View Full Version : Looking To Buy a New Baritone.. need input

10-07-2017, 04:15 AM
Howdy Folks,
I'm looking to buy a new Baritone and thought I'd ask for input from UU.
I've narrowed my search down to 3.

Ohana BK-70 (I'm looking for one with electonics, I would have to add a pickup to this one, but it's sure is a pretty one)

Luna Zebra Wood (has pickup)

Oscar Schmidt 55e (has pickup)

What's your take ?

Croaky Keith
10-07-2017, 05:03 AM
I have two, one is a Kala cedar top, fabulous tone, the other is a Lani spruce top, which surprised me with its good quality sound too, as it was much cheaper.
Going by my experiences, & what I've read on here, I don't think there is a bad bari out there,
Ohana certainly make good ukes, (I have 3 of their solid mahogany).
(I have no experience of Luna or Oscar Schmidt ukes.)

10-07-2017, 06:26 AM
Personally, if I had to have a pickup, I'd get one without, and have it added as unobtrusively as possible. I find the look of instruments that have a part of the rib section cut out for their electronics to be very aesthetically unappealing. I don't know it that's the case with any of those, but that's just my opinion. Also, a solid soundboard (at very least) would be essential. Preferably all solid woods, though.


10-07-2017, 12:17 PM
I'd recommend a Caramel CB-103 Zebra wood Glossy Acoustic electric. They come with a Truss rod now and they are only~$90. Amazon shows them out of stock now but they should be back soon. Check you tube out there are several reviews of them. I got mine Jan '16 and love it. The CB-500 rosewood one is very nice too. my neighbor has one and it is a canon. A little weird looking but really nice.

The OS I've checked out at my local shop didn't hold a candle to my CB-103 and the Kala's are as nice but 3X as costly.

10-07-2017, 12:57 PM
I have owned an Ohana and played an Oscar Schmidt. Of those two I would get the Ohana without a second thought. It felt lighter and better put together. (No experience with Luna)

That said, if I were getting another baritone I would get a Cordoba. I just traded one about a month ago because I received my custom LoPrinzi. That Cordoba was almost as good for 1/4 the price. I had the 24B (solid cedar top with spalted maple back and sides) and owned the cedar topped Kala before that. It was nice as well, but IMHO, the Cordoba was easier to play and more responsive. I believe there is a Kala model with electronics on the UU Marketplace right now at a good price. I would get it before any of the three you listed.

Good luck with your search!

Patrick Madsen
10-07-2017, 07:11 PM
If it's still available, buy the Giannini for sale.http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?129555-Giannini-baritone.

10-08-2017, 01:07 AM
Don't overlook the Koloa KU-650 all solid mahogany bari with Southcoast strings....install your own pickup. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=koloa+baritone+ukulele&_sacat=0


That Giannini in the Marketplace a nice deal. That Ohana BK-20 and the Cordoba solid topped bari are first cousins from the same factory. The Cordoba can often be had on ebay at a great price...lower than you could get the Ohana for.

10-10-2017, 03:01 AM
I have a Lani laminate. It came with a pickup and I chose it over the spruce top Lani that Keith (uke1950) got for that reason. I've been very pleased with it and the pickup works fine.

I don't think Lani must be available the other side of the pond or are under a different brand name. They're East Asian, Indonesia or Phillipines, I think and good value for money. Lower intermediate in price but well made and with good intonation. The other two I had got rehomed as I upgraded.

10-10-2017, 07:31 AM
Two things to consider -

First, I think a truss rod is a very good thing in a baritone, or some other way to ensure that your neck profile doesn't change over time. Most uke necks are short enough that it isn't a problem, but baritones are borderline. I've used the truss rod in my Pono to resolve neck profile issues and it was well worth it.

The other thing I've always been intrigued by and never able to pull the trigger on is the clearwater roundback baritone uke - reviewed here - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2016/07/clearwater-ucw7bpu-roundback-baritone.html These can be a bit hard to find in the US, but sometimes they're available on eBay from "The Really Useful Music Company".

10-12-2017, 03:04 AM
Thanks to all for your input. I ended up choosing the Ohana BK-70. Be about 3 or 4 weeks before it arrives, but I'll be sure to let you know how that turns out.

Thanks again!

10-12-2017, 07:10 PM
Thanks to all for your input. I ended up choosing the Ohana BK-70. Be about 3 or 4 weeks before it arrives, but I'll be sure to let you know how that turns out.

Thanks again!
I've got that uke and I think you'll like it. Good choice.

10-13-2017, 09:10 AM
Wooville, I hope you'll let us see it when you get it!

10-13-2017, 01:36 PM
Wooville, I hope you'll let us see it when you get it!

Just you try and stop me! <G>