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View Full Version : I'm looking for a stage-playing uke, but also one to just play. Pono or Ohana?



UkulelePornstar
06-27-2010, 02:22 PM
I want a ukulele and I have $450. Should I buy a Pono or an Ohana.
Also, I want a solid wood instrument (solid mahogany, solid rosewood, etc.).
What should I buy?

cletus
06-27-2010, 02:59 PM
What's the difference? Between a "stage" uke or a "home" uke, I mean.
Just curious.

jordan bello
06-27-2010, 03:49 PM
I want a ukulele and I have $450. Should I buy a Pono or an Ohana.
Also, I want a solid wood instrument (solid mahogany, solid rosewood, etc.).
What should I buy?

Pono is a step up from Ohana in my opinion. But all I see for Pono are mahogany and spruce/maple ukes. If you want all koa, for a little more I've read on the UU forum that Kamoa All Koa Concert with slothead is a good buy. http://ukuleleuprising.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=78

Brad Bordessa
06-27-2010, 04:56 PM
What's the difference? Between a "stage" uke or a "home" uke, I mean.
Just curious.

Yeah, I can't get my head around this one either.

Just get a pickup in your home 'ukulele. Then you have a hybrid.

But I'd go with Pono. They are just low budget Ko'olaus, but nice.

Lori
06-27-2010, 07:07 PM
I would go with the Ohana. I know the new Ponos have a new factory, but earlier Ponos have had cracking issues, and the new ones haven't been out very long. I love the way Ponos look, but I have read a lot of threads about them over the last year and a half on the UU. I would wait and see for another few months to see if the new Ponos have any problems.

–Lori

FromTheWayside
06-27-2010, 10:09 PM
Don't mean to derail, but I was able to get a solid mahogany Mainland (tenor scale, with MiSi pick-up installed, and a case) for that price. Have you considered a Mainland?

kissing
06-27-2010, 10:23 PM
Just make sure you get one with a good quality pickup.
I prefer active pickups, because they're plug n play, and as long as you get a good one, it'll sound good on stage.

If you get a passive, you'll want to invest in an external pre-amp.
I hear good things about the LR Baggs acoustic preamp (not sure if I spelt it right).

Unless of course you're one of those microphone purists for amplification..

Tudorp
06-28-2010, 02:03 AM
All I can contest to is I love the Ohana stuff. Not sure what size you are looking for, but mine is the SK-35 & SK-21, Soprano, and Sopranino, both solid Mahogany, Both bone nut/saddle, both well built, both great action and play great, both sound very nice, and both under $200.

bnicholas26
06-28-2010, 04:44 PM
If you can find one. The Pono Ohai ukes are are around 350. I have one and love it! http://www.youtube.com/user/bnicholas26

bnicholas26
06-28-2010, 04:59 PM
Also, musicguymic on ebay always has ponos in stock.....also....John Kitakis the owner of Ko'olau/Pono can be reached by email fairly easily, he always replies promptly and is very courteous and knowledgeable.

ukecantdothat
06-29-2010, 12:09 PM
Don't mean to derail, but I was able to get a solid mahogany Mainland (tenor scale, with MiSi pick-up installed, and a case) for that price. Have you considered a Mainland?

Couldn't agree more with that! I loved the Ponos I've played and someday I'll probably look into that again, but right now budget constraints led me to the Mainland. It was everyone here that made me go that route and I wasn't disappointed when it arrived. I would have sent it back if I wasn't happy, but there's no way that's going to happen! A fine solid-body uke with a hard shell case and an MiSi pickup for about what you'd spend on just a Pono alone is hard to pass up. I was never impressed with any Ohana I played in a store, but that could be because of the strings on them. A nice set of Aquilas (or Savarez classicals - my latest fave...) make a world of difference on any uke.

Melissa82
06-29-2010, 12:18 PM
Look into Big Island! I played Rzr's at UWC and it was amazing. I think you can get a Tenor solid mahog for $300 or something like that. The Koa's are amazing but higher price point.

Rzr
06-29-2010, 03:24 PM
Look into Big Island! I played Rzr's at UWC and it was amazing. I think you can get a Tenor solid mahog for $300 or something like that. The Koa's are amazing but higher price point.

I got mine from UkeRepublic. Mine was $399. Tenor cutaway with Fishman pickup + the cost of case. A little more then you want to spend but well worth it. UkeRepublic was amazing to deal with. He met me on the side of the interstate at a Starbucks when I was driving back from Florida. He has some sound samples on his YouTube, I think.

lambchop
06-29-2010, 04:03 PM
If you want to get a good ukulele for the stage (I am assuming you want one with electornics). for around $230 you can get the Lanikai S-TEQ, which I have had great success with. Everyone loves the sound. Solid spruce top gives good projection and the laminated back and sides deliver well-rounded tone - not bad on the low end, either, for a ukulele. Don't worry about solid woods unless you're moving to the $800 or more range, as there are grades of solid wood and it matters more what is done with the tops and how they are braced than just that it is solid wood. I played a Pono and I liked it, so if you want that, go for it - Ohana's look great but in my opinion I enjoyed playing the one Pono tenor model I played more (can't remember what models, but they were around $300 or so). All this said, having played each brand in this price range ($200-$500), I found the Lanikai to be more playable, better action and better tone. The best advice is go to a place that sells a wide variety, sit down and play and pick the one you love. That's what happened with the Lanikai for me. My opinion, but that's my advice. Mike

lambchop
06-29-2010, 04:04 PM
Just make sure you get one with a good quality pickup.
I prefer active pickups, because they're plug n play, and as long as you get a good one, it'll sound good on stage.

If you get a passive, you'll want to invest in an external pre-amp.
I hear good things about the LR Baggs acoustic preamp (not sure if I spelt it right).

Unless of course you're one of those microphone purists for amplification..

I don't agree - my cheap Lanikai has a cheap Belcat and it woerks just fine - no preamp needed at all. Mike

Regster
08-08-2010, 08:02 PM
If you want to get a good ukulele for the stage (I am assuming you want one with electornics). for around $230 you can get the Lanikai S-TEQ, which I have had great success with. Everyone loves the sound. Solid spruce top gives good projection and the laminated back and sides deliver well-rounded tone - not bad on the low end, either, for a ukulele. Don't worry about solid woods unless you're moving to the $800 or more range, as there are grades of solid wood and it matters more what is done with the tops and how they are braced than just that it is solid wood. I played a Pono and I liked it, so if you want that, go for it - Ohana's look great but in my opinion I enjoyed playing the one Pono tenor model I played more (can't remember what models, but they were around $300 or so). All this said, having played each brand in this price range ($200-$500), I found the Lanikai to be more playable, better action and better tone. The best advice is go to a place that sells a wide variety, sit down and play and pick the one you love. That's what happened with the Lanikai for me. My opinion, but that's my advice. Mike

I played a couple of ohana and I wasn't impressed by the sound. I also played the lanikai s-teq on a store and it sounded pretty good better than the ohana that I played. The lanikai was 200.

clayton56
08-09-2010, 09:13 AM
I have a few Ponos and one Ohana, the sopranino. The Ohana is well made but the "mahogany" is not really mahogany, not the same stuff used by luthiers. It has a cute, characteristic thrift shop sound but the Pono is a quality instrument.

Having said that, two of my Ponos have assembly problems, the bridge on one is glued off center by 5mm, so one half measures 10mm more than the other half. Get a Pono and examine it carefully. I tried one of the new mahogany tenors at an MGM booth and it had a very nice character to the sound.