PDA

View Full Version : " K" Ukuleles vs Pono RTSH5/ATSH5/MTSH5?



Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 12:41 PM
Kanile'a?

KoAloha?

Ko'olau?

Pono RTSH5?

Pono MTSH5?

Pono ACSH5?

I am interested in hearing all of your opinions...

Why a KoAloha over a Kanile'a? or visa versa?

Why a Ko'olau over a Kanile'a?

Why a Pono?

etc.

Thanks for your feedback...I am targeting which to go after/save for next.

coolkayaker1
12-13-2012, 12:46 PM
The answer to your question is, in a word, encyclopedic.

Substitute different car models (volvo, mercedes, ford, chevy, subaru, etc). for the names of the ukuleles you've just listed and read it back to yourself.

That said, you should buy a Toyota.:D

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 12:51 PM
The answer to your question is, in a word, encyclopedic.

Substitute different car models (volvo, mercedes, ford, chevy, subaru, etc). for the names of the ukuleles you've just listed and read it back to yourself.

That said, you should buy a Toyota.:D

not helping

Paul December
12-13-2012, 01:09 PM
not helping

:confused: What do you mean?
Solely based on that post, I bought a Toyota :D

PhilUSAFRet
12-13-2012, 01:18 PM
The answer to your question if based on pure subjectivity. You will get answers "all over the place" except that many believe that Pono's, as good as they are, don't really deserve to be on the same list unless price is more important than quality. I am a big fan of the "law of diminishing returns." I think Pono's represent one of the best values for the money out there, but a Kanilea is still at the top of my list. That said, sit back and see what feedback you get. Not many short answers.

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 01:19 PM
The answer to your question if based on pure subjectivity. You will get answers "all over the place" except that many believe that Pono's, as good as they are, don't really deserve to be on the same list unless price is more important than quality. I am a big fan of the "law of diminishing returns." I think Pono's represent one of the best values for the money out there, but a Kanilea is still at the top of my list. That said, sit back and see what feedback you get. Not many short answers.

Excellent reply! THANKS!!!

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 01:20 PM
Any Ko'olau owners/players?

Newportlocal
12-13-2012, 01:30 PM
Interesting, a person in Hawaii with two nice long necked Kamakas and an assorted collection from your dad.
Why not get a Moore Bettah? Don't really have anything beyond that to add.

BlueLatitude
12-13-2012, 01:35 PM
My BF has a tenor Ko'olau. It sounds awesome, looks gorgeous, and he's very happy with it.

We each have a Pono and both are great.

It really is very subjective though.

Kanaka916
12-13-2012, 01:53 PM
Any reason why Kamaka wasn't included in the mix? Just curious . . .

wickedwahine11
12-13-2012, 02:23 PM
I have never played a Pono but do have tenors from Kamaka, Kanilea and KoAloha.

I think you will find a pretty even split here among fans of the big three K ukes (Kamaka, KoAloha and Kanilea). I would guess the split at 30/40/30 among them. Koolau are quite well respected, they just seem to be harder to come across than the other three.

I will leave out Kamaka since you did not ask about it.

I think (and all of this is only my two cents) that KoAloha has the best warranty, best customer service, brightest sound and loudest ukes. They have very love it/hate it styling with fans and detractors (musubi soundhole, crown headstock, etc.)

Kanilea has a gorgeous uv finish, a nice warm tone, and they use beautiful koa.

My personal fave of my ukes is my Kanilea (strung with Living Water low g strings which give it some bell tones and clarity). That being said, I love my KoAlohas and would usually recommend them over other brands due to warranty and the fact I have never heard a bad one.

Hope that helps, sorry for any typos - writing on my phone.

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 02:38 PM
Any reason why Kamaka wasn't included in the mix? Just curious . . .

I haz 2 already :smileybounce:

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 02:40 PM
I have never played a Pono but do have tenors from Kamaka, Kanilea and KoAloha.

I think you will find a pretty even split here among fans of the big three K ukes (Kamaka, KoAloha and Kanilea). I would guess the split at 30/40/30 among them. Koolau are quite well respected, they just seem to be harder to come across than the other three.

I will leave out Kamaka since you did not ask about it.

I think (and all of this is only my two cents) that KoAloha has the best warranty, best customer service, brightest sound and loudest ukes. They have very love it/hate it styling with fans and detractors (musubi soundhole, crown headstock, etc.)

Kanilea has a gorgeous uv finish, a nice warm tone, and they use beautiful koa.

My personal fave of my ukes is my Kanilea (strung with Living Water low g strings which give it some bell tones and clarity). That being said, I love my KoAlohas and would usually recommend them over other brands due to warranty and the fact I have never heard a bad one.

Hope that helps, sorry for any typos - writing on my phone.

Since you play and own those...your thoughtful response is much appreciated and EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!! :cool:

HBolte
12-13-2012, 02:48 PM
Since you are in Hawaii you have the luxury of playing them all. Should be easy to decide for yourself then.

Kamanaaloha
12-13-2012, 03:04 PM
Since you are in Hawaii you have the luxury of playing them all. Should be easy to decide for yourself then.

U have 3 of them...how do you like the KoAloha versus the Kanile'as? and why?

HBolte
12-13-2012, 03:19 PM
U have 3 of them...how do you like the KoAloha versus the Kanile'as? and why?

Well, there really is no comparison because they are different sizes. That said I like them all. :D

The KoAloha to me sounds like the ukulele I hear in my head when I think of Hawaii. The concerts are not as bright but sound good and are easier for me to play due to the longer neck. The tenor neck is longer again, I go to it for finger picking type songs. So each are very good at what they do. If that makes any sense...

BassGuyukin'
12-13-2012, 04:02 PM
As a ukester now with about six months experience (not much) here are a few of my thoughts. I have tried all of the low end ($100-400) tenors and found my Pono acacia tenor (about $400) to be a much better instrument, by far than any other <$500 uke I've tried. Just a week ago I purchased a Kanile'a tenor for about $1,200 and it is beautiful and looks, sounds and plays great. No doubt it is a nicer instrument than my Pono. However the Pono was only 1/3 the cost, but in no way is it 1/3 the uke. So with that said, factoring cost and quality, the Pono beats the Kanile'a by a longshot, as I think cost is an important factor. If cost is not a major factor, and you just want the best, then go for it and buy a high end K brand uke. But all factors count with me, and therefore, IMO, Pono can't be beat.

katysax
12-13-2012, 06:02 PM
I voted for KoAloha. However, I have both KoAloha and Kanilea Concert and Tenor. In the concert size I slightly prefer the Kanilea because the KoAloha is very bright, the Kanilea sound is more complex. In the Tenor I prefer the KoAloha because, while I like the wider fret board in the smaller sized ukuleles, the wide fretboard combined with the tenor neck makes the stretch a little too long for comfort on some songs. Both KoAloha and Kanilea make great ukes; they are different but all good in their own way.

gyosh
12-13-2012, 06:09 PM
The one Pono I played that I would pick over my Kamaka was a rosewood b/s adi top.

Completely different sound though.

Linho
12-13-2012, 10:37 PM
Imho Pono has no place in this list. These Asia (afaik Indonesia) made Ukuleles can't compare with a Hawaiian built Ukulele. If you allow the cheap Ko'olaus you could also consider KoAlana or Islander. If you want a good ukulele you could probably go to Pono, but remember it's not a Hawaiian built Ukulele.

From this list I prefer the Kanile'a Tenor (I own a georgeous one) since I don't like the for my eyes cheap looking headstock logo of Ko'olau , and KoAloha's look a bit to freaky for me with their crown headstock and their weird soundhole.

Even if you add Kamaka to your list I'm still with Kanile'a. I didn't play a Kamaka, but I prefer the great looking bridge of Kanile'a.

Just my 2 subjective cents!

guitharsis
12-13-2012, 11:47 PM
Have a Kamaka, KoAloha and Kanile'a concert. Will not part with any of them. If you want one with a brighter, louder sound than the Kamakas you have, KoAloha. If you like the deep rich complex tones of the Kamaka but just want something different, Kanile'a. Love the beautiful koa, the UV finish and the rich warm tone of the Kanile'a.

Barbablanca
12-14-2012, 12:32 AM
Hey Hawaiian speaking friends.... What do the names mean? I love the name Kamaka because it sounds exactly how a Catalan would pronounce "Que maca!" (how beautiful she is) :)

coolkayaker1
12-14-2012, 02:04 AM
I respectfully disagree with Linho. Having owned Pono, their top end ukuleles are otherworldly good. Every bit as good as my KoAloha tenor, Mp custom tenor, and others I've owned in the past. I take no bias for the fact that its made overseas.

All are less appealing than my Collings tenor, though, which is Texas made ( nod to soupking, there). Good is subjective, as is this entire thread ( and I'm loving the wait to see what OP can glean from this mishmash of replies that isn't already well known, such as Koaloha brightness, etc).

If Pono is good enough for Eddie Vedder to record some of Ukulele Songs CD with, I guess it's not half bad.

And for those regulars on here, and if someone has the link please put it here for OP, when Andrew did his sound comparison test of the K models about four months ago, even the most opinionated about uke sounds were royally ...and I mean kiss the queen and pray for a beheading royally...stymied!! People weren't even close at telling which was which. A scant few were even able to tell which one was the KoAloha, the most unique sounding Hawaiian uke.

hammer40
12-14-2012, 02:04 AM
Imho Pono has no place in this list. These Asia (afaik Indonesia) made Ukuleles can't compare with a Hawaiian built Ukulele. If you allow the cheap Ko'olaus you could also consider KoAlana or Islander. If you want a good ukulele you could probably go to Pono, but remember it's not a Hawaiian built Ukulele.

From this list I prefer the Kanile'a Tenor (I own a georgeous one) since I don't like the for my eyes cheap looking headstock logo of Ko'olau , and KoAloha's look a bit to freaky for me with their crown headstock and their weird soundhole.

Even if you add Kamaka to your list I'm still with Kanile'a. I didn't play a Kamaka, but I prefer the great looking bridge of Kanile'a.

Just my 2 subjective cents!

The OP isn't saying Pono's are the equivalent to the "K" brands, if you notice he has a "VS" in the title. He is just considering them, among others, for his next purchase and is just looking for feedback from owners.

I wouldn't call Ko'olau "cheap looking" and KoAloha "freaky" but hey, that's just my subjective opinion as well. Of course, since I own a couple "cheap" Asian ukes and I guess apparently, an inferior "California" made Compass Rose uke, what do I know? :D

Linho
12-14-2012, 04:10 AM
I respectfully disagree with Linho. Having owned Pono, their top end ukuleles are otherworldly good. Every bit as good as my KoAloha tenor, Mp custom tenor, and others I've owned in the past. I take no bias for the fact that its made overseas.
I don't say, Ponos are not good, in fact they are great ukuleles, indeed. But for someone looking for the "Aloha Spirit" of a genuine Hawaiian Ukulele and consider Kanile'a, KoAloha and Ko'olau, Pono doesn't really fit in his listing. Just my point of view, an expensive Asia Ukulele might me great (Pono and Honu), but it is never a Hawaiian Ukulele. Maybe like a new Martin doesn't have the flair of a vintage one.


The OP isn't saying Pono's are the equivalent to the "K" brands, if you notice he has a "VS" in the title. He is just considering them, among others, for his next purchase and is just looking for feedback from owners.
Yep, I just wanted to give a possible reason for the "K" Ukuleles. In my opinion K wins over Pono because of the Hawaiian flair. :D


I wouldn't call Ko'olau "cheap looking" and KoAloha "freaky" but hey, that's just my subjective opinion as well.
I don't think, Ko'olau is cheap looking, I just dislike their Logo on the headstock. For my eyes the white Ko'olau writing is not as beautiful as the "K" logo of Kanile'a, Kamaka and KoAloha. KoAlohas are great ukuleles but for me with the five bumps at the headstock and the non circular sound hole they look freaky.

No offense, just my submective opinion. :)

coolkayaker1
12-14-2012, 04:18 AM
I don't say, Ponos are not good, in fact they are great ukuleles, indeed. But for someone looking for the "Aloha Spirit" of a genuine Hawaiian Ukulele and consider Kanile'a, KoAloha and Ko'olau, Pono doesn't really fit in his listing. Just my point of view, an expensive Asia Ukulele might me great (Pono and Honu), but it is never a Hawaiian Ukulele. :)

I see, you're talking about intangibles, like Aloha Spirit, and putting weight on looks (like your logo comment) and location of manufacture.

I'm comsidering sound (it is, in the end, a musical instrument).

hammer40
12-14-2012, 04:22 AM
No offense, just my submective opinion. :)

No offense taken, things always read worse than intended. :D

mm stan
12-14-2012, 04:58 AM
Kanile'a?

KoAloha?

Ko'olau?

Pono RTSH5?

Pono MTSH5?

Pono ACSH5?

I am interested in hearing all of your opinions...

Why a KoAloha over a Kanile'a? or visa versa?

Why a Ko'olau over a Kanile'a?

Why a Pono?

etc.

Thanks for your feedback...I am targeting which to go after/save for next.

Aloha Brah,
Our opinions don't count....It is your preference that does...everyone is different...go and try them out before you buy....where do you live....

mm stan
12-14-2012, 05:01 AM
Hey Hawaiian speaking friends.... What do the names mean? I love the name Kamaka because it sounds exactly how a Catalan would pronounce "Que maca!" (how beautiful she is) :)

ka (“the”) + maka (“eye, bud, child”); also a short form of compound given names beginning thus.

it has another meaning too,...pm me...

kauaijim
12-14-2012, 05:28 AM
If you live on Oahu you can go to Wahiawa to the Koolau/Pono factory and get a micro blemished factory second Pono. Then you can go to the Koaloha factory in Palama and get a factory second Koaloha. You'll spend less than a thousand dollars for both combined and you can save up for the Kanilea. Then you'll have the whole package except for the Koolau. The seconds are great values and the Koaloha lifetime warranty applies to the seconds.

There is a difference between koa and mahogany in sound. The mahogany is mellower but I like both.

patico
12-14-2012, 07:45 AM
..... However the Pono was only 1/3 the cost, but in no way is it 1/3 the uke. So with that said, factoring cost and quality, the Pono beats the Kanile'a by a longshot......

sorry but i don't agree
when you pay for a high end ukulele, you pay for different things.
subtle differences which are worth to pay for, not just bling, i mean "sound"

Kamanaaloha
12-14-2012, 08:01 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful responses! I will continue to evaluate further. I agree with mmstan that it is ultimately my choice, but I wanted to solicit your firsthand knowledge/opinions, because there is nothing quite like a familiar opinion which will help in my final decision. So far this is kind of what I am gleaning; Kanile'as have complex sounds and pretty bridges as well as more figured koa for their price; KoAlohas are loud but have "wonky" five crown head pieces <I don't mind that, but the laser etching is kinda yuck, imho!> and sound holes, but have the best warranties and service <I actually like the musubi sound hole, and believe it is largely responsible for the volume difference...not to mention their bracing...but bracing is not that drastically different...unless you are talking about the really high-end stuff like DeVines etc.>; Ko'olaus are less available, some do not like their logo, but basically not as many have played them; Ponos are not in the same league as the "K" ukuleles, BUT for the price there might not be a better ukulele! Additionally, many cannot differentiate between all of them, but unless compared to a custom...Ponos are as good as many of the instruments out there...

Keep the opinions coming...and keep voting on the poll...this information is huge, imho!!!

Thanks!

hawaii 50
12-14-2012, 08:42 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful responses! I will continue to evaluate further. I agree with mmstan that it is ultimately my choice, but I wanted to solicit your firsthand knowledge/opinions, because there is nothing quite like a familiar opinion which will help in my final decision. So far this is kind of what I am gleaning; Kanile'as have complex sounds and pretty bridges as well as more figured koa for their price; KoAlohas are loud but have "wonky" five crown head pieces <I don't mind that, but the laser etching is kinda yuck, imho!> and sound holes, but have the best warranties and service <I actually like the musubi sound hole, and believe it is largely responsible for the volume difference...not to mention their bracing...but bracing is not that drastically different...unless you are talking about the really high-end stuff like DeVines etc.>; Ko'olaus are less available, some do not like their logo, but basically not as many have played them; Ponos are not in the same league as the "K" ukuleles, BUT for the price there might not be a better ukulele! Additionally, many cannot differentiate between all of them, but unless compared to a custom...Ponos are as good as many of the instruments out there...

Keep the opinions coming...and keep voting on the poll...this information is huge, imho!!!

Thanks!





I am going to retire and move back to Oahu at the end of the year.. i can not wait..

i have many nice ukes and when i get back to Hawaii i am trying as many new ukes as possible..i will buy what I like not what other people want..like someone said you have way more ukes to try on Oahu than almost all the posters on this site i live in Northern Calif and even though there are some shops here..i dont think there are that many uke shops say in Iowa..so just get what you want!


if you don't like the headstock or bridge or what ever don't get it..
but it has to do with the sound first..i have a couple ukes that do not look perfect..but they sound so good i will keep them forever..

just my 2 cents

Kamanaaloha
12-16-2012, 01:57 PM
thx for the responses and votes...

bump bump

BassGuyukin'
12-16-2012, 03:56 PM
And for those regulars on here, and if someone has the link please put it here for OP, when Andrew did his sound comparison test of the K models about four months ago, even the most opinionated about uke sounds were royally ...and I mean kiss the queen and pray for a beheading royally...stymied!! People weren't even close at telling which was which. A scant few were even able to tell which one was the KoAloha, the most unique sounding Hawaiian uke.

I just LOVE blind sound comparisons like these. I didn't see that test but I'd love to read through it is someone does have that link. I went through something like that as well in the bass guitar world where someone did a similar comparson between high end basses, inexpensive ones and homemade ones. After all was said and done, no one could really tell the difference and no one knew which was which.

It all boils down too, IMO, that people have these ideas as to what high end, low end, K brands, imports, mahogony vs. koa etc. are supposed to sound like or do sound like, but then when put up to a blind sound comparison no one really has a clue as to which is which. People have loyalties and a personal bias and are convinced that Hawaiian made or higher end instruments are better. I'm sure on average that is true, but not always. I just wish more would judge sound and playability with their ears and hands rather than with their eyes. And no matter what anyone says, I will not believe that many or most do not judge these things with their eyes.

Kamanaaloha
12-16-2012, 04:44 PM
True, but people have their opinions. And, who better than those people that have experienced the "ear test"?

coolkayaker1
12-16-2012, 05:35 PM
Bassguyukin, here's the famous thread. Start at the very beginning, where Andrew from HMS posts rules and the classic video. Watch the video...listen...and write down your choices. Then look at the comments to see how disparate everyone's "ears" are for the brands---even big time ukulele gurus and owners. The answers are, in a word, scattershot. Then, finally go to the end for the correct answers...look at your list of answers, cry a little, then go back to playing your Kala or Lanakai and feeling better about it. LOL That's what I did!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?69461-How-well-can-you-distinguish-Hawaiian-Brand-tenors

For original poster...really try and listen to which number uke you prefer. Listen two or three times...then find the answer later in the thread, and you will come as close to your nirvana as you can. A thread full of opinions from players, most of whom have played some but not all of the ukes you mention, means nothing compared to your own ear.

Then call Andrew at HMS--the nicest guy in the world--and buy one. Rinse and repeat. lol

hawaii 50
12-17-2012, 07:43 AM
Bassguyukin, here's the famous thread. Start at the very beginning, where Andrew from HMS posts rules and the classic video. Watch the video...listen...and write down your choices. Then look at the comments to see how disparate everyone's "ears" are for the brands---even big time ukulele gurus and owners. The answers are, in a word, scattershot. Then, finally go to the end for the correct answers...look at your list of answers, cry a little, then go back to playing your Kala or Lanakai and feeling better about it. LOL That's what I did!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?69461-How-well-can-you-distinguish-Hawaiian-Brand-tenors

For original poster...really try and listen to which number uke you prefer. Listen two or three times...then find the answer later in the thread, and you will come as close to your nirvana as you can. A thread full of opinions from players, most of whom have played some but not all of the ukes you mention, means nothing compared to your own ear.

Then call Andrew at HMS--the nicest guy in the world--and buy one. Rinse and repeat. lol


I agree with Cool and MMStan..use your own ears and judgment not what other people think they know..good luck..

Hiddencross
12-17-2012, 09:03 AM
I agree with Cool and MMStan..use your own ears and judgment not what other people think they know..good luck..

Fundamentally, this is what it boils down to. For me that meant Kanile'a. Your mileage may very.

I am willing to pay a premium for made in Hawaii (for tradition) and the USA as a whole. I would probably extend that to factories or luthiers that pay reasonable wages and provide decent working conditions. This is harder to determine of ukuleles built in developing nations. I do this partly for political reasons, but also because I think it can mean more accountability, consistent quality control and therefore better instruments.

mm stan
12-17-2012, 09:54 AM
True, but people have their opinions. And, who better than those people that have experienced the "ear test"?

Yes true...but all ukes even the same brands and models made by the same person will sound different because of many variations in the building process..each uke will have
their own voice so to speak..even the builder will not know which will sound the best until he/she strings them up...

Hiddencross
12-17-2012, 11:07 AM
Yes true...but all ukes even the same brands and models made by the same person will sound different because of many variations in the building process..each uke will have
their own voice so to speak..even the builder will not know which will sound the best until he/she strings them up...

Absolutely, this too.

Also, the way the instrument feels in your hands can influence your choice. Personally, I love the slightly wider neck on my Kanile'a. Some do not. In some of the comparisons/reviews that people make, I think they sometimes gloss over the feel of the instrument. Maybe, because like many other ukulele attributes, it is subject to personal preference.

Kamanaaloha
12-17-2012, 01:20 PM
Bassguyukin, here's the famous thread. Start at the very beginning, where Andrew from HMS posts rules and the classic video. Watch the video...listen...and write down your choices. Then look at the comments to see how disparate everyone's "ears" are for the brands---even big time ukulele gurus and owners. The answers are, in a word, scattershot. Then, finally go to the end for the correct answers...look at your list of answers, cry a little, then go back to playing your Kala or Lanakai and feeling better about it. LOL That's what I did!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?69461-How-well-can-you-distinguish-Hawaiian-Brand-tenors

For original poster...really try and listen to which number uke you prefer. Listen two or three times...then find the answer later in the thread, and you will come as close to your nirvana as you can. A thread full of opinions from players, most of whom have played some but not all of the ukes you mention, means nothing compared to your own ear.

Then call Andrew at HMS--the nicest guy in the world--and buy one. Rinse and repeat. lol

Thanks! I got Kanile'a/Kamaka/Kelii different...but Ko'olau and KoAloha were spot on! i guessed Kamaka Koolau Kanilea Kelii KoAloha...but once again it is about my ear and my ultimate choice. It is really neat to hear why people prefer their Kanilea over their Kamaka or KoAloha...or that the Pono is just as good but cheaper...I am happy with the results...unless there are more nuances that can be shared!

I do find it interesting that people prefer the Kanile'a over the KoAloha and then the Ko'olau and finally the Pono, especially since you can choose more than one.

bobmyers
12-17-2012, 02:00 PM
There is no right answer. I have owned and played them all, almost. Kanilea, Kamaka , Koaloha, Compass Rose (2), Mya Moe (2) Santa Cruz, William King, Collings, David Newton, and several others I've lost recollection of. These where all magnificent instruments, but for me I was still searching. And I don't believe that youi can walk into a music store, even the most well stocked and play a few notes and chords and decide this one is perfect. I believe you must live with it and try different strings and play different music venues to really make a judgement on each instrument.
I have also owned several Pono's and currently have two (a tenor and a baritone) I'm keeping until something else takes preference. I also recently received delivery on a custom Moore Bettah Tenor that I previewed here. Rounding out my current herd is a Kapasa Concert and a Breedlove tenor.
So what have I learned, I have not found nervana, no matter how much I spend, or how many string changes I make. But, I'm getting close and the strange concoction of finalist in my herd contains two Pono's, that says something. I'm sure each of us have found a sound most appealing as we try to reach perfection. We can come close but I don't think we will ever achieve that, we are too human and imperfect ourselves.
So viva the difference , they are all beautiful and special in there own way. Give me a different song and I will like it best played on a different ukulele.
If this is my curse then it is way better than most.
Bob Myers

Hippie Dribble
12-17-2012, 02:30 PM
There is no right answer. I have owned and played them all, almost. Kanilea, Kamaka , Koaloha, Compass Rose (2), Mya Moe (2) Santa Cruz, William King, Collings, David Newton, and several others I've lost recollection of. These where all magnificent instruments, but for me I was still searching. And I don't believe that youi can walk into a music store, even the most well stocked and play a few notes and chords and decide this one is perfect. I believe you must live with it and try different strings and play different music venues to really make a judgement on each instrument.
I have also owned several Pono's and currently have two (a tenor and a baritone) I'm keeping until something else takes preference. I also recently received delivery on a custom Moore Bettah Tenor that I previewed here. Rounding out my current herd is a Kapasa Concert and a Breedlove tenor.
So what have I learned, I have not found nervana, no matter how much I spend, or how many string changes I make. But, I'm getting close and the strange concoction of finalist in my herd contains two Pono's, that says something. I'm sure each of us have found a sound most appealing as we try to reach perfection. We can come close but I don't think we will ever achieve that, we are too human and imperfect ourselves.
So viva the difference , they are all beautiful and special in there own way. Give me a different song and I will like it best played on a different ukulele.
If this is my curse then it is way better than most.
Bob Myers
Nice post Bob. :)

mm stan
12-17-2012, 02:52 PM
There is no right answer. I have owned and played them all, almost. Kanilea, Kamaka , Koaloha, Compass Rose (2), Mya Moe (2) Santa Cruz, William King, Collings, David Newton, and several others I've lost recollection of. These where all magnificent instruments, but for me I was still searching. And I don't believe that youi can walk into a music store, even the most well stocked and play a few notes and chords and decide this one is perfect. I believe you must live with it and try different strings and play different music venues to really make a judgement on each instrument.
I have also owned several Pono's and currently have two (a tenor and a baritone) I'm keeping until something else takes preference. I also recently received delivery on a custom Moore Bettah Tenor that I previewed here. Rounding out my current herd is a Kapasa Concert and a Breedlove tenor.
So what have I learned, I have not found nervana, no matter how much I spend, or how many string changes I make. But, I'm getting close and the strange concoction of finalist in my herd contains two Pono's, that says something. I'm sure each of us have found a sound most appealing as we try to reach perfection. We can come close but I don't think we will ever achieve that, we are too human and imperfect ourselves.
So viva the difference , they are all beautiful and special in there own way. Give me a different song and I will like it best played on a different ukulele.
If this is my curse then it is way better than most.
Bob Myers
Aloha Bob,
Took a long time for me to find just a few good ukes....like you, I have gone through alot of ukes...I mean alot....just 2-3 really now grabs me...I still buy and try to update and beat what I
currently have now....each time it gets harder to beat the current top ones...ha ha LOL yup spend a lot of money and hope for the right gem for me to come along....

OldePhart
12-17-2012, 02:53 PM
Having recently purchased a Pono (baritone) I can say that it is a very, very good ukulele; when all factors are considered it is clearly a cut above the other "asian" ukes I've owned/played (I haven't had my hands on a KoAlana yet, though). I do have a Mainland mahogany soprano that is simply amazing and is a little better player in my opinion, but I am objective enough to know that most would rate the Pono higher even than that "special" Mainland (of course, it should be, Pono ukes cost about double what the Mainlands go for).

That said, the Pono is not really in the same category as the other ukes listed and honestly, at about a third of the price that shouldn't really be a surprise to anybody, right?

The Pono is good enough though that I think for even the "picky" players a Pono might well be the best value unless money is simply not a factor. I.e., if someone is volunteering to buy me a new Koa baritone to go with my mahogany one then I'll take a Ko'Olau thank you - but, since I'm probably going to have to buy it myself there is a pretty good chance there's an ABD in my future... :biglaugh:

John

tomthebaptist
12-17-2012, 03:23 PM
Nice post Bob. :)

I'm new to the ukulele world, but I've played guitar for near 50 years. I've owned a 1940 D-18 that was amazing; a 1976 D-35 that wasn't so amazing; a but load of Taylors; a Collings D2H and a bunch more... until I settled on one guitar: a Santa Cruz OM/PW which I now own. My Son-In-Law gave me a Carbon Acoustic Performer Legacy for Christmas several years ago. But that's it.... down to two guitars.... and I have bonded with both guitars... especially my Cruz.... the carbon fiber I play in the shower!

This thread has served me well... after getting hooked on ukulele, my first instrument was a Lanakai Mango Tenor. From there I went to an Ohana; and then I discovered Pono at the Deluxe Guitar Exchange, a local high end guitar shop. They had both the mahogany and acacia models.. both standard and deluxe... After playing all of them off and on for several weeks, I decided on the ATD model... and then the GAS or UAS (or whatever you call it) kicked in.... the pursuit for the perfect ukulele. I started my research, thinking that there was a better uke out there somewhere. But you all have convinced me of something I already know.... they're isn't a perfect uke. So, I've decided to be content with what I have.... at my level of play.... there really isn't a better instrument.... my Pono and I have bonded!

mm stan
12-17-2012, 03:33 PM
Having recently purchased a Pono (baritone) I can say that it is a very, very good ukulele; when all factors are considered it is clearly a cut above the other "asian" ukes I've owned/played (I haven't had my hands on a KoAlana yet, though). I do have a Mainland mahogany soprano that is simply amazing and is a little better player in my opinion, but I am objective enough to know that most would rate the Pono higher even than that "special" Mainland (of course, it should be, Pono ukes cost about double what the Mainlands go for).

That said, the Pono is not really in the same category as the other ukes listed and honestly, at about a third of the price that shouldn't really be a surprise to anybody, right?

The Pono is good enough though that I think for even the "picky" players a Pono might well be the best value unless money is simply not a factor. I.e., if someone is volunteering to buy me a new Koa baritone to go with my mahogany one then I'll take a Ko'Olau thank you - but, since I'm probably going to have to buy it myself there is a pretty good chance there's an ABD in my future... :biglaugh:

John

Aloha John,
Mark and I played a nice pono baritone at HMS and I was really impressed....I know a guy selling a 6 string pono tenor and it is one of the sweetest six string I have ever heard and played..

patfia
12-17-2012, 04:48 PM
Aloha John,
Mark and I played a nice pono baritone at HMS and I was really impressed....I know a guy selling a 6 string pono tenor and it is one of the sweetest six string I have ever heard and played..

Stan, what did you think of the neck on the Pono? I think I recall that you like thin fast necks. I'm definitely noticing the difference between the Pono and Kanile'a necks. At the moment, not sure whether I'm struggling more with the neck or that wound C string but it's taking some "getting used to". Probably just a matter of time and usage, both of which minimal right now.