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Thread: Looking to order a custom baritone, mainly for strumming. Ideas?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    New York, NY
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    Lightbulb Looking to order a custom baritone, mainly for strumming. Ideas?

    I'm looking to commission a custom baritone. My priority is one that has a clear strumming sound, as opposed to the somewhat big and muddy sound you sometimes find on instruments that otherwise sound extremely good when fingerpicked. (I am definitely ready to accept the tradeoff that the uke I'm looking for might not sound as good when playing individual notes.)

    So far I only have two makers in mind, and it depends on how much money I'll have in about a month. Bruko, if I don't have the money (I also generally like Bruko, so I may use them anyway) or Ono or Covered Bridge if I can scrape up the money. I'd also be curious to hear other suggestions for makers who could do it in the low thousands or, preferably, under a thousand.

    Anyway, does anybody have any suggestions for wood combos? (Like every musician, I am aware that wood combo only makes a small difference, so consider that before responding with a post about how wood actually only makes a small difference. I'm looking for feedback on the small differences that wood *can* make.)

    I'm not only looking for suggestions re: top, back & sides but also fingerboard, if anybody thinks that makes a difference!
    Last edited by 13down; 07-09-2017 at 11:41 AM. Reason: clarity
    uke blog

    https://bennyukes.blogspot.com

    songs

    https://soundcloud.com/bennypaul

    videos (includes uke demos)

    http://youtube.com/user/theschumanity

    current ukes

    Wunderkammer "Boswell" Tenor, Keiki Kamaka Soprano, Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T

    former ukes

    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

  2. #2
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Well, you can't go wrong with Ono or Covered Bridge - if you can convince CB to do a bari. Can't go far wrong with Bruko either, though I don't think they are in the same league as the other two - and really I'm not sure it would be that different than your Favilla. When I got my Bruko bari you could have any body wood you like as long as it was mahogany.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
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    Jim - I contacted CB and he said that in 6 months or more, they will be offering baritones. He says they're working on a prototype now!

    At the moment I'm leaning toward Ono, though Bruko is cheap and novel. They said the same thing to me about mahogany for the back & sides. If I go through them, I think I will either get spruce or cedar for the top, and I'm trying to gauge which would be better for a clear rhythm sound.
    uke blog

    https://bennyukes.blogspot.com

    songs

    https://soundcloud.com/bennypaul

    videos (includes uke demos)

    http://youtube.com/user/theschumanity

    current ukes

    Wunderkammer "Boswell" Tenor, Keiki Kamaka Soprano, Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T

    former ukes

    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

  4. #4
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    I didn't know Bruko did different tops on baris. I'd go with cedar if that was an option. It sounds like either Ono or CB would be at least a year out so maybe the answer is "both" - Bruko "now" and save up for the other - and go ahead and get on their build list.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant

    !Flukutronic!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
    Posts
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    The number ONE factor that makes an instrument a good Strummer above all others by a Country Mile is, excellent intonation.

    When you strum your hitting all the notes at once and there is nowhere to hide poor intonation. I like excellent intonation when picking too yet it doesn't sound quite so bad if the intonation is out a fraction.

    Anthony

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    MARTIN-sville Indiana
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    I am a HUGE Ono fan! You can't go wrong with David's work. Another custom option would be LoPrinzi. I just picked up a spruce/koa baritone that is a dream to play. With a background in classical guitar, it has a smooth shallow neck that, IMHO, is extremely easy to play. As far as sound goes, I would speak with the luthier you choose and ask for their recommendation based upon your playing style. In my experience I have found spruce to be the brightest/cleanest sound. I really like it on the large body of a baritone. Cedar would also be a nice choice.
    Main players:

    Soprano: WC Ukuleles

    Concert: Collings UC2 | Collings UC2K | Talsma Style 3 | Ono Pineapple

    Tenor: Collings UT2 | Collings UT3SMB

    Baritone: LoPrinzi


    Others to be re-homed: Kepasa Madera koa| Kiwaya KS-1 | 16" Koa Ono | Blackbird Farallon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
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    Thanks to everyone! Barnes, I haven't thought about LoPrinzi, and didn't realize they do custom builds. That is very great news and I will definitely look into them. That would have special meaning to me, since my dad's guitar is a LoPrinzi. Had not thought about them for ukes until now!
    uke blog

    https://bennyukes.blogspot.com

    songs

    https://soundcloud.com/bennypaul

    videos (includes uke demos)

    http://youtube.com/user/theschumanity

    current ukes

    Wunderkammer "Boswell" Tenor, Keiki Kamaka Soprano, Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T

    former ukes

    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,426

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    I have owned, played others, and enjoyed both Ono and Covered Bridge ukes. I consider them both great values. I'm not sure Covered Bridge offers a baritone, but perhaps they do. In any case, based on my personal experience I believe Ono is a step above Covered Bridge in the execution details. Another factor to consider, is Covered Bridge tend to have a thicker, chunkier neck. Some people like this, some don't. Good luck choosing and let us know what you get.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Oop North in England
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    I prefer reentrant tuning for strumming. Although I do strum my Baritone, I find I don't like it as much strummed as my dGBE tuned tenor. OTOH, I prefer the linear tuning of the Baritone for finger picking.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Mission Viejo, CA
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    I think Boat Paddle, now Hoffmann, makes very nice baritone ukuleles. Actually all their uke are nice.

    John

    Edie added: If you YouTube Flea Bitten Dogs, David Henry Spangler plays one and it gives you a good idea of the tone.
    Last edited by 70sSanO; 07-17-2017 at 05:27 PM.

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