Acoustic baritone guitars, yea or nay?

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StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 352
Having never played a baritone guitar or ever really seen the point in them, I picked up an electric baritone that was lying around the other day and really enjoyed playing it -- the thicker strings actually seemed to suit my weird thumbpick / fingerstyle non-technique better than conventional strings. However, I am mostly an acoustic player these days and rarely gig with an electric. A cursory Google search suggests that acoustic baritones exist, but are they worthwhile, and are any of them not hideous?
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  • WoodandwiresWoodandwires Frets: 57
    The great Ani Di Franco has been using baritones for years. Check her out.
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 509
    As does Pat Metheny, the whole of One Quiet Night is recorded with a baritone acoustic.
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 4324
    I have 3, they are very nice. To my ears, you need 29 inch scale for the 16-70 set tuned A-A
    Also note that no normal guitar bodies can really handle the lowest notes, but when you use a pickup, the sound is amazing

    the 27.5 inch scale ones sound better with normal gauge strings, tuned D-D I reckon

    They look fine.
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 352
    Thanks all. I usually play in altered tunings anyway, like DADGAD or various odd C tunings. So I guess on a 29-incher you could do GDGCDG, or would it be better off a tone up?

    I foresee a trip to a guitar shop. Anywhere in London or the South-East you'd recommend? (I'm near Cambridge).
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 4324
    DADGAD is the way I tune my 29 inch Alan Arnold Beltane, tuned A# to A# with the Elixir baritone set (16 to 70 I think)

    I just searched for the maker's site and found this too- in Suffolk!!
     no idea if this is a current advert: http://www.guitarguy.co.uk/Beltane.htm


    http://www.alanarnoldguitars.co.uk/guitar_baritone.htm

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  • Pmd you @Stuckfast ;
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2151
    Anybody remember @jammy from the old forum?  He built at least one acoustic baritone guitar.

    He decided to build it cedar/mahogany after playing my Seagull Mahogany Folk Artist, at one of the Northern Gas do's in Middlesbrough.

    I believe he moved down south somewhere, from his native St Helens - I wonder if he's still building guitars?

    @NickBotfield was he a pal of yours, or is my poor old brain even more addled than I thought?!

    Did anyone bring the petits-fours?
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  • nkforsternkforster Frets: 24


    Here is one of mine...

    Nigel 

    www.nkforsterguitars.com
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 4324
    nkforster said:


    Here is one of mine...

    Nigel 

    www.nkforsterguitars.com
    Sounds very good, is the internal volume larger than normal? What is the scale length?
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 352
    That looks and sounds lovely! I probably shouldn't ask how much they cost, because I won't be able to justify it...
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  • GuitarAndy2GuitarAndy2 Frets: 10
    Nitefly said:
    Anybody remember @jammy from the old forum?  He built at least one acoustic baritone guitar.

    He decided to build it cedar/mahogany after playing my Seagull Mahogany Folk Artist, at one of the Northern Gas do's in Middlesbrough.

    I believe he moved down south somewhere, from his native St Helens - I wonder if he's still building guitars?

    @NickBotfield was he a pal of yours, or is my poor old brain even more addled than I thought?!

    He only built the one I believe, which I've now owned for the best part of a decade. Can't remember if it's a 29 or 30" scale but it stays in A-a most of the time and you have to be careful not to dig in with the low A too much unless you really want it to growl.

    The aforementioned Pat Metheny album was what initially piqued my curiosity & I've since picked up an electric for gigging as I found reproducing the low end through a PA without feeding back was problematic in a band setting.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3322

    I've always thought that Baritone guitars in general would suit my vocal range, as songs in standard guitar tuning seem to require me to sing slightly higher or slightly lower than my voice is capable. Using a capo up a fifth usually helps but then the guitar sounds more like a mandolin so a guitar tuned down a 4th would give me the same vocal pitch but a nicer fuller guitar sound. This would be particularly appealing in an acoustic so have looked a few times for baritones, though they've often seemed more costly than I could justify considering I don't play much acoustic any more.

    Sadly though also I'm a fairly small chap, I play a Baby Taylor as dreadnought sized acoustics are too big for me, so the larger scale required for Baritone tuning also rules it out for me sadly! I've recently obtained a Boss Multi Overtone octave pedal though, primarily for electric but I'm going to try it this weekend on acoustic, to see if with the capo at the 5th and an octave down setting on the pedal, it sounds nice as a sort of 12 string type effect...

    Water, come drown me, I'm done

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  • nkforsternkforster Frets: 24
    nkforster said:


    Here is one of mine...

    Nigel 

    www.nkforsterguitars.com
    Sounds very good, is the internal volume larger than normal? What is the scale length?
    27" scale length.

    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/instruments/acoustic-baritone-guitar/
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  • nkforsternkforster Frets: 24
    Stuckfast said:
    That looks and sounds lovely! I probably shouldn't ask how much they cost, because I won't be able to justify it...
    Email me via my site and I can send you a current price list.


    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/instruments/acoustic-baritone-guitar/

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