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View Full Version : Ever Play a Pono Baritone?



Paul December
02-15-2013, 08:05 AM
I know many here like Ponos of shorter scales, but what about Baritones specifically?
Did you find them resonant & project well, or overbuilt?

What else is there (non vintage) at the $1k range :confused:

mds725
02-15-2013, 08:17 AM
I have a solid mahogany Pono baritone. It's a great instrument. Compared to my Kamaka HF-4, the Pono is a little quieter, less resonant and a little heavier. It also has a slightly thicker neck. New Kamaka baritones run just under $1,400, although there's a 1997 Kamaka baritone (http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/39889/index.php) at Gryphon Stringed Instruments for $900 that sounds really great. Offhand, I can't think of any new baritones in the $800 - $1,000 range.

Paul December
02-15-2013, 08:23 AM
I have a solid mahogany Pono baritone. It's a great instrument. Compared to my Kamaka HF-4, the Pono is a little quieter, less resonant and a little heavier. It also has a slightly thicker neck. New Kamaka baritones run just under $1,400, although there's a 1997 Kamaka baritone (http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/39889/index.php) at Gryphon Stringed Instruments for $900 that sounds really great. Offhand, I can't think of any new baritones in the $800 - $1,000 range.

How would the top thickness compare between your Pono and Kamaka?

d-mace
02-15-2013, 08:40 AM
You could order a Loprinzi....$600 and up based on wood, bindings, bling, etc.

didgeridoo2
02-15-2013, 08:47 AM
I've had the Loprinzi baritone and I have a Pono MBD that I bought as a 2nd. The Loprinzi was a beautiful fit and finish instrument with a thin neck profile. My Pono has a little thicker neck but is 1 3/8" at the nut and it is very responsive. Great value at under $400.

mds725
02-15-2013, 12:33 PM
How would the top thickness compare between your Pono and Kamaka?

I'm not sure I have any objective way of measuring that. I might be able to give you a subjective impression, but that'll have to wait a few days until both are in the same place (one's in my office, the other's at home). I couldn't tell you from playing them both whether the Pono seems quieter to me because of the thickness of the soundboard, the design and installation of the bracing, different strings (both have the strings they came with), the Pono is mahogany and the Kamaka is koa, the Kamaka costs almost three times what the Pono costs, or some other factor. But I'll check to see whether the Pono's soundboard seems thicker to me than the kamaka's soundboard and let you know what my subjective impression is.

connor013
02-15-2013, 01:31 PM
I've owned all three brands mentioned, albeit the Kamaka and Loprinzi were tenors.

To me, the Pono's neck isn't just thicker, it's rounder. The Kamaka falls in the middle, and the Loprinzi has a thin, fast neck.

I don't know that it's any help, but I thought I would like a thinner, faster neck (to match my short, stubby fingers). In reality, the Pono is the most comfortable of the three for me. If you're willing to wait for the next round of seconds, I don't think there's a better deal to be had (I still can't find the blemish on my MB).

One other thing: I don't know if this is accurate, but Pono's frets seem just a bit larger than normal (sort of like what Duane uses for his Black Bears). I think this is another plus; mine is really easy to play, and relatively forgiving on those stretches my fingers aren't quite long enough for.

Cheers.

OldePhart
02-15-2013, 02:59 PM
I have a Pono baritone (MDB) - currently tuned "standard" DGBE - I consider it very nice, so much so that I am waiting with baited breath (yechh, tuna, yeah, I know it's supposed to be bated breath) for John K to offer some ABD seconds so I can get a cousin and string it reentrant.

It sounded pretty good with the Ko'Olau strings that were on it, but I wasn't crazy about the noise from the wound strings. They seemed even a little noisier than Aquila wound bari strings. Currently I have it strung with fluorocarbon trebles and Thomastik-Infeld flat wound basses.

As for resonance and bottom end - I'd say it's very good. I don't have a vintage Martin or Favilla to compare it too, but it's quite tasty. (If anyone wants to send me a vintage Martin or Favilla so I can compare them, that could be arranged... :) .)

John

Bucky
02-15-2013, 03:46 PM
I have a Pono acacia baritone and it is wonderful. Sound, fit and finish, playability, sustain...I love it. After getting my Pono Baritone I ordered another pono (tenor).

GregT
02-15-2013, 06:58 PM
I have a Pono mahogany baritone, with Southcoast low G-CEA tuning. I also own a custom, made to order baritone made by Jay Dickenson (Portland Guitars) with spruce top/rosewood back and sides with Southcoast B flat tuning. The Pono is my favorite, playing mainly jazz. With proper setup, it is easy to play with good sound. Can't beat it at that price point.
I recently put down my deposit on a Mya Moe baritone that I know will be terrific, and while five times the price when tricked out, I can't wait.

kauaijim
02-16-2013, 06:04 PM
My Pono MBD has Southcoast strings tuned low g c e low a. I also have all three K brands in tenor. I'd buy the satin were I to buy again. For the money, the Pono is a great value.

Paul December
02-16-2013, 06:31 PM
My Pono MBD has Southcoast strings tuned low g c e low a. I also have all three K brands in tenor. I'd buy the satin were I to buy again. For the money, the Pono is a great value.

Why satin? I thought Pono's have nice gloss finishes.

HoldinCoffee
02-16-2013, 09:52 PM
I'm a Bari freak but I can't justify dropping a grand on one. The Pono is the best I've found under a grand. I'd say the new ones (MB and MBD) are resonant and project much better than the older PBOs. Overbuilt? Yeah, I guess... but here goes the old truss rod question... does a nylon stringed bartione uke need a truss rod?

Even so, my MBD-E has a wonderful tone and the projection is better than any of my other baris. Intonation is flawless. Its as good as you're gonna find under a grand. Over a grand? Well that question has to be answered individually, but so far I haven't found one that'd make me ditch my Pono... but if did, it'd probably be a Ko'olau. Or another Pono... maybe the Cedar/Rosewood, but that's a grand. Ain't uke shopping fun!?

mm stan
02-16-2013, 10:34 PM
I played a sweet one at HMS and it had good volume, resonation and substain...

clayton56
02-16-2013, 10:58 PM
I got a deluxe Pono mahogany baritone a couple of years ago, I would say it's quite resonant, underbuilt rather than overbuilt, but it's my only bari. Some strings have seemed to heavy for it. The Martin set was quite good. Currently I'm using an all nylon re-entrant set tuned to A, it's very nice that way.

One day I plan to get a Ko'olau baritone in ulawood, I think that would be nice for a bari. Like mahogany but with a little bit of the airy quality. However Ko'olau stopped offering their unadorned line, so such an instrument would be around $2k.

pdxuke
02-17-2013, 04:54 AM
Ok, I have a question: does anyone here own a vintage Martin and a Pono mahogany barry? And if so, could you comment on a side by side comparison?

There may be no modern instrument above a grand that would make one spend that, but what about the vintage Martin? I'd be really curious and appreciative of the comparison.

PTOEguy
02-17-2013, 05:49 AM
I'm a Bari freak but I can't justify dropping a grand on one. The Pono is the best I've found under a grand. I'd say the new ones (MB and MBD) are resonant and project much better than the older PBOs. Overbuilt? Yeah, I guess... but here goes the old truss rod question... does a nylon stringed bartione uke need a truss rod?

It is nice insurance against changes in climate - particularly if you live in a very dry climate. Per the guy at a s,
small local guitar shop, it would help respond to climate based changes in neck profile.