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View Full Version : Interested in More Info on this Pono Tahitian TT-4



rappsy
01-23-2017, 03:02 PM
Tahitian style ukuleles have a very shallow body (and the soundhole on the back). Asonu (http://www.asonu.com/) makes them, they are available at HMS at times, and Pono has a model following this concept:

http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-tt-4-tahitian-style-tenor-4-string.html

Thanks to Rakelele for this post in another thread. I thought I would start another one for this Uke.

Can anyone tell me anymore about this Pono? A search for Tahitian style Ukes show mostly 8 strings and I am interested in the 4 string version.

How is the low end? I will play this reentrant. When it is pushed up against the body does it have a decent low to mid and when it's held away from the body, is it a little thin? I would think that learning how to use your middle on this Uke would create a great and varied sound.
I am watching Kimo Hussy in this Vimeo link.
https://vimeo.com/105531672

Anyone own one and can give more insight? Similar in sound to other Pono's? Brighter, Mellower, More or less sustain, etc. How thick is the neck? Most Pono's are a bit thick for me but as the body is thinner, did they also reduce the neck thickness? I would like it more like a KoAloha or Kamaka.

Anyone have one available for sale?

Any other styles like this in a 4 string variant?

Thanks for reading.

Jim Hanks
01-23-2017, 03:31 PM
Well, that's different! Love Kimo's "serious" face at about 5:05. :biglaugh:

Booli
01-23-2017, 07:23 PM
IME, most of the 'sound' of a uke is not projected via the sound hole, but rather by the wood of the top, back and sides as they acting as a diaphragm being pumped by the bridge vibration. Much like a speaker cone on a woofer.

The wood of the uke also reflects sound waves within the soundbox.

The sound hole in back allows one to inhibit the air flow, and thus restrict the amount of movement of the top as it resonates, and thus it is quieter with the 'belly mute', than compared to holding it such that the rear sound hole is unobstructed, and thus the air flows freely, and sound is louder.

This is also dependent upon the build itself, but my description here is in terms of the physics properties of sound waves and vibrating surfaces and how they relate to the movement of air.

Some speaker boxes are 'sealed enclosure' and some are 'ported', and each by design. Instruments project sound in a similar way, resonating sound waves through the air.

kcladnier
01-24-2017, 12:31 AM
In the video, it sounds very thin and lacking low tones.

UkerDanno
01-24-2017, 03:31 AM
In the video, it sounds very thin and lacking low tones.

Maybe that's the Tahitian sound? A guy in our club plays a Tahitian, I think it sounds like crap myself, it's loud and tinny with no tonal range. It might be the strings, he uses fishing line...

Cornfield
01-24-2017, 05:06 AM
I was introduced to this type of instrument by a Hawaiian Uncle who called it a Tahitian Banjo. The sound quality varies tremendously for each one that I have heard. His was very loud and he played with a very fast strumming technique. If I were to purchase one, I would need to try it out for sure.

Southern Marylander
02-22-2017, 09:15 AM
I'll let you know when it gets to my house in 16-20 days!

SoloRule
02-22-2017, 09:21 AM
Lenny, just buy it ! :rotfl::cheers:

Southern Marylander
02-22-2017, 10:30 AM
Lenny, just buy it ! :rotfl::cheers:

Sadly, Lenny can't... as I bought the last one from The Ukulele Site on Monday. These seem pretty rare, I think. Googling the name doesn't return very many results.


Maybe that's the Tahitian sound? A guy in our club plays a Tahitian, I think it sounds like crap myself, it's loud and tinny with no tonal range. It might be the strings, he uses fishing line...

I think that's worse with the 8 string variants (which is the standard for the Tahitian ukulele). The 4 string seems to bridge the gap. Keep in mind, I'm hardly an expert and have only been involved with ukuleles for... 48 days. Also, when I listened to Kimo's demo video on better speakers, I thought that the Pono TT-4 sounded pretty nice in quality, but certainly without the lower tones of the MGRDP (tenor pineapple) (http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-mango-deluxe-tenor-pineapple-mgtdp.html), which will almost certainly be my next uke.

Also to keep in mind is that true Tahitian ukuleles are played very differently, from what I understand. Different strumming patterns (often much faster) and are just meant to more closely match the southern Polynesian rhythms than Hawaiian ukuleles.

saltytri
02-22-2017, 11:09 AM
Maybe that's the Tahitian sound? A guy in our club plays a Tahitian, I think it sounds like crap myself, it's loud and tinny with no tonal range. It might be the strings, he uses fishing line...

You've got to appreciate that the Tahitian ukulele is a very different instrument that is used to play music that is different from Hawaii music. Yes, they do use fishing line that is usually all the same test for all strings in both the four string and eight string versions. They are typically strummed very fast, almost frenetically and, in the right hands, the sound that comes out is delightful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZkE5m_W5k

You can hear players like these all over French Polynesia and they absolutely rock. There are occasionally guitars and "conventional" ukulele in ensembles but the Tahitian-style instruments predominate, perhaps because they are relatively inexpensive. More info here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?63297-Tahiti-Scouting-Report

Southern Marylander
09-12-2017, 08:52 AM
Hey, this kind of fell off my radar for a bit, but...

https://imgur.com/H4SUMJO.jpg

I am by no means a ukulele expert, but I think that the previous notes about this Pono TT-4 lacking depth and range aren't quite right. The video really doesn't do it justice. It does sound more like a traditional Hawaiian concert than a tenor, but the quality of the notes is just tremendous. I let some more advanced players give it a try at a ukulele meetup and it was really nice. I've also noticed that the length of the fingernails on my strumming hand changes the tone far more than adjusting the soundhole against my body (though maybe my technique on that is bad). I've started keeping my thumbnail longer for picking and shortening my other nails to get a softer strum.

The feel of this instrument is just incredible though. The wood is so nice and it's beautiful to look at. Obviously this isn't a $3,000 custom instrument, but the leap from the $50 starter Kala I had was unbelievable. I don't really know how to describe it other than you hold it and you know you're holding a piece of art.

Here's a really bad video of me playing it for my pup while learning a new song and sounding generally terrible (cell phone quality mic and all): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSZ4E-Wyb3g&list=PLSbhlG6H2oa2SqLwBx492pthp3KYXsfTZ&index=20

mds725
09-12-2017, 12:29 PM
Well, that's different! Love Kimo's "serious" face at about 5:05. :biglaugh:

Kimo makes great faces. I like watching him play.