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Jerwin
02-07-2015, 05:56 PM
I am considering an online purchase of Pono MTD/MT.

I was wondering what's your expereince with the neck profile and weight of the ukulele. I found out that pro series deluxe with slotted headstock weights 730g which is even 100g more than my tenor electric Ohana!
MTD/MT version could be a bit lighter though.

So far I thought I like thinner neck on my soprano uke and light ukuleles in general.

Pono seems to be gorgeous by sound and look but thse two properties looks like a deal breaker.

Can you share your experience?

Thanks!

DownUpDave
02-07-2015, 06:09 PM
Yes Pono is heavy, yes Pono has a chunky neck. Yes Pono is extremely well made, yes Pono has a great sound. The last two cancelled out the first two for me. Third and probably most important was how easy it is to play. I had a Pete Howlett custom koa tenor that I sold after I got my Pono. The Howlett was light as a feather and had a thin neck, I liked the Pono better.

No doubt neck thickness will play an important role in personal preferance and choice but I really don't think weight should make any difference if the uke sounds and plays great. This has been my personal experience.

katysax
02-08-2015, 05:12 AM
I love the Pono Pro Classics but they are a bit of an oddity in that they are heavy and have very thick necks. However, it is also true of Ko'olau that they are also heavier than most ukes and also have thicker necks (not as thick as the Pono).

I had a Pono AT tenor and disliked it because the it was big, heavy, and had a thick neck. It didn't sound bad at all but it didn't excite me. After I got a custom Ko'olau I decided to give a Pro Classic a try and I love it. However, the neck is a bit of an adjustment. A ukulele neck is relatively narrow so I've found the thicker neck is really not a problem. In fact, in some respects it is a help. It can make it a bit easier to put your hand in the right position.

This experience has made me rethink things a bit. I think the Ponos and Ko'olaus get their sound, in part, from their large size. They also have excellent sustain. However, I would still recommend the Pro Classic models over the standard models.

Dan Uke
02-08-2015, 05:20 AM
I personally think that overall weight is overblown. Most lightweight ukes sound hollow to me and doesn't have the warmth, rich tone that I like. What is more important is balance where the head isn't too heavy and I can play comfortably without a strap. I don't want to feel that I have to use my left hand to hold the uke up as fingering is hard enough. i am only talking of tenors as that's what I mainly play.

bazmaz
02-08-2015, 06:18 AM
I've got an MTD - love it - solid uke, yes, chunky neck, yes, but not heavy, not uncomfortable - in fact one of the most comfortable tenors I've played - and I played it for a year on stage over MANY shows.

Certainly NOT head heavy in my hands.

Jerwin
02-08-2015, 06:26 AM
I personally think that overall weight is overblown. Most lightweight ukes sound hollow to me and doesn't have the warmth, rich tone that I like. Whar isore important is balance where the head isn't too heavy and I can play comfortably without a strap. I don't wNt to feel that I have to use my left hand to hold the uke up as fingering is hard enough. i am only talking of tenors as that's what I mainly play.

That is exactly my idea what you said. I believe pono is great yet I am not sure about that thick neck. I like my thin neck soprano, where I have more space to work with my left hand. My way thicker neck on Ohana tenor feels just fine. I can't imagine having thicker neck.

katysax
02-08-2015, 07:36 AM
I agree that overall weight is overblown - the key is balance. While the Ponos might weigh a few ounces more than some other ukes - it's not like they are lead weights. I'm inclined to think that overall weight has nothing to do with the sound. Balance matters. Bracing matters. Top thickness matters.

coolkayaker1
02-08-2015, 07:59 AM
I agree with all that has been written below.

My experience is that a Pono neck and weight can be overcome in a tenor size for the quality sound, which is superb.

As to concert and soprano Ponos that I've owned, the police-baton neck and note-dulling heavy build were absolute deal-killers.

Phuufme
02-08-2015, 09:51 AM
I agree with all that has been written below.

My experience is that a Pono neck and weight can be overcome in a tenor size for the quality sound, which is superb.

This is my experience as well. How much thicker the Pono Pro-Classic neck was than my Cordoba 20TM-CE was a surprise to me even after I did a bunch of reading on it. However, the sound is fantastic and the playability superb.

Brenda Wong
02-08-2015, 09:57 AM
I am considering an online purchase of Pono MTD/MT.

I was wondering what's your expereince with the neck profile and weight of the ukulele. I found out that pro series deluxe with slotted headstock weights 730g which is even 100g more than my tenor electric Ohana!
MTD/MT version could be a bit lighter though.

So far I thought I like thinner neck on my soprano uke and light ukuleles in general.

Pono seems to be gorgeous by sound and look but thse two properties looks like a deal breaker.

Can you share your experience?

Thanks!

Pono is very heavy. I did not notice the neck being thick.
I ended up buying a thinner neck Kanilea but notice thin is not always good because it feels like slipping off my hand.

spookelele
02-08-2015, 12:44 PM
I think Pono is very easy and comfortable to play.
It is thicker/heavier, and it is different.
But different isn't better or worse, just different.
I suggest trying it in person if you can.
My hands are on the smaller side of medium, and it's not a problem.

BTW, that truss rod.... I wish everything had a truss rod now.
Sooo convenient. You can tune the action so it's as low as possible without getting buzz for the strings you use.
It's awesome.

M3Ukulele
02-08-2015, 06:20 PM
My Pono AT plays like a dream. Neck is thicker but I don't notice it at all. Sound is awesome. Key thing is to get strings that complement the ukulele. For me that turned out to be Savarez or Worth CT's. Martin 620 are also pretty good and easy to find at guitar stores but Savarez sound best to me. Currently just put Southcoast mediums on and they took two weeks to really settle in. They sound nice but I think I like Savarez a little better. My AT is well balanced. I'm considering a Pro Classic or a Kanilea next.

Rakelele
02-08-2015, 11:09 PM
Pono's "entry level" lines (like the AT, MT, or MGT) are not as heavy as many here suggest. My AT weighs 630 gr, only 70 gr more than my Kanilea K1-TSF. That's exactly the weight of the additional truss rod. Which is probably the reason for their necks being a bit chunkier, too. But I find that thicker neck very comfortable for fretting chords.

It's a bit different with Pono's Pro Classic line. Some of them are heavier due to denser woods being used, like Rosewood or Ebony. My ETSHC weighs 840 gr, which felt pretty heavy at first. But man, that thing projects like a Grand Piano.

Bottom line is that all of them compare very well to instruments that cost a lot more.

Strumdaddy
02-09-2015, 12:11 AM
I think my Pono PKT2 beats 'em all in the chubby stakes - 860g. It's from when they were first made in Indonesia, and when Ko'olau still shipped over nice koa for the Ponos.
It took me a while to get used to.... It's more guitar like I suppose (I think that same factory made classical guitars) Very well made, great note balance and intonation. It's not super loud, but clear as a bell.
I gig with it and have come to appreciate its indestructible feel - I just wouldn't risk my Ko'olau.
I too was stumped with strings - all the usual brands didn't seem to drive the top sufficiently, until I tried the Savarez.
It sounds great amplified, with the Pono pick-up, and I think that it's very even note balance helps.
I know that the current Ponos are made in a different factory now - so they have changed a bit, but "heavy" equates with "rugged" and "dependable" for me.
And did I mention how pretty the koa is? Mmmmmmmmm...

katysax
02-09-2015, 05:16 AM
Andrew says that the truss rod is precisely the reason for the thicker necks.

Bottom line is that Ponos are indeed on the heavy side for a uke, but only in comparison to other ukes. The necks are thicker than most. However, none of that keeps them from being good ukes. Just different.

I also have my doubts about the concerts and sopranos - I really like the Pro Classic Tenors a lot.

Jerwin
03-12-2015, 10:36 AM
Just to share my experience.

My Pono MTDX arrived yesterday.

the ukulele feels and sounds great and is beutifully finished.
Praise the Ko'olau/Pono company!

DownUpDave
03-12-2015, 11:21 AM
Just to share my experience.

My Pono MTDX arrived yesterday.

the ukulele feels and sounds great and is beutifully finished.
Praise the Ko'olau/Pono company!

I am so glad you went ahead and bought it and you're happy with it. I know you had a lot of questions and concerns about weight and size. At the end of the day when a uke plays and sounds great all that other stuff is just stuff and it really does not matter a whole lot.

Congratulations, now you need to make a new NUD post with pictures and a review. Show it off. :drool:g

Jerwin
03-12-2015, 11:29 AM
I am so glad you went ahead and bought it and you're happy with it. I know you had a lot of questions and concerns about weight and size. At the end of the day when a uke plays and sounds great all that other stuff is just stuff and it really does not matter a whole lot.

Congratulations, now you need to make a new NUD post with pictures and a review. Show it off. :drool:g

Thanks, maybe I will when I have some more time.

The neck feels actually thinner than my Kala Acacia Concert. Pono has absolutely constant neck thicknes all the way up.

Rakelele
03-12-2015, 11:05 PM
Congratulations, I'm glad you like it!

thumbfingers
03-13-2015, 06:04 AM
I agree that overall weight is overblown - the key is balance. While the Ponos might weigh a few ounces more than some other ukes - it's not like they are lead weights. I'm inclined to think that overall weight has nothing to do with the sound. Balance matters. Bracing matters. Top thickness matters.

I agree with katysax. My Mahogany Tenor ProClassic seemed heavy at first, then I realized that what I was feeling was the weight of the tuners. Combined with the truss rod, the tuners make the Uke head-heavy and the headstock seemed to always end up lower than the body. I got a set of Gotoh Stealth tuners from G-Jax in Japan (Model STP-31). They weigh about 100 grams less than the original tuners. They fit with no modifications other than filling the original screw holes.
Now the Uke feels balanced and I hold it head-up without having to think about it. I can't tell any difference in tone (agreeing with the overall weight overblown part) - which was great to begin with.

Five Ways
03-13-2015, 08:39 AM
I have the MTD and it's nice, it just plays, not noticed neck width or weight really, love it.