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Thread: Ohana or Mainland or Pono or ?

  1. #11
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    Thanks Baz, that's what I meant. Like WC said, the neck profile is a little thick. Other than that, I love this little steel string baritone or is it a tenor guitar. What ever, it's nice. The profile just needs to be a little thinner, perhaps a flatter rather than rounded neck and it'd be perfect.

    I have a friend who just bought an under 200 dollar Ohana. I was blown away by how good it sounded, build quality and nice slim neck. Same went for a Mainland I played. I agree with Baz Kim; either of the three would be a good choice.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 05-19-2017 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCBarnes View Post
    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.
    So I have rather small hands, would this make a big difference to my ability to play well? I mean i imagine its not a ridiculous amount bigger than any other ukulele neck but is it enough to make it permanently difficult or would I be able to learn to cope with the thicker profile? I hear a lot of comments on the neck being thicker which makes me think it might a bigger problem for me than just getting used to it.

  3. #13
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    So i have rather small hands. Would this be a huge concern if i buy a Pono or would it be something i would just have to get used to? If it will be a continual bother to me that might dissuade me from buying a Pono. I want something that i will be able to play for a long time and if i have to struggle just to play it that would be very unfortunate.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKlmslim View Post
    So i have rather small hands. Would this be a huge concern if i buy a Pono or would it be something i would just have to get used to? If it will be a continual bother to me that might dissuade me from buying a Pono. I want something that i will be able to play for a long time and if i have to struggle just to play it that would be very unfortunate.
    I wouldn't gauge it by hand size. I have large hands (generally an XL in gloves) and don't like how thick they are. I'm not much of a tenor player either. I just prefer smaller sizes. I know many people with smaller hands than I who love Ponos and tenors. My suggestion would be to try and play each one and see how they feel to you. One man's "thick" is another's "perfect."
    Main players:

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  5. #15
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    Of the 3? Pono. But you might consider a "1" series Martin or KoAloha Opio if neck profile is an issue. All production ukes seem to have high action, but that is easily adjusted. All good instruments. I think the Pono is the best finished. I have a Pono ATD.
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  6. #16
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    For me, neck profile is a big deal. It's not only the thickness but also the shape of the neck; what's called either a D shape or C shaped neck. I'm not putting Pono down at all but that little Ohana 28's neck I played was by far the best profile I've played in an inexpensive instrument. I liked it so much I'm thinking of getting one myself.

  7. #17
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    Out of the three, I'd go with Pono every time. My plain basic Pono AT sounds as good as many of the much more expensive instruments I've bought since then, and the finish is among the best I've come across. The neck is certainly a little thicker (and hence, also rounder which, to me, feels more comfortable than a flat profile) in the Soprano and Concert size, but that seems to even out in the Tenor size. Actually, I did some measuring and came to realize that the neck profile of my Pono AT is almost identical to the one on my KoAloha Opio, which is praised as being thin. That later, by the way, the Opio, might be something you want to look into as well: A well-made, all solid instrument with a big sound in the mid-price range.

    I don't think a "fat" neck would be a hindrance, and a lot of this talk just has to do with what somebody is used to. Despite having small hands, I think the perfectly rounded neck profile on both Pono and the Opio feels very comfortable and makes it easier to change chords for me.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - John Kinnard - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - Toby Chennell - and others

  8. #18
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    I have no experience with KoAloha, but I have owned 3 ponos and 2 mainlands. I am a big person about 6'5" and I play Pono now almost exclusively because I love how thick the neck profile is! It's hard to try these kind of brands out locally in most cases, so I know it's hard to make a decision. I will say not only was the switch to Pono easy, but to some people like me the neck is awesome! Especially for sopranos.

  9. #19
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    I have probably gotten very used to the Mainland as I play it almost exclusively, but when I play other ukes, my preference is for the Mainland neck profile. I also prefer the sound of my Mainland over a number of more expensive instruments.
    Last edited by Doug W; 05-23-2017 at 09:04 AM.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKlmslim View Post
    So i have rather small hands. Would this be a huge concern if i buy a Pono or would it be something i would just have to get used to? If it will be a continual bother to me that might dissuade me from buying a Pono. I want something that i will be able to play for a long time and if i have to struggle just to play it that would be very unfortunate.
    I'd get the Pono, if you have enough cash. I think they sound better too. If you have a good luthier nearby.
    I've had a Kala and a Duke Banjouke that both had necks that were too fat. The neck on the Kala was ridiculous, it felt like a baseball bat, and it did hurt my hand, and no, I never got used to it.
    I had the necks shaved down on both of them, and now, no more sore hand!
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