School me on baritones please

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Dave-B, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    977
    May 23, 2016
    Scotland
    I'm looking at baritones (for low-end twangy fingerstyle, not chugga chugga metal) and have shortlisted the Descent W and the Pete Anderson Eastsider Baritone, both from Reverend.

    The Descent has P90-like pickups and a shorter 26.75"scale length.
    reverend-descent-w-baritone-burnt-brick-front.jpg
    Pete Anderson's model is a traditional twang machine, in both looks and longer 28.5" scale length.
    reverend-pete-anderson-eastsider-baritone-satin-tobacco-burst-front.jpg
    Any thoughts? I primarily play Travis & Chet thumbpicking stuff, and the extended range of a baritone would open up some interesting musical possibilities.

    From the YouTube reviews of both models, it seems the Descent is possibly more versatile tonally, whereas the Pete Anderson is a good ol' country boy through and through.

    (Ideally I'd compare both in a shop, but this one needs to be an Internet purchase)
     
    DannyB likes this.
  2. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    674
    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I have an Eastsider Bari and have lusted after the Descent for some time now. I was about to buy a Descent when they announced the Eastsider, so I got that instead and haven't regretted it a bit. The first thing to know about these two is the Descent is tuned to B, and, even though it has a longer scale, the Eastsider is tuned to C. Sure, you could tune it up (or down) a half-step, but they're designed to be played in their respective tunings. I tried tuning my Eastsider down to B and it seemed to change the sound altogether.

    Having played them both, the Eastsider is the twangier of the two. I play it in my Country band and the way it sounds on the solo in Toby Keith's "Should Have Been A Cowboy" makes it worth every penny to me.

    I've had baritones before, but they've all been tuned to B, and adapting songs I knew was pretty easy (i.e., if it's in E, play it like it's in A, if in D, play it like it's in G, etc.). Tuning to C makes that a little more challenging. But at the same time, it made me look at playing different songs different ways using different chord inversions, and in some cases, it makes it easier. Like Chris Young's "I Can Take It From There," is in Eb, so I just switch to the bari and play in G and it nails the signature lick. Even though Pete used the bari on a bunch of Dwight songs, we don't cover any of those, so I haven't had the need to try to duplicate what Pete did (I can't play like Pete anyway so it's probably just as well). I did the next best thing, though. I took it to ne of his shows and had him sign my guitar, so now he's signed all 6 of my Pete models and he knows me as the guy who has more of his signature models than he does.

    I did a video when I first got the Eastsider:


    If there's one thing I'd like that it doesn't have, it's a Wilkinson vibrato. This model has the standard Strat-style, 6-screw model, and while it works fine, it's not as silky as a Wilky. In the video (if you listened to it all the way through, which, if you did, thanks, and...sorry), you can hear some noticeable fret buzz. I don't know if that's unintentional or made to sound like Pete does on the records, but when I wear out this set of strings, I'm going to have mine professionally set up to see if it's possible to reduce that.

    That Burnt Brick color on the Descent is making me think I need one.
     
  3. I only owned a acoustic one. Alvarez. For the money it was ok. Wanted the Taylor, but not in the budget. Never played a Eastwood baritone, but have owned and played a few of theirs. Over all they are a very good value. Once set up, they last and play well. I would consider used if you are not certain about how long the trill will last. When playing with others, they look at your finger then complain your are playing the wrong chords.
     
    DaddyDog likes this.
  4. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I have one that Englishman made for me. It was 28.5 inch scale neck from Warmoth. Tuned B-B.

    Here he plays it:

     
    Andrew Griffin and Dave-B like this.
  5. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I go to bed a tenor and I wake up as a baritone........
     
  6. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    977
    May 23, 2016
    Scotland
    Sounds great! What amp are you using in that vid?
    Indeed. I think I'm edging towards the Descent for the wider range of tones. Your Eastsider does sound fantastic, though.
     
  7. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    674
    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Thanks! I think it was my Quilter Steelaire (really clean, 15" speaker, open-back combo). I think that's what it was.
     
    Dave-B likes this.
  8. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Based on my experience w/ the Nuevo 90 Railhammers I've got in my Manta Ray, I could see them sounding really nice in an extended scale guitar. They're pretty darn bright in the Manta, haven't tried the Cleancut they've got in the neck of that one though & I've never had the opportunity to check out the Descent or the Eastsider either.

    I still keep thinking I'll put a baritone of my own together someday here, but haven't managed to pull the trigger yet. I was shopping some of the 28.5" conversion necks at Warmoth earlier today though...
     
    Dave-B likes this.
  9. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    977
    May 23, 2016
    Scotland
    Fortune smiled upon me today. It turns out that my local Reverend dealer in Glasgow had both guitars above in stock, so I was able to try them out in person. I came home with the Pete Anderson Eastsider :)

    The Descent is a fine guitar, and beautiful looking in the burnt brick colour. But even with bass contour rolled right off, it sounded muffled next to the Eastsider. The longer scale and those single coil pickups really twang. If I were to like some grit & distortion in my tone, I would probably have liked the Descent more.

    I've dropped mine to B, and it sounds amazing :). I just had to loosen the the truss rod and tremolo springs a bit to bring the action and neck back into proper alignment.

    @giffenf : Thanks again for your feedback, it really helped me to decide on the purchase. Now I just need to learn how to play this elongated beast.

    P7150012.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019 at 5:43 PM
    Ricochet likes this.
  10. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
  11. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    674
    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    You have chosen wisely, young one.
     
    Dave-B likes this.
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