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Thread: Ohana or Mainland or Pono or ?

  1. #1
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    Feb 2017
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    Default Ohana or Mainland or Pono or ?

    Ive been looking around with a hard case of UAS. I want a solid wood uke to upgrade from my laminate. My main priority is to get a uke with that sweet sound thatll put me one step up from where I am now. Ive considered banjoleles as i posted another thread a couple days ago on that. But I've startes thinkong mayve i should go for a solid wood concert before i go for the banjolele. That being said i am looking at the ohana ck 270g, mainland mango concert ( or either of the other woods, i cant decide) and the pono AC. I am really drawn towards the acacia wood because i think its just beautiful, but i dont know much about Ohana brand ukes, are they good? And are they as good as mainlands or other brands in that price range? And i have heard good and bad things about ponos. Mostly good with a couple bad experiences which leads me to believe that theyre a great company despite what ive heard. And mainland i hear nothing but solid reviews, so the main questions are how would you guys rate these 3 companies in terms of quality ukes? Which one would you go with and why? What are your thoughts and councils to a newbie to the ukulele community?
    PS both looks and sound are crucial for me, i dont want unplayable wall art, but i dont want to sacrifice looks for sound. Id like to keep them both. I dont care much for fancy inlays and what not, i just love aesthetics of natural woods with the sweet sound that comes from solid wood.
    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    They are all good ukulele brands. Having played and own several from each brand, I would say...

    Ohana and Mainland are on a par with each other.

    Pono are a level above - superb instruments and in my view possibly the best 'bang for buck' ukulele brand around.

    you say you have heard 'good and bad' about Pono - what was the bad? I've never played a bad one and own several.
    4 Strings made of nylon, always put a smile on, anybody's face who's feeling blue....

    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

    www.gotaukulele.com - uke reviews, songs, tips & tricks for beginners!

    Ukulele beginner? My beginners handbooks for Kindle!

    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Martin S1, Fluke, Flea, Kiwaya KTS-5, Pono MHD Pro Classic

  3. #3
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    Feb 2017
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    I have heard trivial things like the action being a tad high or minor imperfections in the finish or the overall voice of the instrument being a little quiet. But theyre so few and far between, which is why i believe that they are still a great brand. I didnt want to sound like i was bashing them, because ive heard so many other great things about them that make me realize that it mustve been a fluke for those other trivial things to happen. Now re-reading my post i dont think i explained myself quite well on that matter. I apologize for the misunderstanding! But thats also why i wanted to open it up to everyone on UU to get some more direct feedback. Btw i love your uke reviews! So am I correct to assume that you would recommend that I go with the Pono?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2017
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    Actually now that i think harder i cant be too sure that what i heard was about pono, but as i try to pull up where i read those things i cant find them, or any complaint about one in general. I honestly probably got a little confused as i was going through my research online.
    *Update* i did find 2 reviews on theukulelesite that werent too great. They can be found here. But like i said im sure these were just flukes. http://www.theukulelesite.com/review...t/list/id/244/
    Last edited by TheKlmslim; 05-18-2017 at 09:19 PM.

  5. #5
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    Pono get very good reviews on here, they're a bit pricier than Ohana & Mainland, but your choice of tone wood would dictate to me that you go & listen to all the videos you can of those particular instruments, then you can get a better idea of which one is best for you, we each like something different.
    Keith M --> likes a long neck - & being different.....

  6. #6
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    I've never seen an issue on a Pono finish myself. Action being high is something correctable and usually picked up by dealer before sale so I wouldn't worry about that.
    4 Strings made of nylon, always put a smile on, anybody's face who's feeling blue....

    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

    www.gotaukulele.com - uke reviews, songs, tips & tricks for beginners!

    Ukulele beginner? My beginners handbooks for Kindle!

    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Martin S1, Fluke, Flea, Kiwaya KTS-5, Pono MHD Pro Classic

  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Florida Space Coast
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    I have a Pono MCD-E and it's my main "go to" uke for meetups, practice, etc. I have a kpk acacia concert cutaway that heavy, but sounds like it cost hundreds more...amazing! Several others here have had similar experiences with a kpk concert. I have heard and played all solid cedar topped Mainland and Ohana concerts and found them amazing for the money. One possibility on that banjo uke is to get a really, really cheap one...upgrade it a little so that you can't loose money if you decide to sell it. If you love it, get a good one....most people never really get "hooked" on them once they try them. I found a cool maple concert closed back model from China for under $100!!!!

  8. #8
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    I own a Pono UL4-40. The only thing I don't like about it is the neck is a little too fat for me. So much so, I'm considering selling it and buying a custom to get the neck I want. There are a few imperfections in the finish but nothing I worry about. For me, it's all about a thin, low action fast neck with good intonation up the fretboard; everything else is secondary. All in all, it's a great instrument. Not sure if I can get the neck shaved or not.

  9. #9
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    Patrick - you talking about the neck profile (as opposed to width)? PResume so- and if so, yes, I know a few people who have had necks shaved down by luthiers
    4 Strings made of nylon, always put a smile on, anybody's face who's feeling blue....

    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

    www.gotaukulele.com - uke reviews, songs, tips & tricks for beginners!

    Ukulele beginner? My beginners handbooks for Kindle!

    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Martin S1, Fluke, Flea, Kiwaya KTS-5, Pono MHD Pro Classic

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    I own a Pono UL4-40. The only thing I don't like about it is the neck is a little too fat for me. So much so, I'm considering selling it and buying a custom to get the neck I want. There are a few imperfections in the finish but nothing I worry about. For me, it's all about a thin, low action fast neck with good intonation up the fretboard; everything else is secondary. All in all, it's a great instrument. Not sure if I can get the neck shaved or not.
    This is my only complaint about Pono. They have a thicker neck (profile, not width) and I like a thin neck like a KoAloha. I love the sound! They are wonderful, well made ukes that represent an excellent value for what you get. I had one and had to sell it (to my dismay) because I could only play it a short while without cramping my hand. I suppose if I pushed through that I might have gotten used to it and it wouldn't hurt anymore, but I had other ukes I wanted to try.
    Soprano: Late 20s Martin Style 0 | Gold Label Kamaka | Early 20s Lyon & Healy Washburn | Ohana SK-25 | Outdoor Ukulele - bottle green

    Concert: 16" Ono | Talsma 3M | Howlett Koa Ditson | Blackbird Clara | Ono Pineapple | KoAloha KCM-00 | VW Flea

    Baritone: Kala KA-ABP-CTG | Bonanza #38

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