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View Full Version : Favilla Baritone : Like no other baritone or uke



Doc_J
03-15-2014, 11:44 AM
A recently arrived Favilla baritone uke has impressed the heck out of me.
I didn't have new baritone strings yet (...still in the mail). So, I left on the old strings it came with, that I guess are old crystal nylon Martins.

So, it settled in and wow, it sounds terrific even with these old strings, very warm. Have a listen to it on this sound sample recorded today
https://app.box.com/s/h1i9fuxcfemtnh9grs0x

Can't wait to see how it sounds with some new strings on it.

**update ***new Martin M630 (fluorocarbon) strings arrived and installed. Now it sounds even better:
https://app.box.com/s/zsouiktbb40yq8hni7p9

Aside from the great warm sound, it is beautiful. Nicely figured mahogany with I guess Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The bridge looked a little strange. Seems it was designed to compensate without modifying the saddle much. It is taller on the bass end. I've never seen that before on a uke. Odd, but it works. Are all Favilla Baritones like this?

I read that some sources credit Favilla for developing the baritone uke. Not sure how this stacks up against a Martin. But I like it.

A thing about this that really works for me is the 19-inch scale. Plays so much easier than my Kamaka baritone (20 inch scale). It even sounds different than my 20-inch baritone. Anyways, you don't see folks talking much about these Favilla baritones. They are not expensive. But I think this is an amazing baritone. Its going to be my blues uke. Kind of makes me wonder why modern baritones have gone to 20-inch. Any thoughts on that?

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64897&d=1394917918
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64902&d=1394918234
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64900&d=1394918133

igorthebarbarian
03-15-2014, 01:00 PM
Awesome - looks great. Those might be the Martin M630's which are affordable. I think they sound good. I have a vintage 70s Giannini baritone which I really like. Nice to see some bari-love!

Nickie
03-15-2014, 01:08 PM
Wow, it looks great! I bet it sounds even better....yay for baris, we just got our old Harmony back, restrung and setup, we both love it! what a full, rich tone....

Tube
03-15-2014, 01:27 PM
Attractive mahogany and a beautiful shaped body.

CTurner
03-15-2014, 01:47 PM
Hodge, that is quite a sound from that Favilla. Every Favilla I've heard personally has sounded from fine to excellent. I'm really impressed with the style and construction they used. Your baritone looks in wonderful condition. Not sure what to think about that bridge/saddle orientation, but if it feels good in action then they must have figured it out. If I had a choice between a Favilla or a Martin baritone, in equal condition, I would take the Favilla. In my experience they are just a bit more responsive. Good purchase, sir. :)

PhilUSAFRet
03-15-2014, 03:57 PM
Congrats, that is gorgeous.

GASguy
03-15-2014, 04:57 PM
A beautiful looking uke, really nice figure in the mahogany, and it sounds resonant and responsive. Congratulations on a nice acquisition.

Interesting bridge configuration.

coolkayaker1
03-15-2014, 05:14 PM
Hodge, I agree with you. wholeheartedly. I owned a Favilla baritone, before I could really appreciate a baritone instrument. It looked a lot like yours (but mine had many more scratches; but an perfectly intact inner Favilla label, as yours does, too). Agree, it sounded so lovely. Deep and resonant, yet not booming.

I must confess, I was a tad turned off by the thick neck. I have a Mya Moe baritone now (former instrument of respected UU'er Jackwhale) and the neck is considerably thinner.

I put Southcoast re-entrant dGBE on the Favilla just before i sold it on the Bay, and man, it sounded so ideal! I wish I kept it now for my re-entrant bari. I do not own and have never played a Martin baritone, so I look forward to the opinion of others that may have played or owned each.

Cheers, H. Nice post. Nice uke!!

Dan Uke
03-15-2014, 08:06 PM
Hodge, you area really good in picking winners. I really like the sound of your bari.

we tigers
03-16-2014, 06:11 AM
What a great purchase, Hodge! Looks and sounds excellent! Congratulations! You don't come across bari's like that on this side of the pond...

dirtiestkidever
03-16-2014, 06:28 AM
That is a beauty. I have a an older favilla baritone (no soundhole label) and I love it. The wood isn't as pretty as your and it isn't in as good of shape (though it is structurally ok). Whenever I play other bari's they always seem too 'tight' to me for lack of a better word. I didn't know why but perhaps it has to do with the scale length. I have been wanting to get a really nice bari to replace this one but I haven't found anything I like even half as much (though to be fair there are not a lot of baritones in stores to try out).

What other baritones do come in a 19 inch scale?

Doc_J
03-16-2014, 07:20 AM
Thanks everyone for the nice comments.

Yes, Daniel, I've been fortunate on some recent acquisitions of used/vintage ukes.

Aside from the other design details, I believe the 19-inch scale (vs. 20-inch) makes a big difference in playability. Even though the neck is a little on the thick side, it is a joy to play. I suppose the Favilla baritone body must have been designed shorter with the specific neck size in mind to have the bridge at the sweet spot. Another interesting feature is there is a fret marker on the 9th not 10th fret.



...What other baritones do come in a 19 inch scale?

Good question. I'm hoping the new Kinnard Baritone will have a 19-inch scale.

coolkayaker1
03-16-2014, 07:32 AM
Does Kamaka make a "long neck" tenor that is 19 inches?

Oh, and Buko makes a 19 inch baritone.

connor013
03-16-2014, 07:42 AM
What other baritones do come in a 19 inch scale?

Bruko makes a 19" Bari.

dirtiestkidever
03-16-2014, 08:00 AM
The one other bari that i played and liked was a vintage Airline uke ( I think these were made by Harmony). Are Harmony baris 19"?

dickadcock
03-16-2014, 12:29 PM
The one other bari that i played and liked was a vintage Airline uke ( I think these were made by Harmony). Are Harmony baris 19"?

Yup. Good call. The 1962 Harmony has/had a 19 1/4 inch scale & Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, which, along with Mahogany, helps account for its $40 price tag.

Mele advertises a 19 inch scale.

KamakOzzie
03-16-2014, 09:21 PM
Hi Doc, I saw your bridge picture and had to go get mine out to check it. I have the same bridge as you. Never noticed it before. I also have a marker at the ninth fret instead of the tenth.
Mine must be older. It does not have a label, only stamping inside the sound hole. You have hex nuts for your tuners on the peg head where mine are round shoulder washers.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?78923-New-uke-nite!&p=1228233#post1228233
Pix of mine are in post #10.

Bill

strumsilly
03-17-2014, 04:59 AM
Shh. let's keep these Favillas to ourselves. if this get's out they will be as expensive as Martins. I've got an older one , just a hot stamp inside, no label. The body is deeper than my Martin. built light as a feather, sings like an angel, and plays like butter. It is cracked. chipped. and crazed. and the finish has yellowed so much it'd hard to see that nicely grained hog they used. I've got 3 other baris, which I need to sell as I almost always reach for this one over the Pono or Martin, both very nice ukes. Funny, but I never noticed the bridge till the other day, yes, mine is tapered too.I've also got a Favilla soprano, and it sounds great too, and I'm no soprano fan.
LET'S LET THESE FAVILLAS BE OUR LITTLE SECRET, WE NEED TO GET THIS THREAD DELETED!!!

coolkayaker1
03-17-2014, 05:28 AM
kamaozzie, what does the stamp in your sound hole say?

the baris sound hole, not yours.lol

KamakOzzie
03-17-2014, 06:30 AM
what does the stamp in your sound hole say?



Favilla
NEW YORK NY U.S.A.

XXXXXX (sn)


Bill

Doc_J
03-17-2014, 08:42 AM
Hi Doc, I saw your bridge picture and had to go get mine out to check it. I have the same bridge as you. Never noticed it before. I also have a marker at the ninth fret instead of the tenth.
Mine must be older. It does not have a label, only stamping inside the sound hole. You have hex nuts for your tuners on the peg head where mine are round shoulder washers.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?78923-New-uke-nite!&p=1228233#post1228233
Pix of mine are in post #10.

Bill

Bill, I remember when you got that Favilla baritone. That was a great find. Yours is definitely older than mine.
I have no idea how to figure out the build date.
Mine has a serial number 174362.

Andy, you're right, they sure cost a lot less than a Martin. The secret is out. :)

**update ***new Martin M630 (fluorocarbon) strings arrived and installed. Now it sounds even better:
https://app.box.com/s/zsouiktbb40yq8hni7p9

strumsilly
03-17-2014, 02:28 PM
My stamp says:
FAVILLA BROS.
New York, N.Y, USA
649756497664978

coolkayaker1
03-17-2014, 02:35 PM
ooOOOoo, nice, strum. Yours must be older--pre-label, and also your nut looks to be a light color. Nice!

Ukulele Eddie
03-17-2014, 04:21 PM
Wow, I really like it. I have not yet gotten the Bari Bug and would like to develop a bit more, er ah, a LOT more on g/G CEA before I expand my horizons but this is exactly the sort of thing that would make me venture down that path. Enjoy!