View Full Version : New-to-me Pono PKC

05-11-2011, 07:10 PM
Hi All,
I recently purchased a used Pono PKC ukulele -- nice concert sized koa body with ebony binding. However, I'm new to owning and playing a ukulele, so I have a few questions.

First, some very basic ones. I tried searching for the answers already, but they're probably so simple no one has asked:
(1)The strings were in bad shape, so I have replaced them with some new Martins. Looking on-line, I saw various mixtures of product images and descriptions. I ended up buying a set from Amazon that are advertised as "M600 Standard Crystal Nylon" in one place and "clear flourocarbon" in another, and the product image of the box says "Clear Flourocarbon". The strings I received were indeed 'crystal nylon' and 'M600', according to the box, not flourocarbon. So my question is whether 'crystal nylon' and 'clear flourocarbon' are two terms for the same string. I don't think so, because the listed diameters are different, but I know I've seen the Martin flourocarbons refered to as M600 here on UU, so I'm confused.

(2)Second question about the strings: the box indicates tuning for the key of D. Am I correct in assuming these will work fine in the key of C, but the tension will be a bit lower? It doesn't seem bad the way it is, but I wouldn't know the difference. :o

Okay, now a few more specific questions about this particular ukulele, if anyone can help:
(1)I've searched for information on this particular model, but I find very little since they don't make it anymore. What I do find either refers to a 'PKC-1' with no binding, rope rosette, and open geared tuners, or a fancier 'PKC-2' with rope binding, MOP rosette, and closed tuners. Mine is clearly labeled only as 'PKC', and seems to be a mixture of the two -- ebony and white-black-white binding and rosette, and closed tuners (but different than the pictures I've seen of the PKC-2). It also has an ebony-faced headstock instead of the natural mahogany on the others. I actually like the looks of mine better than the others I've seen on-line, but I'd like to know if this is a lower-level model, or what the deal is. The seller said he bought it about four years ago, and I think it was new at that time.

(2)After bringing it home, I notice that the brace just below the sound hole is cracked lengthwise, half way across. The brace apears to still be firmly attached to the body. I'm assuming I should leave it as is, but I thought I'd run it my everyone.

I think that's it for now, thanks for humoring me....

Dan Uke
05-12-2011, 07:14 AM
Pics would be good fo the crack...Did you buy from the Los Angeles Craigslist?

05-12-2011, 07:35 AM
I haven't been able to get a good shot of the crack, but I might try again.
Yeah, that's the one I bought.

05-12-2011, 07:38 AM
The M (600, 620 & 630) series strings are fluorocarbon and they will work fine in C tuning.

Your best bet would be to contact the folks at Ko'olau for more info about that particular model. You may as well ask them about the crack for the best possible options.

05-12-2011, 10:29 AM
The M (600, 620 & 630) series strings are fluorocarbon and they will work fine in C tuning.

Your best bet would be to contact the folks at Ko'olau for more info about that particular model. You may as well ask them about the crack for the best possible options.

I recently contacted Koolau re: a small ding on my MCD E concert and how best to repair/fill it. They were extremely patient and helpful. Great company to deal with.

Right now, I'm considering trying Koolau low g Alohi strings with wound 3rd and 4th strings. Hear at Hawaiianmusicsupply on the Lanikai Monkeypod tenor electric, wait until the high g demo done.

05-12-2011, 11:19 AM
Thanks, I'll try contacting Ko'olau and see what they have to say.
On the strings, the box I got clearly says M600, but also "crystal nylon" and the diameters are 0.021-0.036 (I think), whereas the the flourocarbon diameters are 0.0191 - ?, so I'm still confused. Maybe the diameter difference is because they are 'D' strings instead of 'C'? So far I haven't even found anywhere where they list anything other than one type of Martin strings, so I don't even know if they MAKE anything else. Maybe I need to contact Martin direct too!

Oh well, the ukulele sounds nice, so that's really all that matters; I was just hoping to get clarification on their string line-up.


05-13-2011, 02:38 PM
Not that anyone is probably interested, but you guys were right on about Ko'olau. They responded in about 10 minutes to my e-mail, indicating I have an "initial model" PKC, before they split the line-up into PKC-1 and PKC-2. I was a little surprised that they did recommend getting the brace repaired, but I guess they're the experts!

On the other hand, I haven't received a response from Martin about strings...I guess their ukulele string expert must not be available. :)
Their current catalog only lists two ukulele strings, one set for soprano (M600) and one for baritone (M630), and they are both supposedly fluorocarbon, so I guess I got some random step-child, or they changed their offerings, but not the part number.


Dan Uke
05-14-2011, 07:41 AM
Hopefully it doesn't cost you too much to repair. Good luck

mm stan
05-14-2011, 09:54 AM
I also like to try the Ko'olau gold strings...but they discontinued them....they still have some leftover stock I think..

Dan Uke
05-23-2011, 12:36 PM
Did you get it resolved? Did you send it back?

05-23-2011, 02:33 PM
No, right now I'm just sitting on it. Ko'olau said it should be an easy repair that "anyone" could do -- i.e. I didn't need to send it back to them to have it fixed. I just need to get off my butt and take it somewhere....