View Full Version : Ohana CK 50GS Concert vs Pono MT Tenor - Help!

02-01-2013, 02:27 PM
Hi everyone

Need some advice. I'm a newby on the uke (I play guitar) and after buying my 3 year old a Mahalo for Xmas I am hooked!

After some screw-ups buying an Ohana online the shop is offering me a great deal on an Ohana CK-50GS. At $200 including shipping this seems a great deal for a solid rosewood back and sides, cedar top uke.

However, I have my eyes on a used Pono MT mahogany which I can pick up for an extra $95.

I haven't had the chance to try either of them (I'm sure that would be wise but... too bad I guess)

I'm looking for a mellow uke sound that is easy to play. I don't care for bling (the Ohana has some) but do care about tone. I think a tenor would suit me better in the long run but that's not a make or break part of it.

Any advice would be appreciated.



Harold O.
02-01-2013, 02:54 PM
Retail on the CK-50GS is much higher than that. We have one in the store and I play it regularly (to keep it in tune, eh). It is a wonderful instrument and a tremendous bargain at $200.

02-01-2013, 03:23 PM
This is the toughest choice I've seen in a long time. Do you prefer a concert or a Tenor? Friction or geared tuners? Gloss or flat?

The Ohana seems like one of their classiest instruments, made with most desirable woods. And, it is gorgeous in my opinion. The Pono looks like one of their low-end models, (pretty blah if you ask me) but still an exceptional instrument. Tough one.

Ohana. No, Pono. Pono's a great musical instrument. Nah, that Ohana is beautiful. I'd get it. Well, I've played many Ponos and I think their great. That's the one I choose. Wait,wait. I don't play tenors. I'd take that Ohana. Final answer.

02-01-2013, 03:44 PM
Thanks for that Harold.

Very helpful. I am assuming it is a brand new one (though I will ask since it is a very good deal)

Most importantly to me is: do you like the tone as compared to a maybe slightly higher end all mahogany one?

Thanks again

02-01-2013, 03:47 PM
Thanks Steve?!?

Seriously though. I appreciate your input.

The Ohana retails much higher and has gloss and bling: but to be fair I am more about tone.

Money is important too. I was looking at $200 for my first decent uke and it's another $95 for the Pono... however I am hoping for it to be my 'main player' for quite some time so is $95 really that much?

Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhh! ;)

02-01-2013, 04:47 PM
Ohana, hands down.

02-01-2013, 04:51 PM
Personally, I like the tone of the Ohana...Cedar/Rosewood is a sweet combination. Lighter, more resonant than the Pono.

02-01-2013, 05:09 PM
Thanks for your input everyone... keep em coming and I'll make up my mind tomorrow


02-01-2013, 06:17 PM
PS I'll let you all know which way I go


02-01-2013, 06:58 PM
What size do you want to play? The Ohana sounds like a really terrific combo of woods, but the Pono mahogany is very nice. If you'd rather play tenor sized ukes, you may be looking again before long if you bought the Ohana.

02-01-2013, 08:47 PM
I am really new to the uke, so size wise I could go either way.

I play guitar and certainly like the idea of a slightly large playing area in order to get my fingers in but I suppose the concert size and the tenor size both fit that bill.

So no real preference... yet!

You could be right that I'm looking for a different size in 6 months. But then I wouldn't be the first on this forum to own more than one uke ;)

02-01-2013, 10:38 PM
I have both the Ohana CK- 50G and a Pono MT. For a long time I could not find a uke which really projected as well as the Ohana. The rosewood/ cedar really belts it out, rings wonderfully, and has great sustain. Sometimes it can verge on being a bit brackish though, and the intonation is off (head stock a bit twisted). I've only had the MT for a couple of days, yet I'm crazy about it. The tone is very well balanced, it's articulate for picking and full in the low and mid tones for chords. The neck is very comfortable. It's projection is pretty darn comparable to the Ohana.. yet not bracing, the mahogany has nice ring and sustain, and the intonation is much better (even though the bridge is a titch scewed). The tenor size is much easier in my opinion to play, and the look is very attractively understated. At this price range both may have some minor quirks, but these are some enjoyable ukes. I know that the MT is what I will almost always reach for now, until I graduate up to the next level. Whichever one you get, have her set up properly. Good luck!

02-02-2013, 08:06 AM
Hi Michael

Thanks for the excellent run down. That was most helpful.

I think I have made up my mind and I will go with the Ohana. At the price it is a steal. I will take your advice and get it set up properly straight away... hopefully a skilled luthier can take out any quirks inherent to a cheap to mid-price uke.

I am also convinced that if I enjoy it as much as I think I will, it will only be a matter of time before I step up to something better... maybe even a K brand! Better start saving! :cool:

To everyone else who took the time to chime in: thanks heaps!



02-02-2013, 03:13 PM
I have the Ohana and would highly recommend it for the mellow tone you seek. It is a beautiful instrument.

02-02-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks very much... Ukuebass23

02-03-2013, 08:23 PM
You'll be happy, I got my Ohana for $175 because the local distributor was closing it's doors. Seriously, it's a great uke with a sound that not many ukes can touch (except for the MT). Yet, before your next "big" purchase definitely consider the Pono MT again. HMS's price is super at a totally reasonable $339, (which comes with an amazing set up and humidifier). I do need to get my Ohana set up better (intonation), but the MT is hogging the limelight now. Enjoy, Concerts are great for travel too!