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Thinking about building a baritone Tele

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by dannyh, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    As the title says...probably pick up a baritone neck and convert something I already have to start with. Or maybe build from new parts...prolly more fun that way

    Question or two for anyone who’s already been down this road...any special considerations I need to make as far as pickups? Or maybe tuners? Or anything else? New to the baritone thing, I’ll do some research but thought I’d check here first...I’d appreciate any insight, thanks.
     
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  2. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    dannyh, you might get some insight (to help answer your questions) from this video where Pete Anderson plays his baritone Tele. I really like the sound he gets.

     
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  3. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I was kinda thinking the same thoughts about baritone teles today - it would be a while for me before I could do another build though.

    You might consider going with a ceramic magnet pickup to handle the lows better. Also think about getting a wider than normal (for you) nut width, the thicker strings can eat up your real estate on the fretboard. And get a six saddle bridge for it, need to move the bottom string back farther than normal to intonate. All based on the one part bari tele I once owned and shouldn't have sold. Just a couple ideas to throw out.
     
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, and some brands of locking tuners don't have holes big enough for the thickest string - I had to ream out the one for the low string.
     
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  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry to triple-post. Your idea is giving me GAS - the expensive kind....
    You might want to think about how low you really want to go, and what kind of string tension you want down there. You might want to try 12s or 13s on a normal tele and see how you like it in a low tuning. Nut might need some work.
    A bari could be anything from A standard at the bassy end, up to maybe C or even D standard, depending on your strings and your tolerance for slop. I found I liked pretty big strings to get a nice bassy kind of snap (14 on the high string?) in A standard, but some guys might want a more guitar feel in C or C# standard and normal string gauges. The longer scale basically just gives you one full step to move down, then you need either thicker strings or less tension to get lower and lower.
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have not built an electric baritone but I have made several long scale low tuned acoustics - mainly 12 strings. My only advice is to think thru your scale length, string gauges and tunings. You will want your tensions to mimic something you are used to. Once you have strings make sure you have enough travel on your saddles to intonate them. Make sure the holes in both the bridge and the tuners can accommodate whatever size strings you've chosen. You might want to bump the spacing at both the nut and saddles if that is possible.

    If you are designing the guitar from scratch you can put the neck to body joint anywhere you want it and move the bridge and pickups to where ever they need to be. If I was doing one from scratch I would not locate the bridge until the neck was fabricated and in the pocket.

    If you are doing a "conversion" then the bridge location will be fixed and you need to make or buy a neck that has the joint shifted. That has to be done very carefully. Warmoth sells a 28-5/8 bari conversion neck, I would trust them to have it right.

    Last thing about strings - make sure that you can buy them long enough to reach from the tail anchor to the farthest tuner. The ones I use on my long scale 12 string are just barely long enough, if I had made the scale any longer I wouldn't be able to buy strings.
     
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