2018 NAMM instrument #1 is an Emperor 5 Elite features an Ash body, Alder tone block, Red Oak neck, and super-rare Spalted Birdseye Maple fingerboard.  This bass has that classic punchy and articulate tone that one desires from an Ash/Maple Fodera, with a bit of additional warmth inserted by that Alder tone block. There’s no way one could discuss the looks of this bass and not start with the incredible Spalted Birdseye Maple fingerboard.  Spalted material that is still hard enough to use as a fingerboard is so rare and so beautiful that when we found it, we know we just HAD to use it on a NAMM instrument.  We left the fingerboard with no inlays so as not to obscure the natural beauty.  For the top wood, we found a gorgeous piece of Crotch Walnut with layers of dark reds and browns to perfectly offset the golden fingerboard.  The top was so nice itself that we decided to to all-out, using it as a back veneer on the body and peghead as well.


  • Emperor
  • 5-string
  • 34″ scale length
  • 24-frets (large), 17.5 mm string spacing
  • Neck-through
  • Crotch Walnut top (solid)
  • Ash body
  • Alder toneblock
  • Spalted Birdseye Maple fingerboard, Blank inlays
  • 9-pc Maple w/ Purpleheart and Ebony stringers
  • Fodera / Pope Custom 3-band preamp
  • Emperor control layout
  • Fodera / Seymour Duncan Dual Coil pickups