Saturday, March 15, 2008

Big Ukes

I've resisted getting a baritone 'ukulele since I started over a year ago. I figured that it will be enough of a challenge to learn the C tuning 'ukuleles without trying to also learn the baritone's G tuning. Also, it just seemed too big to be a 'ukulele. Well, as you can see from the picture here, I have caved in and pulled the trigger on a baritone uke.

I saw those familiar (at least to ebay warriors like me) Bushman B-stock ukes while cruising ebay and looked at a few of them. The recent ones are mostly baritones and several of them were Cedartones, which kind of piqued my interest. I read the list of defects on those B-stocked baritones and one of them seemed to be in good shape with only a couple of small cosmetic issues. I ended up getting that one and received it last Friday. There were indeed no real issues with action, intonation, or other playability issues that I could see. Even the cosmetic blemishes were very minor. Most importantly, I really liked the sound coming out of the uke. I have only previously strummed one baritone uke a couple of times, so I really didn't know what they sounded like. This one definitely sounded like a guitar and I thought the sound was very pleasant. Nice and deep with good sustain. Having only had it for a couple of days now, I am very happy with this purchase. It might be my favorite cheap uke purchase yet because I really feel like it's a steal at this point. Once I have a bit more time with it I will probably post a review of it.

One thing that was kind of interesting to me about the baritone uke is that it felt really big and kind of small at the same time. It seems a lot bigger than a tenor uke, yet because it sounds so much like a guitar, it feels small because it's much smaller than a real guitar. I took a couple of pictures of it alongside my two tenors (Pono cedar top & Koa Works) and as you can see, it's significantly larger. Also note how orange the cedar on the Bushman looks compared to the Pono's cedar. I wonder if it's a matter of different species or if the factory for Bushman dyed it orange.

Anyway, my first experience with a baritone uke has been very positive and certainly exceeded my expectations. I think the baritone uke will probably always be a side diversion compared to the other sized ukes for me, but I think it will be a fun diversion judging from the enjoyment I've derived from the Bushman Cedartone in the short time I've had it so far.

No comments:

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