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View Full Version : Where are the quirky-looking baritones?



Lalz
08-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Hi all!

I know, I know... I've said it before, "this will be my last uke" and "baritones are too big for me" etc... but I now have an urge to get a baritone ukulele. I've decided I like them. A lot. Blame Humble Baritonics (http://humblebaritonics.blogspot.co.uk), this blog shouldn't be allowed to be so good. Grrr.

Anyhows, I've been browsing through online shops a bit and visited a couple of brick-and-mortar ones as well in the past couple of months, plus been asking people here and there about this brand and that brand. And this made me come to the following conclusions about the uke market in general:

1) There really aren't that many brands around that build baritone ukes, are there (let alone mid-range quality ones). And the ones that do usually do max 1-2 models.

2) The mid-range uke market (~100-200 pounds) is in real need of some quirkier looking ukes IMO. I absolutely love traditional-looking ukes in beautiful woods, with nice discrete bindings and cute little details just as much as anyone, but why is it that it's almost impossible to find good quality yet relatively affordable ukes in purple or pink? Or in red with a cute palm-tree/flamingo/rainbow across it? Why are original looks only for super-cheap or super-expensive ukes? Why?????

[/end of rant]

I probably won't find any for a while, but I hope some maker will choose to make a nice unique/quirky-looking good quality baritone (solid top perhaps?) for a bit less than 200 pounds at one point.

Are there more people looking for these as well?

Pondoro
08-24-2012, 03:28 PM
get an Ohana and pay some artist to paint it, as quirky as you like.

Paul December
08-24-2012, 03:49 PM
Check out Boulder Creek's Riptide; my brother got one and I was surprised how good it sounds.
Note: The the latest versions removed the writing from the body and cleaned-up the headstock.

Hippie Dribble
08-24-2012, 03:51 PM
get an Ohana and pay some artist to paint it, as quirky as you like.

I agree, there are a number of artists out there who are commissioned to do this stuff often. I did the exact same thing myself a couple of years back with a tenor of mine, the results were amazing (will try and find some pics for you). Get yourself the uke you want and have it handpainted.

some links to check out...

1. http://ukesmakeyouhappy.com/index.html
2. http://paintedukuleles.com/
3. http://veronicafaymiller.blogspot.com.au/
4. http://www.amycrehore.com/page8.html

5. also check out this amazing clip showing Jay Lichty's incredible work:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnKbVVeC8b8

6. additionally, I know Duane Heilman has done some incredible, and reasonably priced, handpainted stuff and he is also a member here. Check out his gallery oozing with awesomeness and creative flair...

http://blackbearukuleles.net/listing.html?categoryid=1

Lalz
08-24-2012, 04:08 PM
Wow, these are great links! Thanks! That pineapple one is stunning.

Painting the uke is indeed a good option, but budget-wise as soon as you start entering the realm of custom-made work it becomes quickly very expensive (at least for me). Good artists will most likely charge as much as what the uke would cost itself if not more, and so should they if it's quality handmade work.

I've been eyeing the Riptide ukes too, I like that they look different and that the sound holes aren't covered by the strumming hand. Sweet! Just wish they weren't brown too. Brown brown brown brown brown... If only they made them in... turquoise with scottish patterns! I need me some splash of colour is this rainy English summer :)

Lalz
08-24-2012, 04:17 PM
I don't really expect to find my match for a while though. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it would be great if mid-range manufacturers remembered that some of us like some of our ukes to look fun and quirky, and still have a rich sound and be of good build quality and playability... without breaking the bank. The Luna Great Wave and the Fleas/Flukes are good examples of this but none of them do baritones.

Ben_H
08-24-2012, 10:20 PM
Hi Lalou,

Not sure what budget you are working to but Southern Ukulele Store are now doing interest free credit if you spend more than 300, you can stretch the monthly payments up to three years. They have a large baritone selection though not sure they are quirky enough for you.

Happy shopping

Ben

Lalz
08-25-2012, 12:30 AM
Hi Lalou,

Not sure what budget you are working to but Southern Ukulele Store are now doing interest free credit if you spend more than 300, you can stretch the monthly payments up to three years. They have a large baritone selection though not sure they are quirky enough for you.

Happy shopping

Ben

Hi Ben! Yeah, their payment plan is very good indeed. But with the current economy, I'm making an active effort to not buy things with credit. Basically if it goes beyond what my uke budget is, I just won't buy it. Great shop though, I've bought two ukes from them, some picks and lots of string sets and I've been very pleased with them.

Lalz
08-25-2012, 03:47 PM
You know what? I've been thinking a lot about what you guys said about painting a uke, been looking at Eugene's links and other pictures I found online, and... instead of waiting patiently for manufacturers to produce the baritone of my dreams for a good price, I'm going to follow your advice: get a simple-looking - yet good-sounding and playable - baritone and costumize it. Only I want to do it myself instead of getting an artist to do it for me (unless I find one who would do it for a good price). I'm not a great painter at all, but I have a very simple one-colour pattern in mind that I think I should manage to do myself (in ivory white colour on dark mahogany), and it would make for a fun little DIY project. Just need to select the baritone and figure out how to paint it without affecting the sound and so the paint doesn't come off while I play, hehe :) A thorough UU forum search is in order. Advices welcome!

Thanks guys!!

HumbleUker
08-25-2012, 06:45 PM
Hello Lalou -- Thanks for the compliment on the blog.
I like Eugene Ukulele's links and his music.
I posted on of those Lichty painted ukes on HB
Jeff / Humble Baritonics.

TCK
08-25-2012, 08:47 PM
I am kind of in love with this thread... I have a studio painting degree, and will paint that sucker for nothing except to make a Baritone that makes you smile (and shipping-broke teacher guy here). If you are game, let me know. I have not painted a uke (but my Vita gets closer and closer daily as I wear it into dust) except to make it a birdhouse, but if I can make it your thing, I will happily do it. Hit me PM and let me know what you want if you are so inclined.
Cheers-
Dave

Lalz
08-26-2012, 12:01 AM
OMG TCK! That is SO SWEET!!!!! I'm defo taking you up on you offer. PM coming! And lots of hugs as well!!!!!!!!! I'm jumping up and down and clapping my hands in excitement right now :smileybounce:

Jeff: I just saw your post about the painted uke. Such a fantastic blog!!

bonesigh
08-26-2012, 05:25 AM
LOL, thanks for the laugh. That first paragraph of yours reminded me of me!

TCK
08-26-2012, 06:18 AM
Glad I could oblige, gotta use my art at some point or dad will never let me hear the end of it...seems the biology came in handy a little more in terms of employment ;) love the design idea and will get started on my end stat :)
OMG TCK! That is SO SWEET!!!!! I'm defo taking you up on you offer. PM coming! And lots of hugs as well!!!!!!!!! I'm jumping up and down and clapping my hands in excitement right now :smileybounce:

Jeff: I just saw your post about the painted uke. Such a fantastic blog!!