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Baritone Guitar... anyone?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Baritone Guitar... anyone?
EMwhite
I'm a bass player and looking to get closer to guitar but to be frank, I think I'll fit better into one of the Baritone Guitars that I've read about. Slightly longer scale and midrange sound.

Anybody ever play one, have one, looked at them?

I'd like the Jaguar HH that was for sale (out of Japan years ago) but they are all gone. Fender now sells the Telecaster Baritone but I just don't know about it (MIM likely).

There are other brands for sure, so I'm looking for a recommendation. I read good things and quite like the look of this: http://proguitarshop.com/hagstrom-viking-deluxe-baritone-cosmic-black- burst.html but PGS is out of stock. Here's the video; http://proguitarshop.com/hagstrom-viking-deluxe-baritone-tobacco-burst .html but Andy can make anything sound good...

Thanks.
Moog$FooL$
i use to own a Dano Bari. (Korean made.... not China) from the mid 90's.
kinda miss it. waah

anyways..... it was inexpensive & decent.
i can recommend those.

Rockin' Banana!
stk
My bandmate plays one of the Fender Jag baritones. Lovely, lovely guitar.

He recently bought a Schecter Ultra VI, which is awesome.



Fender are also soon reissuing the Bass IV under their "pawnshop" range, hopefully at a far more reasonable price than their custom shop stuff.
Malekko
I have an eastwood sidejack Baritone, (B to B) it also comes in a Bass VI version (E to E and oct lower than a regular 6 string) which i also have, they are both very good especially for the money, they WILL need a proper setup if you get it. I used to have the Jag HH, and i think i prefer the Eastwood...now if i could only play better i'd be set!
stk
Those Eastwoods look great, cheers for the heads up!
GovernorSilver
I dig the look and sound of that Hagstrom Viking. One minor criticism of Pro Guitar Shop: The website says it has a 15" radius but the Hagstrom website says its a 12" radius. I once had a Carvin Holdsworth with 20" radius - loved the flatness of that neck.

Despite that minor concern, this axe looks interesting to me.

With a bigger budget, there's the NS Stick which is a hair over $2000 - 34" scale like a bass guitar but 8 strings to take you into the baritone guitar range: http://www.stick.com/instruments/ns/
There's also the $2500 production model 7 and 8 string guitars by Strandberg. http://guitarworks.thestrandbergs.com/
sascha.victoria
The vibrato on the Bass VI is very useful. I would track down a used Japanese one if I were you.
Electrostatic
You should ask indexofmetals to post a picture of his latest baritone. (Not sure if its arrived yet though) It's serious gear porn. I mean, really, REALLY serious gear porn.
fisherking111
I have an eastwood baritone, and honestly, have never been too inspired to play it much. I think it's tonal quality is lacking, personally...
EMwhite
So, great feedback, thanks.

Here are some question from a dumb-ass bass player.

One octave higher than a normal scale Bass is Baritone and another octave higher than that is normal 6 string guitar? Is that right?

The Bass VI from Fender (original and I presume the 'new' Pawn Shop that is just being released) is actually a normal Bass but in 6 string and shorter scale?

The Ultra and Hell-whatever are strung like Fender Bass 6?

Folks like to string these up with alternate tunings? Either because they want B to b or something else?

And finally, the so-called Baritone Tele that Fender has been selling is shorter than the 30" scale (something in the 27-28 range)?

Help a poor ignorant Bass player out please.
chocolatyshatner
Guitar is one octave higher than bass guitar, baritone is in between depending on the tuning.
oldboardshorts
can highly recommend creston electric instruments.

here's ian's from the evens.

sascha.victoria
Bass is 1 octave lower then guitar assuming we're tuned to E. Baritone is the B below E on a guitar or the B above E on a bass. Same note, depends how you look at it.
oscillateur
A Baritone guitar and a Bass VI-type guitar are different things. Bass VI have a 30" scale length, and are basically tuned like a bass with two additional strings (the ones with the higher pitches). String spacing is the same as a guitar and not as a bass.

Baritones are usually tuned between a bass and a guitar and their scale length usaully vary from about 27" to 30". You can put Bass VI strings on a baritone if it's got the proper scale length (about 30") but you'll likely need to at least change the nut (maybe the bridge too).

For Bass VI-type instruments, the best things now are probably the Fender Japan reissue from last year (about 130k yens but probably hard to get outside Japan), the aforementioned Schecter Ultra VI (they do have a couple of similar models but this one seems to be the nicest) and the new Fender Pawnshop series Bass VI (made in Mexico).

For baritones there are more choices, the cheapest ones being the Danelectro baritones.

Definitely try one before buying anything, these beasts are nice but play quite differently from either a guitar or a bass...
oscillateur
For clarification about tuning :

Guitar : tuned E to E
Baritone : tuned B to B, a 4th lower than a guitar or A to A, a 5th lower than a guitar
Bass VI : tuned E to E, an octave lower than a guitar
Bass (4 strings) : tuned E to G, an octave lower than guitar
Bass (5 string) : usually tuned B to G, an octave lower than a guitar
Bass (6 string) : usually tuned B to C, an octave lower than a guitar

After that, you can go crazy with alternate/open tunings of course smile

(Edited because I forgot some stuff)
Minimoog56
I have a Jerry Jones Longhorn Bass 6 tuned E to E an Octave below guitar and a Single Cutaway Baritone tuned B to B or A to A. This is the ultimate refinement of the old Danelectro type guitar with truss rod adjustable maple neck, Masonite top and back, poplar body and 6 string adjustable trapezoid Neptune bridge. Made in Nashville till Jerry retired a couple of years back. Has the great spaghetti western tone.
chromium
I haven't tried either - the Bass VI or bari - and so I can't contribute anything there...
...but just letting you know that state-side, the MusicZoo in NY has/had a special run of the Fender Japan Bass VI in white finish, and may be getting more(?) This might provide an opportunity to try one if you are close to them:

http://www.themusiczoo.com/product/15616/Fender-Classic-Series-Bass-VI -Vintage-White-/

Says out of stock, but I'd check in with them anyway if you go that route. I just bought an "out of stock" Ric horseshoe pickup from them.


Also, Ishibashi in JP has a 'burst VI for a decent price <US$1100

http://www.ishibashi.co.jp/u_box/e/select.php?cd=08-325895102

I just bought a Ric 8-string bass from them, and they were great to deal with.
GovernorSilver
If you don't mind the pointy look, this baritone is on sale for $799:
http://www.samash.com/p/Steinberger_Synapse%20Demon%20TranScale_-49956 217?cm_mmc=GoogleShopping-_-Guitars-_-Channeladvisor-_-Steinberger+Syn apse+Demon+TranScale&utm_source=GSH&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=Channe ladvisor&CAWELAID=1594709007&cagpspn=pla&gclid=COWvh5Hn8rQCFYLd4AodyBE A2A#
EMwhite
I called that outfit in NY and yeah, they are out. But the bloke told me that he's expecting another 12 of the MIJ in White in about 2-3 weeks and some Red of the Bass VI as well.

I also stopped by Guitar center with hopes of trying the Schecters, no luck. But they did have a Bass VI, however, made in Mexico. Very much uninspired by the finish, neck was rough.

As for the Japanese outfit you referenced, I took a look and the Yen to USD conversion is favorable to the extent that is' near $1,000 USD. Shipping and Tariff likely another matter.

Thanks for the explanations above, I think I'll be most comfortable with a 30" scale VI of some variety. Going to see about trying one from the guy in Roslyn, NY in a few weeks. Whether or not it's twice the guitar as the Schecter is going to be difficult to weight without a side-by-side.
GovernorSilver
I realized the same store is also selling the non-pointy Transcale model at a discount:

http://www.samash.com/p/Steinberger_ST-2FPA%20Synapse%20TranScale%20El ectric%20Guitar%20(Pitch%20Black)_-49956308?cm_mmc=GoogleShopping-_-Gu itars-_-Channeladvisor-_-Steinberger+ST-2FPA+Synapse+TranScale+Electri c+Guitar+(Pitch+Black)&utm_source=GSH&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=Chan neladvisor&CAWELAID=1594708532&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CKH4nJX18rQCFQ-f4Aodw FkA_A#
chromium
EMwhite wrote:
As for the Japanese outfit you referenced, I took a look and the Yen to USD conversion is favorable to the extent that is' near $1,000 USD. Shipping and Tariff likely another matter.


If it helps, shipping and handling on my bass ran about US$155. Also just FYI, it seems that they will negotiate on their posted prices (they did in my case), but that VI is already pretty low- so you might not have much leverage on that one.

As for the tariff, I'll never say never... but I have yet to ever be hit with any import duties (knocking on wood).

That's cool news about MusicZoo getting more MIJs in the near future!
MindMachine
This Gretsch has a Bigsby on it:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gretsch-Guitars-G5265-Jet-Baritone-Electri c-Guitar-102551611-i1147113.gc?source=4WWRWXGP&cagpspn=pla
seamonkeyman
I can maybe help a bit here, as I've played a few different baritones, as well as basses and guitars... Too many perhaps... :-)) First thing to consider is what you want it for? Bass with more range, growly guitar, twangy guitar?

I have and use the following:-

Fender Bass Vi : pricey, but a great instrument, good for tic tac style basslines, great with a bit of overdrive for huge growl, or chorus for Peter Hooky stuff/ Primary by The Cure. Neck is sort of fat Jazz bass in profile, but obviously fatter at the nut, string spacing takes getting used to, sound is flexible, with the good pu options and the 'strangle' switch.

Gretsch Baritone: ok to get started, build quality isn't great, but it's cheap. Pickups are too weak IMHO, but fixable using boost from an eq pedal or Zvex super hard on. I had some pretty major neck issues (bowing). It's ok as a cheap version, but I couldn't really reccomend it if you are gigging a lot, or a tone freak. Mine lives in its case until I either ditch it, or fix the neck and change the pick ups. Stock pickups really were a disappointment, and I ended up using an eq pedal plus sans amp to achieve anything like a decent tone.

Fender Tele with baritone light strings stuck on it, tuned to low C. This is great fun, I just picked up a cheapo old battered tele of eBay, and strung it up. The sound is amazing for Moricone style twanging, just add a load of reverb and tremolo. Ok it's a little rough on the neck, and the action is a little high (not awful), but the sound is great.

So, I guess it depends what you're after, I'm a baritone junky, and plan to build a new tele hybrid with a slightly longer neck, bare knuckle bridge and a gretsch neck pickup later this year :-) good luck!
EMwhite
Well, after all of the research on Baritones and BASS VI, I nearly bought a Fender Beck Mustang Guitar from Japan (the complete opposite of what I was looking for hihi) But held off! Something about the mustard color and the novelty of getting something that is not common in the states just drew me in. That was a close one...

I've been to as many music stores as I could find in the local area including Sam Ash in NYC (they are moving on Sunday to mid-town btw), Rudy's, etc. When I ask for anything with a "VI" in it they look at me sideways or suggest "special order".

So after the suggestions here and my reading all of the BASS VI forums out there, I picked up a Hellcat VI (people rave about the 2012 redesigned version). May be foolish to buy it without playing one but I got it from PGS with the $100 off special, so $649 delivered with a good return policy is about as much as I can hope for.

Been playing my MusicMan and Jazz Bass through a POG octave pedal and while I like the POG, octave down is much nicer than heavy octave up. Will be nice to get the tone from these pickups and the extra two strings; now I just have to figure out how to play it...

But thanks for the feedback, guys. Very useful.
appliancide
This thread has been very helpful to me. I had never considered the difference between a baritone and a bass VI.

Now I know that I want a bass VI.

PS - It looks like Fender is charging $799 for the new pawn shop bass vi.
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