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pdxuke
01-23-2013, 06:28 PM
Hello Uke Friends:

Please help educate me. I'm a soprano player dipping my toes into other scales. I need to know about Baritones and brands that you like. I like mahogany, so I'd really like to stick with that.

Here's what I know:

Vintage:
Martin
Favilla
Vega
Harmony
..any others, and comments on above?

Modern:
Ohana
Kala all mahogany
Pono

I'd love your thoughts!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
01-23-2013, 07:00 PM
Love baritone ukes.

Thought I would only play soprano ukes until I played a Martin baritone ukulele at Pioneer music a year or so ago. Couldn't afford the Martin, but couldn't stop thinking about that mellow bari sound. I ended up buying a Kala KA-B (basic laminate mahogany bari) this past March from Artichoke Music. The KA-B was a great intro to the baritone sound.

During a recent holiday trip to Maui, I couldn't resist buying myself a uke as a souvenir. I chose a Mele solid mahogany 'double puka' baritone uke. It's got a very thin neck profile (much like the classic Martin) and a great, mellow sound. Love it.

Here in Portland, why not go ahead and take the time to play all the baritone ukes at Apple Music, Portland Music Supply, Artichoke Music, and Trade Up Music. You'll surely get an idea what you like, and you might even find the right baritone for you.

pdxuke
01-23-2013, 07:06 PM
Love baritone ukes.

Thought I would only play soprano ukes until I played a Martin baritone ukulele at Pioneer music a year or so ago. Couldn't afford the Martin, but couldn't stop thinking about that mellow bari sound. I ended up buying a Kala KA-B (basic laminate mahogany bari) this past March from Artichoke Music. The KA-B was a great intro to the baritone sound.

During a recent holiday trip to Maui, I couldn't resist buying myself a uke as a souvenir. I chose a Mele solid mahogany 'double puka' baritone uke. It's got a very thin neck profile (much like the classic Martin) and a great, mellow sound. Love it.

Here in Portland, why not go ahead and take the time to play all the baritone ukes at Apple Music, Portland Music Supply, Artichoke Music, and Trade Up Music. You'll surely get an idea what you like, and you might even find the right baritone for you.

Thanks for the tips. I've played the KA-B, and yes, the neck profile is one thing I love about the vintage Martins. Would love to try a Favilla--I used to have a soprano. Would like to get a hold of the all solid Kala mahogany to try. Not familiar with trade up music so will have to go find them. Really mourn the loss of Pioneer.

we tigers
01-23-2013, 07:16 PM
I would like Ohana to make a BK-38. Wouldn't that be something.
I'll follow your barihunt with interest; I'm developing a slight case of Bari UAS.

Ben_H
01-23-2013, 07:28 PM
Over here in the UK the baritone choice is a bit limited unless you are prepared to travel long distances to try ukes or buy over the web. It's also rather costly to import instruments due to tax and shipping which again limits choice and older instruments, such as Martins and Favillas attract a premium.

After much websearching I ended up with the Pono and am very happy with it. The funny thing is, I was actually after an Ohana BK10 but they were out of stock and I discovered I could get a 0% finance deal on the Pono so thought, why not.

I definitely now have baritone UAS and with all the above information in mind have gone for a custom for my second instrument so as to get what I want and still cheaper than an import or a "heritage instrument".

pdxuke
01-23-2013, 07:34 PM
I would like Ohana to make a BK-38. Wouldn't that be something.
I'll follow your barihunt with interest; I'm developing a slight case of Bari UAS.

A BK 38 would be wonderful. I understand the Kala all mahogany barry is modeled if feel after the Martins of old. I had a harmony once upon a time--but new nothing of the ways of Baritones and it got traded.

mds725
01-23-2013, 08:43 PM
I have four baritones: a Pono solid mahogany, Kamaka HF-4 and a Kamaka HF-48 (koa), and a Mya-Moe myrtle. I love them all, and they all sound a bit different. For something in the nature of a "starter" baritone, I'd recommend a Pono. I love mine.

coolkayaker1
01-23-2013, 11:23 PM
Pdx, I just bumped the quintessential recent Baritone thread, Baritone UAS. It discusses strings, turnings, radiused fret boards, and...well...UAS. Lol. I think you'd enjoy it. Should be near the top of the Board now.

Yes, get a Bari. Re entrant dGBE. Stick with Martin. You're right to do that. Best resale. I think I'll get a Martin Bari, too. Or Favilla.

mds725
01-23-2013, 11:27 PM
Probably would have been easier just to provide a link to the Baritone UAS thread. Here it is, because that thread won't be "near the top of the Board" forever. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?72996-Baritone-UAS

coolkayaker1
01-23-2013, 11:35 PM
People tend not to read the whole thread in links, and I'm on my iPhone, whick is hard but not impossible, and i wanted to ask a question on Kiwaya baris on it, so it just made sense. But, thanks, mds.

anthonyg
01-24-2013, 12:36 AM
If you can afford a Martin then buy a Martin. Mele seem to have some nice baritone ukulele's that I'm eyeing off. I have a Bruceweiart baritone ukulele that's a great sounding instrument however they are a little hit and miss.

Anthony

DB Ukes
01-24-2013, 12:54 AM
I have a boulder creek riptide baritone which doesn't have the soundhole underneath the strings but on the top left corner of the body by the neck and an additional soundhole on the side of the body facing up towards the player (all for me;-)) it gives of a really deep tone and is surprisingly loud for the soundholes being in odd position. Beautiful instrument baritones everyone should have them!
Also tip for fingerstyle baritonists to emulate a tenor banjo down tune the E (1st string) down to d for open d tuning and pick more towards the bridge! I've just been messing with babel mumford and sons!
Much love happy uking!

kissing
01-24-2013, 03:03 AM
I'm saving up for a Mainland mahogany baritone.

People here love Mainland, and they also love Baritones.
So why not get a Mainland Baritone? (ukulele logic)



If you want an inexpensive, but superbly set up baritone to play with, check out this one:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?75786-Luna-acoustic-electric-Baritone-uke!

dhoenisch
01-24-2013, 03:41 AM
I love my Harmony Baritone. All solid mahogany from the 50's. Boomy sound. Neck feels great, not clubby like some other baritones I've played. Plus, it's pretty light. I spent two years looking for a reasonably priced one, and practically stole the one I have, price-wise.

Dan

OldePhart
01-24-2013, 06:32 AM
You can add Mainland to the modern list. I have a Mainland mahogany baritone (satin finish) and a Pono mahogany baritone (gloss). The Pono has a slightly longer scale and the body is about a centimeter thicker. The Pono is also lighter and a little more responsive at the bottom end. The Mainland is good, though, just not quite as good as the Pono (of course, it costs around half as much, unless you can snag a Pono second).

The Mainland works better strung reentrant G than "normal" linear G. The Pono it makes less difference - it handles reentrant and linear G about the same.

I'm not hung up on vintage instruments, but I wouldn't mind having either a Martin or Favilla if it was in good playing shape and the price was right.

As for baritone UAS - yeah...I gots it bad. Need at least one Koa baritone...

John

J'Ukebox
01-24-2013, 06:55 AM
i have the solid mahog. Kala, strung w/ Martins & LOVE it! However, i do live in the boonies & have not had a chance to play any of the higher end options to compare with... listening to recorded samples doesn't really work for me, i need to actually hold the uke & play it my own way, w/ my own string choice to get a clear idea....

coolkayaker1
01-24-2013, 07:11 AM
Need at least one Koa baritone...

John This answers my question on the UAS thread as to which ukes you own.

Have Peter at Pohaku Ukulele make you one, John. http://www.pohakuukulele.com/

drbekken
01-24-2013, 07:40 AM
This answers my question on the UAS thread as to which ukes you own.

Have Peter at Pohaku Ukulele make you one, John. http://www.pohakuukulele.com/
Holy smokes. Wish I were rich.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 08:36 AM
i have the solid mahog. Kala, strung w/ Martins & LOVE it! However, i do live in the boonies & have not had a chance to play any of the higher end options to compare with... listening to recorded samples doesn't really work for me, i need to actually hold the uke & play it my own way, w/ my own string choice to get a clear idea....

Thanks! I love the look. How is the intonation--does it play in tune? :-)

coolkayaker1
01-24-2013, 09:15 AM
To Mark--your PM mailbox is full. So, rather than waste my iPad typing, here's my reply. Your ukes are wonderful (bottom line).

"Those are great ukuleles, Mark. You do like the mellow tones of larger ukes. And the link to your group looks like fun!

I have a Pohaku Baritone, and since Peter Hurney is in your area, you might check out his shop sometime. Jay (Blue-knight) and Eric (Ericvel) have been there and told me it's impressively small. His work is so meticulous its insane. It is the best single ukulele I have ever owned.

I have a second Mya Moe, a soprano to match my tenor, for a summer build. With a Tradition model, my choices are somewhat limited (and I couldn't get myself to spring for the bling as Gordon says they sound identical). I see you have one tradition and two classics--baris are only classic option.

Enjoy!"

Okay, now back to baritones.

Dan Uke
01-24-2013, 12:18 PM
I don't know what Pohaku Baris go for but the sunburst hog one has been there for awhile. I talked to him about making a 14 frets to body bari but he said he prefers the 12 frets version and they sound better than the 14 frets version he makes. So I moved on to Graziano and was really thinking about ordering one but fortunately spent my money on another uke. The only concern I have is that I can barely reach a Fmaj7 on a tenor so bari would be impossible.

coolkayaker1
01-24-2013, 01:13 PM
Daniel...I agree with you on the fret reach. I'd bet our hands are similar sizes. It's tough to reach frets with any spread.

That said, the Bari shines for simple open chords or barre chords, usually on first five or six frets, for blues A-D7-E7 type stuff. The long strings and sustain really is not made or good for up the fretboard Jake style of play. At all.

You need a Bari. Get a Favilla like the one on eBay now for $299 that just needs a bead of Suoerglue in the side crack.

OldePhart
01-24-2013, 01:30 PM
...Get a Favilla like the one on eBay now for $299 that just needs a bead of Suoerglue in the side crack...

Hey...hands off! Nah, just kidding. I saw that one and I think I added it to my watch list but I don't really plan to go for it due largely to funds and fact I already have a couple of mahogany baritones.

John

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 03:41 PM
See if you can find a used Ohana BK10, which is a laminated top starter uke and is not expensive, to find out about Baritones. Maybe a BK20 if you want to pay a bit more. If you want one to play, not collect, when you have figured out enough about the instrument check out your local guitar and ukulele makers with a view to ordering a mahogany replica of a Martin or Favilla. Use the Ohana while you wait for the build. With a baritone, I personally would seriously consider being the guinea pig for a guitar maker who wants to try a ukulele build, if the price is good. But if you don't like that risk, looking at a map you are not all that far from a whole bevy of amazing makers, Google says you are only 10hrs drive from San Francisco, with Seattle and Vancouver to the north. I doubt that you would find a better choice of makers of Baritone ukuleles anywhere on the planet less than 700 miles from where you live.
Keep the BK10 in your car and as your go anywhere uke, being laminate will limit the sound but it will be easier to look after in more extreme environments away forom home, until the newness wears of the custom.
A vintage martin or favilla is also an excellent idea, but if you want to play it it is already old and will have a few problems which will complicate taking it anywhere and the way you use it.

This is great advice, and I thank you. Here's how I usually roll: I'm not a travel with my ukes guy, but I do have a few, like the Ohana, and Martin OXK that I do travel with.

What I have learned from my soprano experience, though, is to think Martin. They fit me. And while I don't think of them as an investment, Martin, like Kamaka is a name that people know, and if the instrument plays well and is in good shape, you can sell them.

So as my uke budget allows, it's going to be clean, vintage Martin at the top of the list, and maybe a modern instrument as a companion, like my Ohanas keep my Martins company, and my Pineapple Kamaka is like the cousin from Hawaii who stays all summer. :-) I could see liking a Bartitone, wanting to keep playing them, and winding up with a Kamaka as well as a Martin.

What I know now in my dotage that I did not know in my youth is to buy the best I can afford. This limits the UAS-- or at least, when UAS hits I am buying fine instruments.

Just my way.

Thanks for all the advice from everyone--it is very helpful.

coolkayaker1
01-24-2013, 03:46 PM
With John's blessing, and since Thom is going for Martin, I sprung for the Favilla. Grand Canyon crack in the side, not scary...Superglue. And tube of it. It was in great shape, a couple updated tuners...original label and pristine Favilla stamp on headstock.

I'll let you know if I get boned.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 03:49 PM
With John's blessing, and since Thom is going for Martin, I sprung for the Favilla. Grand Canyon crack in the side, not scary...Superglue. And tons of it. It was in great shape, a couple updated tuners...original label and pristine Favilla stamp on headstock.

I'll let you know if I get boned.

Dona Nobis Pacem. I give you my blessing as well--I don't do crack(s.)

Enjoy, and full report.

ichadwick
01-25-2013, 12:53 AM
I have a Pono mahogany (very nice), Lyra (a vintage from the 1960s, very light and loud), and a Bruce Weiart (not bad,but undersized body means the sound is more tenor-like). Plus a Goldtone baritone banjo uke (fun and loud). Love baritone ukes. As a result of playing baritone, I also got a Goldtone tenor acoustic guitar.

mds725
01-25-2013, 05:30 AM
I have a Pono mahogany (very nice), Lyra (a vintage from the 1960s, very light and loud), and a Bruce Weiart (not bad,but undersized body means the sound is more tenor-like). Plus a Goldtone baritone banjo uke (fun and loud). Love baritone ukes. As a result of playing baritone, I also got a Goldtone tenor acoustic guitar.

As a result of playing baritones, I also got myself a tenor guitar - a Blueridge BT-40T.

coolkayaker1
01-25-2013, 05:34 AM
As a result of playing baritones, I also got myself a tenor guitar - a Blueridge BT-40T.

You've just jumped the shark.;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

mds725
01-25-2013, 05:36 AM
You've just jumped the shark.;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

Ayyyyyyyyyyy!

Actually, the Blueridge was just the beginning. I also bought this electric tenor guitar, which is comprised of a stratocaster body with a tenor guitar neck. I jumped the orca.

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