Putting all jokes about Instrument Acquisition Syndrome to one side, my instrument collection seems to be steadily growing over time. The occasional one leaves the nest to go to a new home, but sometimes I do wonder why I have so many. Yes yes, I know I can only play one at time. However I do think that some instruments are better to some tunes than others, whilst yet other require a combination (to my ears anyway).
Until recently all my ukuleles were tenors, and whilst I still love them, I have been seduced by the slightly deeper sound of the baritone ukes. My Scottish friend Alan really should take a big part of the blame for this, as he plays his so beautifully I just had to try one out.
As much as watching all comparison videos was useful, for me there is nothing like holding the instrument in my hands and feeling the tones as its played. However here are some links anyway, in case you are interested.
The Ohana Baritone BK-35CGE is an absolutely joy to play. With a rich, round sound, and really comfortable fretboard this high end baritone has definitely become my go to ukulele.
The Makala Baritone was only supposed to be a short term loan whilst my brand new Cordoba was back at the shop getting sorted. But I fell in love with its deep beautiful tones and consider the instrument very good quality for the price, so I paid and the Makala stayed. I now have two, one tuned to High D and one with the standard Baritone tuning of Low D.
I definitely had mixed feelings about the Cordoba Baritone 24B. Whilst I loved its bright, sweet tone due to it’s spruce soundboard, it turned out to be a very problematic instrument, and after a very short and chequered relationship of 10 months, we have parted ways.
(*A huge shout out to Ron Leigh’s Music Factory for really going the extra mile to look after me and get it sorted.)
This beautiful high end Tenor is made here in Melbourne by Maton, and with its great internal active pick up, it is my go-to tenor uke.
Very recently I have started experimenting with an Artist Steel String Tenor Guitar, and I am loving it! I never expected to dip my toe back into any guitar playing, and thought those days were far behind me. However I’ve always been a believer in going where the music takes you, and my love of steel strings has taken me here. Whilst it’s taking me a while to get used to a larger instrument again, the bell like pure sound of the steel strings is really beautiful and I’m currently feeling my way with the CGDA tuning, although I very much want to try it with the Chicago tuning familiar to Baritone ukulele players.
I occasionally get asked about my other gear. I use a Rocksmith Realtone Cable (available at many online stores) to plug straight into my PC to record with my Maton (which has an internal active pick up). When recording with Kna Ukulele (passive) pick up I run it thorugh my StudioV3 preamp first, and also my ProFX6 mixer is I’m adding vocals. These days I tend to do a lot of recording (with and without vocal) using my Rhodes Shure 058 mic into the ProFX6. My new Ohana baritone has an internal pick up without I’ve yet to try. I’m also partial to the odd effects pedal.
Along with decent security and three attack cats… four if you count me.