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Thread: Pono has “guitar-like” sound??

  1. #1
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    Default Pono has “guitar-like” sound??

    I keep reading about Ponos and Opios and I keep seeing Pono’s sound being compared to a guitar. Is that really accurate? I’m looking for an Ukulele for a distinctively different sounding instrument then my classical guitar, not a sound I can reproduce by capoing up my neck.

    The descriptions have been a turn off in that sense. Everything else written about them seems to be exceptional. Please help me out here. I want the traditional Ukulele sound. Do the Koaloha Opios have a more ‘accurate’ sound so to speak?

  2. #2
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    I failed to mention, I’m specifically wanting to know about the Acacia instruments. I’m not really considering the other tone Woods at this time . . . . unless of course I should be to get the sound I’m wanting.

  3. #3
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    I recently bought myself a KoAloha Opio acacia long neck concert & it has a lovely clear tone, (& I have a low G on it) - it sounds nothing like a regular guitar.

    Here's a short video of one being played.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
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    Some people want an ukulele that sounds like a guitar, don't know why. If you get a large bodied tenor (typical Pono) with low G, it will have a deeper, fuller guitar-like sound. Normal size tenor with high G will certainly have an ukulele sound. Concert and soprano sizes will be more "ukulele like". And as mentioned above, a long neck concert would be more ukulele like.
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  5. #5
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    As someone who likes a "guitar-like" sound in a uke, I would say that it is in lack of better words to say that a uke has a full, deep sound with long sustain, as opposed to that typically punchy uke sound.

    As Danno pointed out, this correlates to the bigger uke sizes. It is true for the Pono tenors with their wide and deep bodies, whereas their concerts and sopranos sound more uke-ish.

    A lot of it will also have to do with string choices (and with reentrant tuning versus linear or low G). Wound bass strings will usually increase that "guitar-like" sound, whereas the Opio ukes come with all unwound strings. Other than that, the Opio tenors have a similarly wide and deep body as Pono and sound just as full and deep to me.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  6. #6

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    Every ukulele is guitar-like.

    Tenors and baritones, more so.
    Sopranos and concerts a bit less so.

  7. #7
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    String it reentrant and you'll get a Uke sound. Even my Baritone strung dGBE sounds like a Uke.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SA Condor View Post
    I keep reading about Ponos and Opios and I keep seeing Pono’s sound being compared to a guitar. Is that really accurate?
    As an owner of an all acacia Pono tenor, I'd say that is not accurate. Strung re-entrant it sounds like a uke. With a better quality solid instrument, regardless of brand, you will get better sustain and clearer note separation. But an instrument the size of a uke is never going to sound like a guitar. As a side note, Ponos normally ship with Koolau strings with a wound 3rd. Change them out to all nonwound and you will get a more true uke sound.

  9. #9
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    I find that mahogany tenor ukes strung low G can sound guitar-like.

    I guess it's better than a guitar that sounds like an itty bitty uke!

  10. #10
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    My Pono acacia concert sounds similat to my Maton Tasmanian blackwood concert, both strung reentrant they sound similar to each other, ukulele like.

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