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View Full Version : Can I make my Pono as easy as my Fluke to play?



steel rider
06-21-2014, 02:13 PM
I'm loving the Fluke. There is no question the Pono has a "better" more rich sound though, so I go back and forth between them for fun.

The Fluke is much easier to play. I never get buzzing on bar chords for example, when on the Pono I have to press harder and focus more. I changed my Fremont Blacklines to Worth Clear. Both sound great but the playability is the same.

Any ideas? Should I try lowering the action? How? Lighter strings? Or it it just the way it is and I should just get better? :)

Icelander53
06-21-2014, 02:25 PM
See that's funny, I think my gfs pono is way easier to play well and I think the Fluke (solid fretboard tenor) sounds better.

peaceweaver3
06-21-2014, 04:47 PM
Yes, you could lower the action on the Pono. But try some Worth Browns first, and/or some of the lighter gauge Southcoasts. Both are lower tention than the Clears. Also, part of the Fluke's easy playability is the zero fret. I'm not sure if the Pono has one, but if not, there's little if any, chance of making one. But so much factors into playability that I think by trying other strings, lowering the action if needed, and most of all by playing the Pono, you'll be able to play that one easily too.

Let us know how it goes! I've played some Flukes (and mostly Fleas), and I agree they're playability is great. I haven't played a Pono.

DownUpDave
06-21-2014, 05:08 PM
Lighter softer strings help but it will only get you so far. If the action is high, particularly at the nut it takes more effort to get the strings pressed all the way down, barr chords are really a pain. Buzzing and dead notes are common. I have had two ukes reworked, action lowered at nut and saddle and it is sooooo much easier. I can barr chords in my sleep compared to straining before the work was done.I had tried softer strings at first but it did not help much. I had the work done professionally, check your area or better yet throw out a question for recommendations in your area.

steel rider
06-22-2014, 11:22 AM
I think I will call my local shop in Alameda and see how much they'd charge to lower the action. I think the setup by Mike at Uke Republic is fine, but perhaps it could be made a little easier.

PereBourik
06-22-2014, 11:57 AM
I have a Pono ATD from HMS. Despite their fine setup it has always been my most difficult ukulele to play. I had the action taken down a lot. It is a little easier to play but the new challenge to clean chording is the chance of some buzz at frets 2, 3, & 4. I guess the moral of the story is that taking the action down may help playability, but not much, and may lead to other problems. I wish I'd left it alone.

Try string changes first.

P.S. Flukes and Fleas are about as easy to play as they come. The setup never varies.

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 12:09 PM
I'm loving the Fluke. There is no question the Pono has a "better" more rich sound though, so I go back and forth between them for fun.

The Fluke is much easier to play. I never get buzzing on bar chords for example, when on the Pono I have to press harder and focus more. I changed my Fremont Blacklines to Worth Clear. Both sound great but the playability is the same.

Any ideas? Should I try lowering the action? How? Lighter strings? Or it it just the way it is and I should just get better? :)

you could try living water strings, they transformed a cheap rogue baritone of mine into
a very playable and wonderful sounding instrument, their amazing strings.
Strings make a HUGE difference in the play ability and sound of your uke.
Compared to worth clear, i find the living waters a totally different animal (but this is only speaking for baritone).
I'm trying oasis warm strings soon (waiting for them to arrive) i'm assuming they are similar to worth brown but
a little less expensive maybe actually give those a try to. if that doesn't work maybe you can try to mess with the action
or take it somewhere to see if they can set it up (if you dont know how to do it, i personally dont know how to do those things).

steel rider
06-22-2014, 12:14 PM
you could try living water strings, they transformed a cheap rogue baritone of mine into
a very playable and wonderful sounding instrument, their amazing strings.
Strings make a HUGE difference in the play ability and sound of your uke.
Compared to worth clear, i find the living waters a totally different animal (but this is only speaking for baritone).
I'm trying oasis warm strings soon (waiting for them to arrive) i'm assuming they are similar to worth brown but
a little less expensive maybe actually give those a try to. if that doesn't work maybe you can try to mess with the action
or take it somewhere to see if they can set it up (if you dont know how to do it, i personally dont know how to do those things).

Makes sense to try new strings first. I have LW on the uke I'm giving to the mom in law but will leave them for her. PHDs were pretty light from what I recall. I visited the South Coast site once and thought it was too hard to navigate. Admittedly I was new to ukes then and their wealth of information was overwhelming. Maybe I will try again.

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 12:27 PM
Makes sense to try new strings first. I have LW on the uke I'm giving to the mom in law but will leave them for her. PHDs were pretty light from what I recall. I visited the South Coast site once and thought it was too hard to navigate. Admittedly I was new to ukes then and their wealth of information was overwhelming. Maybe I will try again.

so far I found Living water to be the best.
south coast I agree way to confusing
and overwhelming and Ive been playing
for a decade now and was still put off
but the over complicated charts and info
on their page I just want a clear description
what the strings are for so I can quickly
try them I'll probably always avoid south coast
because of this.

UkerDanno
06-22-2014, 01:43 PM
See that's funny, I think my gfs pono is way easier to play well and I think the Fluke (solid fretboard tenor) sounds better.

I think you guys should trade!

PhilUSAFRet
06-24-2014, 03:40 AM
I have the Pono mahogany concert and it is very "string sensitive." I have Ko'olau Alohi's on it and I find it "less forgiving" when fretting chords. I'm not sure I'd want the action any lower. You'd probably have to use the same strings you have on the Fluke to make the comparison. I'm likely going to try Fremonts on it next.