Looking for a baritone guitar

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After playing 24.75 scale necks in drop c and b I've been moving to drop a# and a more often, and I figured I'll need a baritone.

I played a friend's Jim Root strat the other week, 25.5 scale with EMGs and it sounded great and really nice to play. Unfortunately they cost £1500GBP and I'm not really a Slipknot fan so can't really justify spending that amount of money on a guitar.

I play the generic tight metalcore stuff, ADTR/Parkway Drive/Killswitch Engage/some Slipknot/etc etc. You get the idea. Tight chunky riffs, chugs and breakdowns.

I've seen the Harley Benton ST-20HH which is £115 and supposed to be a copy of it, minus the EMGs and other hardware bits. Maybe if I get this and throw in some EMG 81/85's, change the nut and tuners, and possibly the hardtail bridge I'd get the same sorta thing for less money?

I've also looked at the Ibanez range, the RGIB21, the Chapman ones, and also the PRS 277 baritone. All of these are like 27-28" inch scale. Will 25.5 be enough for drop a# and a tuning though? Like with 13-62 gauge strings?

Any other guitar makes I should be looking at?
 

wheresthefbomb

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What scale length is "enough" is entirely personal. I make drop A# work on an Epi LP but it's floppy for my tastes. 25.5 is enough for many folks. I like the snap of 27 for B/drop A.

IME finding the right thing may involve trying a few guitars, which will likely involve buying and selling a few guitars.
 

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I've played in drop a# on my 24.75 and its just about ok, can get flappy with 12-56's so maybe 25.5 will be ok.

As I said, I liked how my friend's Fender Jim Root played but other guitars won't be the same as that. Alot are out of stock at local shops as well which doesn't help. Another friend has a Chapman ML-1 and that's good, albeit a bit longer scale (28" I think).
 

aWoodenShip

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I personally don't like anything below drop B on a standard scale and I'm already at 60 in drop C. I've yet to find a production baritone guitar that I like, but lately I've been thinking about a Jericho Guitars baritone 6.
 

littlebadboy

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I liked my ex Ibanez RGBI6 with SD Trembucker bridge and Full Shred neck a lot! Except that I couldn't handle the finger stretches when I needed to do soloing runs. But, I have small and old hands. I tried out multi-scales and I liked it better as it gives me longer and shorter scales where it matters!
 

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The 12-16' compound radius fingerboard of the Jackson sla6 baritone is amazing and I believe it's in your budget... (I believe it'll be the same if you buy a cheap guitar and upgrade as you described above)

 

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You may want to play around with Stringjoy's tension calculator to figure out what scale length is required for the tension you want given your set of strings.
 

youngthrasher9

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Ok, as far baritones go:

Your options will be limited in the realm of humbucker equipped guitars, there’s a lot of vintage/single coil type options but humbucker equipped is a little bit more narrow in selection. The used market is your friend.
What I’ve owned/played:

PRS Mushok
Ibanez RGIB6
Epiphone love/deth
Danelectro something or other
Custom built death kelly (in my avatar)

The PRS Mushok is my personal favorite of the production models, it’s a nice balanced sounding guitar. The neck profile isn’t very thin however so take that into consideration. Ibanez fucked up royally in my opinion by leaving the bridge humbucker where it should be and then moving the bridge further back for baritone scale on the RGIB6. Even with D-activators, and a passive bass reduction circuit mod, the guitar was still too dark and boomy sounding for my taste.

The epiphone was a cool guitar, very ugly, played good and sounded good but the neck shape was fucking massive for what I’m used to. (And I comfortably play Gibson/Epiphone 60’s shape all the time). It’s been a very long time since I’ve tried one of these.

The danelectro was a danelectro. They play like they look. And they look like they sound.

If you are handy and like the challenge, there’s a few companies that offer conversion necks with fender neck pocket specs. I went with best guitar parts, and KNE guitars for a body and built my last baritone. It was a dream to play.
 

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I personally don't like anything below drop B on a standard scale and I'm already at 60 in drop C. I've yet to find a production baritone guitar that I like, but lately I've been thinking about a Jericho Guitars baritone 6.
I'm fine with drop c and b on my 24.75" scale ones, just when I go below that it can get a bit flubby.
 

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The 12-16' compound radius fingerboard of the Jackson sla6 baritone is amazing and I believe it's in your budget... (I believe it'll be the same if you buy a cheap guitar and upgrade as you described above)

Not usually a fan of Jackson headstocks, I mean would it still fit in a case? I've never played one either so would have to go and try one out.

I mean, the HB one could be all I need but I worry the neck won't be great, the frets rough and I might need to do a lot of work to it to turn it into a metal beast.
 

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I liked my ex Ibanez RGBI6 with SD Trembucker bridge and Full Shred neck a lot! Except that I couldn't handle the finger stretches when I needed to do soloing runs. But, I have small and old hands. I tried out multi-scales and I liked it better as it gives me longer and shorter scales where it matters!
I play mostly riffs on the lower 5 frets anyway so maybe it'd be ok, though the neck would be longer I'd have to possibly readjust my playing position slightly. Shame the RGIB6 isn't in production anymore but the RGIB21 looks alright.
 

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Ok, as far baritones go:

Your options will be limited in the realm of humbucker equipped guitars, there’s a lot of vintage/single coil type options but humbucker equipped is a little bit more narrow in selection. The used market is your friend.
What I’ve owned/played:

PRS Mushok
Ibanez RGIB6
Epiphone love/deth
Danelectro something or other
Custom built death kelly (in my avatar)

The PRS Mushok is my personal favorite of the production models, it’s a nice balanced sounding guitar. The neck profile isn’t very thin however so take that into consideration. Ibanez fucked up royally in my opinion by leaving the bridge humbucker where it should be and then moving the bridge further back for baritone scale on the RGIB6. Even with D-activators, and a passive bass reduction circuit mod, the guitar was still too dark and boomy sounding for my taste.

The epiphone was a cool guitar, very ugly, played good and sounded good but the neck shape was fucking massive for what I’m used to. (And I comfortably play Gibson/Epiphone 60’s shape all the time). It’s been a very long time since I’ve tried one of these.

The danelectro was a danelectro. They play like they look. And they look like they sound.

If you are handy and like the challenge, there’s a few companies that offer conversion necks with fender neck pocket specs. I went with best guitar parts, and KNE guitars for a body and built my last baritone. It was a dream to play.
As mentioned above the RGIB6 has been discontinued unless I can find a 2nd hand one. Just trying to weigh up the costs of modding a cheaper HB one (possibly with a new neck) as opposed to getting the best one I can afford. Difference might be £100 or so.
 

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I had a talk with the guy in the charge of the repair workshop where they handle all my guitar stuff. He advised me not to go 25.5" scale esp if dropping down to a. So I think the idea of getting the HB is out the window.

Instead he said to go 27" and try out some in a shop when they're in stock. The only ones in stock at my local one are the Chapman and a brand called EastCoast who make a T1 baritone, for sale for £199. But there's no online demos anywhere. The RGIB21 isn't in stock til October.
 

CanserDYI

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I had a talk with the guy in the charge of the repair workshop where they handle all my guitar stuff. He advised me not to go 25.5" scale esp if dropping down to a. So I think the idea of getting the HB is out the window.

Instead he said to go 27" and try out some in a shop when they're in stock. The only ones in stock at my local one are the Chapman and a brand called EastCoast who make a T1 baritone, for sale for £199. But there's no online demos anywhere. The RGIB21 isn't in stock til October.
He's crazy. 25.5 inches is perfectly fine for A. I even use a .056 for it. Sure, longer would be more optimal for string tension, but shorter is always easier on the fingers, and 25.5 is totally totally long enough.

27" is great if you're trying to go to G or lower in my opinion.
 

bostjan

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Scale length is just one stat. Try different guitars holistically and decide what will work for you. A lot of sales guys will just try to sell you what they want to sell you. There's almost always a seed of truth in whatever angle they are working, but it's ultimately an angle they are working, so proceed with caution when dealing with any recommendations from anyone affiliated with the sale of a certain piece of gear.
 

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He's crazy. 25.5 inches is perfectly fine for A. I even use a .056 for it. Sure, longer would be more optimal for string tension, but shorter is always easier on the fingers, and 25.5 is totally totally long enough.

27" is great if you're trying to go to G or lower in my opinion.
I think he was just advising me against throwing all my money into a HB Strat with the actives, without trying it first (its shipped from Thomann in Germany) and spending all the money on mods which may not get me the best result.

I use 12-56's on shorter scale guitars for drop c and b and they're good. So would be handy not to have to use another string gauge. Reverend do baritones that are like 26 and 3/4's apparently. So that might be another option.
 

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One of my friend's has kindly let me borrow his PRS SE 277 semi-hollow body with the P90 style pickups in it. It's setup in drop a with 13-62's. Just been having a go on it earlier today and it feels nice, the extra length really gives it a different tone. Low notes hold up well and don't go out of tune.

Only thing is the pickups are noisy and I'm not a fan of the f-hole. So if I get a PRS 277 baritone with humbuckers without the f-hole that'd be a winner though it costs £849 and isn't in stock at most shops for me to try.

I see a Squier Cabronita Tele baritone guitar is selling for like £349. How easy is it to rout out the P90 cavity slot to replace with humbuckers?
 


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