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Builder Profile: Fodera Guitars

Builder Profile: Fodera Guitars

TOP: A Fodera employee assesses his workbench as he prepares to wind strings. BOTTOM LEFT: Every Fodera string is handwound. BOTTOM RIGHT: Fodera opened a small operation in a rural Pennsylvania barn where all of its strings are made.

No Strings Attached

Fodera has painstakingly crafted basses with every nuance in mind, and it makes sense that eventually they would get to winding strings as well. Although they were previously wound at the Fodera factory in New York City, each set of strings is now handwound by three talented string winders working in a discreet barn in rural Pennsylvania.

Rather than have a big factory make strings and put the Fodera label on them, the concept behind Fodera strings is congruent with everything they do: The goal is to make the best-sounding bass possible, regardless of the steps needed. Winding strings is just another piece of that puzzle. “If you look at our string business as a whole, as a separate economic entity, it makes no sense from a business standpoint to keep making our own strings,” says Fodera partner Jason DeSalvo. “But until we can find other strings that we think complement our basses as well as ours, we’ll keep doing it.”

The roundcore strings are nickel-plated steel, but Fodera winders take the extra step of wrapping the entire string—not just the outermost wrap. But are they really that unique? “Other than attention to detail, using the finest materials, controlling the process ourselves, and making them by hand, no, there’s nothing really unique,” jokes DeSalvo.

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