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Digital Subscriptions > The Guitar Magazine > May-18 > FODERA IMPERIAL CUSTOM

FODERA IMPERIAL CUSTOM

Brooklyn-based builder Fodera has a reputation for highend bases, but its guitars don’t do things in the conventional way either – the striking Imperial Custom six-string is no exception. Dave Hunter thinks outside the box…

Letters from America

As we cruise rapidly toward the end of the second decade of the 21st century, its an unavoidable fact that many guitar makers are still deeply referencing just a handful of designs established a good 60 years ago. With that in mind, it’s rather refreshing to lay hands on a manufacturer that doesn’t seem to give two sticks about some implied necessity to make their guitars look at least 90 per cent like a Fender or Gibson.

In the case of Fodera such independence likely comes from the fact that it has long been one of the most revered makers of highend custom bass guitars – a field where devotion to the classics is less common. Its creations are played by Victor Wooton, Mike Pope, Felix Pastorius, Anthony Jackson and scores of other big-name masters of the low-end, and Fodera has never been obsessed with making instruments that look like anything that has come before.

The Imperial Custom resists aping any existing make or model in the slightest

As such, this Imperial Custom guitar is entirely its own creature. Sure, it has six strings, two pickups, four knobs, and is built to a broadly recognizable ‘guitar-like’ shape and a common scale length. But it resists aping any existing make or model in the slightest, yet comes off looking accessible, elegant, and even ‘classic’ in the process. And if even after all this you’re still inclined to say, “Well, it’s essentially a Les Paul with a diff erently shaped body, cutaway, and headstock…” then think again, Batman. Virtually every element of the way this guitar is put together is done diff erently – and very diff erently – than on that set-neck, single-cut standard.

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About The Guitar Magazine

What do we think about the most talked-about guitar of the year? Find out in our May 2018 issue, on sale now. Inside, we sit down with Paul Reed Smith to talk out about the two-year design process that gave birth to the Silver Sky and we put John Mayer’s new PRS signature model through its paces in an in-depth 10-page review. The magazine also comes bundled with a FREE Joy Of FX magazine for every reader that includes reviews of Fender’s new-for-2018 stompbox line, new EarthQuaker Devices pedals, an interview with Way Huge pedal guru Jeorge Tripps and more. Back in the main mag, we get up close and personal with Eric Clapton’s £25,000 writing and recording acoustic, check out The Temperance Movement’s live gear, interview Steve Morse and review even more hot new guitars, amps and effects from Eastman, Blackstar, JHS Pedals, Lowden and plenty more besides. We also salute the genius of Freddie Tavares and you can enter our competition to WIN a drop-dead gorgeous Lake Placid Blue Fender American Original ‘60s Telecaster worth £1,659. The May 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale in print and digital formats now. Essential reading for guitar addicts.