PDA

View Full Version : Baritone Comparo



lambchop
01-26-2013, 04:50 PM
Which sounds better, the vintage Harmony baritone or the Luna zebra wood baritone. Both have the same string set tuned hi-D, playing pretty much the same stuff. I'm trying to turn this into a poll - first time for doing that - so we'll see if that works.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRRSLH4pk4s

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 05:02 PM
Baritone newbie, here. But I thought they were very pleasing, both, and actually sounded close in tone. What strings?

lambchop
01-26-2013, 05:14 PM
Baritone newbie, here. But I thought they were very pleasing, both, and actually sounded close in tone. What strings?

Yeah - the Harmony sounds a little more lively to me, but harder to keep in tune (although way better than when I got it). I'm using two high e strings and the g and the b from two sets of D'Adario Pro Arte classical guitar strings. I use one e as the high d at the top and use the other e as the high e at the bottom. Leaves me with nylon g and b, and a bunch of wound strings that have no purpose.

Paul December
01-26-2013, 05:25 PM
They sound the same to me, with the Luna projecting more.

coolkayaker1
01-26-2013, 05:39 PM
They sound the same.

Paul December
01-26-2013, 05:45 PM
They sound the same.

After all these uke comparisons I'm starting to think all ukes sound the same! :p

coolkayaker1
01-26-2013, 05:48 PM
I agree. Even the laminates. I think the differences, except in price, are exaggerated.

Dan Uke
01-26-2013, 06:55 PM
I agree. Even the laminates. I think the differences, except in price, are exaggerated.

Agree but those subtle differences is why people pay the big bucks. For instance, is getting consistent sustain, volume, great intonation up to the 12th fret, 15th, or even 17th fret really worth paying significantly more?

lambchop
01-26-2013, 07:11 PM
They sound the same to me, with the Luna projecting more.

I actually think the Harmony has a greater clarity to it, as well as projection, but I do like the Luna. I know Harmony was the cheap one of its day, but that real mahogany really mellowed and added something. Get one ten years younger through or another from the same era and it does not sound as sweet. i was really surprised by the Luna, though, as it has a lot of umpfh from the soundhole.

Patrick Madsen
01-26-2013, 07:16 PM
I've been looking at Glen Rose' bari site on Jazz chord shapes. He plays a Riptide from Boulder Creek instruments. It looks like they're around the same price. LC with your skills, I'd take a look a baris a step up from the Harmony and Luna.

Cheaper ukes may sound the same but they don't play the same imo. The slimmer necks, better intonation and and all around better quality makes the difference.

lambchop
01-26-2013, 07:25 PM
I've been looking at Glen Rose' bari site on Jazz chord shapes. He plays a Riptide from Boulder Creek instruments. It looks like they're around the same price. LC with your skills, I'd take a look a baris a step up from the Harmony and Luna.

Cheaper ukes may sound the same but they don't play the same imo. The slimmer necks, better intonation and and all around better quality makes the difference.

Thanks for the compliment. I have thought about trying out a Pono or maybe even a Kamaka - I love my Kamaka tenor and I know i"d be really happy with their bari. I do have to say that I had a Riptide tenor and loved it - so sorry I sold it (and for almost nothing). But that harmony, which is my friends (and she will not sell it to me) really has a wonderful tone - reminds me of a Kamaka in how it just comes out of the soundhole with so much punch and clarity. I never thought it would sound like that. Glad my friend is going to let me use it to record. Mike

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 08:09 PM
Yeah - the Harmony sounds a little more lively to me, but harder to keep in tune (although way better than when I got it). I'm using two high e strings and the g and the b from two sets of D'Adario Pro Arte classical guitar strings. I use one e as the high d at the top and use the other e as the high e at the bottom. Leaves me with nylon g and b, and a bunch of wound strings that have no purpose.

Do you use the normal tension D'Arios: these? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013PVWCQ/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0002H0JYS&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=01ASGR3MJ62R513XN4AQ

lambchop
01-27-2013, 02:33 AM
Do you use the normal tension D'Arios: these? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013PVWCQ/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0002H0JYS&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=01ASGR3MJ62R513XN4AQ

Yes, those are the ones. Normal tension. The work fine.

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 08:44 AM
Great playing and they both sound decent but honestly a YouTube video is pretty useless for real comparisons. No recording ever captures the full nuance of an instrument but YouTube will turn even a super recording into pretty nondescript mush with their compression and processing. SoundCloud is slightly better in that they don't seem to do any additional compression/processing of the clips that are uploaded.

This looks to have been recorded by an in-camera (or in web-camera) microphone, then uploaded on YouTube. By the time the auto-leveling in the camera does its job, then YouTube does their processing, I'd venture to say that neither of these sounds anywhere near as good in the recording as it does in person. In fact, if you'd played a Mya Moe it would have sounded about the same in the recording, honestly. That's not because the Harmony or Luna are anywhere near in the league of a Mya Moe, but because the camera/microphone can't capture much of the difference to begin with - and any difference they do capture is then lost to YouTube.

If I were going to always play my instruments through the "filter" of YouTube I would never have any reason to own anything other than one well set up Makala Dolphin. Since I play primarily for the joy it brings to my ears in the real world - I own a bunch of moderate to expensive ukes and no Dolphins... :)

John

lambchop
01-27-2013, 02:22 PM
Great playing and they both sound decent but honestly a YouTube video is pretty useless for real comparisons. No recording ever captures the full nuance of an instrument but YouTube will turn even a super recording into pretty nondescript mush with their compression and processing. SoundCloud is slightly better in that they don't seem to do any additional compression/processing of the clips that are uploaded.

This looks to have been recorded by an in-camera (or in web-camera) microphone, then uploaded on YouTube. By the time the auto-leveling in the camera does its job, then YouTube does their processing, I'd venture to say that neither of these sounds anywhere near as good in the recording as it does in person. In fact, if you'd played a Mya Moe it would have sounded about the same in the recording, honestly. That's not because the Harmony or Luna are anywhere near in the league of a Mya Moe, but because the camera/microphone can't capture much of the difference to begin with - and any difference they do capture is then lost to YouTube.

If I were going to always play my instruments through the "filter" of YouTube I would never have any reason to own anything other than one well set up Makala Dolphin. Since I play primarily for the joy it brings to my ears in the real world - I own a bunch of moderate to expensive ukes and no Dolphins... :)

John

Well, John, I really do appreciate your point but I must respectfully disagree, and I do mean respectfully because you and I are on the same page so often and I really do learn a lot from your posts. And, indeed, I think you are correct in that Youtube saps sound quality, as it is low fi -- add to that who knows what people are using to listen to it (tinny phone speaker, computer speakers with sub, run through the aux of a nice stereo system, whatever).

But all that notwithstanding, I believe the difference between the two will be revealed to some extent. I recorded that on my iPhone 4 and was actually amazed at how good the sound was for that kind of set up. Also, the video does mimic - not truly, but somewhat - the same difference I hear when playing them live, so I think the difference can be revealed in even a lo-fi comparison like this. Maybe I'm wrong - that may just be my ear plus my knowledge of the actual sound.

One of my most popular videos, a comparison between the TC electronic analog simulation delay and the Carbon Copy real analog delay, has gotten about 14,000 or so hits and seems that people are hearing the difference among those two (although my point with that video is that while there is a difference, the TC does a pretty good job of analog simulation). That video, by the way, was done on a cheap Samsung low def video camera, same as lots of my other videos.

As to what ukulele to record to YouTube with, my stuff always sounds better on the Kamaka than on my Cordoba, so I think there is something that even the lo-fi of YouTube can tend to capture.

A great discussion, John, and, again, please understand that I very much respect your thoughts and your ears but I just disagree as to YouTube's value in such comparisons.

All the best,

Mike

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 03:40 PM
Hey Mike, I'm not thin-skinned, honest. :) And you have a point, there is some difference that you can tell even in a YouTube video. The point I was trying to make (but obviously did a poor job of it) was more to the folks who keep saying "gee, I can't hear any difference between a (insert name of expensive uke) and a (insert inexpensive uke) on these videos so I might as well get the inexpensive uke." I guess I should have quoted the posts I was actually responding too, that might have made it more obvious what I was driving at.

And that point is, of course, that IRL when you're holding the instrument in your hands, or even if you're just in the same room with someone who is playing it, there is often a world of difference that is simply too subtle to survive the recording medium and YouTube's tender mercies.

I never meant to imply that we shouldn't shoot videos, etc. (I think I've got somewhere around 40 up myself and a couple are comparisons).

It's just that recently I've seen in several threads where the kind of "dangerous" idea that there isn't a difference between a really good uke and a more mediocre one keeps popping up. Maybe they're just doing it to twist my tail. LOL

John

lambchop
01-27-2013, 04:47 PM
Hey Mike, I'm not thin-skinned, honest. :) And you have a point, there is some difference that you can tell even in a YouTube video. The point I was trying to make (but obviously did a poor job of it) was more to the folks who keep saying "gee, I can't hear any difference between a (insert name of expensive uke) and a (insert inexpensive uke) on these videos so I might as well get the inexpensive uke." I guess I should have quoted the posts I was actually responding too, that might have made it more obvious what I was driving at.

And that point is, of course, that IRL when you're holding the instrument in your hands, or even if you're just in the same room with someone who is playing it, there is often a world of difference that is simply too subtle to survive the recording medium and YouTube's tender mercies.

I never meant to imply that we shouldn't shoot videos, etc. (I think I've got somewhere around 40 up myself and a couple are comparisons).

It's just that recently I've seen in several threads where the kind of "dangerous" idea that there isn't a difference between a really good uke and a more mediocre one keeps popping up. Maybe they're just doing it to twist my tail. LOL

John

I'm sorry for the misunderstanding on my part. I agree, there is a big difference, even in just things like feel. To me holding my kamaka is like holding a old school Martin or guild guitar. Everything about a fine instrument exudes that quality that no one can capture without the requisite materials and craftsmanship.

pdxuke
02-01-2013, 02:06 PM
Reviving this to say I ordered some different Bari string sets from Southcoast, but picked up some DiAddario guitar strings and did the two set method to try re-entrant dGBE tuning.
LOVE LOVE LOVE it.:love:
Muddy bass gone.
Now I need a better uke, because with those booming bass notes gone you can hear the quality of the instrument much more :-)

Thanks for the tip!