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Obtainer (Baritone Conundrum)
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Obtainer (Baritone Conundrum) Reply with quote

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about Baritones for a while. I want something BEADF#B for noodling about on at home and recording.

Option One: buy one
There’s a fairly limited selection of baritones available and the only ones I really like the look of (the Japanese Jaguar ones) never seem to come up for sale over here (and when they do they are pretty pricey). Even that’s not perfect as I would prefer one with a reverb handle. Eastwood make one but I have heard decidedly mixed reports of their quality and I am not sure I would be able to try before I buy.

Option Two: make one
By “make” I really mean assemble. And by “assemble” I really mean chuck a Warmoth baritone Strat neck on a Squier VM Jazzmaster. Problem with this option is that the neck works out at over £300 (assuming I get stung for VAT etc when it reaches the UK) so the total price of the guitar ends up being more than I really want to pay for something that will only get occasional use. I might also have some bridge issues with the flat radius of the Warmoth neck.

Option Three: bodge it
Throw some flatwound 13s on a stock Squier VM Jazzmaster and tune it down to BEADF#B. Seem to recall someone on here mentioning they had done this but can’t find the thread now. I tuned my Jaguar down to C once when I had 12s on it and it was a bit floppy but still just about playable. I was thinking that the extra 1.5” of scale length on the Jazzmaster coupled with slightly heavier strings might work. Alternatively, I could get a 7 string set and discard what would have been the high E.

TL;DR summary – can I chuck 13s on a Squier VM Jazzmaster and tune it down to B-b without it sounding like all sorts of shit?

What think you Shortscale?
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George
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for bodging you'll probably just have to file the nut slots wider and you're done
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard/seen good things about that Eastwood baritone, however they're a bit overpriced I think. Maybe secondhand they'd be a good option.

I'd just slap a set of 13s or optimally 14s or even 15s (if you can find them) on a guitar you're not using much. I'd even consider buying a cheap squier telecaster and fitting the heaviest strings I could buy on.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
for bodging you'll probably just have to file the nut slots wider and you're done


Yeah, I was hoping for something that simple as I don't have any guitar building skillzzzz.
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gabriel wrote:
I've heard/seen good things about that Eastwood baritone, however they're a bit overpriced I think. Maybe secondhand they'd be a good option.

I'd just slap a set of 13s or optimally 14s or even 15s (if you can find them) on a guitar you're not using much. I'd even consider buying a cheap squier telecaster and fitting the heaviest strings I could buy on.


The only 25.5" scale guitar I've got is my Venus XII so that's out. My other guitars are all 24" or 24.75". Might be completely wrong but I was thinking it would be easier to get playable tension and accurate intonation with the (admittedly only slightly) longer scale? The only guitar I have that I don't really use regularly is my Yamaha SG200. It's in storage at the moment and, the last time I saw it, it seem to be developing a crack on the back where the headstock joins the neck Sad I was planning on digging it out soon and seeing what's what but was intending to put the lightest possible strings on it in a (possibly futile) attempt to stop in snapping in two.

The cheapo Telecaster idea is a possiblity but I've always fancied a Jazzmaster so was trying to kill two birds with one stone Wink
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.


Last edited by BearBoy on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good trick is that you can use old round wound strings as nut files to widen the grooves in the nut.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gabriel wrote:
A good trick is that you can use old round wound strings as nut files to widen the grooves in the nut.


Cheers Gabriel. All my guitars except the Venus have got flatwounds on but I've been meaning to replace the Venus strings for ages (have been putting it off due to the tedium of re-stringing a 12 string) so will hang on to a couple of the strings for potential future use as files thumbs up
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I strung my Schecter Ultra VI with some light baritone strings and tuned it up to B, and I love it. It's a VI bass by design, so it's longer scale than most baritones, and I used light strings to make sure tension wasn't too high. If you're going to bodge it with a 25.5" guitar, you'll likely want to get as heavy a string set as you can to likewise make sure that there's enough tension to be properly playable… opposite approach I had to take. People do use 25.5 for C and B tuning all the time; it does sound a little different from proper baritone scale lengths due to tension differences, but it works. You'll likely need to file the nut as suggested earlier.

I absolutely love playing baritone now. I play Bass VI and standard guitar, and baritone fits so very nicely between with a different character to the two. I'd love to add it to my band roster, but, I'm already switching between guitar and VI (and sometimes mandolin) in the set, I don't want to add another instrument swap in there Razz
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Dillon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would be my choice. It might be my next purchase, except I'm really loathe to buy one without playing it first, and no stores around here carry Hagstrom.

http://www.hagstromguitars.eu/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=1890&category_id=9&Itemid=6



As far as bodging goes...I've got a set of 13-58s on my Xaviere JM clone right now, tuned B to B. It didn't require any nut filing. It's a little flabby on the bottom end, but it works much better than expected.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gabriel wrote:
I've heard/seen good things about that Eastwood baritone, however they're a bit overpriced I think.


Fuck Eastwood, dreadful guitars and dreadful company.

Baritones are surprisingly easy to cobble together, and NickD of this very parish had (has?) a conversion baritone neck going for a song in his mega-Classifieds post.
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GreenKnee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Fender Jaguar baritone that I'm thinking of selling if you're interested? Not really sure how much they go for so I'll have to look into that. Feel free to pm if you're interested Smile
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NickD
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one I have for sale is a Warmoth conversion neck, but it's a tele one. I don't know how that would fit on a jazzmaster body, but if you are interested shoot me an offer - there are some pics of the whole guitar as i have it now in my for sale thread.
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Dillon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickD wrote:
The one I have for sale is a Warmoth conversion neck, but it's a tele one. I don't know how that would fit on a jazzmaster body

It wouldn't Sad The shape of a Tele neck heel is squared off, unique to Teles. Why they did that, and why they still do, I have no idea. But if you put a Tele neck in a Strat-style pocket, I believe it effectively moves the neck backward (i.e. towards the bridge, compared to where a Strat neck would bolt up), thereby making proper intonation impossible.

http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/faq2Pop.aspx
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NickD
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that might be the case - I've never tried it personally. The strat (copy) body I have it on strangely has a tele neck pocket.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, dusting off an ancient(ish) thread...

I eventually decided to go for a variation on option 3 and this week slapped some D'Addario Chromes 13-56 on my Epiphone Dot and tuned it B-B. Had to do a bit of nut filing to get the bottom three strings to sit nicely (and managed to break the corner off the nut in the progress - N00b skillz ).

I think I should probably have taken Gabriel's advice and gone for some heavier strings as they are a little floppy for my liking (although I generally use 11s or 12s on my guitars so am used to fairly stiff strings).

Managed to get everything to intonate pretty well at the 12th fret but am having issues below the 5th fret on the lower strings, especially the low B. As I fret nearer to the nut everything seems to go sharp. Any suggestions as to what might be causing this?
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummmm.....If I were after a Baritone with a trem (and I'd love the Jag one but with a trem..) then SURELY the best option is Squier Bass VI strung with Bari strings and tuned accordingly?
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummm. Yes. And I do want to pick one up at some point. But I have a bit of an embargo on new guitars though at the moment until the place is extended so am trying to make do with what I've already got.

I think the original thread pre-dated the announcement of the Squier VIs so they probably weren't an option at the time.
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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George
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BearBoy wrote:
So, dusting off an ancient(ish) thread...

I eventually decided to go for a variation on option 3 and this week slapped some D'Addario Chromes 13-56 on my Epiphone Dot and tuned it B-B. Had to do a bit of nut filing to get the bottom three strings to sit nicely (and managed to break the corner off the nut in the progress - N00b skillz ).

I think I should probably have taken Gabriel's advice and gone for some heavier strings as they are a little floppy for my liking (although I generally use 11s or 12s on my guitars so am used to fairly stiff strings).

Managed to get everything to intonate pretty well at the 12th fret but am having issues below the 5th fret on the lower strings, especially the low B. As I fret nearer to the nut everything seems to go sharp. Any suggestions as to what might be causing this?


possibly the nut grooves are too high/narrow? i'm clutching at straws here but if the strings are seated too high they might have further to travel causing them to sharpen which is accentuated by how near they are to the nut. do they feel particularly hard to fret round that area?
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the only thing I could really think of George but I don't think they're sat too high. I'm used to playing with pretty stiff strings so they don't feel particularly difficult to fret to me but that could just be compared to what I'm used to.

I might try to file the nut grooves down a bit further but am a bit nervous about getting carried away and going too far. Bit of a N00b at this sort of thing.
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get some decent diamond files and angle them down toward the headstock when filing. Don't push down, just let the file do the work in widening the slot. Do it in short bursts.

11-52 aren't really heavy enough for B-B. I used 11-65 for A-A. I'd go for 10-60 for B-B, personally. Or 11-60. I've done a fair bit of messing around with this stuff and one thing I've noticed is that as long as you get a nice bit of tension on the lowest string you can get away with a few variances on the rest. You basically don't need to jump in leaps and bounds on the plain strings, either. I've almost never used anything other than a 10 or an 11 for the high e whether I'm tuning to E, C, B or A. I'd definitely always use a wound G if you're going below D or C, though.
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