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iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 08:05 AM
rather than getting a custom builder to make me
a steel string baritone would it be possible
to buy a child's acoustic guitar and convert it
myself to a steel string baritone? and how would
I go about it if it is possible? btw I have no interest
in getting a tenor guitar I prefer the size of
baritone and scale as well. but I like the sustain
of steel strings and it will cost me A lot
for a custom builder to make me one thinking
this could be more affordable to me.

freewheeler
12-27-2013, 08:37 AM
Hi. I'm only a beginner so I didn't expect to answer your query. However you spiked my interest and I just did a quick look for a suitable children's guitar but to be honest I haven't been able to find one built with the strength to take steel strings. All the one's I found were built with nylon strings. I think you may have to look at the smaller versions of serious adult guitars...traveller guitar???

Lori
12-27-2013, 08:59 AM
I'm not a luthier, but I would think it would be possible to get a regular baritone ukulele, and have the neck and bridge reinforced so it could handle the steel strings.

If you wanted to convert a 6 string child's guitar to a 4 string, you would need to have a new nut and a new bridge, and you might have 2 empty tuning keys that might rattle when not under string tension.

–Lori

SailingUke
12-27-2013, 09:20 AM
Here's a suggestion, buy a set of classical guitar strings.
The EADG are nylon, but wound. (low 4)
Put them on a Baritone and tune GCEA.
You will be an octave low, but you may get the sustain you are looking for.

dhoenisch
12-27-2013, 09:22 AM
I fixed up a couple of those child steel string guitars. They're built ok. Don't sound too great as a guitar, but not horrible either. I would guess you could remove two of the six tuners, re-fashion the nut, fill the holes in the bridge, drill out four new ones, and call it a day.

I was actually going to do that with one I got at a yard sale for $5, with nylon strings though, but than I found a kid who would have liked a guitar, so I kept it as is.

If you do go that route, please post back. And, if I find another one of those guitars, I'm going to give that idea a shot.

Dan

BlackBearUkes
12-27-2013, 09:47 AM
rather than getting a custom builder to make me
a steel string baritone would it be possible
to buy a child's acoustic guitar and convert it
myself to a steel string baritone? and how would
I go about it if it is possible? btw I have no interest
in getting a tenor guitar I prefer the size of
baritone and scale as well. but I like the sustain
of steel strings and it will cost me A lot
for a custom builder to make me one thinking
this could be more affordable to me.

Basically, all you would be doing is removing the two lower octave strings of this small guitar, it is still going to sound like a guitar, not a baritone uke. If that is what you want, go for it. Hope you aren't too disappointed.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 12:13 PM
Here's a suggestion, buy a set of classical guitar strings.
The EADG are nylon, but wound. (low 4)
Put them on a Baritone and tune GCEA.
You will be an octave low, but you may get the sustain you are looking for.

ya but gcea is not the tuning I want
and nylon still has a much different sound
steel is what I'm looking for.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 12:15 PM
I fixed up a couple of those child steel string guitars. They're built ok. Don't sound too great as a guitar, but not horrible either. I would guess you could remove two of the six tuners, re-fashion the nut, fill the holes in the bridge, drill out four new ones, and call it a day.

I was actually going to do that with one I got at a yard sale for $5, with nylon strings though, but than I found a kid who would have liked a guitar, so I kept it as is.

If you do go that route, please post back. And, if I find another one of those guitars, I'm going to give that idea a shot.

Dan
sounds like a plan I may try this thanks!

seonachan
12-27-2013, 12:43 PM
btw I have no interest
in getting a tenor guitar I prefer the size of
baritone and scale as well.

There are some tenor guitars that are small-bodied and short-scale (21"), just a touch over bari uke size. Some of the vintage ones (Regal, Harmony/Supertone) are pretty affordable. Soares'y was converting cheapo baritone ukes to steel strings for a while. There's one up on ebay now (search for "baby tenor acoustic guitar") - NFI on my part.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 01:13 PM
There are some tenor guitars that are small-bodied and short-scale (21"), just a touch over bari uke size. Some of the vintage ones (Regal, Harmony/Supertone) are pretty affordable. Soares'y was converting cheapo baritone ukes to steel strings for a while. There's one up on ebay now (search for "baby tenor acoustic guitar") - NFI on my part.

do u have a contact for soares'y ?
the converted bartitone is more my thing
and actually I've seen baritones around 22"
I just don't like the big body of tenors
I'll check into the converted Bari thanks
for the info :)

mds725
12-27-2013, 01:19 PM
do u have a contact for soares'y ?
the converted bartitone is more my thing
and actually I've seen baritones around 22"
I just don't like the big body of tenors
I'll check into the converted Bari thanks
for the info :)

Both eBay and the Internet have search engines. They're easy to use and usually work really well.
Here's the eBay listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Baby-tenor-acoustic-guitar-made-for-Soaresy-guitars-/331092357664?pt=Guitar&hash=item4d16a47220
here's Mike's website: http://soaresyguitars.com/
BTW, I have a Soares'y electric tenor guitar that looks a lot like the red and white one in the lower left corner of the photo on the website's homepage. He basically buys guitars and replaces the neck, bridge and electronics to accommodate four strings.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 01:32 PM
Both eBay and the Internet have search engines. They're easy to use and usually work really well.
Here's the eBay listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Baby-tenor-acoustic-guitar-made-for-Soaresy-guitars-/331092357664?pt=Guitar&hash=item4d16a47220
here's Mike's website: http://soaresyguitars.com/
BTW, I have a Soares'y electric tenor guitar that looks a lot like the red and white one in the lower left corner of the photo on the website's homepage. He basically buys guitars and replaces the neck, bridge and electronics to accommodate four strings.

thanks a bit snide on the first bit but thanks for the links
anyhow think I'm going to contact this lutheir
I found to just do a custom job.

OldePhart
12-27-2013, 01:47 PM
I have a friend who did that with his daughters childhood 1/2 or 3/4 sized guitar years ago. He didn't do a good job of cutting new slots in the nut (to space the strings evenly across the fretboard). All were high so the intonation was awful - we had a good laugh with it, though.

I think if you take more care cutting the nut you could certainly make one that plays in tune but I'm not sure why you would want to go there. A 3/4 size steel-string guitar strung as a uke is still going to sound like a guitar. You might as well keep all six strings and have the extended bass range that goes with them.

I guess if you made it reentrant instead of linear it might have a slightly more ukish sound but it's going to be like the steel string electric ukes - sounding closer to a guitar than a uke.


John

seonachan
12-27-2013, 01:54 PM
do u have a contact for soares'y ?
the converted bartitone is more my thing
and actually I've seen baritones around 22"
I just don't like the big body of tenors
I'll check into the converted Bari thanks
for the info :)

http://soaresyguitars.com/

There's an email link on the front page (along with a pic of a converted bari)

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 02:06 PM
I have a friend who did that with his daughters childhood 1/2 or 3/4 sized guitar years ago. He didn't do a good job of cutting new slots in the nut (to space the strings evenly across the fretboard). All were high so the intonation was awful - we had a good laugh with it, though.

I think if you take more care cutting the nut you could certainly make one that plays in tune but I'm not sure why you would want to go there. A 3/4 size steel-string guitar strung as a uke is still going to sound like a guitar. You might as well keep all six strings and have the extended bass range that goes with them.

I guess if you made it reentrant instead of linear it might have a slightly more ukish sound but it's going to be like the steel string electric ukes - sounding closer to a guitar than a uke.


John

I have a konablaster steel string electric
baritone and I love it. I want to go there
because frankly I suck at guitar and feel more
comfortable with a baritone uke as my main instrument
I like the idea of having a traditional nylon string acoustic
and an electric steel string but would also like that
steel string acoustic baritone for that sound. if there
is like a mini or baby tenor guitar with a small body
I would be happy with that but so far they all seem
to have big dreadnaught style bodies I prefer the smaller
size. I'll keep searching I guess. I'd contact
money wrench but their prices are beyond my
means.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 02:07 PM
http://soaresyguitars.com/

There's an email link on the front page (along with a pic of a converted bari)
thank you! this is it! found it thank you thank you!

KnowsPickin
12-27-2013, 03:57 PM
If you are looking for a steel strung baritone uke, what you are actully looking for is a tenor guitar. Here is a link to an Elderly Instruments page.
http://elderly.com/new_instruments/cats/80N.htm

katysax
12-27-2013, 04:17 PM
I've tried using a tenor guitar as a steel string baritone uke and it was not a very positive experience. Tenor guitars have guitar sized neck scales - they are longer and thinner. Also they are designed to be tuned CGDA like a tenor banjo. They don't do very well when tuned to DGBE. I think you might be more successful with a short-scale tenor guitar. There are now a few options. Here are a couple:

http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/Guitars/ozark-tenor-guitar.htm
http://www.fletcherinstruments.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Roberts-Guitars-Ukuleles/158169180880042
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/BR40T.htm

The key would be to get a short scale tenor. The old Regals and SS Stewarts has short scales too. It's still a little longer than a Baritone uke, but should allow you to use a Baritone uke tuning.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 04:38 PM
If you are looking for a steel strung baritone uke, what you are actully looking for is a tenor guitar. Here is a link to an Elderly Instruments page.
http://elderly.com/new_instruments/cats/80N.htm

but i already said im NOT looking for a tenor guitar.
I do not like the size of the body its to large.
I know steel string acoustic speciality baritones exist
there are two companies that make them one is monkey wrench...
but their too expensive.

iamesperambient
12-27-2013, 04:41 PM
I've tried using a tenor guitar as a steel string baritone uke and it was not a very positive experience. Tenor guitars have guitar sized neck scales - they are longer and thinner. Also they are designed to be tuned CGDA like a tenor banjo. They don't do very well when tuned to DGBE. I think you might be more successful with a short-scale tenor guitar. There are now a few options. Here are a couple:

http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/Guitars/ozark-tenor-guitar.htm
http://www.fletcherinstruments.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Roberts-Guitars-Ukuleles/158169180880042
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/BR40T.htm

The key would be to get a short scale tenor. The old Regals and SS Stewarts has short scales too. It's still a little longer than a Baritone uke, but should allow you to use a Baritone uke tuning.

short scale tenor guitar may work i think. I thikn nothing bigger than 21 or 22" scale and a smaller
sized body like a baritone i dont like the big over sized bodies i have seen of the tenor guitars its basiucally
a full sized body guitar with a skinny neck and 4 strings, i also dont liek the thin neck. I just want a tenor guitar
basically deisgned like a baritone uke if that makes any sense. I know it exists ive seen them around.

ScooterD35
12-28-2013, 03:47 AM
Search high an low for a used Martin 5-15 (I own own one but wouldn't sell it for any money), if you can find one it should run you around $750 or so.

Here are the specs and some pictures:

http://www.laguitarsales.com/pages/4388/Martin_5-15.htm

Then you need an exceptional luthier, preferably authorized for Martin repairs, to remove the neck and bridge, strip the finish off of the body, fill the bridge pin holes, make an all new neck from scratch as well as a new smaller bridge, finish the body and neck, and then put it all together with new bridge pin holes, proper scale length, string spacing, etc...

I figure the mods would cost the same, or maybe a bit more, as the guitar itself but in the end you would have a damn fine Martin Baritone steel-string ukulele for around $1500 - $2000.

Alternately, you might just contact a Martin dealer and get a quote for a custom, steel-string baritone Uke in the first place. As long as you stick with the 15 series simplicity, I would imagine the street price would come in at around the same $1500 or so.


Scooter

mr roper
12-28-2013, 04:02 AM
Southcoast has metal uke strings but Dirk doesn't recommend G tuning. Of course he really doesn't recommend key of G on baritone anyway.

Barbablanca
12-28-2013, 04:24 AM
I have a baritone ukulele converted to use steel strings. I just put a new heel on it and passed the strings through the bridge so it now became simply a bridge and not the end point for the strings too. The result is really effective. Here it is in action (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jXBjUsFoyg).

I currently have it tuned CGDA because it has half a set of mandola strings on it and I like 5th tunings too, because I am familiar with the chord shapes.

The original "donor" instrument was a Hora Baritone. Scroll down on this page (http://www.hora.ro/other_ethno_instruments.html) to see their ukes. Don't get too excited about the prices, they are wholesale prices. I got mine for less than those because at the time we did a bulk buy between a few friends and there was no official Hora dealer in Catalonia or Spain.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 04:43 AM
Southcoast has metal uke strings but Dirk doesn't recommend G tuning. Of course he really doesn't recommend key of G on baritone anyway.

I was considering buying their strings until i read their crazy string rants and opinions on the site. I love G tuning really don't care what anyone thinks im used to the sound and its what i use for my music (could care less what anything thinks). I really dont have a desire to buy strings for a different tuning. I can play guitar, bass, uke, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, keys, etc i can play enough instruments if i need another sound i'll just get another instrument never really understood the whole guitarists using different tunings thing, every time i wanted a new sound id just get a new instrument and learn it.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 04:45 AM
Search high an low for a used Martin 5-15 (I own own one but wouldn't sell it for any money), if you can find one it should run you around $750 or so.

Here are the specs and some pictures:

http://www.laguitarsales.com/pages/4388/Martin_5-15.htm

Then you need an exceptional luthier, preferably authorized for Martin repairs, to remove the neck and bridge, strip the finish off of the body, fill the bridge pin holes, make an all new neck from scratch as well as a new smaller bridge, finish the body and neck, and then put it all together with new bridge pin holes, proper scale length, string spacing, etc...

I figure the mods would cost the same, or maybe a bit more, as the guitar itself but in the end you would have a damn fine Martin Baritone steel-string ukulele for around $1500 - $2000.

Alternately, you might just contact a Martin dealer and get a quote for a custom, steel-string baritone Uke in the first place. As long as you stick with the 15 series simplicity, I would imagine the street price would come in at around the same $1500 or so.


Scooter

Ya thats a bit steep in price for me. But i'll
keep looking.

hmgberg
12-28-2013, 04:45 AM
I, too, was going to recommend a tenor guitar. I got an old Stella for a friend. It's body was the size of a baritone ukulele.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 04:48 AM
I, too, was going to recommend a tenor guitar. I got an old Stella for a friend. It's body was the size of a baritone ukulele.

ya im seeing vintage ones with smaller bodies the only thing i dont like is the skinny neck
which i can get used to from playing mandolin and banjo but i'll be honest i feel most
comfortable in general with a baritone ukulele, look size and feel over all.
Especially the neck.

ScooterD35
12-28-2013, 05:27 AM
Actually, a quick search found videos of a custom modern Martin 5-15T tenor. It would be as simple as tuning it to DGBE.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tS0Z_YrO-dM


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BqGF0veAQ18


Scooter

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 05:27 AM
ya im seeing vintage ones with smaller bodies the only thing i dont like is the skinny neck
which i can get used to from playing mandolin and banjo but i'll be honest i feel most
comfortable in general with a baritone ukulele, look size and feel over all.
Especially the neck.

i think i'll go with finding a harmony tenor guitar they seem to
have more uke like properties and an affordable price.
first i need to get a harmony baritone though first on my list now.

mr roper
12-28-2013, 05:27 AM
It's a little unfair to call Dirk's discussions "rants". He's put a lot of thought into his string opinions.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 05:28 AM
Actually, a quick search found a video of a custom modern Martin 5-15T tenor. It would be as simple as tuning it to DGBE.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tS0Z_YrO-dM


Scooter

thats pretty nice. i think i saw this video actually before.
I love martin (i used to own a martin soprano but i sold it when i lost my job years back)
their just so pricey for my low paid salary.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 05:30 AM
It's a little unfair to call Dirk's discussions "rants". He's put a lot of thought into his string opinions.

I agree he does put a lot into it from what i read and a lot of thought into unique strings.
Although i find it unfair to dismiss G tuning, theres tons of people out there like me
who prefer baritone ukes in G tuning as their main instrument and kind unfair
not to make a string for it or to support it. I think he should have strings for all types
of tunings (including standard). Not everyone wants to play their baritones in alt tunings.

mr roper
12-28-2013, 05:54 AM
I agree he does put a lot into it from what i read and a lot of thought into unique strings.
Although i find it unfair to dismiss G tuning, theres tons of people out there like me
who prefer baritone ukes in G tuning as their main instrument and kind unfair
not to make a string for it or to support it. I think he should have strings for all types
of tunings (including standard). Not everyone wants to play their baritones in alt tunings.

I agree. I wish Dirk would offer a set of tie on strings tensioned for baritone G tuning even if he doesn't think that's best for optimum sound.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:00 AM
I agree. I wish Dirk would offer a set of tie on strings tensioned for baritone G tuning even if he doesn't think that's best for optimum sound.

right just because HE doesn't think its the best doesn't mean he won't have customers who do enjoy it's sound
and really should offer all kinds of strings. It's kind of rude to assume what YOU think is best and to avoid
something just simply because you don't like it.

mds725
12-28-2013, 06:07 AM
Here are a few photos for comparing baritone ukuleles and tenor guitars. For what it's worth, the tenor guitar and the CR steel string baritone sound very similar.

This photo is of my Kamaka baritone (nylon string) and my Compass Rose steel string baritone. The CR has a wider body (borrowed from "jumbo" shaped guitars), but the scale lengths and neck widths are similar.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62401&d=1388250283


This photo is of my Blueridge BR-40T tenor guitar and my CR steel string baritone. The tenor guitar has a clearly larger body, although it's scale length is only an inch or so longer than the scale length of the CR.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62402&d=1388250284



The third photo is of the Blueridge (top) and CR (bottom) necks. The tenor guitar's fretboard is thinner, and the space between strings is smaller.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62403&d=1388250285

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:10 AM
Here are a few photos for comparing baritone ukuleles and tenor guitars. For what it's worth, the tenor guitar and the CR steel string baritone sound very similar.

This photo is of my Kamaka baritone (nylon string) and my Compass Rose steel string baritone. The CR has a wider body (borrowed from "jumbo" shaped guitars), but the scale lengths and neck widths are similar.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62401&d=1388250283


This photo is of my Blueridge BR-40T tenor guitar and my CR steel string baritone. The tenor guitar has a clearly larger body, although it's scale length is only an inch or so longer than the scale length of the CR.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62402&d=1388250284



The third photo is of the Blueridge (top) and CR (bottom) necks. The tenor guitar's fretboard is thinner, and the space between strings is smaller.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62403&d=1388250285

ya see thats the thing, the bigger body i can't get behind and the smaller neck.
I'm very envious of your steel string acoustic baritone. I'd love to hear some sound
samples of it.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:11 AM
Here are a few photos for comparing baritone ukuleles and tenor guitars. For what it's worth, the tenor guitar and the CR steel string baritone sound very similar.

This photo is of my Kamaka baritone (nylon string) and my Compass Rose steel string baritone. The CR has a wider body (borrowed from "jumbo" shaped guitars), but the scale lengths and neck widths are similar.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62401&d=1388250283


This photo is of my Blueridge BR-40T tenor guitar and my CR steel string baritone. The tenor guitar has a clearly larger body, although it's scale length is only an inch or so longer than the scale length of the CR.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62402&d=1388250284



The third photo is of the Blueridge (top) and CR (bottom) necks. The tenor guitar's fretboard is thinner, and the space between strings is smaller.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62403&d=1388250285

also envious of your kamaka you must be a true baller to afford these quality instruments.
It makes me realize how poor i am haha

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:25 AM
also envious of your kamaka you must be a true baller to afford these quality instruments.
It makes me realize how poor i am haha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxaRlYspiC4

well this is cool!

mds725
12-28-2013, 06:52 AM
Here's a comparison of two nylon string baritone ukuleles (a Pono and a Makai) and a Blueridge BR-40T steel string tenor guitar.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iXztZXiPIo

And here's a guy who put steel strings on his Pono baritone ukulele. This would probably overstress the instrument over any serious amount of time, being that steel strings have higher tension than nylon string, but if offers a sense of what a steel string Pono baritone might sound like.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li7bosZH9bM

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:55 AM
Here's a comparison of two nylon string baritone ukuleles (a Pono and a Makai) and a Blueridge BR-40T steel string tenor guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iXztZXiPIo

ya i've seen this. not so much a question of sound for me,
but more about neck and body size.

iamesperambient
12-28-2013, 06:14 PM
ya i've seen this. not so much a question of sound for me,
but more about neck and body size.

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

hmmm would it be possible to find a larger scale tiple and tune it to ddggbbee and have an steel 8 string baritone uke or short scale 8 string tenor guitar whatever? that may be a cool idea.