View Full Version : Pono Tenor

12-11-2008, 10:05 AM
So soon after receiving my KA-CE, I decided I should probably get a uke in low G tuning. Seeing as how the KA-CE is my 2nd concert(the first being my Mitchell MU100 which is also my first ukulele), I decided to get a tenor. So I searched and searched and searched.

I'm still open to suggestions. The KA-CE fits my playing style well. Well....at least one side of it. I'm looking for a warm, full sounding uke. Seeing as how I'm now also addicted to plugging in my KA-CE and blasting it full volume when I can, I'd also prefer that this uke be electric as well.

Here's a list of what I've found so far:
- Pono PTSE (Mahogany Spruce Top)
- Bushman Cedar Tone[add on an undersaddle pickup]
- Kala KA-KTE CT(Koa Solid Cedar Top, cutaway)
- Applause UAE148 (cutaway spruce top)
- Hamano H-100T[add on an undersaddle pickup]

I'm leaning more towards the Pono and Kala at this point.

12-11-2008, 10:36 AM
I have a couple of Ponos, Kalas and an Applause, all tenors. Reviewed them all on my uke site.

Applause is a very different beast. I like it, but it's heavier than other ukes; the rounded back makes it slightly awkward to hold and changing the interior amplifier battery is a task that makes fixing the space shuttle look dead-drunk easy. But it has a nice neck, looks great and sounds good - not the best, but acceptable. And the electronics are first class.

Ponos sound MUCH better, are lighter, easier to hold and use passive pickups (no battery).

Ditto with Kala, but are usually less expensive than Pono for a damn fine uke. My favourite right now is a Kala cedar top, matte finish. Really nice, light and bright.

I've played with a Bushman and it was okay, but I didn't think it was as nice sounding as I expected.

12-11-2008, 03:27 PM
i have a pono deluxe mahogany. awesome instrument.

12-11-2008, 06:24 PM
I play a Pono pkc-1 And love It . I have three other ukes but it is my favorite. I think my next one will be tenor ceder top pono mgm has a good price on them right now. But I don't no if I can get it electric

12-11-2008, 06:54 PM
Big Pono fan here. My mango tenor is amazing for the price.

12-12-2008, 12:09 AM
As much as I like the Pono, it might be too bright sounding, with the mahogany and spruce. It's also the most expensive, which would mean I'd actually have to wait to purchase it.

On a side note: I'm leaning more towards the KA-KTE CT. Has anybody tried their flamed maple ukes yet? Those look interesting.

12-12-2008, 06:42 AM
In my experience, pono tenors are very mellow sounding... I've played a mahogany and cedar and a mahogany and spruce tenor and they were both very mellow. Too mellow for me, actually. But others love 'em!!!

12-13-2008, 12:03 PM
I had a chance to try one of Pono's all mahogany tenors and I must say...it's not for me. I think I'm going to stick with the Kala.

12-13-2008, 03:19 PM
I tried older Pono tenors and thought they were really quite but the newer models have lightened bracing, so I took a gamble and bought a cedar top tenor from MGM and love it a lot.

I played a maple top Kala today, not bad for a $200 uke. It is on the brighter side. I haven't played the Kala Cedar tops, perhaps those will be a bit warmer in sound and will be more affordalbe than a Pono although the Pono appears to have better craftsmanship.

12-13-2008, 03:43 PM
If you want a mellow sound, get a pono tenor mahogany. I love that sound, and maybe one of my future ukes will be a spruce top mahogany ukulele. I get the shivers just thinking about it. lol. Anyway, I have heard nothing but greatness from Pono so yeah I would deffientely buy from them.

12-13-2008, 05:58 PM
I'm not really looking for a mellow sound. Just a sound that's more ...flowable...I guess you could say. My Kala concert covers my very energetic, boomy side. Now I just need something sort of crisp, bright, and flowable. Yea. Flowable, I'm going to make that a word.

12-13-2008, 06:30 PM
If you are looking for a more "open" sound, perhaps a cedar top would be a good choice. Cedar sound tends to be open with a good balance of brightness. Get a solid top of course. My cedar tops are matched with koa and rosewood, not sure how it will sound on other type woods, let alone cheaper ukes (<$500).

BluesDrive, what strings you got on your concert Kala?

12-13-2008, 09:59 PM
The cedar top I plan on getting is a koa laminate body/sides. I've got aquila strings on my kala mahogany concert. It works well. I've done somewhat odd covers on the ukulele, such as blink 182, angels and airwaves, rancid, the used, etc, and the kala works wonderful for those. Forgive me for the horrid grammar. It's semi-late and I'm tired. There's just a different side of music that I'd like to cover that requires a different sound.

03-04-2009, 07:13 AM
In my experience, pono tenors are very mellow sounding... I've played a mahogany and cedar and a mahogany and spruce tenor and they were both very mellow. Too mellow for me, actually. But others love 'em!!!

I know this thread is old - but which do you prefer the pono spruce top or the cedar top?