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tomthebaptist
02-01-2018, 02:16 PM
I’ve decided that Pono’s basic models are as good as any ukulele built. In my mind they are equal to any of the high dollar ukuleles. The build quality is second to none, and better in my opinion than many high dollar production ukes. I love the sound and the feel of every Pono that I’ve ever played - I own two, a pineapple tenor mango and a baritone mango - these are great ukuleles! I have several students that play Pono concert ukuleles, I’ve not found a better concert ukulele anywhere at any price point.

I have no connection with Pono, but I love their ukuleles - in my opinion, they are the best!!! I recommend them to every student that I teach!

Tom

igorthebarbarian
02-01-2018, 02:32 PM
I’ve never played one. Sounds like I need to try one out!

Chopped Liver
02-01-2018, 02:44 PM
I hate the friction tuners on my mango soprano. Love it otherwise.

Patrick Madsen
02-01-2018, 02:53 PM
Have you played higher end ukes? I have a Pono UL4-40 Baritone. It's okay; I find the neck a little thick for my taste. Nothing compared to my Webber though. They make a good uke but not better than any uke at any price point imo. I have no problem recommending Pono but also tell them to check out Mainland, Islander and Ohanas for a basic model.

Like Bazz says; Preference in instruments and strings are based on individual opinion.

Capsfan89
02-01-2018, 03:05 PM
I've had 4 ponos. I've also owned 2 mainlands and a kala and a honeybell custom. I love my pono mahogany/cedar deluxe out of any uke I've had by a long shot, followed closely by an all mahogany Pono. The mainlands were nice enough but no comparison to the Pono to my hands and ears, but I can't go as far as to say it's as nice as a $2000 k brand. But if anyones budget is sub $1000, then you can't go wrong with one. They are great everyday ukes.

tomthebaptist
02-01-2018, 03:18 PM
I’m comparing them with my Collings UT1 Tenor, which is a great ukulele. And, my Koaloha KSM-00 soprano, another great ukulele. I don’t think the Pono’s that I have are better. As for as build quality, they are equal in my opinion to anything on the market, including luthier made. As per sound and playability, I know that is subjective. I am primarily a guitart player, and I like the the thick neck. I find all the Pono’s I’ve played easy to play and the sound is great. I’m not saying they are the best — I’m just saying, I’ve not found anything in the their price range that matches their quality of craftsmanship.

Capsfan89
02-01-2018, 03:24 PM
I agree with you there. All of mine have been flawlessly built. I love the neck profile, and they come with a truss rod in the tenors. Mine even has a radiused fingerboard. Slap some worth brown low g strings on there and the sound is as close to my idea of perfect as I've gotten a uke to sound.

Uk3player78
02-01-2018, 07:34 PM
I did love my Pono deluxe soprano. I agree and highly recommend them.

Theblackegg
02-01-2018, 08:36 PM
I've got a master series arriving today, the ATSH-C-MS model! I'll give my feed back and post a video of me playing it up against an LFDM spruce top, and platinum all Koa Kanilea' 2014 model so the bar has been set high! Let's see how she does! All will be strung with soloist low g and D'Addario carbon trebles.
NUD to follow.

Lapyang
02-02-2018, 01:06 AM
I've got a master series arriving today, the ATSH-C-MS model! I'll give my feed back and post a video of me playing it up against an LFDM spruce top, and platinum all Koa Kanilea' 2014 model so the bar has been set high! Let's see how she does! All will be strung with soloist low g and D'Addario carbon trebles.
NUD to follow.

Wow! I can't wait to see the comparison video.

pritch
02-05-2018, 12:40 PM
Pono produce instruments that you can buy with confidence. Having done all my reading, and studied UU, my first purchase was a Pono. It was followed after a while by another. Although I now have other makes, the two ukulele I play most often are the Pono.

uketanzon
02-06-2018, 02:56 AM
I have a top of the line PONO PRO classic madagasscar ebony on sale in classified at a great deal price, just an fyi.

Kimosabe
02-07-2018, 01:07 PM
I love my Pono chambered bodied electrics. I have a tenor and a baritone. Great electrics with great necks, as good as the more expensive Koaloha electrics.

Sciatica
02-08-2018, 02:02 AM
for me, the Pono mahogany deluxe is a perfect for playing with sound or price.

Rakelele
02-10-2018, 11:41 PM
I feel the same way. Everything about their build is extremely clean, they easily match or exceed some of the most expensive custom ukes in this regard. Both their gloss and satin finishes are perfectly smooth and flat, no open pores, no pimples. With all their wood combinations and options to upgrade such as a cutaway, slotted headstock, and now side sound port and bevelled armrest, they have many features that you'd have to go custom otherwise and pay accordingly. With all solid woods, they present a great value. I also like their innovative spirit, coming up with crossover instruments such as the Baritone Nui or their UL steel string baritone.

The only thing I don't like are the factory strings: they're far from showing the full potential of these instruments - but that's an easy fix. With the right strings, I would say that my AT and the ACD I bought as a gift for a friend sound just as good as any K brand I've ever owned or played. For a more modern sound and fingerpicking, I love to pick up my ETSHC with a Cedar top and Macassar Ebony back and sides. That one is pretty close to my Ko'olau, but the latter does have more resonance, clarity and depth.

Sanemancured
02-11-2018, 02:48 AM
I have no connection with Pono, but I love their ukuleles - in my opinion, they are the best!!! I recommend them to every student that I teach!



Iím not saying they are the best ó Iím just saying, Iíve not found anything in the their price range that matches their quality of craftsmanship.


I've already decided that a Pono has my name on it. I do find it amusing when people contradict themselves completely in consecutive posts :)

Pirate Jim
02-11-2018, 07:00 AM
The only thing I don't like are the factory strings: they're far from showing the full potential of these instruments - but that's an easy fix. With the right strings, I would say that my AT and the ACD I bought as a gift for a friend sound just as good as any K brand I've ever owned or played.

Strings are a very personal choice, obviously, but what have you found to be the right ones in this instance? I've swapped out the wound 3rd for a flatwound TI CF27 but left the other stock strings on my Pono tenor for a moment. Was planning to try both flouro and nylgut strings at some point, but read somewhere that nylgut is a bit low tension for Ponos?

Uke Don
02-11-2018, 09:16 AM
I find that it is the wood, or combination of woods, that has more to do with string choice than brand of uke. It seems that brighter strings work better on woods like acacia and that warmer strings work better on woods like spruce/rosewood. But it's all up to personal preference.

tomthebaptist
02-11-2018, 01:56 PM
I've already decided that a Pono has my name on it. I do find it amusing when people contradict themselves completely in consecutive posts :)

Now, that is funny. Thanks for pointing that out. You must be English Teacher.

maki66
02-11-2018, 02:47 PM
Now, that is funny. Thanks for pointing that out. You must be English Teacher.
The internet is fun, not saying its fun, but it is.:D

etudes
02-11-2018, 03:38 PM
I agree the Pono's are quite inspiring. Coming from the world of guitars, my first uke was a Pono RTSH-C Tenor and it's responsible for the madness that overcame me. Just a sweet tone and easy to play.

UkingViking
02-11-2018, 07:38 PM
I would wish there was a Pono dealer in Copenhagen, so I could try one.
I try to limit my UAS, the ukuleles I have now are good enough that I feel that I shouldnt get another unless I know it is "the one" .
Are the necks as chunky as on Flukes, og just slightly more than most?

Rakelele
02-11-2018, 08:11 PM
Strings are a very personal choice, obviously, but what have you found to be the right ones in this instance? I've swapped out the wound 3rd for a flatwound TI CF27 but left the other stock strings on my Pono tenor for a moment. Was planning to try both flouro and nylgut strings at some point, but read somewhere that nylgut is a bit low tension for Ponos?

Yes, that's up to personal preferences indeed. To me, these babies cry for fluorocarbon strings. I am very satisfied with Worth Browns on the AT and ACD, my ETSHC sounded great with Worth Clears, and now with the new Ko'olau Aho fluorocarbon set. I'm sure other fluorocarbon sets such as Oasis, Martin, Living Water, or Southcoast would work as well, too. The factory strings just felt too stiff and sounded somewhat "inhibited" to me, scratchy, and not well balanced, with a lack of bass.

Rakelele
02-11-2018, 10:04 PM
Are the necks as chunky as on Flukes, or just slightly more than most?

Pono necks definitely tend towards the thicker range of the spectrum. However, the results I get from measuring out the necks on all of my ukes is that the one from Pono is very similar to that of custom luthiers such as LFdM, Lichty, Hoffmann, Ko'olau, and also to my KoAloha Opio tenor. More important than sheer thickness, to me, is the fact that all of these necks are perfectly round, which I find much more comfortable than a flat profile. In comparison to the Fluke you mentioned, I think the Fluke neck is more "rectangular"/"edgy".

Croaky Keith
02-11-2018, 10:52 PM
Just out of curiosity, I measured my KoAloha L/N Concert & my Ohana L/N Soprano, with a rule.
(Edit: These are the depths without the fretboard.)

Nut depth, K=12, O=13, & at the 7th fret, (measured here because the heel on the Ohana gets in the way at the 12th), K=14. O=15.

These are, of course not perfectly accurate owing to using a rule & not a micrometer, but shows that they are as close as it won't make a difference.

@ UkingViking
The KoAloha L/N Concert is a nice uke, & I can see that you are missing a L/N Concert. :)
(....& you don't seem to have a baritone either.... ;) )

Sanemancured
02-11-2018, 11:08 PM
Now, that is funny. Thanks for pointing that out. You must be English Teacher.

No, I'm married to a maths teacher if that counts :D

tomthebaptist
02-12-2018, 03:46 AM
No, I'm married to a maths teacher if that counts :D

You’re “punny”.

tomthebaptist
02-12-2018, 03:48 AM
I would wish there was a Pono dealer in Copenhagen, so I could try one.
I try to limit my UAS, the ukuleles I have now are good enough that I feel that I shouldnt get another unless I know it is "the one" .
Are the necks as chunky as on Flukes, og just slightly more than most?

Compared to other ukuleles, they do have a fatter neck. Coming from guitar, I find them much more comfortable to play.

UkingViking
02-12-2018, 07:57 AM
Just out of curiosity, I measured my KoAloha L/N Concert & my Ohana L/N Soprano, with a rule.
(Edit: These are the depths without the fretboard.)

Nut depth, K=12, O=13, & at the 7th fret, (measured here because the heel on the Ohana gets in the way at the 12th), K=14. O=15.

These are, of course not perfectly accurate owing to using a rule & not a micrometer, but shows that they are as close as it won't make a difference.

@ UkingViking
The KoAloha L/N Concert is a nice uke, & I can see that you are missing a L/N Concert. :)
(....& you don't seem to have a baritone either.... ;) )

I found an old thread listing koaloha as 0.65" = 16.5 mm and Pono as 0.75" = 19.0 mm. I guess the fretboard is included in those measurement.

If I get another uke i am not sure If I will go for a concert, LN concert or a tenor, but I think I prefer a more plain design than the Koaloha.

UkingViking
02-12-2018, 08:03 AM
Compared to other ukuleles, they do have a fatter neck. Coming from guitar, I find them much more comfortable to play.

I think I would need to try one to make up my mind. I used to know a couple of songs on guitar, so I might not mind it If it is smoothly rounded. The more rectangular chunky neck on my fluke takes a bit getting used to.

Vic Arpeggio
02-12-2018, 01:00 PM
I bought a mahogany Pono baritone used in good cosmetic condition with re-entrant tuning but the action was on the high side. I phoned Andrew at HMS and he walked me through lowering the action via a stress rod adjustment and suggested a new set of strings with a wound low D and G. Those two changes made all the difference in how I feel about playing my Pono.

Keep riffin'

bratsche
02-12-2018, 01:25 PM
Surprised to hear that, as the function of a truss rod is primarily to adjust the amount of fretboard relief. Adjusting it has some effect on action, but if your relief is flat to begin with, you don't want to mess with it, but lower the saddle instead. My Pono tenor has action a tad higher than I'd like, but the fretboard relief is dead flat (which I do like, and don't wish to alter). Some day I'll get around to sanding the saddle down slightly, but I won't be touching the truss rod. FWIW

bratsche

Uke Don
02-13-2018, 08:59 AM
This is a case of "it depends". Due to humidity, heat, or just changes in the neck wood the neck can curve at the top section or just bow more that it should and raise the action. Loosening the truss rod in that case it the right answer to lowering the action. That's why truss rods exist. And I suspect Andrew knows what he's doing :).

buddhuu
02-15-2018, 10:12 AM
I recently bought a Pono AT. Despite being just a little on the quiet side, it was a lovely 'ukulele in every way - except the intonation was just too far out on the A string. Saddle compensation couldn't fix it. I guess it just shows that even the most reliable brands sometimes have the occasional flaw.

I returned the 'uke and the guys at Southern Ukulele Store couldn't have been more helpful. They jumped through an unreasonable number of hoops to find something that intonated well and that they thought I'd like. It was worth the inconvenience of returning the uke just to experience a level of service that I thought was long extinct.

In the end SUS suggested a Cordoba 35T. I was a bit wary as I have always associated the name with cheap 'ukes I've seen on Amazon. When it arrived though my doubts vanished very quickly. The uke is beautiful, flawless, intonates well and has pretty much the tone and volume I was looking for (once the stock Aquilas were retired in favour of a set of Wrth Browns).

Ponos are great 'ukuleles. Based on a sample of one Cordoba 35T I'd say that a good example of this uke is on a similar level of quality and in the same price ball park.

Pueo
02-15-2018, 10:22 AM
Unashamed Pono fan here. My koa Pono was the second ukulele I purchased, eleven years ago (!) and I still have it because it is an excellent ukulele. It has in fact stopped me from buying a Kanile`a or a Kamaka because, quite frankly, most of the koa K brand ukuleles I have played I simply cannot justify the additional expense for what would pretty much be a redundant ukulele.
Everyone is different and likes different things, but if you are shopping for an ukulele please put Pono on your shopping list - try one, you will probably like it!
For the price point, build quality, sound, playability (for me) are unmatched.