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FHD0123
12-03-2012, 09:06 PM
OK, I had a massive post, but the universe intervened and stopped me from having you guys read through five pages worth of ramblings, now it's just one...

Hi! I'm new here and I need help! (I've been over-researching and am now lost :confused:)

For a Christmas present (for my husband, has casually played guitar and a little bit of uke, but doesn't own any atm) I need help choosing between the following (all concerts):
- Mainland Uke Classic Mahogany
- Koa Pili Koko Acacia or Mahogany
- Pono MC Mahogany
- Kala KA-ASLAC Spruce/ Lacewood or Kala KA-SMHC Solid Mahogany

I really like the sound of the Kala Spruce (based on YouTube vids), but like the look of the Kala Mahogany more. The KPKs look great, but read some reviews about cracking issues. With Pono, something similar (popping strings or some sort of madness). The Mainland has great reviews and seems to be a great product, but would be on the higher price end (found some good sales).

Don't know if this matters, but currently living in a dry, hot climate, but moving some time in 2013 to a cold, wet climate. Not that the uke will be out in the garden/on the balcony, but still...

I'm starting to dream about ukuleles (not kidding), so would like to make a decision rather sooner than later (plus Christmas is getting close). Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Fiona

bazmaz
12-03-2012, 11:32 PM
Played all of them - and owned some. If that Pono wasn't there I'd say Mainland without a doubt, but the Pono line edge the Mainland tone a little to my ears, and are more nicely finished too.

kvehe
12-04-2012, 12:10 AM
I voted for Pono, but wouldn't have any cracking concerns about the Koa Pili Koko. The cracking seems to be something from the past that has been corrected and is no longer a problem, from what I have read. Happy choosing!

cahaya
12-04-2012, 12:56 AM
Kala KA-ASLAC Solid Spruce/ Lacewood tend to lean towards the higher end of the tone. Pono has more mid to my ear. I like them both. But sort of tone are you after?

PhilUSAFRet
12-04-2012, 01:33 AM
Just popped up on ebay last night. Pono MC with hardshell case, $225....snag it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautiful-Pono-Mahogany-Concert-Ukulele-with-Hardshell-Case-/221162056012?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337e49294c

cahaya
12-04-2012, 01:50 AM
Just popped up on ebay last night. Pono MC with hardshell case, $225....snag it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautiful-Pono-Mahogany-Concert-Ukulele-with-Hardshell-Case-/221162056012?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337e49294c

If you are living in US, the above is a really good deal.

Bob-in-Alberta
12-04-2012, 04:49 AM
I voted for the Mainland. Why? Because I have a Mainland and I like it. Looks good, stays in tune and sounds good as well. Also, everything that I've heard about Mainland has been good. As long as what you get is purchased from someone who has set it up properly you shouldn't have any problems with any of the ukes listed.

vanflynn
12-04-2012, 04:58 AM
If you don't mind ukes with very minor blemishes, check out HMS http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukuele-market/vintage-used-blem-specials.html

They will look it over to make sure it's a good instrument and you will get a heck of a price.

roxhum
12-04-2012, 10:13 AM
I love Mainland ukes but the Pono is real nice too. Don't worry about the cracking on the Koa Pili Koko, like said in other post that problem has been resolved, but I don't think they sound as nice as the Mainland or Pono

FHD0123
12-04-2012, 12:08 PM
Thanks so much for all your replies. It would appear from the poll results so far that Pono is definitely the favourite.

I bumped into the Pono on ebay as well as the Pono on HMS. I prefer the look of the Pono on ebay, but prefer the idea of it coming from HMS. A bit more security in regards to set-up and possible returns. Seeing as it's a present, what if he doesn't like it? :(

In regards to tone, I'm not sure anymore. I was convinced I didn't want anything high pitched, but after listening to so many different ukes, I think it has more to do with who plays it and how. It's starting to all blend into one... :confused:

OldePhart
12-04-2012, 01:39 PM
For me it would be a tossup between the Mainland and the Pono, with an edge to the Pono if resale value is important to you but a nod to the Mainland if "bang-for-the-buck" is more important to you.

For the other two - wouldn't even consider them unless they are set up by a reputable uke dealer.

John

wolfchs
12-04-2012, 03:03 PM
For me it would be a tossup between the Mainland and the Pono, with an edge to the Pono if resale value is important to you but a nod to the Mainland if "bang-for-the-buck" is more important to you.

For the other two - wouldn't even consider them unless they are set up by a reputable uke dealer.

John

:agree: Exactly what he said. Also, I just posted this on "Kuya's" thread inquiring about the same thing:
"... I vote for the Pono. I have the Pono Acacia Tenor Deluxe (Deluxe just means gloss finish, i think). And out of all the ukes that I have tried, that one is my favorite uke. I just fell in love with the sound and it is very pretty. My second choice would be the Mainland Mahogany Tenor. I've had the chance to play one and it is pretty close to the Pono although there is a difference cause my Pono was Acacia and the Mainland was a Mahogany. I found that I reach for the Pono when I make any videos for "Seasons of the Ukulele" contests cause it just sounds better."

raiden590
12-07-2012, 11:53 AM
I know I am working with a Cordoba Acoustic Electric Tenor this has been working well for me with Aquila strings. Beauty of a sound.