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View Full Version : Pono Pro Classic vs Pro Classic 5



shanmoon
01-18-2019, 07:52 AM
Can anyone tell me the difference between the two Pono models? I see versions of each available at various uke sites like HMS, MIM, Elderly, Uke Republic, etc. but I can't find anything in the descriptions to distinguish between the two.

The Ko'olau website is no help (it looks seriously outdated with many pages not rendering properly in a modern browser).

I ask because I am looking at buying another higher end Pono, but would like a better understanding of the model differences.

Thanks

eyedoc
01-18-2019, 01:31 PM
Hi
If you call HMS, as I did, they will tell you the difference is only in the “bling”.....that is fancier rosette and purflings.
No sound quality difference, even from the Deluxe-Pro-Classic-PC 5,
Ron

shanmoon
01-18-2019, 03:48 PM
Cool, thanks for the info. I tried calling but got voicemail. :) I've gotten many good answers from them in the past.

Kenn2018
01-18-2019, 06:00 PM
Are the Pro Classic 5 models equivalent to the Master Series? They are/were both supposed to be the flagship models for Pono. In fact, I saw a Pro-5 listing on HMS that had a "P" logo on the headstock.

I don't think it had a bevel armrest, like the Master Series offered, but I'm not sure about that. It's been a couple of months.

Rakelele
01-18-2019, 08:01 PM
Yes, the Ko'olau & Pono homepage is seriously outdated both in technology and content. I like their products very much though, having owned several of their ukes in all sizes and lines, so here is what I know about them:

Pro Classic is their top line with wood binding, gloss finish, an upgraded rosette, and option of a slotted headstock. Series 5 indicates that it has additional purfling, so the difference is purely cosmetic, adding more "bling". Purfling and rosette were made of Abalone until 2017, then they started using different materials due to changes in regulation. Mostly, they have been using Turquise stone for the purfling and rosette on Series 5 models since then.

The Master Series was a limited edition run in 2017 which took the Pro Classic line to the next level by adding a side sound port, a beveled armrest and a silky satin finished neck, along with an understated look (simple "P" logo instead of "Pono" on the headstock, no dots on the fretboard, but still markers on the side of the fretboard). The top wood for this line was hand selected by Ko'olau luthier Noa Bonk, either Cedar or Torrefied Spruce. As mentioned, the Master Series was a limited edition run and hasn't been available again since then. I don't know if they are planning to make such a run again, but I sure hope so.

Since then, some of the features introduced with the Master Series have been used on a few Pro Classic models as well. All of them now have the silky smooth neck added to the gloss body, some have a side sound port, and some have had the simple "P" logo. There have been a lot of different combinations of these features lately, blurring the lines between Pro Classic, Series 5, and the Master Series. But to me, it is one of the strengths from Pono that they make so many different models with different features: with or without a sound port, with or without added purfling, with a slotted or a solid headstock, with different wood combinations, etc. Out of all these possible options, I'd just pick what speaks to me (or ask them specifically about a model that has all of the features you want).

Again, this is what I gathered over the years of following the brand and its development more or less closely. I'm not associated with them in any way, I just like their products very much. I hope there is some helpful information in there for you.

slackkey007
01-19-2019, 07:18 AM
FYI Many years ago, there was a Pono Pro Classic model that was made for a short period of time. It's the Pono MPTSH. Maple back and sides with an Englemann Spruce top. They were made with solid headstocks and slotted headstocks. There was also a cutaway model, too. If I am correct, this was the only Pro Classic model that the 5 Series did have an upgrade for the Maple back and sides. Instead of plain straight grain Maple, the 5 Series has very beautiful Curly/Flamed Maple.

I bought my pre-owned Pono MPTSH on eBay after 2 years of waiting for one to come up for resale. This Pono model sounds AMAZING!!! I've had mine since 2009. So, you know this particular Pono Pro Classic model is a great looking and sounding instrument because you don't see these come up for re-sale very often and those who are lucky to own them won't part with them!!!

I have owned many Pono Pro Classic tenors over the years, including 5 Series and the Master Series Acacia/Torrefied Spruce tenor (I regret re-homing it).

IMHO, Pono Pro Classic ukes are a great value for the price! They are FANTASTIC instruments!:shaka:



114864

114865

shanmoon
01-19-2019, 11:39 AM
Wow, that's exactly what I was looking for. Great info! Thank you!

Kenn2018
01-19-2019, 06:45 PM
Yes, the Ko'olau & Pono homepage is seriously outdated both in technology and content. I like their products very much though, having owned several of their ukes in all sizes and lines, so here is what I know about them:

Pro Classic is their top line with wood binding, gloss finish, an upgraded rosette, and option of a slotted headstock. Series 5 indicates that it has additional purfling, so the difference is purely cosmetic, adding more "bling". Purfling and rosette were made of Abalone until 2017, then they started using different materials due to changes in regulation. Mostly, they have been using Turquise stone for the purfling and rosette on Series 5 models since then.

The Master Series was a limited edition run in 2017 which took the Pro Classic line to the next level by adding a side sound port, a beveled armrest and a silky satin finished neck, along with an understated look (simple "P" logo instead of "Pono" on the headstock, no dots on the fretboard, but still markers on the side of the fretboard). The top wood for this line was hand selected by Ko'olau luthier Noa Bonk, either Cedar or Torrefied Spruce. As mentioned, the Master Series was a limited edition run and hasn't been available again since then. I don't know if they are planning to make such a run again, but I sure hope so.

Since then, some of the features introduced with the Master Series have been used on a few Pro Classic models as well. All of them now have the silky smooth neck added to the gloss body, some have a side sound port, and some have had the simple "P" logo. There have been a lot of different combinations of these features lately, blurring the lines between Pro Classic, Series 5, and the Master Series. But to me, it is one of the strengths from Pono that they make so many different models with different features: with or without a sound port, with or without added purfling, with a slotted or a solid headstock, with different wood combinations, etc. Out of all these possible options, I'd just pick what speaks to me (or ask them specifically about a model that has all of the features you want).

Again, this is what I gathered over the years of following the brand and its development more or less closely. I'm not associated with them in any way, I just like their products very much. I hope there is some helpful information in there for you.

Thanks, that's kinda what I was thinking, but you have clarified things for me. I like my Ponos a lot. I think they are very good bang for the buck.

sam13
01-20-2019, 01:27 PM
I am a Pono Fanboy.

Rainer and Kimo nailed it with their information.

Best value for the money. IMHO.

I currently own an ETSH5 Cedar top and a RBSHC Spruce top.

Keeping both.

Kenn2018
01-20-2019, 07:48 PM
I have Pono tenors: MTSH-C-MS; RTC(S); ATD & MGT.

My absolute favorite is the Rosewood/Spruce Cutaway. It has a paddle headstock, which is a very minor regret that I didn't get the slotted. Living Waters strings on it for an absolutely lovely resonate sound, that can shout a bit if I dig in. It stands up well against ukes that cost a lot more. That is one of my keepers.