PDA

View Full Version : NUD: Pono Pro Classic WTSH & Question for Pono PC Owners - Strings of Choice?



Ukulele Eddie
03-27-2014, 01:23 PM
The Pono Pro-Classic Wi'awa/Spruce arrived today. It's striking and the craftsmanship is incredible for the price point. I will do a review in a few days. But for now, I've included two quick photos.

Of course it has Ko'olau Golds (with wound C) on it. The sustain is incredible on this uke but I'm missing the warmth/bass I hoped for and I'm thinking about right away putting on either Aquila Reds, Worth Clear or Living Water to see what that does for the sound.

I was wondering if other owners of the Pono Pro Classic line have liked or disliked the Ko'olau Gold strings. If you did not like those strings, on what did you settle?

Thanks! Eddie

FrankB
03-27-2014, 01:46 PM
Hi Eddie,
I only had a Pono for less than an hour, so I can't tell you what will work. I'd give Aaron or Corey at HMS a call. They're always glad to discuss this sort of thing, and have lots of experience with Pono ukuleles. This model might be a bit different than most of the other Ponos, and that's where they might really be able to help the most.

I thought it would have lighter back and sides, but it looks nice the way it is.

Ukulele Eddie
03-27-2014, 01:52 PM
Hi Eddie,
I only had a Pono for less than an hour, so I can't tell you what will work. I'd give Aaron or Corey at HMS a call. They're always glad to discuss this sort of thing, and have lots of experience with Pono ukuleles. This model might be a bit different than most of the other Ponos, and that's where they might really be able to help the most.

I thought it would have lighter back and sides, but it looks nice the way it is.

Ours must've arrived at the same time! ;-)

As I understand it, there were very few WTSH's made (like 8). Wi'awa comes in blonde or red, while most are blonde this one is red.

Ukulele Eddie
03-28-2014, 11:05 AM
I almost exercised my 24-hour option to return this. I knew if I swapped strings I was taking a risk because if there is any mark on the bridge, I could not return it. And I wasn't keen to spend this sort of dough on something with which I wasn't crazy happy. I kept trying to but simply could not like the sound with the Ko'olau strings (not to mention their hardness). While it had amazing sustain and projection, it was sorely lacking lower register. Even my wife was dissing it. But I kept finding myself looking at how beautifully constructed this thing is. And liking how unusual appearing/rare it is (note, Ken Middleton and I would be quite a pair with his new uke and mine side-by-side).

Geez, what the heck do I do? :confused:

Finally, after weighing the pro's and con's, I decided that I would accept the risk and carefully try some other strings. I put some Aquila Red (high G) on there, keeping the wound C to reduce my risk by one string. ;-) By the way, this was the first time I've restrung a slotted headstock. This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nrCvmcY9oA) by Myamoe was an excellent tutorial.
And guess what? I went from teetering on returning it to absolutely loving it. :drool:

I will post a complete review next week.

bigphil
03-28-2014, 03:57 PM
Well I can't give much insight on the Pono tenors but I have a Pono Acacia baritone that came strung with the Ko'olau strings. When I purchased it I asked Andrew to check his inventory for what he considered the best sounding one of the 5 or 6 he had in stock. This one is absolutely amazing! He threw in a spare set of the Ko'olau strings too which I've since put on and they are equally good, so no problem here with the Ko'olau strings. I'm planning to get more of them when I visit HMS next month! Glad you are liking your new Pono!

pixiepurls
03-28-2014, 04:44 PM
Well I can't give much insight on the Pono tenors but I have a Pono Acacia baritone that came strung with the Ko'olau strings. When I purchased it I asked Andrew to check his inventory for what he considered the best sounding one of the 5 or 6 he had in stock. This one is absolutely amazing! He threw in a spare set of the Ko'olau strings too which I've since put on and they are equally good, so no problem here with the Ko'olau strings. I'm planning to get more of them when I visit HMS next month! Glad you are liking your new Pono!

My Baritone came with the Ko'olau strings as well and I love the sound.

kvehe
03-28-2014, 04:50 PM
Well, I am **very** happy to hear about the Aquila red experiment and look forward to your review. Hmmm, I think I have some somewhere.....

FrankB
03-28-2014, 05:02 PM
Nice! I have two more Koa ukes on the way, and am counting on string changes before the brief return window is over. The stock strings are readily available; reusing strings that have been cut to the peg never works for me.

Best of luck with your string search, Eddie. It looks like things will work out for you. :)

Ukulele Eddie
03-28-2014, 06:17 PM
@pixiepurls and @bigphil: I have no doubt that the Ko'olau Golds sound sweet on certain ukes and glad they worked out on your Baritones. If either one of you have a decent tenor string to swap, I'd be happy to send you these. Just PM me.

More pics and review next week!

bigphil
03-29-2014, 01:56 AM
@pixiepurls and @bigphil: I have no doubt that the Ko'olau Golds sound sweet on certain ukes and glad they worked out on your Baritones. If either one of you have a decent tenor string to swap, I'd be happy to send you these. Just PM me.

More pics and review next week!
Hi Eddie,
I don't have any that I want to swap but I'm using Worth clears on my Kanile'a tenor and I'm happy with those too. Once I've installed strings that sound good to me, I tend to stick with them and quit experimenting... Look forward to your review.

Doc_J
03-29-2014, 02:26 AM
To me the real strength of the Ko'olau strings is when I plug in the pickup. Glad the Aquila Reds gave you what you were looking for.

Ukulele Eddie
03-30-2014, 09:30 AM
Nice! I have two more Koa ukes on the way, and am counting on string changes before the brief return window is over.

You may already know this, but there is always a risk with changing strings because if you inadvertently mark the bridge during the change, they likely won't take it back. But I was so captivated by the look of this uke and so badly wanted it to work out, I decided to take the risk. I didn't cause any marks (my SCO has resulted in a lot of practice), but it ended up not mattering because the sound now works for me. I really like the Aquila Reds but will certainly try a set of Living Water (another string I have liked in most applications) and may also try Worth Clear and/or Worth Browns. Will also have to work on some Southcoast strings at some point, too.

Good luck vetting your incoming ukes!

bobmd
03-30-2014, 03:42 PM
I have a tenor Pono ATD which originally came with Ko'olau stings. I eventually replaced them with Worth Clears which, I think, sound amazing. Of course strings are very subjective.

coolkayaker1
03-31-2014, 12:48 AM
Great story about the strings, and the power of strings to morph a uke. I have a pal, Spg, who advocates changing string brands and types several times on each uke (done carefully, they can easily be re-used) bc they make such a profound difference. Your story adds to that mantra.

Two wound strings...you're half way to playing a guitar! Lol.

Cheers, friend.