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pluck
01-26-2016, 04:47 AM
At the entry level of the Pono line there are mahogany and acacia standard and deluxe models. The standard models are satin finish and the deluxe are gloss with other upgrades for a substantial price premium. Generally, I tend to like satin finish but those Deluxe Ponos look really nice. Just wondering if anyone had strong opinions about the relative value of these two models.

I know the higher end models are very popular around here but I'm interested in finding out about these entry level ukes. Thanks.

Rakelele
01-26-2016, 05:27 AM
With the deluxe model, you'll get the gloss finish, different tuners, and a wood upgrade. I tend to think that the gloss adds a little compression to the sound. I actually prefer the open sound of their plain satin models. My AT sounds as good as any other uke, you might want to consider changing the factory strings, though.

pluck
01-26-2016, 05:42 AM
Thanks Rakelele. I've been listening to Wilfried Welti playing his acacia ukuMele on youtube and I'm really liking the sound. Not sure how much of that is the uke though since he is a great player. Anyway ukuMele isn't a great option here in the US so I'm considering the Pono.

sam13
01-26-2016, 05:53 AM
I agree with Rakelele, regarding sound and how the gloss compresses the sound.

I enjoyed the sound of the MT when I had it ... I just preferred a radius neck and was looking for brighter sound so I purchased the RTC.

pluck
01-26-2016, 05:58 AM
I like the way you guys are saving me money.

Rakelele
01-26-2016, 06:18 AM
Thanks Rakelele. I've been listening to Wilfried Welti playing his acacia ukuMele on youtube and I'm really liking the sound. Not sure how much of that is the uke though since he is a great player. Anyway ukuMele isn't a great option here in the US so I'm considering the Pono.

The UkuMeles come from the same factory as Koa Pili Koko and I'm pretty sure they are identical. So you might want to look at the KPK website, as they seem to be easily available in the U.S.: http://pilikoko.com/

Personally, I'd pick a Pono over those brands anytime - if we're talking Tenors. In the Concert or Soprano size, KPK/UkuMele might be on par.

EmmaQ
01-26-2016, 06:27 AM
I have the Pono mahogany baritone, satin finish, and I love it.

pluck
01-26-2016, 06:28 AM
The UkuMeles come from the same factory as Koa Pili Koko and I'm pretty sure they are identical. So you might want to look at the KPK website, as they seem to be easily available in the U.S.: http://pilikoko.com/

Personally, I'd pick a Pono over those brands anytime - if we're talking Tenors. In the Concert or Soprano size, KPK/UkuMele might be on par.

Thanks for the link. I think the headstocks are different. You're probably right about going with Pono.

pluck
01-26-2016, 06:30 AM
I have the Pono mahogany baritone, satin finish, and I love it.

Another vote for the satin. No love for the Deluxe here but they are pretty.

aquadan
01-26-2016, 06:39 AM
If you like satin, don't bother with the deluxe. I still have a satin, and had a gorgeous pro-classic. I could never bond with it because it was too shiny.

Sadly thumb damage is keeping me from playing any size much at all lately, and the tenor hurts way too much to pick up these days so it's not getting the love it deserves.

photoshooter
01-26-2016, 06:41 AM
I can't compare the two but I can tell you that I have a Pono MT (mahogany tenor). I'm very pleased with it and never found myself thinking, "I wish I had bought the deluxe so that I'd have..."
It sounds great, the finish is very nice; almost looks like no finish at all.

mikelz777
01-26-2016, 07:09 AM
I tortured myself over this decision when I bought my Pono last year. I probably listened to all the sound samples I could find a hundred times. Mahogany or Acacia? Standard or deluxe? I have a Lanikai with a satin finish and an Ohana with a gloss finish so I've owned and liked both finishes. I ended up deciding on the Pono Acacia Deluxe (ATD). I thought the standard finish looked a little too plain in what was already a pretty plain looking uke. The gloss finish really brings out the contrasts and character in the wood. I also thought the hardware was better looking on the deluxe. The upgrade in wood on the fretboard and bridge wasn't a big factor for me but it did help seal the deal when Andrew found the kind of color and grain I was looking for in the body and the fretboard had this cool looking lighter grain pattern in the wood that kind of looked like a wisp of smoke coming out of the soundhole. I'm very happy with it looks-wise and sound-wise.

jjjj
01-26-2016, 08:10 AM
The Pono website http://koolauukulele.com/pono/ has videos of the same person playing the same tune on nearly all its models. You might find it helpful.

johnson430
01-26-2016, 09:50 AM
I own a Pono MGT. The satin mango tenor. I love it.
I owned a Pono MTD and agree with others that there is compression with gloss finish.

Honestly, it is really about what you want out of the uke.
I would use the money I save on a satin finish and buy some uke accessories: a nice case, strap buttons, handmade strap, metronome, etc.

johnson430
01-26-2016, 09:56 AM
, the finish is very nice; almost looks like no finish at all.

I agree. My mango doesn't seem to show a finish but I know it is there. The texture and colors of the wood seem to stand out more in a satin finish, IMHO.
At least when I compared my MGT to my MTD.

M3Ukulele
01-27-2016, 07:31 AM
I have an AT love the open satin finish. I like open tuners........ That said... I will probably get an RTC at some point as I want radius fretboard, want to try the gloss finish and I just love spruce. That being said, MY AT will go nowhere. It currently with me in Mexico and sound wonderful. Best bang for the buck tenors, AT, MT and MGT. I have been keeping an eye out for the deluxe MGT version as I want to try the "compression". Aaron did a sound sample of both and I kinda like the compression.

Also, there is a new series AT2 and MT2 which has open tuners and satin finish with either spruce or cedar top on mahogany back. It has a radius fretboard, nice simple rope rosette and rope purfling. And comes with a HSC. They were out of spruce when I bought my Opio but that is a serious Uke consideration. Pono's are great and this new series is a good value in the Lowe $500's.

actadh
01-27-2016, 07:51 AM
I don't have a Pono, but all my wood ukes are satin.