Sponsored By
 
Santa Cruz DBB
 
A great baritone with a 12-fret dreadnought body.
December 20, 2023
 

Tuned lower than a standard six-string, baritone guitars have seen a great increase in popularity in recent years. Primarily developed by individual luthiers during the 1990s, acoustic baritones are now offered by many manufacturers and at almost every price level. Santa Cruz was one of the first production shops to add a baritone to its line after working with fingerstyle and blues guitarist Bob Brozman in the late ’90s. Since then, the DBB has become a standard model, and it continues to be a favorite of baritone guitar fans, so I was happy to take Santa Cruz up on an offer to check out a recently built instrument before it got sent to The Fellowship of Acoustics in the Netherlands. 

The Santa Cruz baritone has a 12-fret dreadnought body with a 27-inch scale. This results in an instrument that, while definitely large, feels more compact than baritones with longer scales, 14-fret necks, and jumbo bodies. Like all Santa Cruz guitars, DBBs can be ordered in a dizzying array of wood combinations (the original Bob Brozman signature model was built with koa back and sides), and several combinations are available at the base price. With its Indian rosewood back and sides and German spruce top, our demo guitar falls within the standard options. As with anything labeled “standard” on a Santa Cruz instrument, the woods are of top-shelf quality. The guitar has a herringbone rosette and purfling, ivoroid binding, and diamonds-and-squares position markers in the fingerboard. Our demo guitar also has a slotted peghead. 

I’ve played several Santa Cruz baritones over the years (most recently a pair built with koa and Indian rosewood that I used to demo the Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension baritone strings), and I’ve always been impressed by their deep voice and playability. This most recent guitar follows 

right in those instruments’ footsteps. Santa Cruz tunes their baritones from C to C at the shop, and our demo guitar sounds great with more tension than the more common B to B tuning. Regardless of whether the guitar is tuned to C or B, it has a great low-end rumble, but also plenty of clarity for upper voices and chords. Playability was excellent, and because the guitar’s 27-inch scale is on the shorter end of the baritone spectrum, it doesn’t feel as unwieldy as some baritones. 

More than 20 years after its introduction, the Santa Cruz DBB continues to be an excellent choice for players looking to expand their tonal palette with a high-end baritone. There are more options than ever, but Santa Cruz honed in on a great baritone concept from the start, and the model is as relevant as ever!

SPECS: Baritone guitar with 12-fret dreadnought body. German spruce top with X-bracing. Indian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony rosewood fretboard and bridge. 27-inch scale. 1⅞-inch nut width. Waverly tuning machines. Made in USA. $8,000. santacruzguitar.com

Related Fine Lutherie Posts
 

Santa Cruz OM Grand Brazilian

A dream guitar built with stunningly beautiful Brazilian rosewood.

Read More

 

1992 Santa Cruz FS

A modern classic optimized for fingerstyle playing.

Read More

 

2015 Santa Cruz 1929 000 Custom

A great all-mahogany 12-fret with custom upgrades.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz HT/13

A beautiful signature model for folk legend Happy Traum.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz Legends in Lutherie FS

A stunning redwood and mahogany guitar, built in collaboration with Heartbreaker Guitars.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz Guitar Company Shop Visit, Part 2

Santa Cruz’s Richard Hoover and Carolyn Sills discuss the process of ordering a custom guitar.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz Guitar Company Shop Visit

Santa Cruz co-founder Richard Hoover discusses the company’s approach to building a custom instrument.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz OM Grand 12-String

A powerful 12-String from California’s custom guitar specialists.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz OM Custom

A contemporary OM with a cedar top and walnut back and sides.

Read More

 

Santa Cruz OM Custom

An Orchestra Model built with spectacular Brazilian rosewood.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Joe Konkoly’s Legacy | Elderly Instruments
Long-time Elderly repair guru heads for retirement.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com