For a long time I’ve been interested in a baritone and/or a Bass VI. I absolutely love those Cure songs with the Fender Bass VI. And I also loved the baritone growl of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit recordings as well. For those of you that aren’t familiar with a Bass VI, it’s a not quite like a bass, and it’s not quite like a guitar and it’s not quite like a baritone. It’s a guitar that is tuned a whole octave lower in standard E.Â Normally Bass VI gauges (and they may vary depending on manufacturer, etc but the ones I’ve used are .84 to .24). You can definitely get lighter.. or heavier to suite your taste. A baritone is often tuned to A (perfect 5th lower) or B and sometimes in C.
I’ve been eyeballing a Fender Bass VI for a long long time, but they’re hard to come by, especially the original vintage guitars. You’d be expecting to pay a high price for sure. I don’t remember when, but Fender re-issued the Bass VI for a short time and apparently those aren’t that great. One alternative is the Schecter Ultra VI (they also created the Hellcat VI – available for $599). This guitar is set up like the Fender Bass VI, and Robert Smith of the Cure uses these along with his Fender I believe. I know Schector also makes standard guitarsÂ for him as well. If you cannot afford the Fender Bass VI, this is a great option. You can pick a Schecter Ultra VI for $649 at Amazon.com currently, not a bad price for cool guitar tones.
Below is a video by SchecterGuitarTV:
As for me, I found a Travis Bean modified to be baritone and I’ve been experimenting with the A tuning. I would love to do the E octave lower but the neck scale won’t allow it, so possibly some day down the road I might pick up the Ultra VI.