NUD Barron River Baritone Spruce and Mahogany

Martinlover

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
827
Points
18
I actually got this ukulele a month ago but have been keeping it under wraps. I am unworthy of this amazing ukulele. I saw it listed on the HMS site and tried to ignore it but 2 friends mentioned it to me, saying, “I see that builder you like has a baritone up on the ukulele site.” Plus, I still had that 2-year old store credit to use up. So I took the plunge.

To begin with this Barron River baritone is stunning to look at. I personally am generally not a fan of rope binding but this style of binding is gorgeous. The rosette is unique and beautifully proportioned. I recently saw another uke maker online attempting a similar style of rosette and it was proportionately too large and came across as ill conceived and clumsy. Made me really appreciate Allen McFarlen’s artistic sensibility. I am not a fan of flashy bling, although I can appreciate it. The design of this baritone lets the woods speak for themselves to give it that wow factor.

The way the fretboard finishes at the sound hole with an asymmetric over hang is another joy I appreciate every day. And I love the Frank Lloyd Wright fret markers, they make more sense to me than the traditional dots. And they look just great. The finishing of the neck and frets makes the playability smooth as butter. The neck thickness is very slim and works well for me. The neck and head stock being thinner makes it lighter than a slot headed tenor I used to own. So there’s a very nice balance.

The body shape is unique and again beautifully proportioned. The body is not as deep as my Pono baritone and overall the ukulele is light weight-wise. But the sound is anything but light. And the sustain is everything I could ask for. Check out Corey’s sound sample and photos here: Barron River Baritone Spruce and Brazilian Mahogany

By the way Allen uses Martin Baritone strings M630. Luckily for me, I happened to have stocked up on these when I went on a Martin Guitar factory tour last fall.
 
Last edited:

etudes

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
534
Points
18
Congratulations! Absolutely beautiful instrument. I had opportunity to play a Barron River last year when I was purchasing a uke from a fellow UU member. I was beyond impressed at the tone and build quality. Barron River is now on my short list of grail instruments.
 

Kenn2018

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
3,684
Points
63
Lovely instrument. THe body has a very different shape, but I like it a lot. I too don't care for rope binding, but it looks great on your bari. With subtle, rich colored woods. I think the "Keystone" shaped headstock is great and suits his logo. Plus, I've forever admired his rosette designs. It all works together. Allen McFarlen has a great eye for design.

It sounds great in the video. Warm and resonant.

What did you think about Corey's comment about Baritones always sounding muddy? I'd think the Martin strings would counter that.

Great Baritone. Congratulations! You have good friends.
 

Down Up Dick

Active member
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
3,699
Points
38
A really nice lookin’ ukulele, and a good soundin’ one too. You’re a very lucky person. :eek:ld:
 

Martinlover

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
827
Points
18
Here’s comparison photos with a Pono baritone for size and depth.
71DFCEFC-D391-4625-8225-63E25A5648B3.jpg
E374DA1C-17EA-4455-87C6-10F505F35929.jpg
 

Martinlover

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
827
Points
18
What did you think about Corey's comment about Baritones always sounding muddy? I'd think the Martin strings would counter that.

I have heard some muddy sounding baritones. I got a Kmise bari to keep at my moms in Florida and I have to say I hate that thing. Regarding the Martin strings, they sound great on the Barron River and this particular Pono (pictured) but I tried them on a Pono mango baritone and I think they made that baritone sound terrible. Because to me the mango responds to a sweet bell sound and the Martin strings just did not jive. Kinda deadened the tone, IMHO.
 
Last edited:

Martinlover

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
827
Points
18
Forgot to mention the clean look of the bridge—the way the knots are hidden inside the ukulele. I’ve never changed strings on a ukulele like this before but I won’t have to do it for awhile.