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View Full Version : Pono Ohai wood - any info?



clayton56
07-07-2009, 11:34 PM
Anybody try the new Pono Ohai wood ukes yet?

I called and got a phone audition and liked the sound (sounded Oriental, like a Koto maybe, but that's not the best audition).

Anyway, curious for any reports.

built
07-08-2009, 01:07 AM
how about MGM on youtube?

allinfun
07-08-2009, 03:01 AM
Several people have posted threads regarding their ohio :p (my neighbors pronunciation) wood Ponos.

dnewton2
07-08-2009, 03:04 AM
One Review. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15547&highlight=ohai)

Two Review. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15300&highlight=ohai)

and the rest of the search resluts. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15300&highlight=ohai) to sort thru.

deach
07-08-2009, 07:08 AM
I have the tenor with the pickup. It sure is pretty, except for a bit of excess glue/finish on the neck. It's really quiet with the stock strings. It sounds ok. It's on the heavy side too. Plugged in, it sounds really nice. For the price, I'd get a Kala, a couple pizzas and some beer instead.

inkandsilver
07-08-2009, 08:16 AM
I love mine -- with the caveat that I'm a newbie and don't have a lot to compare it to. It is somewhat quiet with the Ko'olau strings. I replaced them with Pro Artes because I did not like the wound C. It might be a touch louder, very warm and complex in tone, increasingly so as the days go by. It seems very well put together and finished. I was also considering a Kala or an Ohana in this price range; the strong warranty and the truss rod helped decide it for me, because this is something I'd like to have for a long, long time. And I think the wood is lovely on some of them.

russ_buss
07-08-2009, 08:42 AM
i had one for a second and then returned it. it's really beautiful to look at but the soundboard was a little on the thick side. good price for a solid instrument but not nearly as nice as the pono solid mahogany series.

Boozelele
07-08-2009, 10:16 AM
Like RussBuss I too had one of these ukes for a second. Beautiful wood (reminded me of oak cabinets). Unfortunately it was as thick and heavy as oak. The sound is pleasant when you are close to it, but I'm afraid the sound board is so think that it doesn't resonate very well. I bought the Pono Ohai with the idea that it would be a major step up from my Kala Solid Mahogany Tenor...It wasn't. My trusty $200 Kala is a much better sounding and playing uke. I wrestled for a couple days with what to do, and ended up shipping it back to MGM.

Deach has the version with the pick-up, and I can understand how this could be better. Maybe it's a lot like a solid body electric.....not something to be played without amplification.

On a side note I was also not a fan of the wound C string. I could not keep it from buzzing. I dont know how much of that was the instrument, and how much was my crappy playing, but it annoyed the hell out of me. I ended up replacing that string with an Aquila un-wound C string.....and the buzz persisted. I thought well hell, I wonder if my Kala does that too, and I never noticed it.....nope, just the Pono.

So, long story short...the Ohai is on it's way back to Hawaii. It was beautiful to look at, but that's about it (much like my second wife).

TCASI

Mafioso
09-16-2009, 06:13 AM
I have the Pono Ohai Soprano, which may be different than the tenor... however I do not agree at all with what i read above.

This pono is very well built, and notes are right all along the neck.
The sound did not project loud when i recieved it, even though the top table is very thin. However, after 1 or 2 weeks of intensive use, it started to sound pretty much lourder and with more and more sustain slowly. My "noobish" feeling is that slowly the strings get placed correctly and the bones transmit the vibrations better than at start ? Anyway i think it is common for ukes to improve during the first few weeks, it has been reported many times.

If you only tested it for a day you certainly did not test it enough in my opinion.
Besides, it comes with Ko'Olau gold which project less than worth clear for example. Did you try with other strings?

I very barely need to tune it, mainly only when i take it out of the pouch, because i accidentely move the tuners. The Grover on it work flawless and i never need to tune it during playtimes.

It lacks some kind of ornments probably to make it nicer, and the grover are purely metal, and could have used some wooden key ends, but the aspect is the main reason for such a price. Ohai wood isnt cheap, but more available than let's say, Koa, which explains the price as well.

I do think it is a very good Uke in this price range... I will make some video review of it.

Sorry for the english mistakes, you probably understood that it isnt my native language.

clayton56
09-16-2009, 10:49 AM
I bought a soprano a while ago, after reading this, mostly because of curiosity and a phone audition.

I have some heavy strings on it and it is as loud as most of my other ukes, this is proved by the microphone and recording software. However the tone lacks an airyness and presence that I hear in the other woods.

On the other hand, the sound is cleaner and more pure, that presence often comes up as noise on the microphone. It sounds different from my other ukes, it sounds very good on recordings. It also seems to have a lot of sustain.

I think I will use it for rhythm backups with a brighter uke playing melody.

Ronnie Aloha
09-16-2009, 05:38 PM
2009 Pono Production Updates

Current production has been modified to include the following:

Note: 'Ohai Series will be discontinued.

Mafioso
09-16-2009, 08:33 PM
2009 Pono Production Updates

Current production has been modified to include the following:

Note: 'Ohai Series will be discontinued.

Would be interesting to have it clarified... and the reasons why.
They also stopped building Koa ukes.

Maybe we'll be glad in a few years to have this rare uke in our collection ... :D

keithy351
09-16-2009, 08:34 PM
I have the tenor with the pickup. It sure is pretty, except for a bit of excess glue/finish on the neck. It's really quiet with the stock strings. It sounds ok. It's on the heavy side too. Plugged in, it sounds really nice. For the price, I'd get a Kala, a couple pizzas and some beer instead.

agreed with deach, get a kala acacia tenor, you will be way more stoaked, there round the same price and produce the sound of a uke 3x what it cost. MGM is the man for these things

clayton56
09-16-2009, 10:13 PM
the price of the mahogany seems to have gone up, maybe they decided not to go for the lower end of the market.

They are discontinuing the mango as well, due to scarcity of wood. I bet that's not the problem with the Ohai!

For a while I was toying with the idea of replacing the Ohai top with cedar but I don't need a project like that right now. Besides this one fills a niche for me.

Mafioso
09-16-2009, 10:28 PM
Well we dont know, it may be that it is not economically good: ohai pono is still handcraft and recieves the same crafting care then others for about half the price, and even though it isnt rare wood, it is still not cheap. Besides maybe it is hard to introduce something new when people look for somethi that has been proven to be great in the past like koa, mohogany, mango etc...

I don't feel like Pono mohogany sound loud either. It is the quality, kind of 'dry' sound that i like in Ponos. They dont sound like strings are from an old fishing pole.

Mafioso
09-17-2009, 01:48 AM
This is slightly out of topic, but since people often wondered on these forums what Ohai was, it is also called monkeypod and already been used before for ukes, guitars or other instruments :

Old uke 20's
http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2009/01/c1925-lyon-healy-monkeypod-camp-uke.html

Ibanez guitar :
http://www.interstatemusic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10021&productId=900261000

12 strings guitar monkeypod :
http://www.paulmatthewlauck.com/images/monkeypod2.jpg

Monkeypod congas :
http://www.volcanopercussion.com/Monkeypod_Congas.php

I'm wondering why Pono stops this line... maybe it does not have the success they expected. It looks like they're heading toward a cheap Mohogany version with satin finish.

Mafioso
09-17-2009, 01:53 PM
Here is what my Soprano sounds like with Worth clear instead of the ko'olau gold that come with it. The Worth CM produce a louder sound i believe.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcoBLN7TOUE


I pretty much like the sound of it and in the vid the sustain is easily noticeable...

guitharsis
11-22-2009, 12:46 AM
Mafioso
Great sound on your Pono Ohai soprano and very nice playing.