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View Full Version : Desperately looking for a used or new, high quality, steel string electric baritone



TheNoseeums
02-15-2018, 12:32 PM
Greetings,

Been searching for an electric baritone for quite some time now... Im currently in a band, I play lead ukulele, however, ive been really trying to capture that electric sound. I play with another guitar player, and no matter what i try we keep overlapping. I hate it when two instruments are producing similar sounds, its a real drawback to the overall sound.

So anything Pono currently makes wont work, because they use nylon strings, and its hollow bodied, and after hearing it, it still sounds like an acoustic instrument.

Ive contacted Johnathan mann of "manndolins" he makes a beautiful electric uke, however he has none in stock and its a looonngg waiting list.

Theres a company in UK called "higuitarsUK". and they dont have anything in stock either.

So if anyone has anything in mind, or anything in stock that is electric, steel stringed, baritone size, high quality, and semi or solid bodied, please let me know.

DownUpDave
02-15-2018, 01:57 PM
Greetings,

Been searching for an electric baritone for quite some time now... Im currently in a band, I play lead ukulele, however, ive been really trying to capture that electric sound. I play with another guitar player, and no matter what i try we keep overlapping. I hate it when two instruments are producing similar sounds, its a real drawback to the overall sound.

So anything Pono currently makes wont work, because they use nylon strings, and its hollow bodied, and after hearing it, it still sounds like an acoustic instrument.

Ive contacted Johnathan mann of "manndolins" he makes a beautiful electric uke, however he has none in stock and its a looonngg waiting list.

Theres a company in UK called "higuitarsUK". and they dont have anything in stock either.

So if anyone has anything in mind, or anything in stock that is electric, steel stringed, baritone size, high quality, and semi or solid bodied, please let me know.

Pono did/does make a solid chambered bodied steel string baritone uke,Pono BE-ST . Very much like their TE nylon series. I have only seen them listed on HMS site once about 6 months ago.

Also check out Eastwood Warren Ellis solid bodied tenor guitars. They can be tuned DBGE, they do have a scale length of 23" though, if that is a concern.

Patrick Madsen
02-15-2018, 02:22 PM
I have a Pono Steel String UL4-40 baritone I'm going to put up for sale. It's Madagascar Ebony B/S and cedar soundboard with a LR Baggs pickup with volume control wheel inside the soundhole. I have it at my luthier presently to have a slight intonation on the B string corrected and a few fingernail indents buffed out. So it'll be better than new when I get it back Monday.

The larger body has a lot of volume with resonant clarity. I'm selling because it made me miss the lower two strings of a guitar so am having an almost done parlor guitar made as well as a parlor sized nylon baritone being started after the guitar is finished. Otherwise I'd never let this go, and still may not once I get it back.


This is an older sound sample of it acoustically with no amplification. There should be a sample of it on The Ukulele Site as well as lots of photos. Looking at the Pono site they go retail for around 1650. without the pickup and I think 1359. at HMS. The Baggs is 135.00 and 60 for install. It's a perfect instrument if looking for a steel string electric acoustic. There are a few high end electric baritones out there, I can't think of the names right now.
https://soundcloud.com/pemadsen2000/sets/demo-pono-ul4-40-steel-string

Jim Hanks
02-15-2018, 02:27 PM
Have you considered the Konablaster? https://www.elderly.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=0&q=Konablaster+

Patrick Madsen
02-15-2018, 02:39 PM
Are those nylon or steel Jim? I just re read the OP's post; didn't realize he didn't want an acoustic steel string. Too bad as I play lead also and it wails plugged in.

Jim Hanks
02-15-2018, 04:51 PM
Konablaster is steel string. The stock baritone is a longer scale - 22" I think - but you can get shorter made "custom" for not much more. And if you want exotic pickups, fancier woods, etc. that's also possible.

70sSanO
02-15-2018, 06:29 PM
IIRC, Jerry Hoffmann used to make a baritone ukulele (Boat Paddle). I do not know if his Hoffmann line offers one of not, but I would recommend calling him. His instruments are high quality.

John

TheNoseeums
02-15-2018, 09:34 PM
Pono did/does make a solid chambered bodied steel string baritone uke,Pono BE-ST . Very much like their TE nylon series. I have only seen them listed on HMS site once about 6 months ago.

Also check out Eastwood Warren Ellis solid bodied tenor guitars. They can be tuned DBGE, they do have a scale length of 23" though, if that is a concern.

I checked this guy out, seems like its a close fit. my only concern is the spacing both length wise and width wise... It may be a bit uncomfortable.

Know anything about these tenors? The quality? The overall sound?

Rakelele
02-15-2018, 09:53 PM
Have you looked at Monkey Wrench?

Cornfield
02-16-2018, 04:03 AM
Lots of electric tenor guitars out there and they can be tuned to DGBE

TheNoseeums
02-16-2018, 09:13 AM
Lots of electric tenor guitars out there and they can be tuned to DGBE

Yah ive been looking quite extensively recently, if I were to make the switch to a tenor, I would want something with as close fret spacing and string spacing as a baritone uke. Playing something thats virtually the same size as a guitar fretboard but with 4 strings puts you at a huge disadvantage when it comes to soloing/picking.

Futurethink
02-16-2018, 03:09 PM
Yah ive been looking quite extensively recently, if I were to make the switch to a tenor, I would want something with as close fret spacing and string spacing as a baritone uke. Playing something thats virtually the same size as a guitar fretboard but with 4 strings puts you at a huge disadvantage when it comes to soloing/picking.

Then you definitely should consider the Warren Ellis Tenor Guitar that a couple of people here have mentioned. It's well known for having a wider neck than other tenor guitars.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105077-NUD-NTGD-Warren-Ellis-tenor-guitar-mini-review-and-NUD&highlight=eastwood

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?68498-Electric-tenor-guitar-suggestions-recommendations

Rakelele
02-17-2018, 01:10 AM
Here is the link to the Monkey Wrench I mentioned above. They are made in America and produce custom solid body baritones at reasonable prices. I think they could build to your specs and without too much of a wait time:

http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/for-sale

TheNoseeums
02-17-2018, 12:53 PM
Here is the link to the Monkey Wrench I mentioned above. They are made in America and produce custom solid body baritones at reasonable prices. I think they could build to your specs and without too much of a wait time:

http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/for-sale

I checked him out... Looks like a great Luther. Would love to own one.

jelow1966
02-24-2018, 07:49 AM
Here is the link to the Monkey Wrench I mentioned above. They are made in America and produce custom solid body baritones at reasonable prices. I think they could build to your specs and without too much of a wait time:

http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/for-sale

Does anyone know if he is still making ukes? It looks like his page hasn't been updated in 3 years and when I sent him a message asking about a solid body nylon string tenor uke I never heard back.

John

kissing
02-25-2018, 04:04 AM
Oh boy is this a topic for me? I've owned many of the available steel string electric ukulele options, as once upon a time it was an obsession of mine.
(My hobby has evolved currently - my steel string electrics are actually conventional 6-string electric guitars, and all my ukuleles are nylon-strung... but I'm digressing).

The Warren Ellis Tenor Guitar is a pretty awesome instrument.
It's probably one of the best suggestions here. It's about the size of a 3/4 guitar, so slightly larger than a baritone ukulele, but very comfortable to play and high quality.
I used to own one years back. You can easily tune it to baritone tuning by using regular electric guitar strings, obviously (just use the DGBE guitar strings to tune to DGBE.) You will need to undergo a setup to account for the modified string width/tensions and intonation, as Tenor guitars are setup in the factory for banjo tuning, not baritone ukulele.



You can string any tenor sized steel-string electric ukulele into baritone tuning. Some options not mentioned already are:

-Risa - if you want high quality (but a bit costly) Made in Germany instruments
https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/de/search?page=search&page_action=query&keywords=14__3+19__2

-Vorson - if you want something quite cheap (Made in China), but somewhat functional with a bit of setting up (local guitar luthier/technician can help if you're not familiar with setups). You should be able to find these on eBay/Amazon

-Eleuke or Teton - they also have a few steel string models on eBay/Amazon. They're in the Made in China market, but are better quality than the Vorsons.

-Kamoa electric archtop jazz ukulele - Pretty cool ukes, but I think they're out of production now.

-Jupiter Creek - out of production, but you might find one used if lucky.


To tune a tenor sized electric steel string ukulele to DGBE, use middle 4 strings of an electric guitar set (I usually pick a rather light set, around 009).
The ADGB strings easily tune up to DGBE on a tenor ukulele scale.

I disagree that a tenor sized scale length is a "disadvantage". Tenor scale is plenty spacious.
Guitar's scale length wasn't designed with only play-ability in mind, but is a compromise of practicality balanced against having appropriate scale length to allow the strings to vibrate.
There are plenty of people who can shred like Malmsteen even on a Soprano sized scale. Violins have even shorter scale lengths, and no frets.. and you have to use a bow!
Some things are easier on a ukulele's scale because your fingers don't have to stretch as far.


I used to be a huge fan of the steel-string electric ukulele. Well, I am still fond of the idea.
But as someone who is also capable of playing guitar, in my particular arsenal of instruments, electric guitar kinda made it obsolete for me.
That's not to say they're obsolete instruments. There are things that 4-strings can do that a 6-string can't.
But for those things, I stick to my conventional, nylon-strung ukes anyway. Anyway, that's just my personal journey.
It can be a pain to find the ideal 4-string, baritone tuned electric ukulele... especially so when there are literally thousands and thousands of appealing guitars to choose from in all price ranges!


If I had to choose one today?
Probably a Risa or the Warren Ellis.
I give the slight edge to the Risa, because I prefer ukuleles being compact (vs guitar) and they have a more easily adjustable truss rod.
Longer scale is kinda pointless without the guitar's bass EA strings.

Robert Montgomery
03-03-2018, 01:29 PM
We build baritones at Aarons Music Service, Vicksburg Michigan. We can do steel string, acoustic electric, is this what you want, or solid body electric?
These are custom and solid wood ukulele, so they are about 700 dollars and up...

Thanks