Preowned (by Les) – 2018. Beautiful Les Stansell Baritone Ukulele. Les combines a traditional Spanish Classic design with Pacific Northwest woods and meticulously handcrafts each instrument with comfort, tone, and aesthetics in mind. Living on the South Oregon Coast, Stansell incorporates the very best this rare wood has to offer in a quest to emulate Spanish classical guitar masters. Stansell Guitars and Ukuleles was profiled in the April 2011 edition of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. His short documentary “A Guitar Makers Path” was also selected and screened at the 2011 Ashland Independent Film Festival and the 2012 Port Townsend Film Festival. Les studied under Anthony Huvard at the Northwest School of Instrument Design in, Seattle, 1978-79, and again with Huvard in Skykomish, Washington, 1981.
This beautiful custom baritone was handcrafted of master grade Oregon Myrtle wood back and sides with sinker Redwood soundboard. This set of Myrtle wood is exceptionally beautiful and quite rare in that it was harvested at the onset of spalting occurring in the wood. The sinker Redwood, also harvested in the Pacific Northwest, are redwood trees that were harvested and sent downriver to processing mills but sank at some point along the way. They are extremely difficult to recover and are often buried under silt that has accumulated over the years. Nonetheless, these logs are highly sought after by luthiers for their structural and tonal characteristics, having been subjected to low oxygen levels at extreme cold temperatures at the bottom of the river floor. Aesthetically, the darker colored streaking is characteristic of a sinker redwood. It is very stiff and lightweight, making it ideal for soundboards and uniquely distinct in its structural properties when compared to a typical redwood. The woods are from Les’ reserve of premium wood sets for his finest builds.
The neck was hand-carved Oregon Port Orford Cedar for a light weight feel and in keeping with the theme of an all Oregon wood instrument. The Port Orford Cedar, including the internal bracing, was salvaged from the 2002 Bisquit Fire – a fire that burned nearly 500,000 acres in the Siskiyou National Forrest in Southern Oregon. Port Orford Cedar is known for its remarkable strength to weight ratio and continues to be used for boat-building as well as decking, railing, and interior paneling in addition to being a superior tone wood for guitars and ukuleles. It grows nowhere in the western hemisphere except in the comparatively small area along the coast of southern Oregon and extreme northern California, forming a strip about 200 miles long and rarely extending more than 40 miles inland. The instrument also boasts a gorgeous Oregon Myrtle wood fretboard and bridge with a matching Oregon Myrtle wood top and back binding and top and back headstock veneer. Blue Gurian dyed wood composite purfling line rosette, sound board, and headstock purfling. Musican’s grade bone nut and saddle, professional Peghed geared tuners for precise and smooth tuning, a hand rubbed Shellac finish with a classic Spanish, Flamenco guitar style design. Minor play wear (by Les) as Les is both a luthier and musician. He has since decided to share this one with baritone lovers out there so if you are a baritone player, this one is exceptional in tone and is extremely light in weight!
The principle of a “fretless” above the 15th fret has also been incorporated in to the design of this custom Stansell baritone ukulele and the concept was borrowed from a “Claw-hammer Banjo” design, which lends itself to right hand strumming and often takes place in what many call the sweet spot just above the body and neck joint. This feature gives the player a little more room especially when up-strumming or finger picking – especially on an instrument with low action.