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Thread: Advice on baritone purchase

  1. #11
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    Nov 2017
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    I'm always looking at them old Harmony's on Reverb and wondering - thanks for sharing you experience with them!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy2600 View Post
    I recently picked up two of the old Harmony baritones. One came ready to play after a restring and sounds great. The other needs a new saddle.
    Do you mind me asking what you paid, what condition they were in (cracks).
    You can PM me if you want, or of course ignore this post altogether. No hard feelings.
    As much as I want a Pono, these old instruments are really appealing.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  3. #13

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    @Maki66, I got one off craigslist for $120. It has one 1" crack on the side from an apparent drop or banging. It has a bunch of other dings and small scratches. The nut looks like a plastic replacement, the saddle is original. It sounds great to me and resonates very nicely and long.

    The second I found at a music store via Google. It was $125 plus $10 shipping. The body is in good shape. The nut looks to be original bone, but the saddle looks like it was dug out and shortened. Too short. Strings buzz and it had a shim underneath which does not suffice. I found a good replacement blank and will replace it soon. Both are not perfect. They have finish scratches and wear, but I like their character. I find it relaxing to have an instrument I don't have to baby.

    I still look online at them daily. My assessment is that a clean near perfect one should cost $3-400. I see ones on eBay and reverb for $150-200 with cracks and that is too expensive. I see sale history of Favillas with cracks at $1-200. I feel my prices paid were fair for slight condition issues. I think one with some wear and no cracks should be $150-200. One of mine has a dark grain pattern that looks cracked but is not. I'd ask the vendor if they don't mention no cracks. If you can see a good saddle pic, the original has tapered sides that look like they were sanded while in the bridge. The taper is curved and matches the bridge. Just my thoughts.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Heavy2600; 04-18-2018 at 04:27 PM.

  4. #14

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    The standard formula I see is that Harmony is half the cost of Favilla, and Favilla half the cost of Martin. So a nice clean Martin is +/- $1000, clean Favilla $500, and Harmony $250. Of course prices do fluctuate and the trend appears to be rising prices on Favilla and Harmony.
    Last edited by Heavy2600; 04-20-2018 at 01:21 AM.

  5. #15
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    That's what I call a comprehensive reply!
    Thank you so much Heavy2600!!!
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  6. #16

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    One more thing. The older 50's version with bone nut has a logo without made in USA. The second pic is the later version with plastic nut. The font Harmony is written in is different. The later version has white highlights. The older is only black. Both had a bone saddle.

    image.jpgimage.jpg

  7. #17

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    Can I piggyback onto this thread, as I have a Baritone purchasing question?

    I'm looking at an online buying decision between Mahogany versions of either the Kala KA-SMHB or a Mainland Baritone. I've played the laminate and solid front versions of the Kala (haven't been able to find an all solid version) and they sounded and felt nice. Perfect string tension and nut width. I've no hope of testing a Mainland, but I'm reading nothing but good reviews about them, with people claiming that they are better quality than the Kala KA-SMHB.

    Also, I'm having problems finding out the nut width for either of these ukes, even on the manufacturers websites. Anyone got definitive info? Also, I'm quite liking the idea of the Kala headstock but the Mainland tuners seem to have a good reputation.

    Finally, the kind of music I like playing will be bluesy and Spanish guitar style fingerpicking. Not sure if this would affect any potential decision, but the more 'bassey' the better. I know that, having played a Pono baritone (can't remember if it was mahogany mind you), it was a bit too bright and 'jazzy' for my liking.

    Any thoughts welcome.
    Last edited by Strumaround; 04-30-2018 at 03:53 AM.

  8. #18
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    Kala have a good reputation for a reason.
    Mainland are mainly an American brand, so is often recommended in America.
    I don't think you'd go wrong with either, but I'd take the Kala, because I know it's qualities, I have a cedar top baritone & several other sizes too.
    But if you haven't already looked at Ohana, I'd check them out too, I like my mahogany Ohanas.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  9. #19
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    I recently purchased a Kala KA-SMHB. It is well made with excellent fit & finish. The tone is warm, but a bit quiet, with the stock strings (Aquilas, I believe). It has a much richer sound than the laminate baritone that Kala makes. The nut width is 1.5".

    I use it for finger picking, mostly slack-key style with the first string lowered to D.

  10. #20

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    Thanks all. Good to know.

    Yes, I'd considered Ohana's. I also played a couple of Cordoba's recently, one was very nice.

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