"I'm trying to decide on which new bari to get and have been going around the bend searching the internet for ideas. Anyone got any opinions about the following short list which I've found for sale?? 1950's Favilla Baritone Ohana BK-35 Mainland Classic Mahogany Baritone Kala KA-ASAC-B Baritone Pono MB mahogany (if I can find one in stock!)."
I currently have two Favilla baritones and I enjoy the deeper tone that they produce with the old mahogany and thick body. I also have strung them with an all nylon set of strings of Worth Medium Brown baritone strings. It sounds great for my "at home" playing. I have found less-than-perfect cosmetic ones for about $350 on-line. So Adie, perhaps one of these vintage Favilla's would be good for that bluesy sound that you like in your music.
I have an electric Kala KA-BE which can be purchased in the U.S. for about $200. It is unfinished. I have been enamored with the Fav's as of late and have not played it much recently. It is a quality instrument and won't break the bank. I have a local bari-playing friend, Chris E., that has the Ohana bari. It also came unfinished but Chris, who has professional experience in boat building and maintenance, has beautifully added a clear light satin finish that makes the instrument stunningly beautiful. Chris also installed his own pick-up. I think that the Ohana and Kala differences are marginal.
I don't have any experience with the Pono except vicariously though Armelle in her Maelström video,
I have also picked one up at Gryphon Strings, affectionately know as "The Candy Store", and these instrument are beautiful. So aesthetically, I would say that the Pono is a step above the Ohana or Kala and the price ranges somewhere about $375.
I don't really know much about the Mainland, but here's Grumpy Coyote with an original blues song for you Adie...
READERS, If you have another bari that you love. Please share information about it along with the approximate price. What comments do you have about the construction, playability, overall quality? Also, I would like to know if you have some favorite strings that you use on your bari.
Jeff / Humble Baritonics