View Full Version : What are the diffrences between pono models

12-16-2008, 08:28 PM
Hi guys

I'm still thinking about a new ukulele. I've got some questions about the pono ukuleles, especially the koa and mahogany models.

Can somebody explain is there any diffrence in sound between the PKT1 and PKT2 model ? Or is it only the look ? What is the sound diffrence between the mahogany and koa pono tenor in sound ? And what about the mango wood ?
I know it is hard to explain, and it would be best if I try them all, but there is no shop in my area where I can try them.
Maybe somebody played all that models and can post his opininon.

12-16-2008, 08:50 PM
I've played some of the older Pono model and they were really quite, almost dead sounding. Recently, I read that they lightened the bracing, so I took a chance and purchased a rosewood with solid cedar top tenor and although it's not a booming loud uke, it really sounds good! The action was a bit high and there were some minor cosmetic issues but other than that, I couldn't be happier.

I did play an older Mahogany model and it was really unresponsive. I also played an older all koa model, same thing, very quiet. You may want to purchase one that MGM can confirm has the newer lightened bracing, or perhaps it was the wood selection on my uke. The mahogany/cedar or mahogany spruce may be a good choice for a more responsive sounding uke, just my opinion.

12-17-2008, 05:28 AM
So the secret code is like this:

PKT1-Pono Tenor Koa Base model. It has straight grain koa, a simple rosette, no rope binding (which I prefer).
PKT2-Pono Tenor Koa Curly model. This model has more curl to the koa, soundhole rosette, and rope binding.

Soundwise- Pono has lightened the bracing and the stuff MGM has is the last few shipments of Koa as they have discontinued it. It's been awhile since the older ukes have been around. There is no sound difference between the PKT1, and PKT2 as explained to me by Andrew Kitakas, it's all about the bling factor.

Strings- They come with Ko'olau gold strings. Personally I love the Ko'olau gold strings on the mahogany and they sound heart stoppingly beautiful. it is rich and full and just rings forever. Go to the Ko'olau site and listen to some of the customer music done on Ponos. BUT I do not like the Ko'olau Golds on either of our Koa Ponos. Both got switched to Aquilas about 15 minutes after playing. The string/wood/our hand hand style combo didn't do the uke service at all. But John Kitakis can pick up my uke with the golds on it and it will take your breath away. The last issue of Wood and Steel by Taylor gives a brilliant explanation about finding the right strings for the right guitar and hand style, and it applies to ukes as well.