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Thread: Bonanza Ukuleles Homestead Baritone - REVIEW

  1. #1
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    Default Bonanza Ukuleles Homestead Baritone - REVIEW

    Always love looking at Bonanza ukes. This one has been my favourite so far!!

    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2020/03/...e-ukulele.html
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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  2. #2

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    That's a rave review.
    How much was shipping to UK?

  3. #3
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    To be honest with you, I don't know. Pete advises that non USA buyers email him direct to discuss options. The box this came in suggests shipping of about £50, but I know he sent this on an expidited super fast service so there may be slower and cheaper options.
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  4. #4
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    Nice review. Like you I appreciate the elegant simplicity of the Homestead. Much like a Martin D-18, no bling is needed.

    My only concern with the "hollowed out" design would be the size of the internal bracing that Pete has left on the underside of the top. Since these "braces" aren't made of straight grain wood glued across the grain of the top wood (the way typical bracing is done) they could perhaps more readily suffer a crack along the grain right through the top. As such I might wonder if they are up to the job of supporting the top long term. But for now they do look rugged and up to the task, and as you say the uke is both resonant and loud. Well done Pete!

    I wonder how difficult it would be for Pete to set up his CNC machine to be able to carve out an archtop version? That would be something.
    Last edited by besley; 03-01-2020 at 08:21 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Totally agree with the D-18 comparison - well put.

    Yeah - I think Pete was concerned about strength and stability when he moved to the integral bracing. I remember him telling me he stress tested the first prototype bodies in both a fridge and an freezer! - No issues. Made me laugh when I read that!
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  6. #6
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    Great review! I love my walnut baritone, and it gets a lot of great comments when I play it out. Appearance-wise the dark walnut really stands out, and the matching fretboard looks great. In general I like bling. This one really doesn't need it.

    Mine has a few differences from yours beyond selectable options (the wood and the tuners), and I'm curious if they're changes that Pete's made in newer models or just some extra magic for your version:

    • Mine had four flouro strings and no wounds. The low-D was really bad. It sounded dead and buzzed horribly.

      I switched to wound D & G strings and that's much better. I kept the B & E (actually swapped them out and back).
    • My fretboard is slotted through not with blind slots.
    • My fretboard has pearly dots not wood
    • My neck is clearly two piece


    The strings are the only major problem - the out-of-box experience was really disappointing, and if I hadn't planned on changing strings and felt confidant doing so I could have been unhappy.

    The others might be slightly nicer on yours, but not enough to notice if I weren't looking for them. I'd chalked up the through slots as a logical price saver over the Oreo, and the pearly dots and two piece neck are fairly standard.

    I was surprised at the volume and geeked out with a decibel meter to compare with my Caramel baritone. My unscientific strumming puts them in the same ballpark as each other by the meter, but subjectively the homestead feels louder and richer.

  7. #7
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    I'd assumed the self bound fingerboard was one of the 'feaures' that Pete wanted to showcase in the Homesteads - the kind of 'best bits of the others'.?
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Finland
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    Wow, that baritone almost drowns your voice in the video. The sound and volume of that thing is amazing.

    Of all the uke builders out there, Bonanza is probably the most interesting brand to me since they do such unconventional but functional designs. I'd really love to order something from them. The trouble is that shipping from the US to Europe is fairly expensive and you have to deal with customs on top of that. Maybe some day...

  9. #9
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    Bellingham, WA USA
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    To make a trivial correction to a point you made in the review, my concert homestead is #496, so they started producing this line before #500. I’m certain mine wasn’t the first.

  10. #10
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    I have a #493 tenor Homestead in cherry. An attractive woody sweet voice, albeit on the soft side. The action was slightly below 2.5mm at the 12 fret—too low for me and a low wound G—so I cut a bone saddle set to 2.75mm. Perfect, no buzzes even at forte and the volume bumped up a notch as well. The tone exhibits slightly more chime in the treble range so bone transmits the tone better than the plastic (Corian) saddle. Plus Corian is not attractive and a mismatch for the natural vibe of the Homestead design. When I have more time I'll replace the plastic nut as well (grooves are super deep and seem to choke the strings). All in all a super good deal for the sound had.

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