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View Full Version : Ko'olau vs. Pono. What's the Difference?



specialmike
06-21-2009, 01:15 PM
I tried to search the forums for a thread containing the information I seek, but I couldn't find anything...

so, What's the difference between Ko'olau and Pono? One makes the other, but they are essentially the same company making the same product with the same materials... please can someone explain.

haole
06-21-2009, 01:22 PM
Ko'olau ukes are made in Hawai'i; the Ponos are less expensive because they're made in Java, Indonesia. Ko'olau competes directly with Kamaka, KoAloha, and Kanile'a, but also makes some crazy, expensive customs. Ponos are somewhere between the solid-wood imports from Ohana and the Hawaiian-made K-brands. I guess their biggest competition at this point is Honu, and maybe the nicer Kalas.

Kanaka916
06-21-2009, 01:24 PM
For more info about their instruments, visit their website (http://www.koolauukulele.com/).

DeG
06-21-2009, 01:30 PM
What's the difference between Ovation and Applause? I guess it is a similar situation, The Ko'olau Brand are typically higher end, higher quality ukes compared to Pono. That being said, there is a region where the line of distiction get blurry, and some high end Ponos, are "better" than lower end Ko'olaus. Better is in quotes because personal preference has a lot to do with what is "better". They are no longer using Koa on Pono Brand ukes, and reserving it for Ko'olau's only. I guess this helps distinguish one from the other a little better as well.

danged
06-21-2009, 01:45 PM
What's the difference between Ovation and Applause? I guess it is a similar situation, The Ko'olau Brand are typically higher end, higher quality ukes compared to Pono. That being said, there is a region where the line of distiction get blurry, and some high end Ponos, are "better" than lower end Ko'olaus. Better is in quotes because personal preference has a lot to do with what is "better". They are no longer using Koa on Pono Brand ukes, and reserving it for Ko'olau's only. I guess this helps distinguish one from the other a little better as well.

Ko'olau will also be discontinuing the Pono line up of Ebony Deluxe and the Mahogany Deluxe series, as already discontinuing their Koa Models. After all remaining Ebony and Mahogany Deluxe models are sold, that's it. Pono will continue to make the new Ohai, Mahogany O series and Mango series.

haolejohn
06-21-2009, 07:25 PM
I guess their biggest competition at this point is Honu, and maybe the nicer Kalas.

Don't forget the Mele.

UkuLeLesReggAe
06-22-2009, 12:41 AM
Ko'olau ukes are made in Hawai'i; the Ponos are less expensive because they're made in Java, Indonesia. Ko'olau competes directly with Kamaka, KoAloha, and Kanile'a, but also makes some crazy, expensive customs. Ponos are somewhere between the solid-wood imports from Ohana and the Hawaiian-made K-brands. I guess their biggest competition at this point is Honu, and maybe the nicer Kalas.

really? wow i love the honu's, never knew that about the pono... i wud have thought the pono over the Ko'olau

ichadwick
06-22-2009, 12:48 AM
Ko'olau will also be discontinuing the Pono line up of Ebony Deluxe and the Mahogany Deluxe series...
Amd recently discontinued their cedar-top, rosewood-backed line, too.

hawaiianmusiclover06
06-22-2009, 01:25 AM
I recently got the Pono Mahogany "O" series concert 'ukulele.

Craig
06-22-2009, 02:54 AM
I tried to search the forums for a thread containing the information I seek, but I couldn't find anything...

so, What's the difference between Ko'olau and Pono? One makes the other, but they are essentially the same company making the same product with the same materials... please can someone explain.
We own three Ko'olaus and one Pono. All of them are tenors. The Pono is all Koa. The Ko'olaus are mixtures of Koa & Spruce and Brazilian Rosewood and Spruce. The difference is in sound and build quality. We've owned them all for a few years and have played the tar out of them. The Ko'olaus are much more alive and breathe, where as the Pono, sounds good, but not as good as its more expensive siblings.

With this said, I believe Ponos are the best in their class--best ukulele for the money.