It is pretty rare for me to stumble across a bass manufacture of note that I haven’t see before, but yesterday was one of those days… I ran into a very nice chap by the name of Mark Graham, and he was playing a Wood&Tronics Chronos.
I was immediately struck by the sound (I heard it before I saw it). It had the kind of articulation I’d associate with a Ken Smith or a Fodera. Then I saw it. A very striking single cut bass, with at least a nod and a wink to a Fodera – at least in my view.
Wood&Tronics are based in Italy, and join a growing stable of fine Italian bass producers. They have five main models: the Spectrum, the Chronos, the Ergon, the Zoid and the EJ. The EJ plays tricks with your eyes, there’s a little bit of jazz in there and a lot of Wood&Tronics: see for yourself.
The influences aren’t that surprising when you find out that one of the co-founders, Enrico Pasini, spend time living in New York and was a frequent visitor to Fodera’s workshops, hence the influence. These basses are very much their own though, with customised East electronics, the sound is very full-on. They certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, in looks or sound. However, if you are looking for a very distinctive, stand-out bass, this is definitely a luther to try out. Currently they are distributed in the UK by Bass Direct, and in the Netherlands by Fray’s Bass Corner.
A big thank you to Mark for letting me inspect his baby – it had wonderful wood combinations (Zebrano + Padouk + Maple + White Ash with Ebony fingerboard) and the kind of sound you’d expect from a Thru-neck single cut bass. I’d definitely recognise it if I heard it again!