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View Full Version : Pono vs. Kala - Thoughts on 3 Models I'm Considering



frets alot
02-01-2019, 10:54 AM
I'm regretting selling the baritone uke that I had. Now, I'm looking these four options. I would like your $.02 on them. Which way would you go and why? Thanks!

Pono Acacia Baritone (AB)

Pono Mahogany Baritone (MB)

Pono Mango Baritone (MGB)

Kala Solid Acacia Baritone (KA-SA-B)

mingus
02-01-2019, 12:08 PM
I was in the exact same boat last year, so I called HMS. Spoke to Corey and he recommended the Kala. He told me the Pono baritones were great and well made, but the Kala was a better sounding baritone.

valde002
02-01-2019, 01:17 PM
I would be aware of the thickness of the Pono neck. You cannot tell by the photos but it is thicker than the Kalas I believe. Anyone have depth measurements? I bought a Pono tenor and can only play it for a short period of time because my thumb fatigues faster with it. Just my .01c

Rakelele
02-01-2019, 10:00 PM
Hard to argue when Corey has recommended the Kala over the Pono. Still, I much prefer Pono over Kala, and not just for sound and overall build quality, but for the company's philosophy and transparency about the production of their ukes (whereas it is impossible to get any infos about who actually builds the instruments labeled Kala, Lanikai, Cordoba, Islander, etc.).

Croaky Keith
02-01-2019, 10:42 PM
Personally, I'd take the Kala, & their acacia ukes always sound good to my ear.

frets alot
02-02-2019, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like either would be ok, I just don't want to put big bucks into this baritone. I will give it more thought. I appreciate the replies.

Jerryc41
02-02-2019, 03:14 AM
I was in the exact same boat last year, so I called HMS. Spoke to Corey and he recommended the Kala. He told me the Pono baritones were great and well made, but the Kala was a better sounding baritone.

That's a surprise, but sound is what a uke is all about. And there's a substantial price advantage with the Kala.

Croaky Keith
02-02-2019, 04:10 AM
I just don't want to put big bucks into this baritone.
Might be worth checking out the cedar topped Kala, myself & several others really like its sound. :)

uketanzon
02-02-2019, 06:31 AM
MANGO for me....all the way..

or get cedar top, rosewood Mainland baritone....hard to beat for the money

Osprey
02-02-2019, 11:33 AM
Might be worth checking out the cedar topped Kala, myself & several others really like its sound. :)

+1 for the Kala Cedar top.

kvehe
02-02-2019, 01:08 PM
Acacia Kala. No question in my book. :)

I have several baritones, and the Kala is by far my favorite.

bellgamin
02-02-2019, 09:37 PM
Corey is 1 person with his own tastes, blessed with just exactly 2 ears. I live on Oahu & visit HMS from time to time. There are other, equally "expert" HMS folks that would prefer the Pono. However, these experts, also, only have 2 ears, like the rest of us. Tastes vary. Playing styles vary. Instruments vary -- even 2 of the same make & model number will not sound exactly the same.

The hog-top Pono sounds different from the cedar-top Kala, & both of these sound different from the spruce-top Pono.

The BEST way to buy is to go to the store & play the instruments then pick the one -- the VERY one -- that you like best. However, if circumstances dictate buying by mail order (a "blind date"), I think the best way is to play the odds. On a blind date, odds are the Pono will be a better built, better sounding instrument than a Kala.

pix.fairydust
02-03-2019, 05:00 AM
I can only speak for the one I had which was the pono mango baritone and that sounded beautiful. Plus the mango looked incredible too

frets alot
02-05-2019, 05:27 AM
Tough decision....I appreciate all who responded.

Spicemaster
02-05-2019, 08:04 AM
I can only speak for the one I had which was the pono mango baritone and that sounded beautiful. Plus the mango looked incredible too

I'm hankering for a Pono Pro Classic Mango Baritone. I missed out on one of the last ones (https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-mango-baritone-deluxe-pro-classic-mgb-pc5.html) and can't stop looking at it, despite the fact that I'll never get it! Now I'll lay in wait until more appear and snap one up as fast as possible.

zztush
02-06-2019, 01:19 AM
I take Pono Acacia Baritone (AB)

Because I prefer Pono's headstock to Kala
https://i.ibb.co/qWtwDW9/3.png (https://imgbb.com/)

And both has Acacia
Pono Acacia Baritone (AB)
Pono Mahogany Baritone (MB)
Pono Mango Baritone (MGB)
Kala Solid Acacia Baritone (KA-SA-B)