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Gcow55
03-19-2009, 05:39 PM
Hi all, I've been browsing the message board for a few months now, and finally decided it was time I posted something. Anyway, I'm in the market for a new midrange tenor ukulele, and I've been leaning towards Pono. While I would prefer koa, I've noticed Pono discontinued their koa models. This being the case, their ebony deluxe model caught my eye. Particularly, the one with the cutaway and passive pickup. I am curious to know if anyone has any experience with these models (or ebony as a tonewood in general) and what he or she thinks of it. How does it sound? What would you compare the tone to? Would you recommend it?

Also, if you know where I could find one in stock, that would be awesome.

-Greg

Uke Republic
03-19-2009, 06:09 PM
I don't know about that Pono but if your looking for koa, for a great value, Big Island Ukulele.The Honus are a fantastic uke and their prices are great as wel( around $500.00 for a traditional tenor with case)l. If you want a less expensive alternative, Kala's Acacia line is a great value as well.

Gcow55
03-19-2009, 06:14 PM
I don't know about that Pono but if your looking for koa, for a great value, Big Island Ukulele.The Honus are a fantastic uke and their prices are great as wel( around $500.00 for a traditional tenor with case)l. If you want a less expensive alternative, Kala's Acacia line is a great value as well.

I've actually been looking at Honus as well. MGM just recently added some really beautiful Honu tenors that have caught my eye. I wish I could find more reviews on those as well. Honus look like they are thinner than other ukes, so I'm afraid the tone will be thin as well. But, I could be wrong. I am also interested in how the pickup sounds on the Honu.

vahn
03-19-2009, 08:22 PM
I have been looking into honu tenors and i have read they are a bit thin sounding and low on the volume, but good for recording. I've had a koa pono and it was excellent. Anyone know if those acacia tenors will come with pickups?

UkuleleD
03-20-2009, 01:45 AM
MGM just put up a clip of the rope honu tenor here, I imagine it doesn't sound too much different then the xxx or standard version either, a good benchmark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrEfW62dXHs
I prefer a warmer deeper sound for my tenors

ichadwick
03-20-2009, 02:15 AM
Ponos are pretty nice. I have a couple - mango and cedar - reviewed on my site. I found the fret edges on the cedar a bit rough, but the mango was fine. I think they benefit from a string change.

Uke Republic
03-20-2009, 03:16 AM
I have been looking into honu tenors and i have read they are a bit thin sounding and low on the volume, but good for recording. I've had a koa pono and it was excellent. Anyone know if those acacia tenors will come with pickups?
Right now Kala is just giving us the 3 acoustics. Sop., Con. and Ten.:)

GX9901
03-20-2009, 04:49 AM
The Pono Ebony Deluxe tenor is a pretty nice uke. I had one last year but sold it to make room for something else. I received my William King tenor shortly after getting this one so it didn't get played much. I've since read that Macassar Ebony takes quite a while to "open up", so perhaps it would sound even better had I played it in. As it was, it still sounded pretty nice. It is probably the heaviest tenor I've ever played because of the ebony body. The pickup sounded great. I might have kept it had the nut been a little bit wider (it is standard Pono width of 1-3/8).

I had made a video playing it and two other tenors (Pono cedar top and Koa Works): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgmvpZncKn8

These are nice instruments. The updated Ebony Deluxe line looks great. I think you'll probably have to wait a bit before they become available. MGM and Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.hawaiimusicsupply.com) probably would have them when they become available.

Gcow55
03-20-2009, 12:37 PM
As it was, it still sounded pretty nice. It is probably the heaviest tenor I've ever played because of the ebony body. The pickup sounded great.

What would you compare the sound to?


I had made a video playing it and two other tenors (Pono cedar top and Koa Works): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgmvpZncKn8
Yes. I actually commented on this video awhile back. Your reply then helped me out as well. :)


I think you'll probably have to wait a bit before they become available. MGM and Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.hawaiimusicsupply.com) probably would have them when they become available.

Is there a reason for the wait? When do you think they will be available?

Thanks again for all your help!

scooterguitar
03-20-2009, 12:59 PM
Those look nice. What are the neck shapes on Pnos? I have decided I need chunkier necks.

Oswegan
03-20-2009, 01:17 PM
I love my spruce top pono tenor with pick up. Everything is top notch.

GX9901
03-20-2009, 07:42 PM
What would you compare the sound to?


I don't quite remember now. I thought the tone was pretty nice. A spruce top with ebony back/sides is supposed to be pretty bright sounding, I think.



Is there a reason for the wait? When do you think they will be available?


I have no idea when they will be available. I believe MGM & Hawaii Music Supply would be the first to have them though. These new ones have pin bridges, which is different from the first version that I had with tie bridges.


Those look nice. What are the neck shapes on Pnos? I have decided I need chunkier necks.

Pono neck shape is pretty neutral. Not too thin and not too thick.

ichadwick
03-21-2009, 02:44 AM
I have two Ponos, both tenors with pickups. one is a cedar top-rosewood back & sides (cutaway), the other solid mango. Both are nice sounding-instruments. The cedar top had some minor finishing flaws and rather roughly dressed frets on one side of the fretboard (pics on my site) which I found discouraging for an instrument at that price. The mango was fine, however. It's a gorgeous uke, too.

They come with Ko'olau strings low-g which I think are rather mellow for the instruments' range. You might want to upgrade them to Aquilas.

Intonation and action on both are excellent.

Tonally, the cedar is brighter with good sustain. I put J71s on it, but it begs brighter strings like Aquilas. It isn't as crisp a sound as my Kala cedar, possibly because of the difference in finishes (gloss versus satin) and side/back materials (rosewood versus koa). But overall a good, full sound with good sustain.

The mango is a lot more mellow, with a rich mid-range but not as much high-end brightness as most of my other ukes. It benefits from amplification. I tend to strum it more than pick it because of that sound. But with an amp and a little treble boost, it is good for any style.

I am also considering another mid-range tenor and am examining different options - Honu, Mele and the new Kala acacia models among them, in large part because I already have these Ponos and want to try something new. I'd go for a banjo uke, but I can't find a tenor one I can afford.

bbycrts
03-21-2009, 05:13 AM
I've now had three ponos - I sold off my 8 string mahogany delux and bought a PTS-E, and had a PSO soprano.

They're great ukes, but I found that to my taste, the Ko'olau Gold strings are the perfect match. The PSO and PTS-E both came to me with Aquilas on them and I played them for a while but never felt the balance and tone was right. I put Ko'olau golds on them and they immediately felt totally balanced and just "right." True, they're not as bright as the Aquilas, but they're pretty rich and mellow - just the sound I like...

uke puke
03-26-2009, 09:31 AM
I've now had three ponos - I sold off my 8 string mahogany delux and bought a PTS-E, and had a PSO soprano.

They're great ukes, but I found that to my taste, the Ko'olau Gold strings are the perfect match. The PSO and PTS-E both came to me with Aquilas on them and I played them for a while but never felt the balance and tone was right. I put Ko'olau golds on them and they immediately felt totally balanced and just "right." True, they're not as bright as the Aquilas, but they're pretty rich and mellow - just the sound I like...

do you have any videos of the PTS-E? What do you think of the pickup?

ponouke
04-08-2010, 09:33 AM
I bought my husband a Pono Curly Koa Deluxe Tenor for Christmas 2008 - he really has not gotten into it - it is in the case with a humidor and is in Mint condition. I knew they were stopping production. We are interested in selling - I am in the Chicago area -

Mary