New Super Baritone Ukulele - Custom Build-Sold
I’ve been busy! Here’s the first of a large batch of new instruments. I’m calling this a New Super Baritone Ukulele.
So What’s so New?
Shape: I guess I should discuss this first. I and my client have been enamored with the Santa Cruz Guitar Company Firefly parlor guitar for some time. I’ve just been too busy to explore the shape for a new instrument until recently. Based roughly on the Firefly and the “J” series jumbo guitars, I think that I have created an instrument with good volume and bridge placement on the sound board. This particular instrument has a 20″ scale by request although my original plans are for 21″ and perhaps 15 frets to the sound board as with my standard baritone.
Volume: With more volume comes more depth and flavor of tonality. It may not look it since I don’t have a standard baritone to compare with but this instrument comes close to the size and volume of the early small Martin Parlor Guitars. I believe that I can truly call it a baritone and maybe not an ukulele.
It’s All About the Woods
Back and Sides: I’m using a new wood for me–Honduran Rosewood. The tap tone of this wood is the equal to a set of Brazilian that I have in stock. In fact, I thought the tone was better. This piece worked relatively easy. Rosewood really comes into play with a larger instrument.
Sound Board: Old growth and very tight grained California Redwood. Redwood is rapidly becoming my favorite sound board. Bright, not as soft as cedar, and very responsive to low string tension.
Binding: India Rosewood with wite/black purfling turned out to be a perfect compliment. I didn’t want binding to detract from the beauty of the Honduran rosewood.
Finger Board Bridge: Last year I came across some Malagasy Rosewood from Madagascar. This was obtained by Gilmer Wood way back. It is, I believe, impossible to obtain at the present. So, what I have, is probably all that I will be able to get. It has beautiful grain, color and a wonderfully brilliant tap tone. What a perfect compliment to the reddish tones of the redwood and Honduran. Both are radiused and the nut is 1.5″ by request. India rosewood binding added to compliment.
Neck: Honduran Mahogany with internal carbon truss rod.
Accent Woods: Honduran Rosewood. Keeping it simple and clean.
The Rest of the Build
Strings: A comination of Oasis on the 1/2 and Thomastik-Infeld on the 3/4. I thought I had a complete set of the Oasis but no. Actually the T-I have a little more tension than the brass wound 3/4 of the Oasis. Both are smooth wound.
Nut and Saddle: unbleached bone.
Tuners: Gotoh open-back guitar style 15:1 ratio.
Case: Crossrock ABS. OOOOH! it just fits. I thought at first that I might have to go for a 3/4 guitar case. Perfect!
During building I was impressed with the tap tone of the instrument. I have an unfinished parlor guitar in the shop and this puppy comes close. My first impression with strings put a smile on my face for sure. Volume–yes. Tone–you bet. It’s not boomy. This is an instrument for finger-style playing for sure. Who needs amplification.
A New Super Baritone Ukulele with super sound. Can’t wait to make another!