Good-sounding laminate baritone?

greenfrog

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Ukuleles I have had:
  • Kala Makala MK-T tenor a decade ago. It always sounded dull/muffled and wasn’t much fun to play, so I didn’t.
  • Lanikai LUTU-21B baritone found used in a music shop. Incredible sound, it just sang - projected really well with a beautiful rich tone that sounded better even than the other more expensive baritones in the store
Sadly a luthier has told me that the neck on the Lanikai is warped badly enough that the (very high) action cannot be lowered, and that I should be considering a new instrument

I definitely want my next baritone to be laminate too - I will be doing some moving/traveling for work, and I can’t be sure I’ll always be able to find a ukulele-sitter who will be scrupulous about humidification. So laminate it is. But I know sound quality varies widely with laminates. I don’t want to end up with something dull/muted like my first ukulele.

The thing I loved about the Lanikai was how well it sings/resonates/projects, and the fact that it does so evenly across its range - it also has strong clear high notes that aren’t dominated/drowned out by its lovely baritone low notes.

I don’t know if that kind of sound something I can reliably expect from other Lanikai baritones (some on YouTube don’t sound like that) or if mine was just a lucky find.

What brands/models of laminate baritone ukuleles would you recommend for that kind of sound?

(Currently in the US, so brands available here would be easiest. I no longer live near a store with multiple baritones, so will probably buy online from a reputable seller like Elderly or Sweetwater, but buying without hearing/playing the instrument is making me nervous.)
 
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bbkobabe

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I'd avoid Oscar Schmidt... I have one and it's not too great

I have turned a tenor into a baritone by using Baby Baritone strings I got from Strings by Mail... Super fun! Cheap too if you have a tenor already.

Then you can save up for something nicer for a while...

For me, it's my beloved Pono MB- ... Not a laminate, but as sweet as can be...

Have fun shopping!
 

MarTay6

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I would definitely consider a Kala KA-ZCT-B Baritone Ukulele- you can hear it being played here:
Under $300.00- and is a Zircote laminate.
 

greenfrog

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…thinking maybe it’s not time to upgrade yet after all.

After looking at a lot of baritones on YouTube, I realized that I really like mine. And then I kind of… had a sudden urge to give it a hug before I put it back in its case tonight.*

The action isn’t that bad unless I try to bar past the 5th/6th fret, and as a new(ish) player I don’t have much reason to do that right now anyway.

Maybe it’s not time to upgrade yet after all.


* OK, OK. I admit it, I gave it a little kiss on the bump where the neck joins the body the heel. That’s not too weird, is it?
 
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