The New Fodera Emperor II Elite

I just picked up this 2008 Fodera Emperor II Elite and wanted to offer a quick review. It’s a 25th anniversary model, and features a very rare private reserve figured swamp ash top, which is practically unheard of. It’s also got a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard (hard to come by these days, since it hasn’t been exported from Brazil in 40 years), a mahoganybody, and an alder tone block, as well as Duncan dual coils and the Mike Pope Preamp.


Most of this wood has been on hand at Fodera since theshop started, and In fact the story is that the Mahogany was from the same block used on Victor Wooten’s Monarch Classic, arguably the bass that made the company!  I bought this bass after only hearing a few clips, but based on what I knew about the wood combination suspected it would suit me perfectly.

I am pleased to report it’s exceeded my expectations in all areas; tone, versatility, aesthetics, and ergonomics. I am floored by the quality and have to say that I have found that Fodera’s reputation as the world’s top bass maker is deserved given this particular bass. I think this marks the beginning of finally having an electric tone that feels like it’s really my voice and I’m looking forward to putting it to use.




Here’s some quick samples of some classic tunes. I’m still getting used to the string spacing etc but I think this is promising to say the least.


Rock With You 2
The Chicken Fodera demo 4
Beautiful Love- Fodera test
Fodera slap demo




October 2011
This entry was posted in Gear. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The New Fodera Emperor II Elite

  1. Bjorn says:

    Hi Robin.
    Very nice bass with a great sound. To my supprise the sound of your bass differs from my own Fodera in that way that yours is much more mellow sounding and huge. I have a lefty 5-string Emperor bolt on with northern ash body and koa top, Duncans, rosewood board and 70`s pup spacing and it´s way more aggresive and middly sounding. I can hear the Fodera sound in both yours and mine but listen to your bass enlighted me in how much two Foderas can differ in sound and it makes me wondering if there is something wrong with my bass. I have hard to believe that the neck thru and body shape/woods can make such difference. What is your opinion?
    Best Regards
    Bjorn, Malmo Sweden

    • Robin says:

      Hi Bjorn,

      Thanks for the comment!

      I think that the differences you’re describing between our basses make sense, given that ash and a bolt on neck have a much punchier tone. I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with your bass, though. Do you have some clips of it?

      I also used an Aguilar tone hammer and some digital processing to make my bass sound full and warm on these tracks.

      Needless to say, I also have worked very hard on getting a huge sound with my hands, so I don’t know how much of what you’re hearing is due to that. I’ve heard my students play this bass and many of my others, and it usually doesn’t sound quite as full, though I’m working with them on that!


  2. Marlord says:

    Just want to talk with you on a possible trade. I have a Fodera AJ crosnabats serial # 106987. A killer instrument that I have been playing for about 8 years. Sence I have acquired a couple Fbasses, I have really gotten use to the 34 1/2 scale langth and now the AJ’s 36 scale langth is a real stretch. Looking to trade the AJ for a couple 6 string Fbasses. Email me or call me with your thoughts.Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *