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View Full Version : Mahogany tenors: Cordoba 30T or Pono MT?



mikelz777
07-06-2015, 07:36 AM
I'm contemplating getting a tenor and through my research so far, I'm pretty certain that I'd like a solid, all-mahogany uke. I keep coming back to three, the Cordoba 30T, the Pono MT and a Mainland. I've all but ruled out the Mainland based mostly on it's looks. I own an Ohana with rope binding around the body, sound hole and head stock and the headstock detailing is the same. It's no fault of the uke itself, it's just that the Mainland looks too much like my Ohana and I kind of want something different.

To put some perspective on my remaining two choices, I'd plan on buying them from Hawaii Music Supply (HMS) so they would be looked at and set up properly.

Looks-wise, I love everything about the Cordoba 30T. The abalone rosette, the darker mahogany, the rosewood binding, the black buttons on the tuners and the black nut and saddle. From sound samples I've found, it has a very nice sound. I haven't experienced it before but it's supposed to have a slightly wider neck (1-1/2" at the nut) and I like the idea of having a little more room. Reason for pause? Perhaps it's brand-name snobbery on my part. Cordoba isn't really known for their ukes. From what I've read on the internet, the quality and opinions on their ukes is spotty at best. What I'd have to weigh is that the negative opinions on their ukes seems to be based on the reputation of their older models. The 30 series is a newer line with a new/different build and is their top of the line uke. Does Cordoba's spotty reputation extend into the 30 series for quality or is their 30 series a departure and an improvement in quality? Would I have to be less concerned about this assuming HMS would weed out any problem Cordobas? The Cordoba would be cheaper overall because a canvas hard foam case is included in the price but I'm not at all a fan of zippered cases so I'd probably want to replace it with a hard case that had loop snaps (I don't know what they are officially called) on it. That would put the Cordoba back on the same price level overall as the Pono.

The Pono MT is a nice looking uke but a bit plain without binding or other bling, not nearly as nice looking as the Cordoba. The sound samples are wonderful, it might have a slight edge on the Cordoba but I really like both sound-wise. Pono has a great reputation so I'd have little to worry about there.

So what are your thoughts and opinions? I'm torn between the two. I think I'm looking for a hybrid between the two, a Corono or a Ponoba. Is one a clear winner over the other? Would either of the choices be a good one?

Kamanaaloha
07-06-2015, 07:59 AM
I vote Pono...my dad has a MT and my son has a MC...both are terrific!

Recstar24
07-06-2015, 08:02 AM
A while back I asked HMS about the Córdoba 15cm which they no longer carry, and was asking them why. They replied that they chose to stop carrying that line because the inconsistency in their build was not up to their standards. My gut tells me the Córdoba lines they do carry are solidly consistent and would weed out any issues, coupled with their setup work, would get you a quality Córdoba.

Ukulele Eddie
07-06-2015, 08:18 AM
I've owned several of both brands, but not those exact models. You'll likely be happy with either when buying from a quality place like HMS. Personally, I like the cedar-topped Pono MTD-2. Not sure if you checked that one out or not. I also really like the Pono Mango ukes. Really nice sound to my ear -- a bit more expressive across the tonal spectrum than pure mahogany -- and more interesting looking. That's also why I like the cedar-topped 'hog to the all-hog Pono (it's also better looking to me). But alas, you're buying it for you, not for me (darn it! ;-)...

Let us know what you end up deciding!

uke51
07-06-2015, 11:23 AM
I currently own a Cordoba 30T and really like it. I've owned 2 Ponos (soprano & concert) in the past. While the build quality of the Pono's is excellent, I think the tone & volume of the 30T are better than the what I experienced with the 2 Pono's I've owned. I recognize that the 2 Pono's were a smaller size, which has an impact on the volume.

That's my opinion....

KoaDependent
07-06-2015, 11:40 AM
If you like the sound of a tenor, it's unfair to compare even a superior soprano or concert to it.

There are enough YouTube and Vimeo demos of both models. Forget about the looks and pick the one that sounds most right for the kind of music you want to make.

mikelz777
07-06-2015, 11:45 AM
Don't overlook the Islander MST-4.

I looked at that one but it didn't make the cut because I'm not a fan of bridge pins and I don't like the look of that tortoise shell binding. It's too bad. If it had a standard bridge and a dark, solid binding I'd definitely consider it because it has a pretty nice sound.

DownUpDave
07-06-2015, 11:57 AM
I hate to be a thread killer but nobody here can give you the answer you are looking for. You seem to like the sound of the Pono better but it is very obvious you like the looks of the Cordoba.

Ask Andrew his opinion about the build quality of the Cordoba. I doubt he would be carrying that model if there was any kind of issue. I have bought based on looks and an ok sound, it never lasted. Once you are really playing something you quickly forget about the looks and it is all about sound and playability. True story......I got a uke with three minor flaws and contacted the retailer about them, I was told to send it back if I was not happy, no muss no fuss. After playing it for a week I did not even notice the flaws because I LOVED the sound, I still have that uke.

matis
07-06-2015, 12:21 PM
I like the Cordoba a lot more because of its sweeter and warmer tone and a little bit more sustain. When you like more the percussive and clean sound then go with the pono, but they always sound for me less individual. But each ear hears other things and tones. To Cordoba: Isn't there a video on the HMS-Site where the Cordoba-people explain that their new line was made with the help of Pepe Romero?

deschutestrout
07-06-2015, 01:21 PM
Take a peek at Mele too. I have an all solid mahogany tenor and she's a sweet uke.

Icelander53
07-06-2015, 01:27 PM
I hate to be a thread killer but nobody here can give you the answer you are looking for. You seem to like the sound of the Pono better but it is very obvious you like the looks of the Cordoba.

Ask Andrew his opinion about the build quality of the Cordoba. I doubt he would be carrying that model if there was any kind of issue. I have bought based on looks and an ok sound, it never lasted. Once you are really playing something you quickly forget about the looks and it is all about sound and playability. True story......I got a uke with three minor flaws and contacted the retailer about them, I was told to send it back if I was not happy, no muss no fuss. After playing it for a week I did not even notice the flaws because I LOVED the sound, I still have that uke.

Fully agree with this. Looks second, sound first.

PhilUSAFRet
07-06-2015, 01:42 PM
If you scroll down to the last two mahogany tenors, you will see that all Mainland ukes do not have the rope binding. They both have slotted headstocks. The cutaway is in stock, the other is not. http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/category.sc?categoryId=3

M3Ukulele
07-06-2015, 03:00 PM
I have a Pono AT and love it. It took awhile to understand I liked fluorocarbon strings after trying all kinds but the AT sings. I'm sure I'd love the MT and really like the MTD ( step up in finish ) sound sample. I was also looking at Cordoba but it was the 12 fret to body that killed the idea for me. I like 14 frets to body.... just personal preference. I'm sure buying from HMS you can't go wrong. Call any of the guys at HMS and ask their opinion. My bias is towards Pono as I like the neck, solid build, and you can always find a string combo that will bring out the best in a PONO..... IMNO.
Good luck.

itsme
07-06-2015, 03:48 PM
I was also looking at Cordoba but it was the 12 fret to body that killed the idea for me. I like 14 frets to body.... just personal preference.
Thanks for pointing that out. It's certainly something for the OP to take into consideration.

mikelz777
07-06-2015, 04:47 PM
I hate to be a thread killer but nobody here can give you the answer you are looking for.

I fully understand that but I do value hearing the experiences, thoughts and the opinions of participants here as I try and figure things out. :)



You seem to like the sound of the Pono better but it is very obvious you like the looks of the Cordoba. I have bought based on looks and an ok sound, it never lasted. Once you are really playing something you quickly forget about the looks and it is all about sound and playability.

While it's true that I do like the looks of the Cordoba more than I do the Pono, it turns out it's not as simple or as cut and dried as just having to choose between looks and sound. Initially I thought I slightly preferred the sound of the Pono over the Cordoba based on the sound samples on HMS thinking it was a bit warmer and a bit darker sound. After re-listening to the sound samples for each several times, I happened to notice that in the clip for the Pono, it was played mostly on the 1st four frets. In the Cordoba sound clip, it was played mostly further down the neck so of course it was going to sound a bit higher and brighter and different than the Pono. I Googled additional videos for each uke and listened to a handful of additional sound samples for each uke several times. I know I'll have to listen to them several more times but as of now, neither is standing out as a clear winner over the other sound-wise. They both sound very nice.

I guess another factor I need to take into consideration is that the Pono has the adjustable truss rod. (Though I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to use it! :D) Living in Minnesota where the temperatures and humidities vary widely over the course of the year it might be handy. I don't know how much weight I should put on that though. Temps won't vary a whole lot in the house and the uke would be properly humidified in the case during the heating months.

mikelz777
07-06-2015, 04:54 PM
I was also looking at Cordoba but it was the 12 fret to body that killed the idea for me. I like 14 frets to body.... just personal preference.


Thanks for pointing that out. It's certainly something for the OP to take into consideration.

Based on my current skill set and what I anticipate my skill set to be in the next couple years, I probably won't be getting very close to the 12th fret let alone the 14th fret! :cool:

DownUpDave
07-06-2015, 05:06 PM
I have a Pono and I live in Canada where we get wild humidity and temperature swings and I have never touched the truss rod. As you say, stored in a case with an Oasis it is stable and hardly goes out of tune.

I like Pepe Romero and I like the new Cordoba 30 series of ukes, so does HMS based on their description and write up. I actually came close to buying the mahogany tenor based on sound alone. I like it over their spruce rosewood, spruce acacia and all acacia.

spookelele
07-06-2015, 05:25 PM
Based on my current skill set and what I anticipate my skill set to be in the next couple years, I probably won't be getting very close to the 12th fret let alone the 14th fret! :cool:

So.. you're planning to mostly chord? That might make a difference as well in your choice.

If you play chord/melody, 14 and even 15 is not really that uncommon. 16+ not so common, but ymmv. Reaching 1 over a 14th fret join isn't so bad. Reaching 3 over on a 12th fret join is pretty uncomfortable. I dread the day I start looking for a cutaway to reach those, but so far I've been ok with just a 14th fret join.

I wouldn't discount how soon you'll want to use 14/15. It'll probably come faster than you think.

mikelz777
07-06-2015, 05:47 PM
So.. you're planning to mostly chord? That might make a difference as well in your choice.

If you play chord/melody, 14 and even 15 is not really that uncommon. 16+ not so common, but ymmv. Reaching 1 over a 14th fret join isn't so bad. Reaching 3 over on a 12th fret join is pretty uncomfortable. I dread the day I start looking for a cutaway to reach those, but so far I've been ok with just a 14th fret join.

I wouldn't discount how soon you'll want to use 14/15. It'll probably come faster than you think.

Right now I'm just a chord strummer accompanying myself as I sing. I do play a song where I end it with a run of single notes on the top three frets. I'd like to learn how to finger pick having some past experience doing some basic finger picks on a guitar years and years ago. Picking melodies seems like it would be pretty difficult.

robedney
07-06-2015, 05:56 PM
I understand your pain! I spent a lot of time making my tenor choice. One of the things I considered is where and how these ukes are made. Cordoba (per their website) makes all of their ukes in China. I don't have any particular problem with buying Chinese goods, and there are some fine instruments made there, but in my experience the quality control can be iffy, and you've no idea how the folks actually making the instruments are treated, how well they are paid, valued as craftsmen, etc.

On the other hand, Ponos are made in Java, and there's a video (both on Ko'olau's site and HMS) with a full factory tour. They appear to be happy folks, they are reported to be well-paid, have health insurance, etc. The shop looks great and there seems to be a very tight relationship between Ko'olau in Hawaii and their Java shop. In other words, the Java facility is owned and run by Ko'olau, and is not a jobber of some sort. Ko'olau set-up the shop, trained the workers and supervises things.

I don't know about you, but that has an impact on my purchasing choices. Particularly with an instrument like a uke, there's something to be said for knowing that the folks who made it were happy in their work (that Aloha spirit). So, I'm currently waiting for HMS to finish setting-up the Pono ATSH Pro Classic (a mouth-full!) that I ordered! HMS is definitely the way to go in my view, and I appreciate the fact that they set-up every instrument, and that when they get behind they still take their time and don't shove them out the door -- but oh my, the waiting...

Ukulele Eddie
07-06-2015, 06:05 PM
Picking melodies seems like it would be pretty difficult.

It's easier to learn than learning to sing. ;-)

Check out Bret McQueen's Ukulele Tricks web site. He has some free fingerstyle stuff there to get you started and a complete course that is reasonably priced and very well done in my opinion.

Hippie Dribble
07-06-2015, 06:11 PM
From all you've said I'd go with the Cordoba myself. Purely because the more you like the aesthetics of an instrument the more likely you are to pick it up and play it. Besides, every man and his dog has a Pono. If you're purchasing from HMS you don't even need to ask is the model worthy of buying. They always sort out the wheat from the chaff and then add flavouring. :)

Jerwin
07-07-2015, 12:07 AM
I've purchased Cordoba tenor uke (local music store). I had to send it back immediately. I could not believe that the uke could pass through factory doors. On the other hand, my Pono MTD is flawless. Although Cordoba looks great and I believe it also sounds that way. It dissapointed me once though.

Icelander53
07-07-2015, 12:21 AM
From all you've said I'd go with the Cordoba myself. Purely because the more you like the aesthetics of an instrument the more likely you are to pick it up and play it. Besides, every man and his dog has a Pono. If you're purchasing from HMS you don't even need to ask is the model worthy of buying. They always sort out the wheat from the chaff and then add flavouring. :)

This is true in this situation. HMS isn't going to send out a lousy sample so you can buy what most suits your fancy. I like Pono's myself but I think that Cordoba is sweet and I'd try it over that particular model Pono. Pono is so popular for good reason but that hardly means they will always be the best choice.

mikelz777
07-07-2015, 05:35 AM
Here's a bunch of sound samples for both. Which one stands out for you? I'm having a hard time choosing, they both sound nice!

Cordoba 30T
https://vimeo.com/72481547
https://vimeo.com/67892565
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU1O88-ReHk&index=7&list=PLyULYdWxq66xH6Hi_kmg6LCE9Hv9eWtKn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hju-Wg0xMak&index=18&list=PLyULYdWxq66xH6Hi_kmg6LCE9Hv9eWtKn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O56buzqZmY (The 2nd uke played.)

Pono MT
http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-mt-mahogany-tenor.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8pveob_9qo
https://vimeo.com/52804712
https://vimeo.com/30337125
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgmKKuJlxy8

robedney
07-07-2015, 06:38 AM
I definitely hear more sustain in the Pono -- but that's not all there is to voicing and tone. They both sound good to me. Here's an idea: Have a friend (or handy enemy) play back the sound samples for you without telling you which is which, and see if you consistently favor one over the other. If so, buy the one that sound's best to you. That's just me, but I will always pick sound over appearance within reason. If you don't consistently favor the sound of one particular uke, buy based on appearance (you do have to look at it, after all). Do let us know what you decide, and then what you think once you've got your chosen uke!

Uke182
07-07-2015, 10:31 AM
Between the two, I would choose the Cordoba 30T. For myself, I believe a beautiful 'ukulele is a played 'ukulele. And since you will be buying from HMS, I KNOW Andrew, Zach and the crew would choose a good one for you. That's what they do. I bought my Pono ATSH directly from them and I've visited HMS back at the end of April. You will not regret it. Also, I think the Cordoba neck is more comfortable to me as I'm still learning because Pono's have thicker necks. That takes a little getting use to, but it's fine. Also, I prefer a gloss finish because if any blemishes happen, it can be easily buffed out. I knicked the headstock of my Pono last year and I was CRYING! I brought my Pono with me when I visited HMS and Andrew buffed out the entire instrument. It's even SHINIER now than when I first received it! Have you considered going a step further and getting the MTD if it's in your budget?

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/pono/pono-mtd-mahogany-tenor-deluxe.html

Here are a few of mahogany tenors that I like as well:

Mainland Mahogany Tenor Slotted Headstock
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc;jsessionid=413D0EFB9E1666E0B4D1AF11F7C3 04EB.m1plqscsfapp01?productId=65&categoryId=3

Ohana TK-35G (I have the TK-35CG, cutaway and I like the feel of the neck):
http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/ohana-tk-35g-solid-mahgy-tenor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3SxA1D6Odk

KoAloha Opio Tenor:
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/koaloha/koaloha-opio-concert-ukulele-package-1625.html

mikelz777
07-07-2015, 11:46 AM
Have you considered going a step further and getting the MTD if it's in your budget?

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/pono/pono-mtd-mahogany-tenor-deluxe.html



Don't do this to me! Now you have me thinking about it! Are the gloss finish and the ebony faceplate/fret board/bridge worth the extra $128?

Uke182
07-07-2015, 12:02 PM
Don't do this to me! Now you have me thinking about it! Are the gloss finish and the ebony faceplate/fret board/bridge worth the extra $128?

Haha, sorry. That's up to you I guess. I don't like satin finishes, always gloss if it's an all solid uke. The tuners on the MTD look cooler. I like ebony better because it's darker so it looks cooler to me. Ebony is an upgrade and the benefit for ebony is it is harder than rosewood so it will last longer. Many customs and pro performers go for ebony. My Pono ATSH has ebony along with ebony binding!

Jerwin
07-08-2015, 01:05 AM
Don't do this to me! Now you have me thinking about it! Are the gloss finish and the ebony faceplate/fret board/bridge worth the extra $128?

I must say that glossy Pono is beautiful. These basic Pono models are not decorated (which is part of their charm) and the gloss does the magic on a simply-looking uke. I also somehow like the "spark" in the tone which "D" version has.

If you think of it as long-term purchase, extra $128 is not that much. If you think you like Ponot MT as well as MTD, why to go with MTD? I just knew if I bought MT, I'd regret not buying MTD afterwards... hope it makes sense. :)

Good luck with your purchase!

Icelander53
07-08-2015, 01:57 AM
I've learned the hard way that $128 is the way to go. However if I was just scraping by I'd not go there.

PTOEguy
07-08-2015, 05:04 AM
Right now I'm just a chord strummer accompanying myself as I sing. I do play a song where I end it with a run of single notes on the top three frets. I'd like to learn how to finger pick having some past experience doing some basic finger picks on a guitar years and years ago. Picking melodies seems like it would be pretty difficult.

My experience with my Pono MT (since sold) was that it was a fantastic finger picking uke, but that for strumming it was lacking in "thingness". The sound when finger picked was crisp and clean, but when strummed it came out a little harsh and without much depth. Friends whose judgement I trust much prefered the sound of my concert flea for strumming (and I agree). My father has a Pono ATD and that had a much better sound to my ear when strummed.

Another thing about my MT was that it was far better with higher tension strings. If you like that feel and sound then you'll love the MT - I really liked how solid and well put together it felt.

mikelz777
07-08-2015, 09:17 AM
Oy! Now after listening to sound samples of other ukes, I'm going to have to throw the Pono AT and the Pono ATD into the mix! They both have the warm, rich sound I'd be looking for and they are both a bit more interesting looking than the Pono mahoganys.

Uke182
07-08-2015, 10:22 AM
If you want acacia wood, that changes many things. Maybe you should go back to choose which wood you prefer, mahogany or acacia. Acacia has a brighter, more woody tone. Mahogany has a warmer tone.

spookelele
07-08-2015, 10:25 AM
However, a gloss finish also adds to top thickness, which can impact resonance (can, not always does).

I've become skeptical about this.
I use iPad screen protectors as pick/nail/strum guards.

When I first started using them, I was really worried that it might ruin the tone.
But after a/b'ing with/without the sound didn't seem any different.
The iPad screen protectors are thicker than a typical gloss finish.

Uke182
07-09-2015, 05:55 AM
So what have you decided on?

mikelz777
07-09-2015, 11:40 AM
So what have you decided on?

A decision has yet to be made, I'm still in the process! :cool:

I was actually getting ahead of myself when I started this thread. Until today, I had only ever picked up a tenor once and that was for just 5-10 minutes at best. I wasn't even sure I'd like a tenor. (but I had a pretty good idea that I would) I needed to spend some time playing one to see if I even wanted to continue looking into getting one. As is turns out, I do!

This afternoon I stopped by a music store fairly close to me and spent about an hour sampling various tenor ukes. I was actually surprised and impressed with the number of ukes they had available, easily 3-4 dozen or more. I avoided the real low end/entry stuff and dove into their Lanikais. I was unmoved and only bothered to pick up one and strum it a few times before putting it back on the rack. Next was a couple of Fenders which were equally unimpressive so they too quickly ended up back on their hangers. The bulk of my time was spent playing various Kalas. I kept going back to the all-solid Acacia Kala KA-ASAC-T which I spent the most time with. It was hands down the best sounding of the bunch. I know that HMS sells it and I'd give it strong consideration but I'm not sure I want a slot-head. It looks kinda cool but I'd be worried about future cracks and breakage down the road due to age, stress, accidental drops, etc. It seems like a slot head would be more fragile and susceptible to damage than a solid head uke. Even if it were just as strong, I prefer the look of a solid head. At the very least, the experience has shown me that I need to give very strong consideration to an Acacia uke. I loved the sound.

I think my next step is to contact HMS and ask for their advice and recommendations. Right now the contenders are:

-Cordoba 30T
-Pono MT
-Pono MTD
-Pono AT
-Pono ATD

If that Kala KA-ASAC-T had a solid head, it would definitely be in the running.

Uke182
07-09-2015, 12:03 PM
I think my next step is to contact HMS and ask for their advice and recommendations. Right now the contenders are:

-Cordoba 30T
-Pono MT
-Pono MTD
-Pono AT
-Pono ATD

If that Kala KA-ASAC-T had a solid head, it would definitely be in the running.

I would skip the Kala. Cordoba also has a solid acacia model as well which is the 35T, but HMS is out of stock at the moment. They seem to sell out of the Cordoba 35T frequently. Zach or Andrew would always be happy to answer any of your questions.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/cordoba-35t-solid-acacia-tenor-package.html

Pueo
07-09-2015, 01:00 PM
I do not envy you having to make a decision like like without having the instrument in your hands first. Also remember that strings make a huge difference in the character and tone of the sound, so listening to sound samples is a guideline at best.
All I can tell you is that buying from HMS is a good way to ensure that you get a quality product no matter which one you choose. I'm not sure where you live, but Mim's Ukes and Mainland and Uke Republic are great resources too.
Personally, if I were going to buy a Pono, I would get that from HMS. Mainly because Andrew (owner of HMS) is the son of John Kitakis who owns Ko`olau/Pono. If I were buying another brand, and I lived in mainland US, I might just as easily buy from a good shop that was geographically closer, but that is just me.

I can also tell you that my Pono is built exceptionally well, and sounds and plays wonderful. The build quality is above every other import ukulele I have. I think you will be very happy with your Pono. I have tried many different sets of strings over the years, Ko`olau Gold, Hilo, D'Addario, Aquila, Aquila Red, Ko`olau Alohi, Ko`olau Mehana, and finally settled on Worth Brown, which I like very much. The instrument itself has held up very well and has even prevented me from buying a few other ukuleles because they frankly just were not as nice as my Pono is and were much more expensive. I have had it for 8 years now...

Good luck with your purchase!

sam13
07-09-2015, 01:08 PM
I would skip the Kala. Cordoba also has a solid acacia model as well which is the 35T, but HMS is out of stock at the moment. They seem to sell out of the Cordoba 35T frequently. Zach or Andrew would always be happy to answer any of your questions.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/cordoba-35t-solid-acacia-tenor-package.html

I am a Pono Fanboy.

I have been playing since Dec 2013 and have owned 7 Ponos. I still own 3 Pro Classic Tenors and a Pro Classic Baritone.

You won't be disappointed with Pono Ukes nor with dealing with HMS. I know a few UU ers who have received something that wasn't "quite what they were looking for". Andrew took it back and helped them find that dream Uke.

A used Pono can be had easily on the board as well.

Good luck.

mikelz777
07-09-2015, 02:37 PM
Cordoba also has a solid acacia model as well which is the 35T, but HMS is out of stock at the moment.

That is a beauty! I'll have to add it to the list!

Rakelele
07-09-2015, 08:54 PM
A Pono AT has been my first "serious" uke too, and honestly, I'd say it is as good as any that I tried since. Like Pueo, I'm using Worth Brown and find that uke to be a great allrounder for both strumming and fingerpicking. I think the satin finish might be affecting the tone positively, providing a very open sound. I had mine for over three years now and played the heck out of it, but still no strum marks visible.

If you like KoAloha, but can't afford one, then you should consider their Opio line. They are made from Sapele which is said to be some sort of Mahogany. Their new tenor is similar in tone to my AT, but with a wider dynamic range.

DownUpDave
07-10-2015, 12:12 AM
I will make your life easy, buy the Pono MTD, seriously. The more you look and talk the longer your list is getting then confusion and indecision sets in. At the very beginning it was Cordoba or Pono, both mahogany and you like the sound of each with Pono having the edge. Moving up to the MTD you now have the looks that you want.

I was at a practice and Matthew pulled out a MTD and as he played it I was like "HOLY S**T that sounds great. I had a Pono pro classic with me and I was lusting after his MTD.

Jerwin
07-10-2015, 12:48 AM
Listen to Dave... I did and I am happy with my MTD :)

DownUpDave
07-10-2015, 12:56 AM
Listen to Dave... I did and I am happy with my MTD :)

Thanks for the kind words. I am really glad you are enjoying your Pono. I have custom ukes that are 2-3 times the price of my Pono pro classic and "Simone" holds her own and gets played just as much or more.

How are you liking the size of the neck, I rememeber that was a point of interest for you.

Jerwin
07-11-2015, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the kind words. I am really glad you are enjoying your Pono. I have custom ukes that are 2-3 times the price of my Pono pro classic and "Simone" holds her own and gets played just as much or more.

How are you liking the size of the neck, I rememeber that was a point of interest for you.

I like the neck. The thickness is absolutely constant all the way up - my concert kala acacia feels thicker compared to MTD. At least to my hands. Also Ohana tenor I owned felt thicker.

Mivo
07-11-2015, 09:01 AM
If you're getting into the $500-ish territory, it might also be worthwhile to watch the Marketplace section for a little while. Might get something higher-end that would otherwise be outside of your budget. (Especially since you're determined to just stick to one tenor!) (I know, I'm not helping. :p)

mikelz777
07-13-2015, 09:18 AM
I've contacted Andrew at HMS and though he didn't steer me one way or the other or make recommendations one way or the other, my gut is telling me that I should go with a Pono. The Cordobas are now out of the running! (Though I still dig the look of that 35T.) My gut just kept telling me that it was probably much more likely that I would buy a Cordoba and regret not buying a Pono than it was likely that I would buy a Pono and regret not buying the Cordoba.

That brings me down from six picks to four. Now it's the acacias (AT or ATD) vs. the mahoganys (MT or MTD) Among those four choices, I don't really think I can make a bad or regrettable decision. At this point, I'm still up in the air between the four.

mikelz777
07-13-2015, 09:28 AM
If you're getting into the $500-ish territory, it might also be worthwhile to watch the Marketplace section for a little while. Might get something higher-end that would otherwise be outside of your budget. (Especially since you're determined to just stick to one tenor!) (I know, I'm not helping. :p)

That's good advice and it's very tempting. I've seen several very nice deals that were had from past listings. The thought of spending that kind of money on a buy from a personal sale makes me nervous. With a buy from a reputable retailer like HMS, there's some recourse if something is wrong or goes wrong. With a personal sale, you're very unlikely to get that and are left wondering what you might be getting in the first place since it's a used instrument. I'm not sure my paranoia would allow me to do it! :cool:

Uke182
07-13-2015, 09:53 AM
I've contacted Andrew at HMS and though he didn't steer me one way or the other or make recommendations one way or the other, my gut is telling me that I should go with a Pono. The Cordobas are now out of the running! (Though I still dig the look of that 35T.) My gut just kept telling me that it was probably much more likely that I would buy a Cordoba and regret not buying a Pono than it was likely that I would buy a Pono and regret not buying the Cordoba.

That brings me down from six picks to four. Now it's the acacias (AT or ATD) vs. the mahoganys (MT or MTD) Among those four choices, I don't really think I can make a bad or regrettable decision. At this point, I'm still up in the air between the four.

Awesome, man. Not only go with your gut, but follow your heart. I personally would choose the deluxe option, the MTD or ATD. I have the Pono ATSH that I bought from Andrew.

Uke182
07-17-2015, 09:35 AM
Here's a Pono MT on sale on the forum: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108922-FS-Pono-MT

uku0729
07-22-2015, 02:04 PM
I love my Pono PTO, but my Cordoba 32T is also a wonderful uke. It is a spruce/rosewood combination so the sound is little brighter and a little more complex. One thing to remember is the Cordoba 30 series have 12 frets to the body rather than 14 which gives you a tiny bit more room fret to fret as you move up the fretboard.