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SA Condor
02-25-2018, 06:44 AM
I keep reading about Ponos and Opios and I keep seeing Pono’s sound being compared to a guitar. Is that really accurate? I’m looking for an Ukulele for a distinctively different sounding instrument then my classical guitar, not a sound I can reproduce by capoing up my neck.

The descriptions have been a turn off in that sense. Everything else written about them seems to be exceptional. Please help me out here. I want the traditional Ukulele sound. Do the Koaloha Opios have a more ‘accurate’ sound so to speak?

SA Condor
02-25-2018, 06:48 AM
I failed to mention, I’m specifically wanting to know about the Acacia instruments. I’m not really considering the other tone Woods at this time . . . . unless of course I should be to get the sound I’m wanting.

Croaky Keith
02-25-2018, 07:47 AM
I recently bought myself a KoAloha Opio acacia long neck concert & it has a lovely clear tone, (& I have a low G on it) - it sounds nothing like a regular guitar. :)

Here's a short video of one being played.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrJLyws3l3A

UkerDanno
02-25-2018, 08:09 AM
Some people want an ukulele that sounds like a guitar, don't know why. If you get a large bodied tenor (typical Pono) with low G, it will have a deeper, fuller guitar-like sound. Normal size tenor with high G will certainly have an ukulele sound. Concert and soprano sizes will be more "ukulele like". And as mentioned above, a long neck concert would be more ukulele like.

Rakelele
02-25-2018, 09:04 AM
As someone who likes a "guitar-like" sound in a uke, I would say that it is in lack of better words to say that a uke has a full, deep sound with long sustain, as opposed to that typically punchy uke sound.

As Danno pointed out, this correlates to the bigger uke sizes. It is true for the Pono tenors with their wide and deep bodies, whereas their concerts and sopranos sound more uke-ish.

A lot of it will also have to do with string choices (and with reentrant tuning versus linear or low G). Wound bass strings will usually increase that "guitar-like" sound, whereas the Opio ukes come with all unwound strings. Other than that, the Opio tenors have a similarly wide and deep body as Pono and sound just as full and deep to me.

kissing
02-25-2018, 11:13 AM
Every ukulele is guitar-like.

Tenors and baritones, more so.
Sopranos and concerts a bit less so.

JackLuis
02-26-2018, 03:20 AM
String it reentrant and you'll get a Uke sound. Even my Baritone strung dGBE sounds like a Uke.

Uke Don
02-26-2018, 06:35 AM
I keep reading about Ponos and Opios and I keep seeing Pono’s sound being compared to a guitar. Is that really accurate?
As an owner of an all acacia Pono tenor, I'd say that is not accurate. Strung re-entrant it sounds like a uke. With a better quality solid instrument, regardless of brand, you will get better sustain and clearer note separation. But an instrument the size of a uke is never going to sound like a guitar. As a side note, Ponos normally ship with Koolau strings with a wound 3rd. Change them out to all nonwound and you will get a more true uke sound.

Ukecaster
02-26-2018, 06:36 AM
I find that mahogany tenor ukes strung low G can sound guitar-like.

I guess it's better than a guitar that sounds like an itty bitty uke! ;)

pritch
02-26-2018, 09:02 AM
My Pono acacia concert sounds similat to my Maton Tasmanian blackwood concert, both strung reentrant they sound similar to each other, ukulele like.

MopMan
02-26-2018, 03:20 PM
Ukuleles will always sound different from guitars: only four strings, shorter strings, strings tuned to a higher pitch, absence of bass strings, much smaller resonating chamber, re-entrant tuning. The guitar comparisons are probably being drawn because of the high quality of these ukuleles, not because they sound exactly like a guitar.

If you want a modern version of the traditional Hawaiian instrument, Pono is just about as close to authentic as you can get without shelling out additional clams for a K brand.

Of course, for traditional, go with a solid koa body. In my mind a "classic" uke sound also incorporates nylon or catgut strings, with their characteristic mellowness of tone. For less sustain and less volume, go with a shorter scale length.

I wouldn't worry that you will find too much overlap between your classical guitar and a nice Pono ukulele. They are very similar, yet very different creatures.

Ukulele Eddie
02-26-2018, 04:09 PM
String it reentrant and you'll get a Uke sound. Even my Baritone strung dGBE sounds like a Uke.

^^^^^ This

kissing
02-26-2018, 10:38 PM
Ukuleles will always sound different from guitars: only four strings, shorter strings, strings tuned to a higher pitch, absence of bass strings, much smaller resonating chamber, re-entrant tuning. The guitar comparisons are probably being drawn because of the high quality of these ukuleles, not because they sound exactly like a guitar.

If you want a modern version of the traditional Hawaiian instrument, Pono is just about as close to authentic as you can get without shelling out additional clams for a K brand.

Of course, for traditional, go with a solid koa body. In my mind a "classic" uke sound also incorporates nylon or catgut strings, with their characteristic mellowness of tone. For less sustain and less volume, go with a shorter scale length.

I wouldn't worry that you will find too much overlap between your classical guitar and a nice Pono ukulele. They are very similar, yet very different creatures.


This is an excellent point.

And what does "guitar" sound like to people anyway?
There are guitars that sound mellow and deep, and there are those that sound trebly and bright.
There are guitars with loads of sustain, and those with less.

End of the day, ukulele and classical guitar are closely related instruments.
They are both made of various tonewoods, often the same tonewoods.
They both use strings of the same materials.

Of course they're going to sound similar.

Which is why in my previous post, I emphasised all ukes sound a bit like guitar, and likewise guitars just sound like huge ukuleles.

SA Condor
03-01-2018, 11:27 AM
I recently bought myself a KoAloha Opio acacia long neck concert & it has a lovely clear tone, (& I have a low G on it) - it sounds nothing like a regular guitar. :)

:drool:


Some people want an ukulele that sounds like a guitar, don't know why. If you get a large bodied tenor (typical Pono) with low G, it will have a deeper, fuller guitar-like sound. Normal size tenor with high G will certainly have an ukulele sound. Concert and soprano sizes will be more "ukulele like". And as mentioned above, a long neck concert would be more ukulele like.

This is really good info for me. I wish I was within 3000 miles of a Uke shop to ‘experience’ the sounds myself, but since I’m not, I’m trying to learn as much from this forum as I can.


As someone who likes a "guitar-like" sound in a uke, I would say that it is in lack of better words to say that a uke has a full, deep sound with long sustain, as opposed to that typically punchy uke sound.

As Danno pointed out, this correlates to the bigger uke sizes. It is true for the Pono tenors with their wide and deep bodies, whereas their concerts and sopranos sound more uke-ish.

A lot of it will also have to do with string choices (and with reentrant tuning versus linear or low G). Wound bass strings will usually increase that "guitar-like" sound, whereas the Opio ukes come with all unwound strings. Other than that, the Opio tenors have a similarly wide and deep body as Pono and sound just as full and deep to me.

Also very helpful! So I think perhaps I should focus more on a Concert, Super Concert, or Super Soprano instead of the Tenor size like I originally was looking for.

I love my guitar and its ‘sound’, I’m exploring the Uke to add a different layer of sound to my fun!


String it reentrant and you'll get a Uke sound. Even my Baritone strung dGBE sounds like a Uke.

Now I need to look up what that means . . . Thank you for pointing out how the strings can drastically affect the same instrument.


As an owner of an all acacia Pono tenor, I'd say that is not accurate. Strung re-entrant it sounds like a uke. With a better quality solid instrument, regardless of brand, you will get better sustain and clearer note separation. But an instrument the size of a uke is never going to sound like a guitar. As a side note, Ponos normally ship with Koolau strings with a wound 3rd. Change them out to all nonwound and you will get a more true uke sound.

Great . . . Now I think a Pono concert could be the sweet spot for me. I may post a WTB in the marketplace.

SA Condor
03-01-2018, 11:32 AM
Ukuleles will always sound different from guitars: only four strings, shorter strings, strings tuned to a higher pitch, absence of bass strings, much smaller resonating chamber, re-entrant tuning. The guitar comparisons are probably being drawn because of the high quality of these ukuleles, not because they sound exactly like a guitar.

If you want a modern version of the traditional Hawaiian instrument, Pono is just about as close to authentic as you can get without shelling out additional clams for a K brand.

Of course, for traditional, go with a solid koa body. In my mind a "classic" uke sound also incorporates nylon or catgut strings, with their characteristic mellowness of tone. For less sustain and less volume, go with a shorter scale length.

I wouldn't worry that you will find too much overlap between your classical guitar and a nice Pono ukulele. They are very similar, yet very different creatures.

You all have been very helpful. I’m walking into this blindfolded since I have zero access to Ukuleles right now (except for a horrid Mahalo Soprano that a kid here has). You’ve helped seal the deal. I’m going to post a WTB and see if someone has a Pono they’d sell in my meager budget. The cool thing is, my bride said that if I take this seriously, that in the future she’d be fine with me getting a better instrument. So hopefully I will see a beautiful Koa instrument some year in my future!

And your last comment about not worrying about overlap . . . Very helpful. Thanks!

plunker
03-02-2018, 02:30 AM
I think a guitar sounds like my Pono.