NUD or NGD : Romero Creations Baritone 6

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Hi everyone,

Here to share my joy of getting my hand on this. After owning a few Tenors, concerts and sopranos I decided that I wanted to get a baritone for a fuller sound and have it tuned A to A. As I already have a couple of guitars and mini guitars tuned E to E, my aim was to find one tuned like a uke. So that I can play 4 strings like a uke or if I feel like it play it as a guitar.

I got this off from someone in my local area and was pleasantly surprised that it was in such mint condition. No dings, scratches or any user marks. It was as if it was brand new. It was definitely babied. The strings were changed and the 3 bass strings squeak a lot. I really need some of your advise on strings as I am totally unfamiliar with 6 strings 20” scale A to A tuning. As far as I can find only Aquila makes a set for the cordoba mini.

What really amazes me is the playability of this instrument. It is so smooth and easy to play. Fretting is effortless. Only the slightest of touches is required. The action is spot on. I think it only had a factory setup as the original receipt was included in the gig bag and I know this local uke store doesn’t do set ups. So if this is The factory setup I am truly truly impressed. Just to give u an idea, It plays smoother and easier than my Pono Tenor which was set up by the guys at HMS. And my Pono is already so easy to play. And HMS really know how to do a great set up. After playing it I was even more impressed. The sound and sustain is unparalleled to any uke I have played with. It literally just rings. And rings. And it rings all the way up the fretboard until you run out of frets. Truly amazing. In fact right now I am thinking of selling away my KoAloha opio concert with tenor neck as I find the sustain drastically falling off a lot passed the 7th fret and the fretting needing so much more effort. I have played about 10 koalohas (mostly the silvers as I was searching for one) and none come close to playability compared to this. I play mostly finger style picking. My playing ain’t that great (No Talent!) and so with my mistake ridden playing and inaccurate fingering I find the Romero very forgiving whilst the Opio needs very accurate finger placement. Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to discredit the opio but rather highlight what a joy and ease this B6 is to play. The string placement on this is a little narrower than a uke due to the 6 strings. This is also my first baritone and I am still trying to get use to the adjustment to fret width and string placement. For a good sample of how it sounds like do Google Peter Frary. He did a review with a lot of sound samples and it convinced me on buying this. I hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning his name here as he is also in this forum. For the record I don’t know him and never met him before.

I am using my phone and have no idea how to upload pictures here. Instead I took some photos on my iPhone, used the voice memo to record my playing and put the 2 together in iMovie for a short clip. I noticed that the built in mic in the phone doesn’t do this instrument any justice. There are a few notes that I played a little louder(due to lack of skill) and it came out rather harsh sounding. Including the higher notes. So do pardon my poor playing. Some missed notes and inconsistent tempo. I realised I don’t do this instrument any justice at all!

https://youtu.be/ZGKn8nCP9BM

If any of you have suggestions for strings (A to A tuning) please do share. I hope to find some that don’t squeak too! I have been searching for info online and haven’t found much. Thank you.
 
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Joyful Uke

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Seems like you found a great instrument. Can't help you regarding strings, but I enjoyed your playing, and the baritone sounds and looks great.
 

Jim Hanks

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I don't have specific strings for A-to-A. I find my 19" bari feels and sound great in G-to-G with the Thomastik Infeld CF127 set which are flat wound and squeak much less than anything else I've tried. I'm pretty sure they'd still be fine on 20" but going up another whole tone to A-to-A might be pushing it farther than I'd want to go.

I still think of this as an A-to-A instrument, so a couple of times when I really needed that, I capoed on 2. But now I have a tenor scale for A-ro-A so don't need to do that with the bari.
 

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Seems like you found a great instrument. Can't help you regarding strings, but I enjoyed your playing, and the baritone sounds and looks great.

Yes I think my UAS has finally died.oh wait, hang on, the Romero Creations grand tenor is now on my mind.......
 

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I don't have specific strings for A-to-A. I find my 19" bari feels and sound great in G-to-G with the Thomastik Infeld CF127 set which are flat wound and squeak much less than anything else I've tried. I'm pretty sure they'd still be fine on 20" but going up another whole tone to A-to-A might be pushing it farther than I'd want to go.

I still think of this as an A-to-A instrument, so a couple of times when I really needed that, I capoed on 2. But now I have a tenor scale for A-ro-A so don't need to do that with the bari.

Thanks for the strings info. By any chance do you know the difference between flat and round wound ?
 

Patrick Madsen

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I've been considering a guilele or small guitar with Terz tuning. One of my concerns is the much wider neck of a nylon 6 string. I play a lot of 1 3/4" guitars so perhaps the slimmer neck of the Romero would work. I looked up a few builders to see what they had. Kinnnard had a great sounding KiKu size available but is a steel string. I play guitar in a bluegrass group and a "contra" baritone, Tenor guitar size nylon strung, in a uke group.I imagine I would be playing this smaller instrument in the uke group so am looking for a nylon strung.

Any suggestions? Would like to keep under 1500 or so. Would like a bari 19-21" scale tune G-g.

Congrats bigtime on the Romero Contralls. Will have to check it out.
 

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To my limited knowledge there is the cordoba mini which is 20” scale. I think the nut on that is a bit wider. There is also the Kanile’a 6 string but I cant recall the scale length right now. I used to play acoustic guitars. Mostly strumming chords and singing with friends when I was a teenager. Took me awhile to get used to the ukulele string spacing. Having not played guitar for many many years I occasionally would take them out to have a go at it till my fingers hurt and then stop(which isn’t very Long due to the steel strings). Now when I take them out it feels so cramp! I am sure you’ll be able to adapt. It just feels weird for the very first time...
 

Jim Hanks

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Thanks for the strings info. By any chance do you know the difference between flat and round wound ?
Sure. If you're not familiar with flat wound, then the strings you are used to are round wound. If you look really closely, you can see the ridges because the outer wire is round. This is cheaper and easier but produces a string more prone to noise as you rub along the ridges. With flat wound, the outer wire is a ribbon wrapped around the inner core with the flat side out so you end up with a string much smoother. It's also generally stiffer and with a tone not as bright.

Any suggestions? Would like to keep under 1500 or so. Would like a bari 19-21" scale tune G-g.
If you can get on his schedule, I highly recommend Jonathan Dale. AFAIK, his prices are still a good bit under your budget and he can make the string spacing however you like. I know he does 19" or 20" and like I said, Terz is easily achieved with standard classical guitar sets.

If you want to try a narrow 19" for a whole lot less, try the Cordoba C1m 1/4 size. Elderly lists it for $159 but out of stock. It's laminate so a little on the quiet side but not a bad sound at all.

I have some videos on both. I can find and post the links if you're interested.
 

Contrails

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Sure. If you're not familiar with flat wound, then the strings you are used to are round wound. If you look really closely, you can see the ridges because the outer wire is round. This is cheaper and easier but produces a string more prone to noise as you rub along the ridges. With flat wound, the outer wire is a ribbon wrapped around the inner core with the flat side out so you end up with a string much smoother. It's also generally stiffer and with a tone not as bright.

Thanks for the explanation. I managed to find a set of Aquila cordoba mini A to A and will try it later to see how it sounds and also the string tension. While at the store I tried a few cordoba mini and mini II. They are pretty good and value for money. Action was a bit high but can be easily solve.
 

Peter Frary

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I have the Baritone 6 and have tried all sorts of strings and tunings on it. The best stock strings I've used are the Pepe Romero UG1:

1 = .021" | 2 = .026" | 3 = .0315" | 4 = .0275" | 5 = .034" | 6 = .042"

They're ideal for terz/G-G tuning but too tight for requinto/A-A. Even with a lighter custom set I found the Baritone 6 too high tension for A-1 tuning. My Baritone 6 review:

https://fraryguitar.com/romero_creations_baritone6_review.htm
 

Jim Hanks

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I managed to find a set of Aquila cordoba mini A to A and will try it later to see how it sounds and also the string tension.
Tension should be fine as that's the tuning they are designed for. I will say that if you're looking for "squeak less" strings, you may be disappointed in the Aquilas - they are round wound. But give them a few days to a week to settle in before you decide.

If that's your main criteria, you might also try the EJ45LP set:
https://www.stringsbymail.com/dadda...-polished-nt-guitar-strings-full-set-151.html

but like the T-I set, I think they would perform best at G-to-G. They are better than standard rounds but not as quiet as the flats.

Best of luck with the search.
 

Jim Hanks

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On the UG1 - that's also a good set but with the typical round wound characteristics. I have that set at A-to-A on my 17" tenor scale, so I agree with Peter they wouldn't work for that tuning on 20"
 

Contrails

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I have the Baritone 6 and have tried all sorts of strings and tunings on it. The best stock strings I've used are the Pepe Romero UG1:

1 = .021" | 2 = .026" | 3 = .0315" | 4 = .0275" | 5 = .034" | 6 = .042"

They're ideal for terz/G-G tuning but too tight for requinto/A-A. Even with a lighter custom set I found the Baritone 6 too high tension for A-1 tuning. My Baritone 6 review:

https://fraryguitar.com/romero_creations_baritone6_review.htm

I saw you review and really enjoyed listening to your playing. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Tension should be fine as that's the tuning they are designed for. I will say that if you're looking for "squeak less" strings, you may be disappointed in the Aquilas - they are round wound. But give them a few days to a week to settle in before you decide.

If that's your main criteria, you might also try the EJ45LP set:
https://www.stringsbymail.com/dadda...-polished-nt-guitar-strings-full-set-151.html

but like the T-I set, I think they would perform best at G-to-G. They are better than standard rounds but not as quiet as the flats.

Best of luck with the search.

I tried the Aquila strings tuned A to A. They were bad. Volume was very soft and sustain was very poor. Especially on the 1st string. Tension was too high. If I had heard the uke like this in a store I wouldnt have bought it. The strings come in a pack with strings unsealed and so the wound ones had some tarnish/oxidation on them. They wound the TOP 3 and bottom 3 together with no numbering. I wouldn’t recommend them. Tuned down G it sounded better but was a bit on the thin side.

The B6 came with string from a brand called Medina Artigas. A name I am totally unfamiliar with. Apparently from Argentina. But the string have a very good and nice sound. I wouldn’t have changed it except for the fact that it was tune to E(very hard gauge). I might hunt for some of their medium gauge ones and try to see how high I can tune them to.

Thank you for the string recommendations. I will try to find them. In my part of the woods some string Brand’s are very hard to find. And shipping from the US for some reason is very expensive. Kanile’a quoted me $36 for shipping a set of strings, not including the strings! ��

I have been corresponding with Pepe. And he did mentioned that this B6 is actually designed for G tuning. I am not sure how much that affects it.
 
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Jim Hanks

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If you're really after A-to-A tuning, I would recommend looking for low tension classical sets. As stated above, medium or normal tension will likely get you to G. Look for a brand that offers both normal and low tension options and try the low option.
 

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Oh great thanks for the tip on the strings.
I saw in one of your videos where you had a strap that goes round your armhole. Could you point me to where I get get one of those?
 

Jim Hanks

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Yep. That's called the Uke Leash : https://ukeleash.com/
The owner is a member here. It's my favorite strap. I prefer the ones with an end pin but the half strap you saw requires no surgery on the uke