Baritone Guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by born2suffer, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. born2suffer

    born2suffer Guest

    hey ppl :D .. i was wondering what was so special about baritone guitars.. i understood that they have thicker strings, like 56-46-36-26W-17-13,but what means them having a bigger scale ? i dnt get that ..
    do baritones have the same string tension like guitars in EADGBe ? even if ,like the ESP Viper Baritone,they are in B-E-A-D-F#-B ???

    anyone know other brands that produce Baritones except for ESP(even if they're over the 600$ of an ESP,which still is much)..

    thx for the help .. :twisted:
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Fender makes the Fender VI .. and Danelectro made them too ... Once a staple in pop music, the Dano's were used to punch up the bass lines so they could be better defined on AM radio. They called it "tic-tac bass".

    There's recently been a big resurgence in Bari guitars in Nashville and other places as well.

    I have had a Fender VI for several years now ... I love to use it on surf tone things with lots of reverb and tremolo ...
  3. born2suffer

    born2suffer Guest

    thx kurt ..
    but that was not quite all i wanted to kno .. so .. the baritones have thicker strings .. but what is the bigger scale ? is the neck longer or wider ? what about string tension ? i have a tremolo guitar and if i drop my tuning the strings get really loose .. i dnt want that .. so is the baritone with it being dropped and having thicker strings still that easy to play and don't the strings hang down ?
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The length on my Fender VI is the same as a P Bass ...

    The strings are smaller than bass strings but thicker than guitar strings and the tension is more like that of a bass but not quite as stiff. The Fender VI has a whammy bar on it too ! There are two ways to tune a bari guitar, down to B or an octave down. I play mine tuned down a full octave and I have never played or seen one tuned to B. The string tesion differs I suppose, depending on which tuning is choosen.
  5. zacharym

    zacharym Guest

    Eastwood makes a neat Bari in a univox shape now too...

    I haven't played an Eastwood yet, but I've been hearing good things.
  6. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    And for anyone with an extra guitar laying around, a Fender or similar guitar with Fender bolt-on neck specs can easily be converted to a Baritone by bolting on a new neck.
  7. gambit

    gambit Active Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Bristol, UK
    Home Page:
    Right - most guitars have a scale length (the distance between the nut and the bridge) of around 25 inches (Gibson Les Paul - 24 3/4", Fender Strat - 25.5” so lets stick in the middle). Baritone guitars have a scale length of around 27" (ESP Baritones - 27” , Ibanez Mike Mushok signature is 28") Bass guitars typically have a 30" - 34"scale length (Fender Bass VI - 30", MusicMan Stingray is a whopping 34").

    Therefore you can think of a baritone as half way between a guitar and a bass. It is commonly tuned to B to B, (B E A D F# B ) or A to A (A D G C E A ) so in answer to your questions - yes the neck is longer , making the strings thicker allows you to tune lower at the same tension as a regular set of strings. Think how a bass E is tuned one octave below a regular guitar, and the string is at least twice as thick! I have not seen a baritone with a trem, hardtails seem the norm.

    Hope that helps...

  8. born2suffer

    born2suffer Guest

    That was what i wanted to kno :D .. thx .. but some other questions :twisted: ..
    1. so a baritone,tuned to B E A D F# B has the same string tension as a E A D G B e guitar ?
    2. a longer neck means bigger frets .. so how hard would it be to adjust from playing 25.5" to 27" ??? i think i would mind bigger upper frets .. but can it really be that much of a difference ?
    3. what is a cheap baritone ??? i don't expect wonders from it .. i now play a jackson js-30 and i hate the trem .. and the PU's don't always bring out their max .. but it's ok for the money .. so i want a baritone that's worth the money,not the best out there ..

  9. gambit

    gambit Active Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Bristol, UK
    Home Page:
    Not 'exactly' the same no, but you will probably not notice the difference.

    To be honest I have not checked the fret sizing - have a look at the specs to be sure, as with all things you have to try it and see. You can't just expect to buy this off the 'net without first having gone to a shop and tried one.

    I am no expert, but try typing '' into a browser window and do a search for "baritone guitar"! :mrgreen:

    Seriously - just look around - I am sure if anyone's found a good one they would post it here. Try the newsgroups and harmony-central too!

  10. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Ibanez do a good one, a lot less tasteless than their usual models, I think it is wenge, reminds me of an old Warwick bass, model is the MMM1MOL I think.

    PM me for a good source for these.
  11. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Check this out


    Spec are as follows:

    Manufacturer Fender

    Model Bass VI (reissue)
    Price Around $1000
    Neck Type Bolt on maple
    Fingerboard Rosewood with dots
    Body Type Alder Finish 3 tone Sunburst
    Pickup(s) 3 passive single coil (I think)
    Controls 4 Switches (lo cut, 3 PU on-off)
    Other Floating tremelo and whammy bar
    Ratings (0-100%):
    Construction 75%
    Playability 80%
    Appearance 100%
    Sound 80% Value 60%
    Cust. Service 20%
    Overall 85%

    The Fender Bass VI - Collectibility Rating: 1961-1963: C+, 1963-1965: C-.
    6 string, 3 Strat-like pickups with metal frames, master volume and tone knobs, 6 adjustable bridge saddles, removeable bridge cover, Jazzmaster type floating tremolo, 30" scale, rosewood fingerboard.

    Late 1961 Bass VI specs:

    * Slab rosewood fingerboard.
    * 3 on/off switches for each pickup.

    1963 Bass VI specs:

    * Veneer rosewood fingerboard.
    * Foam rubber mutes.
    * 4th condenser switch added.

    Late 1964 specs:

    * Plastic pickguard replaces celluloid.

    Late 1965 Bass VI specs:

    * Bound fingerboard.

    Mid 1966 Bass VI specs:

    * Block fingerboard inlays.

    1968 Bass VI specs:

    * Black peghead logo replaces gold logo.
    * Polyester finishes replaces nitrocellulose finish.

    [Fender Bass VI, 1961]
    1961 Model Fender Bass VI

    1975 Bass VI Discontinued. Re-introduced Japanese 1962 reissue in 1995.

    Kurt and I, own the 1995 reissue and it's much fun to play.

    You may be talking about something entirely different though, there are also Baritone basses and picollo basses that people confuse with these older versions of basses.

    Hope this helps!

  12. born2suffer

    born2suffer Guest

    thanx everyone for the efforts :) ..
    unfortunately,i don't really have where to go and check out a baritone.. the only big guitar shop in my country only has fender strats ... pathetic .. but maybe in summer i'll get the chance to do so .. whatever .. i bought my jackson js30 over the net through a friend and i was not disapointed ..
    i don't really like the fender baritone .. too much money and the looks are too retro .. i think that the ESP Viper baritone looks great and having EMG's on it it -must- sound great ..
    i only play guitar as a hobby and i don't really see me having enough time to join a band,so even the 500$ for that are quite some investition ..
    thanx for the infos .. i think that all there is to be said was said in this forum :) .. [/b]
  13. born2suffer

    born2suffer Guest

    ok .. i actually said all my questions were answered .. well .. not quite .. i juct browsed through some sites and found smth kind of stupid ..

    Jackson JS 30 ,25.5" scale, with
    *NECK DIMENSIONS 1st Fret: .775”, 12th Fret: .910”

    Jackson DK27D Dinky Baritone,27" scale with
    *NECK DIMENSIONS 1st fret: .735 in., 12th fret: .810 in.

    Now .. if a baritone has a longer neck it should have bigger frets ... why the hell does my JS30 have much bigger frets than the jackson baritone ?

    OK .. my JS30 only has 22 frets and the DK27D has 24 .. but hell,that's no excuse .. now i don't get anything anymore .. anyone got some explanation ?
  14. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    The dimension you posted refers to neck thickness which is measured from the fretboard to the back of the neck using a micrometer. It usually does not account for fret height or neck backshape. Notice the taper of that particular neck starts off thin and gets pretty meaty by the time you get to the 12th fret. Fatback necks usually run about one inch and feel like a baseball bat the whole length of the neck.

    When reading a neck-spec, the terms narrow, medium, medium jumbo, and jumbo, are descriptions of the frets. Some may go further to mention the Dunlop wire number eg; 6100, 6105, 6130, 6150 ect, ect. Traditional Fender fretwire is short and narrow. Gibson frets are medium width and a bit taller. Modern guitars are medium jumbo and tall. And some newer preferences are very wide and tall and are called jumbo or super jumbo, which give a sort of scalloped feel, but look like train track rails.
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