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Wilco

Can someone tell me what makes up the £8k difference in price between these two basses?

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Posted (edited)

Honest question. Not a pop at the seller who after all is selling both. £8849 (to be exact) is not exactly loose change! 

http://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Fodera_Emperor_II_Elite_5.html

http://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/SH_Maruszczyk_Sputnik_5.html

Yes, obviously there are wood & spec differences but where is nearly £9k of difference?

Edited by Wilco
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Both beautiful basses, expect both will do what you need from them.

Only you can decide whether you can justify the price of the Fodera when the Maruszczyk could do the job.

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Here’s a few things:

country of origin, location of business, rent, staff costs, production methods, cost of materials, heritage, reputation, experience. I’m sure there are hundreds more.

One is made by a very small team of luthiers in New York/Brooklyn? Where they have to pay staff enough to live in that area as well. By all accounts they hand pick all of their timbers and pay top dollar etc and they have the reputation as one of the finest bunch of luthiers in the world.

It’s more about their outgoings as a business not just what physically went into it as an instrument. They need to pay for everything’s and everyone involved in the business and then make a profit. I have no doubt their reputation gives them the luxury to charge a good amount of money for the product so why not charge what people are willing to pay?

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[walks into shop] 

Can I buy your Maruzoo... Marushu... Maruzaku... Mooroozoo... Ah b0llocks, I'll have that Fodera. 

No wonder I'm skint. 

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I'm a cheap bastard. Do they do one a bit like that for 300 quid? 😁

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You got it quite right @NJE, but the main reason for this price difference is called cupidity on the seller side and stupidity on the buyer side.

And the Fodera team has not such extraordinary luthiers, that said. If these guys were so terrific they would do a differential fretboard dressing and certainly not that stupid unscientific string anchorage called "extended B"...

Any real luthier knowing his job will build you a terrific bass, with terrific woods, extraordinary pickups and fantastic preamp for 3000 to 5000 quids, depending on the number of strings you want. And exactly as you want it.

Think twice about the price tag of such high end basses, there is absolutely no reason for it.

It's just like in the audiophile world, prices are totally unjustified. It's only the marketing department making his job.

I had an original Fodera Richard Bona, simply the worst bass I ever played or owned, stupidly heavy, dull sound without the preamp loudly engaged always thought it was a cheap Chinese copy ... but it wasn't. 

I know I won't make friends here, but truth always hurts.

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With some of this high end stuff it's not simply about functionality and cost of components. 

It's a bit like asking why the difference in price between a Volkswagen and a Bentley? If you stripped them down to their parts and worked out the total price (and there will almost certainly be some parts in common given that Volkswagen own Bentley) you wouldn't get to anything like the selling price differential, even allowing for greater labour assembly time on the Bentley. 

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12 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

With some of this high end stuff it's not simply about functionality and cost of components. 

It's a bit like asking why the difference in price between a Volkswagen and a Bentley? If you stripped them down to their parts and worked out the total price (and there will almost certainly be some parts in common given that Volkswagen own Bentley) you wouldn't get to anything like the selling price differential, even allowing for greater labour assembly time on the Bentley. 

To be fair Al..... I’m really shallow, I’ll have the Bentley please 😂😂

 

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23 minutes ago, bassfan said:

To be fair Al..... I’m really shallow, I’ll have the Bentley please 😂😂

Well when I get a Shuker you get a Bentley, deal? 😄 

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1 hour ago, NJE said:

Here’s a few things:

country of origin, location of business, rent, staff costs, production methods, cost of materials, heritage, reputation, experience. I’m sure there are hundreds more.

One is made by a very small team of luthiers in New York/Brooklyn? Where they have to pay staff enough to live in that area as well. By all accounts they hand pick all of their timbers and pay top dollar etc and they have the reputation as one of the finest bunch of luthiers in the world.

It’s more about their outgoings as a business not just what physically went into it as an instrument. They need to pay for everything’s and everyone involved in the business and then make a profit. I have no doubt their reputation gives them the luxury to charge a good amount of money for the product so why not charge what people are willing to pay?

 

4 minutes ago, kodiakblair said:

If Fodera moved out of Brooklyn does anybody really think the prices would drop ?

 

It’s what I was thinking to be honest. Said luthier makes the questionable business decision to set up in an area with a high cost base ( I mean, NYC!?! Everything is stupidly costly there!) & hopes that enough gullible punters will cover his costs by overpaying vs quality of the end product. Not saying it’s poor, obviously not, but unlikely worth the price vs the competition.

From a fiscal perspective only on a used Fodera then, is that possibly the worst bang for buck in the bass market? Said production costs have been covered by the first buyer, & similar quality used intstruments are way cheaper. What’s the extra thousands buying you then............. ?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Well when I get a Shuker you get a Bentley, deal? 😄 

Only if you are paying mate.. 👍🏻😂

Appologies to the OP for detracting from the original thread.

Edited by bassfan
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New York rent is the highest in the world.

 

If Fodera moved to Iowa they could sell them for about a third of current prices and still make the same profits.

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Posted (edited)

It's not a full justification but I think that each Fodera starts life as a collection of blocks of wood and is hand crafted from the ground up from there. I'm guessing that the process takes hundreds of man hours.

Maruszczyk, whilst undoubtedly a quality maker, employs some mass production techniques so the production time for each instrument is much shorter.

Having said that there are guys in the Build Diaries section on Bass Chat who also start with a collection of planks and they're not charging anything like 8k+ for their handcrafted instruments.

Edited by Cato
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8 minutes ago, bassfan said:

Only if you are paying mate.. 👍🏻😂

Appologies to the OP for detracting from the original thread.

Let's discuss this off-line, but I think the insurance on your Bentley is going to be more than the cost of my Shuker, so I think we need to think this through a bit further before committing. 

I appreciate you're shallow, though. It's one of your nicest traits 😂

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@Wilco

Even the NY costs thing doesn't add up. Wages in Brooklyn are about 60% of those in Manhattan and maybe 15-20% less than in Queens. They share the 3rd floor of the building with an acting studio,2nd hand furniture shop and a charity.

 

 

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Did the price of Ken Smith basses drop when they moved from NY to Pennsylvania? Don’t think so! Once the brand is established and the quality is known, the prices can remain high because the order books are still full. 

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@fretmeister

San Francisco and Hong Kong are before NYC in the highest rents table. There's also the small matter of Brooklyn being one of the cheap areas of NY.

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 A Lexus costs pretty much the same to build as a Toyota of equivalent spec but they sell for 2-3 times the price, they only sell 13,000 of them a year in the UK, so every one who buys a Lexus pays over the odds mostly in order to pay for the advertising (Sponsorship or whatever they call it) that creates the perceived value (as well as supporting dealers who sell low volumes compared to Ford or Vauxhall dealers so fixed costs per sale are higher), top price instruments are pretty much the same, it's about perceived value - and because some of the brands aren't well known and heavily advertised they are perceived as of less value hence resale values are lower even if they were originally good value for money when new

If Victor Wooten played a Maruszczyk or a Mensinger and banged on about it then Adrian could charge more rather than charging cost plus profit plus a little margin for retailer and a what the market will bear factor

I'd be interested to know how many Basses Fodera make annually compared to Adrian and what their actual costs are, I bet they aren't much more than 2x as expensive to build

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It comes down to the fact that something is worth what people are willing to pay. Personally I think that’s obscene money for a second hand bass. 

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For the original £15k I'd want Victor Wooten to provide a couple of Basscamps with flights included in the price as well

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Mike TOBIAS is a terrific master luthier, crafting instruments in New York chity too and his basses are way much cheaper and way far better than any Fodera. He's got a small crew, just like Fodera. So if you read between the lines, profit is the only added value for Fodera.

Christophe LEDUC is working totally alone, has some registered patents for his instruments, has made lots of research for the best ergonomics ever for an instrument, crafts some of the best basses around with carefully chosen woods (he's got a stock of very old woods) and components. His expensiver bass reaches the price of the cheapest Fodera, except for his L series which are really unique instruments only made once.

This guy is a true genius, respected and even sometimes worshipped by his fellow luthiers for his extraordinary knowledge. He also taught lutherie in France.

This is also the only luthier who is able to craft an instrument where you'll hear the fundamental of each and every note, even the low B, with more harmonics content than any other.

And he's a good friend of ours who likes to enjoy life. It's always a pleasure to meet him and his wife and enjoy a meal or just a cup of coffee talking sci-fi, food, wine, philosophy, mathematics, life, art, culture, universe, mankind, ... 

As I always say, the best Fodera is a Ken Smith.

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2 hours ago, Wilco said:

 

It’s what I was thinking to be honest. Said luthier makes the questionable business decision to set up in an area with a high cost base ( I mean, NYC!?! Everything is stupidly costly there!) & hopes that enough gullible punters will cover his costs by overpaying vs quality of the end product. Not saying it’s poor, obviously not, but unlikely worth the price vs the competition.

From a fiscal perspective only on a used Fodera then, is that possibly the worst bang for buck in the bass market? Said production costs have been covered by the first buyer, & similar quality used intstruments are way cheaper. What’s the extra thousands buying you then............. ?

Sadowsky is also based in New York (well, Queens). Secondhand prices, like anything, are largely a game of supply and demand. Foderas are perceived as being desirable, and the supply of them is limited. Hence high prices. 

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47 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Mike TOBIAS is a terrific master luthier, crafting instruments in New York chity too

He's actually just outside Woodstock. That's New York State.

 

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