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View Full Version : 20" v. 19" baritone



chuck in ny
08-11-2014, 05:07 PM
would anyone care to comment on playing preferences, advantages and disadvantages, between baritone scales?

Jim Hanks
08-11-2014, 05:17 PM
I really prefer 19". It's just more comfortable to me. Less finger stretch on the lower frets. The only disadvantage to 19" that I can think of is that there aren't many to choose him. Bruko is the only new one I know of except for some "long scale tenor" like Mele and Kamaka (I think). Lots of vintage baris were made in 19" though. There must be some advantage to 20" since it is the new standard so I'm curious to see the other responses.

chuck in ny
08-11-2014, 05:27 PM
jim

i am playing a koloa 20" scale and not only the full scale but a large body. it does have very nice mahogany tone,, but i would prefer tighter frets. thanks for the comments.

Jim Hanks
08-11-2014, 05:34 PM
If you want to get a feel for 19" scale just put a capo at the first fret or your koloa. I did that with my first bari, a Lanikai laminate mahogany, and it was enough to convince me to get the Bruko.

Doc_J
08-11-2014, 05:39 PM
I really prefer the 19-inch scale baritone. I've got an old Favilla baritone that has great tone and is 19-inch scale.
The 19-inch scale also has lower tension than a 20-inch scale, if that is a preference. Easier to reach some chords on the shorter scale.

tangimango
08-11-2014, 10:38 PM
I prefer 19 scale as well before a 20

Teek
08-13-2014, 06:48 AM
+1 for the 19". I have an old Giannini that is 19" and a Tacoma Papoose short scale travel guitar that is 19.25". My Martin bari is 20" and it is a harder stretch, so my reach can be a fret shorter. The advantage would be my guess a touch deeper sound.

jcricket
08-13-2014, 01:59 PM
I am a rank beginner. I can barely spell ukulele. However, I do own a Lanikai LU-21b. I picked it over the others at the store because it sounded richest and cleanest to me. That isn't much to offer, but hopefully it will give some value.
Mark

Patrick Madsen
08-13-2014, 02:05 PM
It doesn't make a difference for me. As long as the neck is thin, fast and has a low action; it'll work.

chuck in ny
08-14-2014, 03:27 AM
i received a reply from tekla at kamaka. she spoke with casey who recommended the long neck tenor be strung low G and fitted with baritone strings would have a different sound than the baritone.
i don't think i would get creative with this one. whatever the factory recommends.

strumsilly
08-14-2014, 04:23 AM
I really prefer the 19-inch scale baritone. I've got an old Favilla baritone that has great tone and is 19-inch scale.
The 19-inch scale also has lower tension than a 20-inch scale, if that is a preference. Easier to reach some chords on the shorter scale.
me too, I like the 19 inch scale so much I bought a 2nd Favilla , so I now have 1 tuned G and one C. I paid 2x as much for my 2nd one, but it is in much better shape than the first. I've been through a lot of nice baritones, Martin, Gibson, an older pono that had a 21 inch scale, and I still have a AG Vega with a 21.5 inch scale. I really prefer playing my Favillas, and my Koaloha tenor. I really like the neck on the Favilla,it's thick,almost a v shape at the nut, but comfy, and the body is smaller and deeper, and I love the tone , the light build, and the simple understated looks.. I also have a Favilla soprano that is nice, but doesn't get much play as I prefer the tenors and bari. I probably should sell it.

Down Up Dick
08-14-2014, 11:38 AM
My Ohana has a 20" scale, and it's a stretch for me. I have medium hands I guess, and some chords even on a tenor are a bit of a stretch for me. That's why I like concerts so much.

sam13
08-14-2014, 11:47 AM
I am waiting on a Pro Classic Pono Baritone and will string it with Mahana's ... I would like to use a South Coast string ... but Dirk doesn't have a Baritone string ... he did suggest another stringing ... anyone have suggestions on a SC set for Baritone?

strumsilly
08-14-2014, 12:14 PM
I am waiting on a Pro Classic Pono Baritone and will string it with Mahana's ... I would like to use a South Coast string ... but Dirk doesn't have a Baritone string ... he did suggest another stringing ... anyone have suggestions on a SC set for Baritone?
you could use his HL_SW . I like his flatwound basses, but they are expensive. I have been happy with the Martin M630 set, about $5.

Patrick Madsen
08-14-2014, 01:00 PM
His classical metals if you want a steel string sound tuned to Bb or his HL-SW's tuned to a G or an A. I have his classical metals on now and they are incredible. They're thin and take getting used too. ALso had on a set of his HL-SW's another great sounding string. So far, Southcoast has the best string for me.

Jim Hanks
08-14-2014, 01:15 PM
i received a reply from tekla at kamaka. she spoke with casey who recommended the long neck tenor be strung low G and fitted with baritone strings would have a different sound than the baritone.
i don't think i would get creative with this one. whatever the factory recommends.
Hmm, low G with baritone strings is going to be pretty high tension I would think since baritone strings would normally be tuned down to low D. Interesting.

sam13
08-14-2014, 02:39 PM
you could use his HL_SW . I like his flatwound basses, but they are expensive. I have been happy with the Martin M630 set, about $5.

I am using SC wound 3 and 4th strings on my tenor and really like them. I don't care if the string is a little more expensive ... looking for something that provides wonderful tone, and hours of enjoyment. I am newbie so i won't be too hard on them. Thanks for the advice.

sam13
08-14-2014, 02:41 PM
His classical metals if you want a steel string sound tuned to Bb or his HL-SW's tuned to a G or an A. I have his classical metals on now and they are incredible. They're thin and take getting used too. ALso had on a set of his HL-SW's another great sounding string. So far, Southcoast has the best string for me.

Thanks for the suggestion ... so, on the tuning ... why do people tune it differently than standard tuning? Could it be they just like the sound better? Or they have a lower or higher singing voice and like the key better?

I plan on using it eventually with my jazz quartet ... so kind of think I should stick with the standard tuning ... but I am open to hearing about it.

Patrick Madsen
08-14-2014, 03:16 PM
Dirk says it best in his tips:http://www.southcoastukes.com/tips.htm ALot of it is the resonance of the instrument. Different scale lengths sound (resonate) better in a different key. Most of the old jazz standards and tunes of yesteryear were written in Bb because they played with brass and woodwind instruments. According to Dirk,Baritones resonate best in Bb. They are tuned DBGE because initially they were designed for kids to learn guitar. Dirk explains it much better than I can.

connor013
08-14-2014, 04:46 PM
I am waiting on a Pro Classic Pono Baritone and will string it with Mahana's ... I would like to use a South Coast string ... but Dirk doesn't have a Baritone string ... he did suggest another stringing ... anyone have suggestions on a SC set for Baritone?

Sam, check out SC's HU-NW -- hands down my favorite string set for any size. Re-entrant baritone tuning doesn't get the love it should; it's excellent!

studemobile
12-20-2014, 05:38 PM
If I,m not mistaken the Stagg Bari has a 19.5" scale. solid top, laminated sides and back. Also the Bruce Wei has a 19" scale. Any other production Baritone ukuleles with a less than 20" scale?
Stu

Jim Hanks
12-20-2014, 06:09 PM
I've already mentioned the Bruko earlier in the thread. My custom electric Blue Star Guitar Konablaster is also 19" and cost less then the Bruko.

Rakelele
12-20-2014, 08:13 PM
There's also a new Kanile'a super tenor model with a 19" scale that could be tuned like a baritone, discussed in this thread:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?101506-New-Long-Neck-Super-Tenor-from-Kanile-a-via-HMS

ichadwick
12-21-2014, 01:01 PM
Baritones are even made in 21" scale - I believe the Pono is 21". I seem to recall the Supra short-scale electric guitar was also 21"...

iDavid
12-21-2014, 08:53 PM
Pono is 20 and 1/8

Kinnard is 19 and 1/2, I bet that would bet just perfect!

NewKid
12-21-2014, 09:33 PM
Kinnard standard baritone is 19 7/8" but he's making me one with just 19".

iDavid
12-22-2014, 01:23 AM
Kinnard standard baritone is 19 7/8" but he's making me one with just 19".

Guess I was off a bit. I didn't know he would adjust the scale, great service.

Rakelele
12-23-2014, 10:09 PM
I'm confused now: Will a shorter scale (say 19") have higher or lower string tension? The scale on my Kanile'a baritone is 515 mm (a bit over 20"), and the one thing I dislike about it is that all the strings I have been trying sound and feel rather "floppy" on it.

DownUpDave
12-23-2014, 10:51 PM
I'm confused now: Will a shorter scale (say 19") have higher or lower string tension? The scale on my Kanile'a baritone is 515 mm (a bit over 20"), and the one thing I dislike about it is that all the strings I have been trying sound and feel rather "floppy" on it.

It is my understanding that the longer the scale length the higher the tension on the string must be to pull it up to tune. This is why the very same model string gets larger in diameter as you go from soprano to concert to tenor. But different types of strings will feel different under your fingers. Most Aquilas feel floppy to me compared to florocarbon. Different tunings make a difference going from DGBE (floppy feeling) to the South Coast prefered F A# D G feels much firmer.

Jim Hanks
12-24-2014, 03:53 AM
right, shorter scale will have lower tension. If your strings are too floppy, try some different ones or tune the ones you have up a half-step or two and see if you like that better. FWIW, I had the Living Water unwound baritone set on a 20+" Lanikai and I thought they felt just fine. Currently, I have my 19" Bruko strung with the Living Water low G tenor set tuned up a step to EAC#F# and that also feels good.