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View Full Version : How do the Ponos compare?



drubin
03-04-2008, 01:29 PM
Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it in the archives. For those who have actually played them, how do the Ponos compare soundwise, tonally, and in terms of quality and setup with the production models being put out by Ko'olau, Kamaka, Kanile'a, and Koaloha? I'm specifically interested in tenors.

NukeDOC
03-04-2008, 01:35 PM
Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it in the archives. For those who have actually played them, how do the Ponos compare soundwise, tonally, and in terms of quality and setup with the production models being put out by Ko'olau, Kamaka, Kanile'a, and Koaloha? I'm specifically interested in tenors.
i cant really speak from personal experience. ive only played one kamaka. and i own a pono mahogany. also, comparing it to the ko'olau is kinda weird since its the same company. pono would be toyota while ko'olau would be lexus.

but being an owner of a pono, i can say that for the price its hard to beat.

ukejon
03-04-2008, 02:02 PM
NukeDOC hits it right on the mark: such comparisons are hard to make, especially when you are talking about such a wide price range. For under $400 bucks the Pono can't be beat. In the $500 to $800 range many folks love Kamaka and Koaloha as well as higher end Ponos. If you have more than $1000 to spend, Ko'olau is great as are many other custom made instruments. So, do you have a price limit?

julie
03-04-2008, 05:13 PM
I have a concert sized Pono and a concert sized KoAloha. I prefer the Pono to the KoAloha for its beauty and more mellow sound. On the flip side, I prefer the KoAloha to the Pono because it has a louder voice. The KoAloha sounds more Hawaiian, while the Pono sounds more guitar like... at least to my ears. If interested, I have written a review of the Pono on my site that includes some pix and a couple sound bites.

Regards,
Julie Strietelmeier
http://ukulelereview.com

ukejon
03-04-2008, 05:20 PM
Nice review. Julie. For volume, the Pono cedar top tenor can't be beat. I own several high end custom ukes and the Pono is at least 30% louder.

Here is a sample (http://www.ukeland.com/users/jon/files/lullabye/Lullabye%20For%20Libra%20(final).mp3).

Keonikapila
03-04-2008, 05:37 PM
I have a tenor KoAloha, and 2 tenor Ponos (1 mahogany, 1 koa). My favorite uke is definately the KoAloha, but the Ponos are great.

In all (highly subjective) honesty, I find that the Ponos win in terms of playability...they use smaller fret wires and the actions a little bit lower. KoAloha uses larger fret wires, which is the only negative thing that I have to say about it...I'll just have to save my money for a custom-job with smaller frets haha

As far as the tone goes I prefer the KoAloha for it's bright, crisp, kinda punchy sound...again, this is highly subjective. Each of my Ponos has their own distinct sound. The satin finish mahogany is brighter, while the glossy koa has a deeper, richer (more guitar-like) sound.

All that aside, it's really difficult to beat the Ponos in their price range...(that's already been said, but I think it's worth repeating :P)