frets

  • # of frets:
    • 20
    • 21
    • 22
    • 24
    • 26
    • 28

Bridge Spacing

  • 16.5mm
  • 17.5mm
  • 19.0mm