What Are the Top Brands of Baritone Ukuleles?
This is a very subjective question, and if you asked ten baritone ukulele players chances are you’d get ten different answers! But don’t let that deter you, as everyone has different priorities. A clearer picture will emerge if you follow up the initial query with the simple question – why?
Understanding the reasoning behind particular brand preferences is always useful, but the ultimate choice will be driven by other factors too, including how much you can afford to spend on a baritone uke, and what your ultimate goal is (if you have one at all, that is.)
What makes a baritone ukulele different?
Well, it’s bigger, in fact the biggest of all the uke models available. It’s also more expensive than other ukes, which is understandable considering it takes more material to make, and the strings are different, being D-G-B-E rather than the usual G-C-E-A which the other versions of ukes have- which can take some adjusting too.
This is a huge advantage for guitar players as they are already familiar with that set up, and also the reason why new uke players are advised to avoid baritones and learn their craft on the more traditional instruments to gain a good grounding first.
Comparing the top brands
There are lots of comparison charts and detailed reviews of baritone ukes out there on the internet, mostly based on direct experience with each instrument, making it easy for buyers to get an idea of the pros and cons of each without having to do all the hard work for themselves. (Regardless, it’s always wise to look at several review and comparison sites to be sure you’ve
accounted for any natural bias or opinions fuelled by sponsorship.)
There are less options available when shopping for a baritone uke simply because they are less popular than their smaller counterparts, but the range is still wide enough to satisfy all taste and budgets.
Oscar Shmidt- high end and with a huge fan base, their uke always look great even one touch tells you they are very well made from good quality materials.
Kala – always well crafted, Kala ukes are also often very reasonably priced.
Alvarez – great sounds, simple design, and top value, the best choice for a budget baritone uke.
Lanikai – the recently revamped designs include lots of once optional extras, such as strap buttons, as standard, make Lanikai’s already affordable range even more attractive.
Loprinzi – if you have the cash to splurge this family-run company with their hand-made ukes is the one to look at.
Ohana – the first call for anyone after a lighter weight baritone ukulele that doesn’t compromise on sound.
Once you have narrowed your options down to a few models you are particularly interested in try to get the chance to see them in the flesh and try them out, or if that isn’t possible read as many genuine reviews as you can.
For example, you can read more about baritone ukulele here on Sound Chime.