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olphart
08-05-2017, 11:16 AM
[I] posted this in the beginner forum but it may be more appropriate here:

I've been thinking about upgrading from my Kala TEM, and see that I can get a Pono for less than $400.
Would there be that much difference in the playability and sound, since that would be at the bottom of the Pono line?
Any suggestions for other brands that would be higher quality without breaking the bank

Pueo
08-05-2017, 02:51 PM
In 2005 I bought my first Ukulele, a Lanikai. The following year I bought a Pono, I still love and play the Pono, and I paid less than $400 for it.
It is very high quality and in my opinion one of the best values in ukuleles, period.

M3Ukulele
08-05-2017, 03:49 PM
I have a Pono AT. Terrific ukulele......under $400 new. You can get MT in mahogany and also a mango version. All Satin finish. All great playing and made ukuleles. My AT was first ukulele....I have a custom made and MTD-SP both worth more but I still love this all acacia tenor. Probably will never sell it. It loves fro string.

sam13
08-05-2017, 03:51 PM
In 2005 I bought my first Ukulele, a Lanikai. The following year I bought a Pono, I still love and play the Pono, and I paid less than $400 for it.
It is very high quality and in my opinion one of the best values in ukuleles, period.

I agree with this post. You could probably post a WTB or Want to Buy a used Pono in this forum and someone will well you one at 25% off posted rate on the internet.

Chopped Liver
08-05-2017, 05:01 PM
I have a Pono Mango Soprano. Very nice uke. Great build. Love the sound.

Rakelele
08-05-2017, 09:28 PM
Huge Pono fan here, having tried several models across their entire line, I would say their entry level models like the AT or MT are just as well-made as their top-of-the line Pro Classic models (just without the bling and no gloss finish). My AT is as good as any K-brand I have owned.

Ukulele Eddie
08-06-2017, 04:14 PM
Pono's have a large and loyal fan base for good reason. They are good values. But there are other good values, too. So I'd first ask, "What are you looking for with another uke?" You ask if a lower end Pono would be an upgrade in tone (maybe) and playability (that depends entirely on you as playability gets into personal preferences about neck shape, fretboard width, string spacing, etc.). Do you have someplace you can try a Pono and other ukes in the $400 range?

Are you interested in trying other sizes? Or other woods?

UkerDanno
08-06-2017, 04:57 PM
There are lots of Pono fans around here, but, they have a thick neck and I prefer a thinner neck, take a look at Kalas and Ohanas for your $400.00 price range.

sculptor
08-06-2017, 08:44 PM
Each maker's neck has a slightly different geometry. I own a MT which I really like the sound of but I wish the neck was 1/16" to 1/8" wider at the nut.

-- Gary

bratsche
08-07-2017, 05:05 AM
I love Pono necks - of course, they're all I know, but I'd hate for them to be any thinner than they are. They felt "just right" to me from the get-go. Only thing I'd change is not have the strings spaced quite as far apart, so I wouldn't accidentally bend the outer ones right off the edge of the fretboard at times. (But that'd probably happen with any uke - just a "noob problem" from a player accustomed to stiffer steel strings on a mandola.)

bratsche

sam13
08-07-2017, 05:31 AM
People have their preferences.

I like the thickness of the Pono neck WITH a radius of the Pono Pro Classics. I find it comfortable.

And I don't think the string spacing is too far ... and I haven't had any issues with strings pulling off the fret boards.

Uk3player78
08-07-2017, 06:36 AM
I recently purchased a Pono mahogany Deluxe Soprano. Despite being keen on Pono from my early uke playing days I missed them out and went for everything but them. Koaloha, Martin etc.

I'm sorry I waited so long. The MSD is outstanding in sound, looks and build.

bratsche
08-07-2017, 06:45 AM
I like the thickness of the Pono neck WITH a radius of the Pono Pro Classics. I find it comfortable.

And I don't think the string spacing is too far ... and I haven't had any issues with strings pulling off the fret boards.

It's definitely me, and not the ukes. My left hand tends to be overly aggressive, due to pressing down double-coursed steel mandola strings. I need to work on developing a gentler touch. ;)

As far as radius vs. non-radius, I have one of each (and multiples of each w/mandolas). I don't really have a preference either way. Blindfolded, I probably couldn't tell the difference.

bratsche

mmfitzsimons
08-07-2017, 08:31 AM
I LOVE my Pono. I have no problem switching from ukes twice as expensive back to my Pono. Love the feel of it, the sound... just a great ukulele.

scottcocoabeach
08-17-2017, 09:55 AM
I LOVE my Pono. I have no problem switching from ukes twice as expensive back to my Pono. Love the feel of it, the sound... just a great ukulele.

Same here. I have several Pono's along with a number of higher end ukulele's and the Pono's completely hold their own. I think they are an excellent choice. I would definitely be sure to play around with different string options on them as that can make a huge difference in how they (or most any quality instrument) will sound.

Pueo
08-17-2017, 10:21 AM
The fact that my Pono has such high quality it has actually prevented me from purchasing a K brand ukulele a few times. There is a KoAloha I really wanted but I honestly could not justify the added expense as it was not significantly better than my Pono. That has happened with Kamaka and Kanile`a as well.
I am currently saving for a custom ukulele and there has never even been one second where I would consider selling my Pono to finance it.
Glad to see others feel the same way.
Plus, I like Andrew and his dad. :D

Pueo
08-17-2017, 10:45 AM
Well look what just popped up!
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128763-MUST-SELL-Pono-ATTD-Acacia-Deluxe-Thinbody-Tenor-Ukulele-amp-Custom-Hard-Shell-Case

bratsche
08-17-2017, 12:48 PM
Well, then, that settles it. I see no reason whatsoever to get any higher end ukuleles. Ponos will do me just fine.

bratsche

perep
08-17-2017, 01:15 PM
Look for one of the OLDER Ponos in KOA wood as they are better looking and my opinion as having owned three they sound better. Put it out there & see if one is for sale

robinboyd
08-17-2017, 03:22 PM
Well, then, that settles it. I see no reason whatsoever to get any higher end ukuleles. Ponos will do me just fine.

bratsche

No reason to get them sight unseen, but lots of fun to try them out if you get the chance, though.

scottcocoabeach
08-17-2017, 04:58 PM
Look for one of the OLDER Ponos in KOA wood as they are better looking and my opinion as having owned three they sound better. Put it out there & see if one is for sale

When did they start adding the truss rod to the Ponos? An older one may not have one, which may not be an issue considering many ukuleles are made without them, but might be worth considering. I haven't needed to adjust mine yet but I do like that they have them.

deznuchs
08-17-2017, 07:23 PM
When did they start adding the truss rod to the Ponos? An older one may not have one, which may not be an issue considering many ukuleles are made without them, but might be worth considering. I haven't needed to adjust mine yet but I do like that they have them.

I think the Pono PTK'S (Koa) were pre truss rod (circa 2009/2010) and pre radius fretboard (circa 2011/12). I remember people loving that short run of Koa Ponos.

wayfarer75
08-18-2017, 01:30 AM
A LoPrinzi is a great uke for less money, like a Pono. They have very thin necks, if that's one's preference. (A uke like a Kala is more middle of the road in neck thickness, IMO.) But it all depends on what you like.

frianm
08-18-2017, 02:26 AM
This is a "for what it is worth" contribution. Up here in Southern Vermont we have occasional get togethers - Ukulele flash mobs. They are great opportunities to meet and share as well as play. The variety of instruments is amazing and I find most people more than willing to share both experience and instruments at the gathering. We just do not have convenient stores that sell a variety of ukuleles. There are so many options out there. I find that I now have a Martin, Kamaka, Mele, Mainland and Bruko. Each one is different with their own enduring qualities. If I had to choose one above all it would be hard. the necks, wood and size are varied. Maybe I am fortunate to be able to have these choices. I also play banjo and guitar and all five of my ukuleles still cost less than one decent banjo.

Pono seem to make excellent instruments - I have never played one. For $400 there are so many great choices out there. Again in the FWIW opinion/experience my most reached for instrument is an old, beat up, Kamaka pineapple, followed up by the Mele pineapple. My old Martin from about 1934 gets played the least. The old Kamaka has a funny shaped neck and the fingerboard is level with the body making is different from the get go. SO - RESEARCH - PLAY YOUR FRIENDS INSTRUMENTS, maybe visit a store if one is available to you.

Sorry if this is off point -
Ian

stevepetergal
08-18-2017, 03:23 AM
I don't own a Pono, but have played a number of them. I have owned a few Kalas and don't think much of them. A Pono would be a huge step up for you. And look here
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128739-FS-Pono-MGT-Mango-Tenor-New

deznuchs
08-18-2017, 01:33 PM
[I] posted this in the beginner forum but it may be more appropriate here:

I've been thinking about upgrading from my Kala TEM, and see that I can get a Pono for less than $400.
Would there be that much difference in the playability and sound, since that would be at the bottom of the Pono line?
Any suggestions for other brands that would be higher quality without breaking the bank

Going along with the thread and the other commenters, Pono would be a great choice. While I love my Kala but I think it would be worth the investment to get the Pono or another all wood or solid top uke. Pono's are a great all solid ukuleles. The Kala TEM is a full laminate. They are still good but the sound produced is decent but the solidtops and all solids tead to resonate more. Better to invest more money now then buying the Kala then wanting to upgrade a little while later. Just cut out the middle step.

I had a pono for a few years and loved it. They really are great quality. Just my opinion.

hollisdwyer
08-20-2017, 01:21 AM
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you play one. As people have mentioned, they do have a thicker neck than many other brands. You may love that or hate it. It sounds like you are taking your first step up the quality ladder. There are many choices at your desired price point.