View Full Version : New uke on its way - Pono PKC-1. Thoughts?

11-19-2009, 09:59 PM
Well I've done it - I have paid for a Pono PKC-1 all solid koa concert uke.

Apart from an article on Ukulele Review and a video review by Ken Middleton (who then sent it back!) I can't find much opinion about the little thing, but it looks great in the photos I've seen and it is the size I craved in a wonderful tone wood, so I hope I'll be happy with it when it arrives.

It's certainly a step up for me (on my way to something stupidly expensive one day, no doubt). Although I still very much enjoy my little first-buy mahogany soprano, I never got on with a plastic fretted Fluke that came my way, and really wanted to try a comfortable mid-range concert that I could get a real feeling for.

I'll stick some Aquilas on it immediately and see how that Hawaiian style lends itself to my trademark stuttering Beirut efforts... :)

Anyone else owned a solid koa Pono happily? They seem to be a thing of the past in Pono's range...

11-20-2009, 01:16 AM
Usually people ask for thoughts on a uke before they buy it.

As for strings, are coming with GHSs? Why change them right away? Play whatever is on there for at least a couple days before you change them.

11-20-2009, 02:02 AM
Thanks Deach - yeah, I'm just excited and wanted to share - it's my first 'serious' uke purchase after my first-buys - can;t wait for it to arrive.

I did ask about which Pono to get on the 'buy' forum, but as Pono seems to be changing its range right now and even people like MGM look like they are out of stock, the selection of good solid wood Ponos came down pretty quickly. A couple of sellers also admitted they had to keep a few instruments back because of cosmetic faults.

There are a couple of reasons for those Aquilas, some better than others, and I agree, I should try the original set up first. I changed the black GHS strings on my soprano and it made a massive difference to the tone and projection, and I preferred the way the Aquilas felt too (less slippery?). The review I watched from Mr Middleton also suggested Aquilas. But I guess most crucially, I happen to have a set spare :)

I have no experience of Worth at all, although I've heard good things. Not sure which style of worth would be best on a koa body though? I didn't much rate the GHS, and preferred Aquila to the only others I've tried - a set of Ko Golds.

BUT - I'm new to this and don't really know what I'm talking about, frankly, other than my own gut feeling.

11-20-2009, 03:07 AM
my own gut feeling.

"gut" feeling - geddit?!:D

11-20-2009, 05:29 AM
I have a Pono PKT1-CE and think it's a very nice uke. The build quality is good and the koa is very attractive. I agree with Deach on the strings. Leave them on for bit and see what you think. The ghs might match the sound you're looking for. When I got mine, it had Koolau golds which I though made it sound a bit quiet. I changed them to Worth Browns, then D'Addario j71's. I sent the uke in for some fret dressing(the only issue I had was that some of the higher frets weren't dressed properly) and Koolau restrung it with the golds. Now I like the golds because they match the sound of the uke as it fully opened up.

11-20-2009, 05:51 AM
A Pono should come with Ko'olau golds, which are fine strings. Give them a chance before you go slapping the Aquilas on. Every Pono I've had sounded better to me with the Ko'olaus than they did with Aquilas. I've preferred Aquilas on other things, but I've always switched back to Ko'olaus on Ponos.

11-20-2009, 08:53 AM
Great, thanks for the tips! After using Aquilas as my introduction to decent strings, I then found Golds a bit slippery, but there's no rush, I'll take your advice.

Come on DHL...

11-20-2009, 03:28 PM
Congrats on the new ukulele! You'll love it whatever string you put on it.

11-20-2009, 03:54 PM
DeG has a koa pono and he loves it. I love it too. Pono has switched their production out of java (political unrest) b/c of quality control issues. They are now being made in norther china. Still hand made and the word is they are sweet. Pono will also be introducing some cool wood blends. I still prefer mele though. Congrats on your new uke.

Ahnko Honu
11-20-2009, 03:55 PM
I thought the Koa wood Pono were discontinued last year. Is your's used or maybe older stock. Koa Ponos are getting to be rare birds so I hope you enjoy your's.

11-20-2009, 03:58 PM
Congrats on your Pono, be sure to join the Pono people group! :) They stopped making these all koa Ponos in 2008 from what I heard.

I had a PKT-1 model and finally after I bought another tenor I found the strings that I thought fit it best, which were Worth Clears. The browns are nice too but the koa needs something strong to make it ring through the gloss finish. Once those settled it sounded lovely, while still having a mellow sweet sound. I hated letting it go.

Mine came with Aquilas and they sucked on it to my ears, but Ko'olau Golds would probably be nice. I also did not like the tension of the Aquilas on my tenor, but the Worths felt the best. On a concert the tension would be less. Just my :2cents:

11-22-2009, 07:19 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to be frantic waiting for the courier. In the meantime I've been keeping the fire burning and practising Nantes!

About the Worth strings - are they smooth and slidey like Ko'Aloha, or grippy and textured like Aquila? I didn't even know they came in double lengths until recently...

11-22-2009, 07:22 AM
By the way, exquisite.fr still has two soprano KIA ukes from
2008 in stock...

11-22-2009, 08:04 AM
I am New convert to Worth strings on my Sopranos, they have a smooth texture not at all like the Aquilas.
I'm sure you'll love them if that is the tone you are looking for!