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And for your US$18,450 today ...


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1 minute ago, thodrik said:

To me it looks like a concept piece that requires a lot of hours to make and that results in a high price. Perhaps the asking price is a means of Fodera essentially saying 'yes, we can make this bass, but it is very difficult and complicated and we are only going to do it if it is really worth our while'. The price point is probably set on the understanding that Fodera don't expect (or particularly want) to receive thousands of orders.

 

I am pretty sure you spec a Warwick, Wal or a Ritter and come to the same price eventually if you add enough options. I put Fodera in the same category as those type of custom orders in that these are not instruments designed for sale to the general public but are instruments to be acquired by a very small clientele who frankly have money to burn, for whom a ridiculously expensive bass is no different to a ridiculously expensive concept car, luxury watch etc. As a result, this type of pricing does not really irritate me whatsoever. 

Frankly, it irritates me more when I see Warwick made Sadowsky Masterbuilt basses being sold at a higher pricepoint than Sadowsky basses made by Roger Sadowsky and even that doesn't really irk me, particularly given Warwick are entirely within their rights to set whatever price point they like under the licensing agreement and Warwick masterbuilt basses don't come cheap. 

Oh I agree that Warwick have huge prices too, but most of their basses don't get insane until you start spec'ing up a custom model.  I shudder to think what a Fodera Presentation II with customisations would cost!!

 

But some interesting points raised here for sure, but I'd still question if they only make a 10% profit on bulding a $35k bass, there's something not quite right.  But i'll certainly have a read into why the Presentation models need to be so expensive.

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25 minutes ago, Kev said:

I mean I'm not trying to argue or just attack Fodera, as they're not alone as you say!  But 10% profit margin, am I right in saying that it therefore as a starting price costs them ~$32k to make one of those Presentation II models?  If so, how??

I remember reading somewhere (I think it was another post by Jason) that the presentation ii takes somewhere in the region of 250 hours to build because of the hybrid design they use on it (I'm no luthier so I couldn't say why it takes so long but I'm told the entire thing is proprietary and hard to make). After they built the first Presentation II for AJ, they then calculated how long it took to build and priced it accordingly. It's worth noting that they weren't profitable for most of the companies existence and were close to going bankrupt when Jason came onboard

 

In the interests of full disclosure: I've a Fodera arriving tomorrow, so I'm not unbiased. Further disclosure: I also went to Warwick to get a quote on what it would cost me to have the same spec made, albeit with a couple of detailed alterations (Streamer body). Their quote came to more than I've paid for my Fodera inclusive of VAT. 

 

 

Edited by funkypenguin
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5 hours ago, Kev said:

 

But some interesting points raised here for sure, but I'd still question if they only make a 10% profit on bulding a $35k bass, there's something not quite right.  But i'll certainly have a read into why the Presentation models need to be so expensive.

I have similar thoughts. When I was 15 I just assumed that the more extravagant basses were constructed out of really expensive wood!

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5 hours ago, funkypenguin said:

In the interests of full disclosure: I've a Fodera arriving tomorrow, so I'm not unbiased. Further disclosure: I also went to Warwick to get a quote on what it would cost me to have the same spec made, albeit with a couple of detailed alterations (Streamer body). Their quote came to more than I've paid for my Fodera inclusive of VAT.

I am not surprised. I’m not really sure who the market are for new Warwicks

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31 minutes ago, thodrik said:

I have similar thoughts. When I was 15 I just assumed that the more extravagant basses were constructed out of really expensive wood!

 

Some of the materials they use are very expensive (such as CITES certified Brazilian rosewood), others are very time consuming to work with (such as Buckeye), but it's a combination of factors that make Fodera so expensive, as Jason explained in that talkbass thread. Some people seem to think that Fodera are raking in money but met them and talked to them at some length, they're really not. 

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8 hours ago, funkypenguin said:

 

Some of the materials they use are very expensive (such as CITES certified Brazilian rosewood), others are very time consuming to work with (such as Buckeye), but it's a combination of factors that make Fodera so expensive, as Jason explained in that talkbass thread. Some people seem to think that Fodera are raking in money but met them and talked to them at some length, they're really not. 

Pretty sure manufacturers use Brazilian rosewood and buckeye and markedly different price points to Fodera, including manufacturers in the New York area so I don’t believe that this a determining factor.

 

I have no doubts that Fodera do not make a massive profit relative to the price. Length of the builds, relatively low output of instruments, the need to pay luthiers a good wage on account of the skill required, cost of running a business, admin costs, marketing costs, local taxes. They all add up, though of course most boutique manufacturers have similar issues.
 

Though essentially if you need to have a Fodera (or a Wal or a Ritter) then there is an inherent cost involved.

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10 hours ago, funkypenguin said:

 

Some of the materials they use are very expensive (such as CITES certified Brazilian rosewood), others are very time consuming to work with (such as Buckeye), but it's a combination of factors that make Fodera so expensive, as Jason explained in that talkbass thread. Some people seem to think that Fodera are raking in money but met them and talked to them at some length, they're really not. 

Is there a conversation on Talkbass somewhere where he specifically references how the Presentation II costs Fodera over $30k to build??  Or even this mini bass at almost $17k, still taking their 10% profit pledge as true?  I haven't seen Fodera use a wood that a much cheaper luthier does not use at least as good a grade as, so wouldn't have thought this would have any bearing on price.  It seems to be all about the shops location, and how many hours it takes them to build each bass.  Still, I can't fathom the figures at 10% profit.

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It would interesting as a comparison to know what the Chinese could sell an identical build for.  Only as a rough guide, obv, the Chinese made American designed Conn Selmer Better Sax alto sax compares favourably on all grounds to top Japanese pro saxes worth 3x the £800 asking price.  Which would make a Chinese version of this bass around $6k.

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18 hours ago, Belka said:

Apologies, I wasn't clear when talking about Sadowsky or Fender custom shop. I meant that you don't seem to see the same level of outrage at the pricing of Sadowsky and Fender Custom shop  compared to regular J and P clones that you get when comparing Fodera and other boutique basses. 

I've been saying it for years about Fodera, Alembic and especially FCS. The latter especially I consider a massive rip off as I've had a few in my hands over the years. I've also owned Alembics which I loved in many ways and hated in others, but I bought them all S/H.

 

Say a Fodera or a FCS is overpriced on TB and the fans will cry hater at you.

 

 

Watch Ron Thorn's responses.

 

Now before anyone tells me I hate them because I can't afford them, not so. I just don't see the value, nor do I get the whole 'mojo' thing.

You want one of these and you can buy it without your family suffering, wonderful, I really wish it brings you joy. 

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34 minutes ago, Kev said:

Is there a conversation on Talkbass somewhere where he specifically references how the Presentation II costs Fodera over $30k to build??  Or even this mini bass at almost $17k, still taking their 10% profit pledge as true?  I haven't seen Fodera use a wood that a much cheaper luthier does not use at least as good a grade as, so wouldn't have thought this would have any bearing on price.  It seems to be all about the shops location, and how many hours it takes them to build each bass.  Still, I can't fathom the figures at 10% profit.

I doubt there's any such thread, they gave a general outline of their pricing policy and I feel this is enough. One thing to also bear in mind for things like the Presentation II is research and development costs. I know they made prototypes of this bass. You could argue that any manufacturer builds prototypes and why should that influence the price of a new one, but I doubt they sell more than 2 Presentation II basses per year, so the price might somewhat reflect the hours put into the design/ prototype builds. This is probably also be the case for the bass in question here. 

 

I think I and others have said that materials do influence cost

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9 minutes ago, Belka said:

I doubt there's any such thread, they gave a general outline of their pricing policy and I feel this is enough. One thing to also bear in mind for things like the Presentation II is research and development costs. I know they made prototypes of this bass. You could argue that any manufacturer builds prototypes and why should that influence the price of a new one, but I doubt they sell more than 2 Presentation II basses per year, so the price might somewhat reflect the hours put into the design/ prototype builds. This is probably also be the case for the bass in question here. 

 

I think I and others have said that materials do influence cost

They influence cost, but no more than any other luthier, unless fancy woods need to pay extra rent in NY as well?

 

I'm not necessarily saying there is such a thread, I'm just interested as I just don't understand how they cost $30k to build, yet it was mentioned how many hours it took to build one or something, which is quite a thing to calculate, so I guessed it must have been discussed somewhere, my mistake.  But in their 10% profit on each one you think they are including unspecified "research and developments" costs of prototypes built years before, they can apply any value they want to that, so its making more sense now...

 

I'll bow out as its just going round in circles.  I guess I just won't buy one and stick with Alpher 😅

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

Is there a conversation on Talkbass somewhere where he specifically references how the Presentation II costs Fodera over $30k to build??  Or even this mini bass at almost $17k, still taking their 10% profit pledge as true?  I haven't seen Fodera use a wood that a much cheaper luthier does not use at least as good a grade as, so wouldn't have thought this would have any bearing on price.  It seems to be all about the shops location, and how many hours it takes them to build each bass.  Still, I can't fathom the figures at 10% profit.

The shop's location, rent, overhead, materials, paying an entire team a living wage to NY standards, taking care of the entire team's health insurance (having worked in the states, this is Expensive), their pension plans and training a new generation of luthiers to take over the business once Vinny and Joey decide to call it a day since they're not getting any younger.

 

Having googled it, Jason talks about why the Pii costs so much in this thread, his username is JustThumpin 

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/does-your-ability-limit-what-you-would-spend.1154501/

 

I know you're an Alpher guy Kev, and I would be interested for them to work out just what they end up making per hour on their basses.

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22 minutes ago, funkypenguin said:

The shop's location, rent, overhead, materials, paying an entire team a living wage to NY standards, taking care of the entire team's health insurance (having worked in the states, this is Expensive), their pension plans and training a new generation of luthiers to take over the business once Vinny and Joey decide to call it a day since they're not getting any younger.

 

Having googled it, Jason talks about why the Pii costs so much in this thread, his username is JustThumpin 

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/does-your-ability-limit-what-you-would-spend.1154501/

 

I know you're an Alpher guy Kev, and I would be interested for them to work out just what they end up making per hour on their basses.

Alpher are based closed to me in West Yorkshire I think. They are 2? guys in a smallish workshop, and def. not paying NY rent. I bet they're not paying themselves much either as they're building the business - they do make some amazing instruments.

 

Health Insurance is a massive cost in the US - especially if you're providing a comprehensive plan with good coverage for your staff.

(This is why wages are generally higher for jobs in the middle salary and above, because many affordable healthcare plans are not amazing, but enough to keep your employees with you for decades for fear of being uninsured or not getting the same/better coverage if they move jobs. But that's a whole other story.)

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22 hours ago, Belka said:

The second part of your statement may be true, but I've got no idea where the first bit came from. Their branding has Brooklyn all over it. 

 

But for most people who don't know the city, NYC = Manhattan.

 

From a UK perspective it's a bit like saying you make your instruments in London when the reality is that you're not based in the West End but on an industrial estate in Croydon.

 

Still the business model is obviously working for them, so none of us here can really knock it.

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I’ve played probably a dozen Foderas over the years. You’re definitely paying for the name I’m sure many sales are made based on their roster of endorsing artists.

Both of the Anthony Jackson Presentations (v1) I tried were ordinary in sound and in feel. The Emperor 5 I tried new in a shop from the factory had wire wool swirls visible all over the top and the low B was poor (admittedly this was 14-15 years ago but I don’t think the standards should have been any lower then). Only one bass lived up to the name and price (an extraordinary Emperor 6 with a buckeye burl top) but I thought long and hard over whether this bass I quite liked at just under £10K was worth selling all my basses for. It wasn’t and I don’t regret it one bit. Still, I’m sure they‘ll continue to prosper.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

 

But for most people who don't know the city, NYC = Manhattan.

 

From a UK perspective it's a bit like saying you make your instruments in London when the reality is that you're not based in the West End but on an industrial estate in Croydon.

 

Still the business model is obviously working for them, so none of us here can really knock it.

A beer in NYC is extortion and Brooklyn wasn’t far behind. Then again, I’ve never had a beer in Croydon and thought it was cheap.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

 

But for most people who don't know the city, NYC = Manhattan.

 

From a UK perspective it's a bit like saying you make your instruments in London when the reality is that you're not based in the West End but on an industrial estate in Croydon.

 

Still the business model is obviously working for them, so none of us here can really knock it.

 

4 minutes ago, OliverBlackman said:

A beer in NYC is extortion and Brooklyn wasn’t far behind. Then again, I’ve never had a beer in Croydon and thought it was cheap.

Croydon has a luthier too. The parallels never cease :lol:.

 

I’ve just remembered that Croydon also has a craft beer brewer - Cronx (Croydon/Bronx). Spooky.

Edited by ezbass
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There are far better bassists on this thread than me, and people who know way more about high-end basses than I do, but I doubt there are many posting here who know more about accounting and finance for SMEs (Fodera is deffo an SME = small to medium enterprise).

 

I've seen (I think) no fewer than three references to Fodera making a 10% gross profit (GP) margin, including one which described it as a "pledge". :S

 

Just to be clear, if any business where I was running the finances wanted to declare a GP of 10% then that's what I would declare. GP is an incredibly easy thing to manipulate in a small business run by owner/managers. I'm making no accusations, and the processes I have in mind are entirely legal and legitimate. Place not your faith in a "pledge" to limit GP to 10%, and I personally would have no interest in working with people who were so keen to limit their own potential.

 

In truth, a well-run boutique business with decent management should be looking at 25%-35%. I have no doubt at all that Fodera are making a mint and so they should be. If people are actually prepared to pay $18k, $30k, $36k for a bass then that's their decision and their look-out. Don't expect to find me in the queue, mind ...

 

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