NGD: Guild BT-258 Baritone

Longnose Gar

Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
86
Location
Boulder, CO
Guild Total
7
This just arrived from Sweetwater. What made me pull the trigger was that I have a few songs that stress the upper limit of my vocal range (I play in a duo). I read some reviews by players who are using this baritone as a "reverse capo" guitar in such cases, without messing up the chord voicings by switching to different keys on a standard acoustic.

Anyway, I've only played it a bit, but I think the tone is so dark that it's not pleasant and almost sounds out of tune. Any suggestions for brightening the tone and making it sound more like a regular acoustic that works as a solo instrument? I haven't changed the strings yet. I realize I may be wanting this guitar to be something it isn't. Thanks!!
 

Nuuska

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
2,759
Location
Finland
Guild Total
9
Hello

Yes - it most likely sounds quite different. But you might look at it this way. Why not have it as second guitar for those occasional songs where you need to sing at lower key? I have this lovely 3/4-size Gibson 1957 - size and shape are like Les Paul wo cutaway. I have put thinner strings on it and tuned it 5 semitones up - A-D-G-C-E-A - it absolutely sounds tiny and thin all by it self now - but with another guitar it shines - and gives me the chance to use my favourite fingering without putting capo on 5th fret.

So - yes - it may quite well not be what you expected - but with any luck - even small - it might open some new horizons. 🎼
 
Last edited:

Longnose Gar

Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
86
Location
Boulder, CO
Guild Total
7
Thanks Nuuska. It's definitely a second guitar. Actually more like a 15th guitar. lol. I'm going to put new strings on it and mess around with tuning it higher.
 

davismanLV

Venerated Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
15,314
Reaction score
4,656
Location
U.S.A. : Nevada : Las Vegas
Guild Total
2
Do baritones use regular guitar strings or do they have their own strings? I should know this, but I don't. If you want a brighter sound, I like GHS Bright Bronze strings. I have an extra set in Mediums if you want. PM me your address and I'll send 'em to you. Give them a try. Couldn't hurt.

Sometimes change is such a shock we don't react to it well and it takes a minute to evaluate without prejudice. Try new strings. If you want these, let me know.

You do know we love photos, right?? :p
 

Longnose Gar

Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
86
Location
Boulder, CO
Guild Total
7
Thanks Tom for the offer! The BT-258 comes from the factory with bigger strings, .016 - .070 according to the Guild website. Apparently Taylor makes/made an 8-string baritone and Stringjoy makes 8-string sets for that, so I ordered those. They are phosphor bronze, same as the factory strings. But maybe better tone? They aren't cheap anyhow. But I agree I like the idea of bright bronze strings for this guitar. Not sure what would happen if I put regular gage strings on and tuned them down 4-5 half steps? Floppy strings? Broken strings??
 

wileypickett

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
3,891
Reaction score
2,378
Location
Cambridge, MA
Because the baritone scale length is longer you should be fine with using, say, medium PBs and tuning the low E down to A, B or C, without the strings becoming too floppy. You'll probably want to experiment to see what feels best / sounds best.

For what it's worth I also have a baritone (an Alvarez) and I've also tried it with regular gauge strings. It doesn't sound great. I assume because the guitar is built heavier to accommodate thicker gauge strings, the lighter gauges just don't drive the top as effectively.
 

Taylor Martin Guild

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
149
Location
Roy, Utah
When I got my Alvarez baritone, I was not happy with the muddy low voice that it had.
I replaced the bridge pins with brass pins which seemed to help a little bit.
When the new 8 string Guild came out, I sold the Alvarez and got the Guild in hopes of getting a
brighter sound from it with the 2 octave strings. It was not a lot better, so I added the Brass Pins to the Guild.
Again it helped a bit.

Then the string quest began.
Ordered some custom single strings from Just Strings that were between regular Heavy Gauge strings
and regular Baritone strings.
Brought the tuning up to C and C#.
This was a game changer for the sound of my baritone.

I also tried a set of Heavy Gauge strings but didn't like the sound of the low string which is a .59.
Traded it out for a .062 and tuned the guitar to C tuning and liked it almost as much as the custom sets.

May I suggest that you try a set of Heavy Gauge strings on yours and tune it to either C or C#.
Then capo when needed to get you to where you want to be.

A nice side affect from doing this is that you don't have to reach so far to play the guitar when using a capo.
The long neck of a baritone can be hard to play for very long. At least for me.

Experiment with strings, pins and capo position and have fun with your new Guild.

Warning!
If you have not changed strings yet, be prepared to replace the low B string bridge pin.
Guild uses normal pins on their baritone guitars and the pin will be wedged way too tight with the big string. It will most likely break when you try to remove it.
I had to use a Dremel tool and open the slot in one of the new brass pint for the bass string to fit.
 

fuman

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
63
Reaction score
36
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Congrats! i Love the 8-string baritone concept. To brighten it up, try 80/20 bronze strings and John Pearse "Kingpin" brass bridge pins. Obviously, you're only going to get 6 in a set, so you will have to use the stock pins or something else for the octave strings, but I liked that setup on my baritone.
 
Top