Ukuleles come in four main sizes. These are soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. The soprano is the smallest of these four while the baritone is the largest.
The baritone ukulele has a full length of between 29 and 30 inches. It has a scale length of about 19 inches and between 18 to 21 frets. It is commonly tuned DGBE or alternatively CGBE.
The purpose of this article is to help you choose the baritone ukulele that is perfect for you. To help you achieve this, we will be looking at some of the best baritone ukuleles in the market. We will review a total of 10 baritone ukuleles.
Hopefully, you will find exactly what you need here.
Here we go!
Top 10 Best Baritone Ukulele – Ultimate Reviews and Buying Guide
1 Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
Kala built this baritone ukulele with quality tonewood. It is indeed a lovely piece of work. Its construction shows good workmanship and the finish rounds it all off nicely. It’s not just about looks, though, as it also has a lovely tone.
Let’s examine it…
First, this baritone ukulele has a mahogany body. Ukulele builders use mahogany very often because it delivers a lovely soft tone. It is also affordable which keeps the cost of the instrument very competitive.
This lovely instrument also has a mahogany neck. However, it has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. This wraps up the wooden parts.
The manufacturers used silver nickel fret wires to split the fretboard into 18 frets. You can easily glide over these as you play. The headstock with the geared tuning machines help you tune and keep the strings tuned.
Finally, the instrument is given a lovely satin finish that makes it shine. When you add the traditional white binding that it comes with, it really stands out.
Best of all…
This baritone ukulele sounds as good as it looks. This means you will be getting a great sounding instrument that also looks lovely.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
2 Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt handcrafted this baritone ukulele to deliver both a great sound and durability. A combination of good quality materials and tonewoods were put together to create this piece. According to Oscar Schmidt, this instrument is perfect for recording or performance.
Okay, let’s take a closer look…
Firstly, this baritone ukulele has rosewood sides and back. However, it has solid spruce top. This combination of tonewoods offer a lovely tone that many will appreciate.
Secondly, it also has a smooth rosewood fretboard and bridge. At the beginning of the neck is the headstock with tuners that are die-cast. With these tuners, you can easily tune your strings and keep them in tune.
So you know….
All these different parts are put together by hand. This ensures both the quality and the sound of the instrument. With Oscar Schmidt’s experienced craftsmen, you can expect nothing less than perfection.
The aesthetics created by the Abelone rosette and Abelone binding is really interesting. With the addition of the gloss finish, the instrument appears to be calling out to you. Furthermore, Oscar Schmidt shows its belief in the quality of its product by offering with it a limited lifetime warranty.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
3 Luna Vintage Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
From Luna Guitars comes this 19-fret baritone ukulele. Luna Guitars designed this instrument for all lovers of ukuleles. Its mahogany construction delivers a warm and full tone that is sure to thrill you.
Get the details…
Firstly, ukulele manufacturers use mahogany a lot of times as tonewood. Other string instrument manufacturers also use mahogany a lot. While some combine mahogany and other types of wood, this is wholly a mahogany construction.
The entire body – sides, top and back – are all made of mahogany. It also has a lovely mahogany neck. It, however, has a rosewood fretboard and bridge. These are the only exceptions.
This is a 19 fret ukulele with a 19 inch scale length and a nut width of 1.5 inches. The MOP shark teeth inlaid on the fretboard marks the frets and also adds some beauty. With everything nicely put together and rounded off with a red satin finish, it is a beauty to behold.
Additionally, it comes with closed geared tuning machines that make tuning your strings very easy. These tuning machines also help ensure your strings stay in tune for as long as possible.
That’s not all…
Apart from the quality of its construction, it adds some valuable extras with every order. This baritone ukulele comes with a chromatic tuner from Chroma Cast. This is an electronic tuner that will making tuning your strings very easy.
It also includes a quick start guide for ukuleles. With this quick start guide, you can quickly learn important steps you need to take to fully enjoy your instrument. This will be particularly helpful to those who are new to ukuleles.
So, whether you are new to ukuleles or a veteran, this is one instrument that will provide you with some good value.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
4 Alvarez RU22B Regent Series Ukulele
This Alvarez Ukulele was designed as an entry level instrument that will offer some top quality value. According to the brand, this instrument was made with the student in mind. This notwithstanding, the brand has added some features that are more common in their professional level models.
Let’s see these features…
Firstly, this ukulele has a lovely mahogany body. This includes the top, sides and back. On the other hand, it has a smooth and easy-to-play rosewood fretboard.
A peek into the sound box will show some bracing within. This ukulele features a fan bracing which provides just the right amount of support for nylon strings. This right amount of support allows sound vibrate in a controlled manner, resulting in the warm, rich sound you hear.
Keeping your strings in tune is very important. To help you achieve this, it comes with closed geared tuning machines. These are efficient and easy to use. With these closed geared tuners, your strings will be easily tuned and stay tuned.
The overall look of this baritone ukulele from Alvarez is natural. It has a natural mahogany wood look that the gloss finish preserves. You will surely love holding this in your hands.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
5 Oscar Schmidt OU52 Baritone Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt here offers a more affordable baritone ukulele than the one we previously reviewed. This model was clearly designed to be appealing to those wishing to take up the ukulele for the first time. It offers both a rich tone and a lovely exterior.
This instrument mainly features a mahogany construction. It has a mahogany top, back and sides. However, it has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. This body produces a tone that has clear highs and warm lows.
The entire construction has a satin finish and this really makes it shine. It has Abalone binding and rosette. This enhances its aesthetics. This is surely one really well built and finished instrument.
Finally, to help you keep the instrument in tune, it comes with tuning machines that are die cast. These tuners with their white tuning pegs provide an easy way to tune your strings. They also provide consistent string tension which is necessary for keeping the strings in tune.
Need an affordable baritone ukulele that is affordable and offers good value? Check out this offering from Oscar Schmidt.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
6 Caramel CB500 30 Inch All Rosewood Baritone Acoustic Electric Ukulele
This baritone ukulele from Caramel is slightly different from what we have reviewed so far. While the others have been purely acoustic models, this is an acoustic electric model.
What does this mean?
An acoustic ukulele relies on the acoustic construction of its body to relay its sound. For an electric acoustic version like this, it operates a little differently. It makes use of an electric pickup which allows it to be connected to an amplifier.
Like the regular acoustic ukulele, it will be heard without amplification. However, the electric pickup means you can play it really loud. You can play it in a large concert hall, a stadium and practically anywhere with the right amplification.
It features a full rosewood construction. This includes the sides, top, bottom, neck, fretboard and bridge. It, however, has a buffalo bone saddle and bone nut.
The manufacturer inserted a truss rod inside the neck to ensure you have full control of the 18 fret neck. With this truss rod inserted, you can adjust the neck appropriately if it has an up or back-bow. You loosen the truss rod to straighten a back-bow and tighten it to straighten an up-bow.
Some interesting add-ons.
We already know it has some electrical parts but let’s look at them. Yes, it has an electric pickup which is what primarily makes it an acoustic electric ukulele. Apart from this, it also has a 3-band equalizer.
With the 3-band EQ, you can sculpt its tone by increasing or reducing any of the 3 frequency bands. This gives you a whole sound palette with which to paint a sound picture of your choice.
One interesting feature it comes with is the on-board tuner. This is a chromatic tuner which has a digital display. With this, you can tune your strings and always check that they are in tune.
That’s surely convenient. Also convenient is the low battery indicator that alerts you when the battery goes low. This is indeed a baritone ukulele for the digital age.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
7 Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle
The MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele is Kala’s entry level Baritone Ukulele. Kala offers this ukulele with bonus products. New players can easily get started with these products. Though described as an entry level ukulele, Kala has endeavored to maintain the quality of its build and sound.
Let’s unwrap the bundle…
The first thing in this bundle is, of course, the MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele. It is an 18 fret instrument with a 20.25 scale length and an overall length of 30.5 inches and a nut width of 1.5 inches.
This ukulele has mahogany sides, back, top and neck. It, however, has a walnut fingerboard. It has a standard headstock to which are attached geared tuners. These tuners help tune your strings and keep them tuned.
That’s not all.
This bundle also comes with a hard case. Anyone who owns any type of delicate instrument knows how important a hard case is. It not only makes it easy for you to carry the instrument around, it also ensures the safety of the instrument whether in storage or in transit.
In addition to the hard case, it comes with a clip on tuner. With a clip on tuner you can easily tune your strings perfectly. Additionally, you can easily monitor your strings even as you play to ensure they are still in tune.
Kala has already mentioned that this is an entry level ukulele. To help the new player, it includes an instructional DVD by Austin Bazaar. This will give you all the important tips you need to start playing as soon as possible.
Finally, it comes with a polishing cloth to help you keep your instrument clean. You cannot use just any type of cloth to clean your instrument. This polishing cloth is specially designed to clean without damaging the finishing.
Get this bundle and enjoy your ukulele with all the added extras.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
8 MAIN – 17434 Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele
Kala here offers an even more affordable ukulele for those interested in trying out the instrument. Kala constructed this instrument with a wood that closely resembles mahogany. Its ability to deliver a warm sound and a lot of volume makes it a great and more affordable alternative.
Many manufacturers construct mid-level ukuleles with mahogany as the tonewood. For this instrument, Kala used agathis. The agathis wood has a close resemblance to mahogany both in tonal properties and appearance.
This instrument has an agathis body and a mahogany neck. However, it has a rosewood fretboard and bridge. The quality of sound delivered from this setup is sure to surprise many.
It plays really well, thanks to the smoothness of the fretboard and the instrument’s low action. Add to this the consistent string tension maintained by the geared tuner and its playability is further enhanced.
Considering how much this goes for, its lovely look and impressive sound delivery offers a lot of value. In fact, many may not want to consider it due its low price. Do not let this deter you.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
9 Kmise 30 Inch Baritone Ukulele
This is another entry level instrument, this time from Kmise. The goal of this instrument’s design is to offer great tone and playability on a tight budget. Combining good materials with careful craftsmanship, Kmise delivers this 30 inch baritone ukulele.
What about it?
Firstly, this ukulele features a mahogany back, top and side. However, it has an okoume neck and a rosewood fretboard and bridge. This combination produces a deep warm sound that is sure to impress.
It has a well-constructed fretboard with neatly inserted fret wires. This makes for smooth and comfortable play with no scratches from the fret wires. The low action of the instrument further makes playing it easier.
The overall result you get is a lovely and efficient instrument. Lovely to look at, easy and comfortable to play and a warm full tone. It comes pre-strung with Aquila strings so you can get started immediately.
Are you looking for a baritone ukulele that is not only very affordable but also delivers good quality? If you are, then be sure to take a look at this one from Kmise.
Our Rating: (3.9 / 5)
10 Lanikai Model MA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
This is one baritone ukulele that focuses on player comfort and tonal delivery. The builders of this Lanikai Mahogany Baritone Ukulele have carefully constructed it to ensure the player enjoys the playing experience. This includes both the playability of the instrument and its tone.
Let’s learn more about it…
Firstly, this ukulele has a mahogany body. This includes the sides, back and top. However, they are not made of solid mahogany but have laminates on the sides, back and top.
It has a laminate mahogany body that still delivers an impressive tone. It also has a walnut wood bridge and fretboard. A single-ply white fingerboard binding made of ABS creates a stunning highlight.
The builders inserted a truss rod into the neck to provide support and adjustability. There are times when the neck may have a back or up-bow. You can adjust the truss rod appropriately to easily correct this.
To make it more playable for players with larger fingers, it has a wide neck profile and nut width. It also has chrome strap buttons attached so you can easily hook on your strap. The manufacturer also used chrome tuners to ensure they are lightweight and don’t add much weight to the headstock.
Looking at this Lanikai Mahogany Baritone Ukulele, you will see the actual traditional look of an ukulele. This of course is a lovely, comforting look. To help you maintain this lovely look and also carry the instrument around with ease, it comes with a padded gig bag.
Lankai has a lot of confidence in the quality of its product so it backs it with a limited lifetime warranty.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)
Baritone Ukulele Benefits
At the beginning of this article, we noted the four major types of the ukulele. Of the four, the baritone is the largest and also has the lowest tone. The benefits of the baritone ukulele are found right there in the very things that differentiates it from others.
Let’s break it down…
Low Frequency Tone
Music involves different instruments and sounds of various frequencies – high, low and mid. For ukulele lovers, though the soprano appears to be the most popular, its high frequency tone cannot create a complete musical ensemble.
Yes, you can play it alone but if you can add the low frequency of the baritone ukulele to its high tone, you get a more colorful musical presentation. We are, therefore, saying that one of the benefits of the baritone ukulele is its ability to deliver lower frequency notes than the others.
Let’s look at another…
We’ve talked about the tone it delivers. Now let’s look at the second difference which is its size. The soprano ukulele which is the more popular one is quite small. Many people, especially folks with large fingers find it difficult to play it.
The baritone ukulele is bigger, has a wider nut width and neck profile. This also means the frets are bigger and will be easier for more people to play. If it were just the soprano ukulele, many folks who would love to play the ukulele would be disenfranchised.
Lastly, people who already play the guitar find it easier to transit to the baritone ukulele than others. One of the reasons for this is the size of the baritone ukulele. The second reason is that you tune the baritone ukulele to DGBE.
Remove the first two strings (from the top – the E and A strings) of the guitar and the remaining four is tuned ….DGBE like the baritone ukulele. So for the guitarist, it will look like playing the guitar without the first two E and A strings.
These are some of the benefits of the baritone ukulele.
Baritone Ukulele Buying Guide
We’ve spent some time looking at different types of baritone ukuleles. We’ve also looked at some benefits of the baritone ukulele over other types of ukuleles. Now, it is time to look at how to go about getting the baritone ukulele that is best for you.
The only way you can find this even with some of the best baritone ukuleles having already been listed above is to know what to look out for. There are so many different brand names with different features, you will likely get really confused if you do not know what to look out for.
In this guide, we will be showing you a few ways to go about finding that baritone ukulele that will suit you best. We will look at some important factors you will need to consider. Once you can consider these factors, it will be easier for you to pick out the one that is right for you.
Some of the factors we will look at include player level, material, type and accessories. After considering these factors, you should be able to properly determine which baritone ukulele is right for you.
Let’s get started…
What does a player’s level have to do with the type of baritone ukulele that should be gotten? Generally, there are different levels of ukuleles and this also applies to baritone ukuleles. These levels have to do with the quality of the instrument’s build.
Manufacturers have entry level instruments designed for beginners. They also have intermediate level instruments designed for intermediate players and pro-level instrument for pros. As you would expect, these different levels of instrument are progressively expensive.
If you are a beginner, look for an entry level baritone ukulele. You will be saving yourself some good money. As you get better, you can then upgrade your instrument.
This is probably one of the most important factors you will need to consider. The baritone ukulele and ukuleles in general are acoustic instruments. This means that the type of material used in the instrument’s construction will affect its tonal output.
Let’s first look at the type of wood used. Ukulele builders use a number of tonewoods in the construction of ukuleles, whether baritone or otherwise. These include koa, mahogany, spruce, rosewood, maple, cedar, sapele and many other less common ones.
Let’s look at some of these…
The ukulele has its origin in Hawaii. Ukulele builders originally used only koa wood. The beautifully grained koa wood produces a very warm tone. However, with the ukulele now being produced worldwide, ukulele builders only use koa for high-end ukuleles.
A lot of ukuleles are made of mahogany. Most builders use mahogany for mid-level ukuleles. There are different qualities of mahogany but generally, it produces a softer tone than the koa wood.
Today, you have ukulele builders all over the world and not only in Hawaii. Furthermore, more guitar manufacturers are now producing the ukulele. This has led to the introduction of spruce wood which many guitar manufacturers prefer for guitar tops.
Unlike the koa and mahogany, the tone produced by the spruce wood is much brighter and loud. You will usually find spruce used in entry level ukuleles. Builders can also combine spruce with other types of wood.
Many manufacturers use rosewood for the fretboards and bridges. Rosewood has a rich color that can visually enhance the instrument. Some ukulele builders also use walnut wood for the fretboards.
You may also find some ukuleles made of cedar wood. This is a much softer wood than spruce. Its grain structure produces a tone that is more rounded and soft. It works well for baritone ukuleles.
What about laminates?
Solids and Laminates
Ukulele builders also use other types of wood. We can, however, not look at them all. What we will consider now is the issue of laminates.
When considering the type of wood used in the construction of an ukulele, you try to note an important factor. There are two construction possibilities. It could be solid wood or laminated wood.
A solid wood construction means that the wood described is used through and through. This means that the quality of wood you see outside is the same you will find inside. Solid wood constructions are usually for higher quality instruments.
If, however, a construction has a laminated top, it means that the top has just a layer of the quality of wood described. Beneath that, you will find a cheaper wood, hence the term laminated. Manufacturers use laminated construction for cheaper ukuleles.
In discussing baritone ukuleles in particular, the only type of baritone ukulele different from the regular one is the acoustic electric. The regular acoustic baritone ukulele requires absolutely no electric component. The sound relies totally on the acoustics provided by the ukulele’s body to be projected.
The acoustic electric baritone ukulele also projects its sound acoustically. However, it includes an electrical component that allows for more sound projection options. If you want to project the sound through loud speakers, you can connect this type to an amplifier.
Actually, this would be an ideal choice for anyone who wants to play in very large venues. The alternative will be to use the regular acoustic baritone ukulele and have a microphone or some microphones placed strategically to capture and amplify its acoustic sound.
While accessories may not be a direct part of the baritone ukulele, it however is important to be aware of some of them. You may find some baritone ukulele manufacturers who add some of these accessories to their product package.
Gig bag – This provides an easy and safer way to carry your instrument around. If it is a padded gig bag, then it will provide even more protection. Rather than a gig bag, some may come with a hard shell case which offers more protection but is less portable.
Strap Buttons – If you intend to play your instrument standing, then you will likely need a strap. The strap buttons provide a quick option for hanging the strap.
Electronic Tuners – This is an accessory that every string instrument player should own. It helps you tune your instrument faster. If it is a clip-on tuner, you can monitor your strings as you play to ensure they remain in tune.
Actually, there are other smaller factors like the finishing of the instrument, the quality of tuners, the type of bracing and more. We have not treated all these here. However, what we have looked at in this guide is sufficient to provide you the information you need to pick the instrument that is right for you.
We’ve spent some time looking at 10 different baritone ukuleles and their major features. We’ve also looked at some important factors that we need to consider when choosing one. All these bits of information have been provided to make the process of choosing a baritone ukulele easier.
Finally, after looking extensively at these 10 different baritone ukulele, it’s now time to make a choice. Based on features such as build, playability and tonal quality, we narrowed our choice down to three instruments. These are: the Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele, Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele and Luna Vintage Mahogany Baritone Ukulele.
And our pick for the best baritone ukulele from this list is the Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele.