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Baritone guitars?


hurricane hugo

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I love baritone. I bought the sunburst version of that Hagstrom in the article, but mostly play a PRS SE Custom that I fitted with extra heavy strings & tuned down. I little floppy & the pickups aren't optimal for that range though. Eyeing a Reverend baritone to do it right.
Scott Fraser
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A good friend of mine has a Chandler 6-string bass that's basically just a guitar tuned an octave down. Even has a whammy bar! Lipstick tube pickups...the thing just chimes. I've played/used it quite a bit over the years, but beyond that, I don't have a lot of experience with them.

 

About the only ones I've spent serious time with were a) an Ovation Long Scale acoustic from the mid-'90s, and b) of all things, an Applause mandocello that had taken up residence in a booth at a local flea market. Damn, I should've grabbed that one when I had the chance - sumbetch was there for years!

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+ 1 love some baritone.

 

I've met guys who really liked the Eastwood Sidejck.

 

I was lucky enough to play a jerry jones danelectro style 6 string bass many moons ago.

 

Scott, is your PRS tuned B-B?

 

 

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So this piece showed up in my e-mail box:

 

look at me!

 

and it seemed like good topic bait, so let's go!

 

There WAS some thread about these before here. I think about ten years ago. Personally, there's no reason why I NEED one, but I'd probably get a kick out of trying one out.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I have never tried a Baritone. Next time I visit a guitar store, I'll look for one and give it a try. I have one old buddy who lives out of the area that loves them. If I plan a trip out his way, I'll give one of his a try... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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The ones I'm looking at:

 

Acoustic by Goldtone, Tacoma, Ovation, or John Kammerer

Electric by Reverend and Fender (the discontinued Blacktop Tele)

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

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I was looking into Baritones and ERG's in general, when I found my 7-string Epi LP. It seemed much more solidly built than most of the budget Bari's & ERG's, so I grabbed it.

 

You can easily manage a B E A D F# B E tuning on a 7-string guitar, or go heavier on your string gauge, and tune to A D G C E A D, low to high. FWIW, I'm using a DR Tite-Fit 11-60 string set, tuned B to E, on a standard Gibson/Epi scale, and I was able to set the intonation with decent string tension across the neck. I first tried a 10-56, and could never set the 7th string's intonation quite right, nor could I get good tension on the 7th string.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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^ this 8-string Conklin Sidewinder was on eBay for a long time:

 

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/SSEAAOxycmBSttOk/s-l400.jpg

 

...when extra strings are being added, the fanned frets and varying scale lengths suddenly make a lot more sense. Oh, and that's a 3-octave neck. Seller wanted like $3,500 for it.

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Scott, is your PRS tuned B-B?

 

Yes, with a set of D'Addario's that I think are 012-065. I had to get the nut re-cut to accommodate them.

 

Cool!

 

I was looking into Baritones and ERG's in general, when I found my 7-string Epi LP. It seemed much more solidly built than most of the budget Bari's & ERG's, so I grabbed it.

 

You can easily manage a B E A D F# B E tuning on a 7-string guitar, or go heavier on your string gauge, and tune to A D G C E A D, low to high. FWIW, I'm using a DR Tite-Fit 11-60 string set, tuned B to E, on a standard Gibson/Epi scale, and I was able to set the intonation with decent string tension across the neck. I first tried a 10-56, and could never set the 7th string's intonation quite right, nor could I get good tension on the 7th string.

 

Yeah 7's look like fun too. And metal is not mandatory on them. Have you got any examples on your albums of this guitar?

 

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That Hagstrom Viking is the one I have (though mine is more of a grey burst with silverish overtones). Love it to death. And even though it seems strange to combine a single-coil with a double-coil, the P90 is just a bit too bright in the bridge position for a lower-voiced guitar.

 

Great neck and fretboard; feels almost like ebony even though it's a composite. Nice balance, and good overall workmanship. It especially sounds good going through a '59 Fender Bassman LTD 4x10.

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I owned the Eastwood Sidejack Deluxe and it was OK but nothing special -- yet it was what convinced me that P90's are the way to go (in the neck, at least) for proper baritones (I don't consider extended range treble guitars true baritones as they have the same timbre in the six high strings).

 

The worst one I've ever tried is that PRS model named after some guitarist who is well-known to those who have followed pop/rock/metal in recent decades. I haven't, so the name didn't ring a bell. Totally loose feel, and a neck that didn't seem properly designed for a baritone vs. a treble guitar.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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I was looking into Baritones and ERG's in general, when I found my 7-string Epi LP. It seemed much more solidly built than most of the budget Bari's & ERG's, so I grabbed it.

 

You can easily manage a B E A D F# B E tuning on a 7-string guitar, or go heavier on your string gauge, and tune to A D G C E A D, low to high. FWIW, I'm using a DR Tite-Fit 11-60 string set, tuned B to E, on a standard Gibson/Epi scale, and I was able to set the intonation with decent string tension across the neck. I first tried a 10-56, and could never set the 7th string's intonation quite right, nor could I get good tension on the 7th string.

 

Yeah 7's look like fun too. And metal is not mandatory on them. Have you got any examples on your albums of this guitar?

 

Hadn't used it on any of the previous albums, because I was still trying to get it set up properly. It feels very different now, but much better. It's due to get a lot of action on the current album project.

 

I got it for under $400, with an Epiphone HSC. I'd tried out some of the more affordable Bari, 7- & 8-string models, basically, anything in that same $400 price range, and none of them felt as solid by comparison, although all of them had the advantage of a longer scale, which helps with down-tuning.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

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...when extra strings are being added, the fanned frets and varying scale lengths suddenly make a lot more sense.

 

Makes sense for the physics of the strings, but what about playability? Like a first position bar chord?

 

I've heard that fanned-fret guitars are very comfy to play, especially for long periods of time, but I can't verify that myself, as I've never played one.

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That Hagstrom Viking is the one I have (though mine is more of a grey burst with silverish overtones). Love it to death. And even though it seems strange to combine a single-coil with a double-coil, the P90 is just a bit too bright in the bridge position for a lower-voiced guitar.

 

And, for me, way too noisy.

Scott Fraser
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I have a Dean EVO custom from when they were very good guitars(not so sure anymore). got it fairly cheap due to a head stock break and repair. That is strung B to b , 24.75 inch scale with I think strung with 13 to 60s on it. Plays very well used it doing GothaMetal songs since 2004. I also used it in a project doing blues as the Rhythm guitarist/bassist .

 

Lok

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

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I've only played fanned fret basses, including my own Dingwall but also other models of theirs, and it feels fine as well as giving you a way tighter low string with better pitch definition, but I don't use it anymore (for a few years now) and may sell it, because it tends to make the bass guitar sound like the low register of a piano. Not what I want anymore.

 

I don't know if the effect of fanned frets on baritone guitars would be similar or even if there are way more other factors at work in the Dingwall design that give it a super-modern sound (something I used to strive for, until deciding late in life that the early guys and gals had it right).

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I've heard that fanned-fret guitars are very comfy to play, especially for long periods of time, but I can't verify that myself, as I've never played one.

 

PLAYED one? Hell...I never even HEARD of them until these other guys brought it up!

 

It's easy to see that they'd need to be TUNED different. And wouldn't you also need to RELEARN how to finger many of your common chords? At least when you get higher up the neck, if you use a standard tuning?

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I've heard that fanned-fret guitars are very comfy to play, especially for long periods of time, but I can't verify that myself, as I've never played one.

 

PLAYED one? Hell...I never even HEARD of them until these other guys brought it up!

 

It's easy to see that they'd need to be TUNED different. And wouldn't you also need to RELEARN how to finger many of your common chords? At least when you get higher up the neck, if you use a standard tuning?

Whitefang

 

@Whitefang - part of the idea behind the fanned-fret Guitars is that not ALL the notes on the Guitar neck are properly in tune, with the standard fret spacing. If you've ever seen a video of Bill Frisell, he often exerts pressure on his Guitar neck, to bring certain notes 'true'; the sound of notes bending as he presses on the neck sounds almost like a Chorus effect.

 

The fanned-fret design is supposed to help with correct intonation; you don't have to re-tune the Guitar, or learn a bunch of new chord shapes, and the spacing isn't so weird you can't adapt pretty quickly.

 

You want weird, check out these Microtonal Guitar necks. They're designed to play tones in between the notes we normally use in Western scales. If you've ever wanted to play Chinese Opera on your Guitar, here you go . . .

 

http://www.freenotemusic.com/site/store/images/12-TUPnecks_DS_012113.jpg

 

http://www.matthewgrasso.com/images/image_14noteoctavejust_001.jpg

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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Aren't the traditional stringed instruments used in non-western scales all fretless, like the oud?

 

I have seen some examples of the above, but I think they were meant for westerners trying to adapt to the Turkish scale or even the Chinese scales.

 

This is from memory, but I think the North Indian scale has 23 pitches. So the Sitar (and related instruments) would be an example of precisely intonated notes being achieved through fretting vs. strictly from finger memory and ear training.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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Aren't the traditional stringed instruments used in non-western scales all fretless, like the oud?

 

I have seen some examples of the above, but I think they were meant for westerners trying to adapt to the Turkish scale or even the Chinese scales.

 

This is from memory, but I think the North Indian scale has 23 pitches. So the Sitar (and related instruments) would be an example of precisely intonated notes being achieved through fretting vs. strictly from finger memory and ear training.

 

While the Oud is fretless, many other non-Western stringed instruments have movable frets. In traditional Indian Music, there are also drone instruments, like the Tanpura, which are fretless, but never fingered on the neck, only plucked.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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