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Thread: Pono Strings (quite surprised)

  1. #11
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    My experience exactly. Pono makes great instruments, but the stock strings don't show their full potential, in my opinion (from what I understand, they are made for Ko'olau by D'Addario, so its very likely they are the same).

    Ko'olau now has several fluorocarbon sets as well, they are called "Aho" and they are among the very best strings I have ever come across. I think they should use these sets for the factory setup. Unfortunately, they are out of stock right now.
    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

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Wait, what? What strings are we talking about? And who charges $13 ship a pack of strings?
    They could be sent First Class for less than fifty cents.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Worth-Premi...kulele+strings

  3. #13
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    Oh, that seller is in Southeast Asia. Try S&B or SBM:
    https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/sea...kulele+strings

    You do know Worths are double length, right? So you're getting two strings sets
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Thanks for that. I got a Pono ACD a couple of weeks ago. I'll try those strings.

    Edit. $18 plus $13 shipping! The stock strings sound great!
    Try Stringsandbeyond dot com, they charge $2.95 for shipping...
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  5. #15
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    Similar experience here. I bought my Pono RC-C-PC from HMS last year. Beautiful set up, beautiful instrument. But somehow, I just did not like it as much as I should. I knew ahead of time the Pono factory strings were not well liked my many, I just thought people are picky, it really can't be that bad... Wrong!
    After trying to like the Pono strings and then ignoring the poor uke for a few months, I finally gave in and changed strings to Oasis warm. Wow, what a huge difference! The uke is now getting plenty of play time.
    Tenor: Mya Moe 2052, Mya Moe Resonator 1581
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  6. #16
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    It’s nice that you guys experiment and experience other strings. The nylon strings are rather dry but I still like them. I do prefer the Ko’olau Aho fluorocarbon for most of my ukes, but it’s not unanimous at all. We sell a lot of Mahana and Alohi to the same customers and for many brands. I recently sent a bunch of sets to Abe Lagrimas to make him a signature set (including the fluorocarbons I wanted him to like) and he chose the Mahana high G set but with the Thomastik Infeld flat wound C string. It’s hard to tell ya know. If it was as one sided as it seems here then we would change. We want you to like the instrument of course and it’s a simple change. More and more players and builders are choosing fluorocarbon but most pros I know still choose a nylon set so idk. Different strums, different thumbs, the way we hear; a lot to factor. Some of the listings actually sample different sets and mention that you can order it that way.

    Oh, just for clarity, Koolau had their string sets made by D’addario years before D’addario marketed their own. They just needed strings for production and needed to offer replacements for customers. The Mahana nylon is D’addarios Pro Arte strings. (Jake S. uses those strings fwiw) The Alohi (most stock Pono now come with these) are the D’addario Titanium nylon as pointed out here.

  7. #17
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    I think if you play with a strong attack then nylon is ideal, the thicker gauge works well there - can see why it appeals to the pros. As with everything musical, it's your personal tastes that count and if we all liked the same strings there'd be no fun discussing them here!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Oh, that seller is in Southeast Asia. Try S&B or SBM:
    https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/sea...kulele+strings

    You do know Worths are double length, right? So you're getting two strings sets
    Thanks. I did not know about the double length.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for providing the manufacturer's perspective, Andrew. Very insightful.

    For anyone interested in a 1:1 comparison, Andrew has recently posted a match-up between a KoAloha Opio and a Pono AT, both strung with the two exact same string sets, first with an all unwound fluorocarbon low G set and then with the Ko'olau high G wound third nylon set, starting at 27:38:


    https://youtu.be/wM24RVBa7UI?t=1658

    After some intense comparing with earphones, my personal preferences are:
    1. Opio with fluorocarbon
    2. Pono with fluorocarbon
    3. Opio with nylon
    4. Pono with nylon

    Of course, this ranking is highly biased by what I was expecting. I did hear some nice clarity or "brilliance" with the nylon set on the Opio. On the Pono, they sounded somewhat "hoarse", which is what I hear when I play them in person.

  10. #20
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    Jul 2015
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    Late to the thread but I wanted to share my experience with Pono stock strings, which is mostly similar to everyone else's in this thread BUT with a twist!

    I bought a Pono MC from HMS a couple of years ago. My NUD excitement was quickly deflated by the sound. The strings sounded dead and felt stiff. I quickly swapped them out for Worth Clear and then Martin M600 and stuck with those for a while.

    Lately I have been wondering how to get a bit more volume out of this uke, or else I would probably have to part with it. On a whim I put on the original strings and......... I love them!!?! The uke actually has more volume now compared to the Martins. Not a lot of sustain, but they sound great and percussive. These strings can't have changed over time being packed away, so it must have been me. I agree with the comment above about playing with a stronger attack, this makes the strings come alive.

    This was about a week ago. I have been busy since and need to spend more time examining why my feelings about these strings are so different this time around. I don't know the name of this particular set, but they are clear without a purple tint like the Titanium.

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