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Thread: Cordoba 35T or Pono MTDX

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    3

    Default Cordoba 35T or Pono MTDX

    Hello,

    Iím new to the forum - and to ukes! Iím looking into buying a tenor all solid uke and have narrowed it down to the Cordoba 35T or the Pono MTDX. Pricewise they are about the same.

    The Pono sounds really beautiful, but a lot of comments on it have to do with the fact that they are heavy and the neck is too thick.

    The Cordoba, on the other hand, is designed to be very light and to have a very thin neck.

    I do have the specs on weight and dimension on the Pono - got it directly from them (great people there, by the way). But I got no response at all from Cordoba.

    If anybody can give me some input on these 2 ukes I would truly appreciate it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    29

    Default

    I don't have a strong opinion of Cordoba, though they have a good reputation.

    I CAN, however, recommend Pono without reservation. I absolutely love mine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    4,837

    Default

    I don't have any experience of either of those, but I am wondering if you have listened to sound samples of them both online, allowing for different recording equipement, but if you can find several samples of their sound, it would likely help you choose.

    My normal recommendation for a newbie is concert scale, unless coming from another stringed instrument, & either Kala or Ohana.

    Lots of people on here do like Pono, but I prefer KoAloha - we are all different.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    3

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    I am coming from another stringed instrument: the classical guitar, which I have played for a few years (not much classical there... mostly Brazilian music). I've tried a few sizes for comfort, and the tenor suits me best. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I simply add strap buttons to the uke; it took me a while to decide to have this done on my classical guitar, but I closed my eyes and had somebody do it for me. It was the best thing I've ever done on my classical guitar: the amount of time I now spend playing it increased at least 10-fold!

    I did hear sound samples from both - which is why I narrowed it down to these 2 models. Coming from the classical guitar background the Cordoba design has a lot of appeal to me; especially the light weight as I intend to take it with me on trips. But since I don't have any experience with ukes, and can't find these models near me, I have to rely on what I read and listen. When I read that people returned their Ponos because the neck was too thick or because it was too heavy it makes me wonder.

    Not that the Cordoba reviews are always great. Some are downright nasty on their quality control. But since I'll be getting it from HMS I'm not really worried; I know they will set aside those that do not pass their own quality control. In fact, they have assured me that whichever one I buy will be a great uke. And I'm pretty comfortable with that.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Let's be totally clear here, although the Pono may be slightly heavier than the Cordoba it's still going to be very light - ukuleles, even tenor ones, are really small instruments. There's just not enough wood there for them to be too heavy to travel with. If you're coming from a guitar background either model will feel light and portable. And the neck will feel small, especially compared to a full scale classical guitar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Northen California
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I'm a Pono owner. Frankly, I wouldn't consider a Cordoba because of quality issues, as you have found. And I've never played one that I liked the sound of. For me the neck is great on the Pono, and I would not recommend anything smaller than a tenor for anyone coming from guitar, especially classical. The weight issue is a nonissue for me as well. Ponos have a truss rod which adds a few ounces but in my opinion is a great asset. HMS has noted that the new 2018 Ponos have a bit thinner neck and are a bit lighter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    3

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    Given the enthusiasm of current Pono owners, the lack of credibility on Cordoba's quality, added to the fact that Pono responded to my inquiry within the hour, and Cordoba hasn't responded to any of the multiple inquries I've sent them over the past week (although they did assign a support ID to each of them :-)), it's becoming rather obvious which way I should go.

    I was hoping I would hear from a Cordoba owner but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

    Thanks to everyone!

  8. #8

    Default

    I think you’ll be very happy with your Pono purchase. I have a local shop that carries a Cordoba 24T and there’s no comparison, my Pono AT is a way better instrument on every level. Good luck with your purchase!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Cordoba 30T owner here! The 30-series is very well built, and you probably already know that Pepe Romero Jr. was involved in its design. Mine was from HMS, recommended by them, and is absolutely gorgeous to look at.

    I happen to have a Pono from HMS as well, not a tenor, but the mahogany concert. The neck is thicker than other brands but it's not a problem for me, quite like it actually. I didn't love the sound at first, a little muted especially compared to the Cordoba with great sustain. I tried to part with it once, but couldn't do it. Something about the different Pono tone made it very interesting. Now I still own both ukes and can't decide which one I love more.

    This probably doesn't help you make a decision, but don't rule out the Cordoba just yet. On the other hand, Pono tenor has a truss rod, which might be a good thing to you or might just add to the weight difference.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    4,448

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    Pono all the way. I LIKE their neck size so much that I have had three custom ukes built using the size neck dimensions as on the Pono. Their tenor size really shines, especially in low G, they have a full sized body that is deep which adds to the rich tone. As others have said ukuleles in general are very light instruments and the Pono tenors I have owned and played have all been well balanced. I use a strap on all my ukes, as you say it's the greatest playing aid available
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

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