PDA

View Full Version : Pono/Kiwaya/Martin - thoughts about which soprano



jajafofo
07-20-2017, 06:43 AM
I've got about $300 to spend on a uke. Here's what I'm looking at in my range:

Kiwaya KS-1
Pono MS (Mahogany or Acacia)
Martin S1 - used locally

I want something that I can play and leave lying around without worrying too much about it (that's where the Kiwaya comes in), but my house is always in a perfect humidity range so solid wood models are fine. I want something I'll really enjoy playing and not just some cheap uke. In the past I've owned a Pono concert and liked it, a Martin S0 (didn't care for it) and a vintage Martin - loved it, but sold it to fund something else.

My 1 year old daughter loves music, and the other day I had the thought that I need to get another uke since I currently don't have one.

What are your recommendations? Is there something else I should look at?

kkimura
07-20-2017, 07:07 AM
Maybe a Martin OXK or OX Bamboo for the ultimate "leave laying around" ukulele.

Booli
07-20-2017, 07:48 AM
Maybe a Martin OXK or OX Bamboo for the ultimate "leave laying around" ukulele.

+1 to that. I play my 0XK all the time and dont worry about it.

Also, it is easily replaced with another at the comparatively low cost of ~$229 from several vendors...low cost compared to the ukes that the OP has listed...

The 0XK sounds great, has really good intonation (with Martin M600 strings) and is very comfortable to play (even though I play mostly tenor scale otherwise).

igorthebarbarian
07-20-2017, 08:29 AM
[removed] .

jer
07-20-2017, 02:24 PM
I've got about $300 to spend on a uke. Here's what I'm looking at in my range:
Kiwaya KS-1
Pono MS (Mahogany or Acacia)
Martin S1 - used locally


Of course it comes down to personal preference, and what is most important to you...
That said, I have owned and played on a Kiwaya KS1 as well as the Martin S1. They were both very well built ukes. Neither has the edge there. I think my personal preference for sound goes to the S1, yet the KS1 sounded nice too. These are both good choices, and I don't think you can go wrong with either.

I know there are a couple of votes for the OXK....Just to offer a differing opinion: I tried to like that uke more than once, but just couldn't. It felt heavy and awkward to me for a soprano....something just wasn't right for me. It got a lot more volume than I expected, for some reason. I wasn't in love with the sound though. That said, it would be more durable than either the KS1 or the S1, I'd guess, due to its construction...The laminated neck gives it the edge there over the Kiwaya....I think that neck might be a bit heavy though, and that is part of what throws me off...could be the body too.

If I was forced to choose for you, based on what you said, I'd pick the KS1.
I did install geared tuners on the one I had though, because I can't stand friction tuners.

robinboyd
07-20-2017, 02:28 PM
Possibly not what I'm looking for, but I'm about to post a long description of my new uke, which cost less than $300, including shipping.

Ukulele Eddie
07-20-2017, 06:59 PM
Given your budget, I would strongly suggest this for consideration, if not already sold:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128166-FS-Brand-new-Loprinzi-Honduran-mahogany-soprano-uke

It a longer scale soprano but LoPrinzi makes a wonderful instrument (I previously had a longneck koa soprano).

Uk3player78
07-20-2017, 07:43 PM
Out of those I'd go Pono.

I had the OXK and didn't care for it. Have the S1 and it is going. For Martin it's vintage all the way. The modern stuff just doesn't hold up. Can't comment on the laminate Kiwaya.

I have the deluxe mahogany Pono soprano. Swap the strings and you have a versatile, classic soprano sound in a well built package that feels a bit special. I waited too long to grab a Pono despite them being on my list early days.