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Thread: Cellist's decision: Kala SMHC or Pono MC?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    northshore of Massachusetts
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    29

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    I bought the Pono concert mahogany about 6 months ago after doing much research. Pono seemed like the best choice for me in that price range, and when I listened to the different wood options I went right for the mahogany. I'm very happy with my choice, it's a keeper.

    I recently bought a concert MF Flea for taking to work, and using during our no humidity winters. I spent the money to get hardwood fretboard and peghed tuners and I'm basically a cheapskate. But this is my hobby, it makes me happy. I say if you really want the Pono, just bite the bullet and pay the $80 shipping. It'll hurt once and then you'll forget about it and just be happy with the uke you really wanted. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by TobyDog; 11-12-2017 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,155

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    I don't see why you'd want to spend $200 USD for a Kala Travel uke and then later add the Kala ASAC-C for another $300 USD? When adding these numbers, you're right up there with a much superior instrument. Or go try that ASAC-C locally and if you like it, buy that one and never look back. Having the opportunity to try something locally is always safer than ordering something from the internet, only to find out later if you really like it or not.

    This is probably not much help, but there's a Pono dealer in Australia: http://www.lorduke.com/pono/

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
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    77

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    I too am a cellist. I fell in love with ukulele last year.
    I have both Pono and Kala. I am happy with both. You really have to try it to know. Each is different. Don't worry though, you will eventually get both, and more and more....UAS....

    Have you heard about James Hill and his wife Anne Janelle? He plays ukulele (classically trained) and Anne is a cellist. There are videos on youtube.
    Tenor:
    Mya Moe Classic Koa #2052 (Low G)

    Concert:
    Loprinzi Nova MS-C Mahogany/Spruce, , Knaile'a KPA C Premium Koa (CGDA), Kiwaya KMC-K Koa, Pono RC-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood (Low G), Kala Waterman KA CWB Green

    Long Neck Soprano:
    KoAloha KSM-02 Koa

    Soprano:
    Lanikai LU-21 Laminate Mahogany (My Very First Uke!), Kamaka Pineapple 100th Anniversary Koa (Low G), Maui Music SK-41 "Pre-Fire" Koa, Ohana SK 50G Cedar/Rosewood, Kala KA ASAC-S Acacia

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lapyang View Post
    I too am a cellist. I fell in love with ukulele last year.
    I have both Pono and Kala. I am happy with both. You really have to try it to know. Each is different. Don't worry though, you will eventually get both, and more and more....UAS....

    Have you heard about James Hill and his wife Anne Janelle? He plays ukulele (classically trained) and Anne is a cellist. There are videos on youtube.
    Oh, and one more thing... I have an Uke tuned to CGDA, just like a cello. So when I want to play some cello music on an uke, there you go. Bach's cello suite is well suited for that.
    Tenor:
    Mya Moe Classic Koa #2052 (Low G)

    Concert:
    Loprinzi Nova MS-C Mahogany/Spruce, , Knaile'a KPA C Premium Koa (CGDA), Kiwaya KMC-K Koa, Pono RC-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood (Low G), Kala Waterman KA CWB Green

    Long Neck Soprano:
    KoAloha KSM-02 Koa

    Soprano:
    Lanikai LU-21 Laminate Mahogany (My Very First Uke!), Kamaka Pineapple 100th Anniversary Koa (Low G), Maui Music SK-41 "Pre-Fire" Koa, Ohana SK 50G Cedar/Rosewood, Kala KA ASAC-S Acacia

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyDog View Post
    I bought the Pono concert mahogany about 6 months ago after doing much research. Pono seemed like the best choice for me in that price range, and when I listened to the different wood options I went right for the mahogany. I'm very happy with my choice, it's a keeper.

    I recently bought a concert MF Flea for taking to work, and using during our no humidity winters. I spent the money to get hardwood fretboard and peghed tuners and I'm basically a cheapskate. But this is my hobby, it makes me happy. I say if you really want the Pono, just bite the bullet and pay the $80 shipping. It'll hurt once and then you'll forget about it and just be happy with the uke you really wanted. Just my opinion.
    Thanks! Glad to hear of your experiences with the Pono. From the sound samples online, I love the Pono most. But I've never heard one live, which is why I'm asking here Interestingly, getting a Flea or Fluke shipped to here costs as much as the Pono ...

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    I don't see why you'd want to spend $200 USD for a Kala Travel uke and then later add the Kala ASAC-C for another $300 USD? When adding these numbers, you're right up there with a much superior instrument. Or go try that ASAC-C locally and if you like it, buy that one and never look back. Having the opportunity to try something locally is always safer than ordering something from the internet, only to find out later if you really like it or not.
    I'm going to try them all this weekend; thanks for suggesting it. I can try the Kalas locally here (but can't try the Pono to compare ...) The reason I thought of getting the Travel Uke now is so I'd have a reasonable instrument to practise on while saving up for the ASAC-C or the Pono. I could get the ASAC-C now instead I guess—though now, having gone down this route, there are things that in fact attract me about the Travel size ... the idea of always having a uke in my backpack ... about town, in the car, at parties ... is appealing! Decisions ...
    Last edited by wherahiko; 11-13-2017 at 10:28 AM. Reason: to add quote

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lapyang View Post
    Oh, and one more thing... I have an Uke tuned to CGDA, just like a cello. So when I want to play some cello music on an uke, there you go. Bach's cello suite is well suited for that.
    Ah, great to hear! I had thought about that ... a bari uke tuned CGDA, kinda like a nylon-string tenor guitar. (More UAS ...) Do you use a bari for the cello tuning? Is it easy to find strings in the right gauges?
    Last edited by wherahiko; 11-13-2017 at 10:29 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    I don't see why you'd want to spend $200 USD for a Kala Travel uke and then later add the Kala ASAC-C for another $300 USD?
    Point taken Question is, would it be a silly idea to try to learn to play well on just the travel uke (possibly keeping it for years, maybe getting a much better uke in the more distant future)? Or is it a much better idea to get the ASAC-C, all things considered?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,083

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    Having a solid spruce slimline cutaway concert (Baton Rouge), & an acacia (Kala) concert, I'd go with the acacia concert.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    94

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    I have a Kala travel soprano that I use for precisely the purposes you describe. It's easily transported in a large purse. It doesn't scream "hey everyone I'm an instrument," and I have taken it to parties where I thought I might want to do some entertaining but didn't want to be ostentatious about it. Or I didn't feel like carrying my concert size ukulele with the bulkier protective case. That said, it's not the uke I pick up in the house to work on music or practice my skills. It's more like a novelty Uke. It sounds great and if someone wanted it as their main player it can be done. But at this point you should get one that suits your ears, and is comfortable to play. You want to be one with the ukulele. You don't want to be thinking "I wish I had something different at this moment." Regarding tone I do not appreciate acacia. Mahogany is much more pleasing to my ear. It's a personal thing.

    Speaking of traveling maybe someone here is planning to go to New Zealand for vacation and they could bring you a Pono. Or someone you know is planning a trip to Hawaii and can bring you one back. Ukuleles travel very easily.
    Last edited by rubykey; 11-13-2017 at 11:17 AM.
    KoAlana Sapele Concert -- now known as the KoAloha Opio
    Mainland Mahogany Concert - my knockabout jam ukulele
    Mahalo Pineapple Soprano -- the one that started it all
    Kala Travel Soprano -- tiny profile with BIG sound
    Blue Frog Maple Soprano - Beautiful sonorous sound cannon

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