View Full Version : wood question

05-05-2015, 02:43 AM
I was on the Pono web site. They have Mango, acacia and mahogany solid bodied tenors. What is the difference is the woods as far as tone is concerned or is it just appearance.

05-05-2015, 02:54 AM
I've owned three of them and played several others my friend owns and I am of the opinion that wood does not make a major difference compared to the build of the uke. Many Pono's sound similar for this reason. But they don't sound the same exactly and there are noticeable differences even if they are not major ones. In the Pono I'm sold on their Cedar top ukes. They ring out nice with a lot of depth. Especially my cedar/ebony. I think you can safely use appearance as a choice factor if you go with Pono. I have to say however that I've yet to be hooked on any spruce top uke and that seems strange to me. It could have been the strings too and I've learned that they can have a real effect on the sound of a uke. Try the Southcoasts if you go Pono. It seems to be a very nice combo sound wise.

05-05-2015, 03:04 AM
I was on the Pono web site. They have Mango, acacia and mahogany solid bodied tenors. What is the difference is the woods as far as tone is concerned or is it just appearance.

The common thoughts are that mango and mahogany will sound a bit warmer then Acacia. In the same model of Pono those woods will sound some what similar. The best advice I came give is go to Hawaii Music Supply website and listen to the sound samples of those. Also visit their review site because they have a great side by side comparision of tenor Ponos in mahogany and Acacia.

05-05-2015, 03:10 AM
A great place to start is on a web page created by a most experienced builder:

05-05-2015, 03:37 AM
Howdy plunker,

I believe the earlier poster was right about each uke, regardless of the wood, having musical qualities that are unique to that specific instrument notwithstanding the fact they the instruments are made from the same wood type.
Although, if you go Pono you are getting some great quality control no matter which uke you choose.

One more agreement about strings. I have had some strings that were on the MGT less than one day; some have stayed on over a month.
Each string set brings something new to the mango. The mango has a great tonal range and I am able to bring out certain characteristics depending on the string set.

Good luck in your quest.
ps: You can hear my Pono MGT at my youtube channel.

05-05-2015, 05:34 AM
The problem with generalizing.. is that there are often more exceptions than fit the rule.
If you're looking at pono.. you're better off as downup says, and go listen to them online or best off, listening in real life if you can. Even in the same brand... like... I had a ATD, and now I have a atsh. Both are acacia, but they sound different even though it's the same company.

Consider the vast selection of spruce guitars. They don't all sound the same just because they're using the "same" materials. And really they can sound very different.

05-05-2015, 05:37 AM
Here's a video of Corey playing MT, AT and MGT Ponos, to compare the sounds: https://vimeo.com/124688954

05-05-2015, 07:43 AM
Do not forget about the uke player when listening to a sample. The player will affect how the ukulele sounds. In the hands of a skilled musician, an average instrument can sound great. The opposite is true, an excellent instrument in the hands of an average player is not going to sound as good as it should.

One nice thing about HMS sound samples is that you usually have Cory playing them. So you can take the player out of the equation when listening to the samples.

If you can not play a lot of ukuleles,then you're going to have to listen to the samples closely and see what you like. But it is not like going somewhere and playing the ukuleles yourself.

Adrian Ortiga
05-06-2015, 05:07 AM
Simply it goes like this Mango = Bright (Treble side) mahogany = Middle-ish less bright. but sweeter specially over time .. for acacia im not too sure but i think it sounds like koa haha :)