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Icelander53
08-01-2014, 05:31 PM
I'm talking tenor to tenor or concert to concert etc. here.

Tenors in particular. For those of you who have owned several Ponos did you notice much difference in sound between the different tonewoods or would you say that the quality of the build is what makes a Pono a great sounding instrument and within reason, owning one high end Pono would be pretty much like owning them all?

chuck in ny
08-01-2014, 05:38 PM
ice

i will be interested in the replies as well. the sound samples from HMS can be deceptive, bearing that it mind, it still seems to me there are large variations between rosewood, ebony, and mahogany, and a big difference as well between cedar and spruce. i would like to hear opinions on whether the pro classic line is really all that.

Patrick Madsen
08-01-2014, 06:21 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?98891-FS-PONO-Classic-Pro-Tenor-Radius-Fretboard-ATC-PCC One of the better Ponos out there. Mahogany is more mellow sounding, koa and acacia more bright. What makes the big difference in sound is the soundboard. Spruce is bright, cedar and mahogany more mellow. Setup is primary for a good uke and for me a thin neck fast low actioned fretboard. Ponos have a wider neck so not my style but they are wonderful ukes especially the Pro series.

Icelander53
08-01-2014, 06:35 PM
Well I have a Pono Cedar/mahogany and I really am happy with it. So much so that I'm thinking of another but wondering if there is that much difference between them sound wise. I'm looking at either solid Mahogany or solid Acacia for a second Pono.

So while I know pretty well what they say about the sounds of different tonewoods I'm seriously wondering that if everything else is the same quality build wise, there would be real discernible difference in the different tonewoods. And by discernible I mean something that almost anyone would notice easily.

Icelander53
08-01-2014, 06:46 PM
ice

i will be interested in the replies as well. the sound samples from HMS can be deceptive, bearing that it mind, it still seems to me there are large variations between rosewood, ebony, and mahogany, and a big difference as well between cedar and spruce. i would like to hear opinions on whether the pro classic line is really all that.

Well I have access to Pono in both Cedar and Spruce tops but the strings and back and sides are different. Now there is a difference in sound but I think if everything but the tops were the same there wouldn't be a huge difference in sound. But I could be wrong and that's why I want to hear from some folk who have owned several and actually can see past any bias they may have on this issue. I know quite well that's asking a lot.

rockyl
08-01-2014, 07:08 PM
I agree Icelander53. The Pono's have an excellent build quality and I think the main difference is the soundboard. The cedar/acacia I have has bright sustain when fingerpicking, yet the C and low G give a very satisfying bass.

Patrick Madsen
08-01-2014, 10:04 PM
Yeah nothing wrong with a Pono fpr sure. Yeah there would be a big difference even with the same strings. Your spruce would sound brighter, the cedar is more deep. An all Mahogany would be bout as mellow as the cedar, I have one of each, cedar, spruce and mahogany soundboards. All have the same Southcoast HML-RW's. I can tell a big difference especially with my '46-'52 Favilla 'hog. It's much deeper and like a smoke filled barroom on a Saturday night. I think it's because back then Herk made them with quarter sawn Mahogany.

Quality of the spruce, cedar etc. also makes a difference as does the way it's sawn; quarter sawn or straight grained cut.

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 12:11 AM
I think I get what you're saying about the smoke filled bar room sound but further information would help. Is it a gay or straight bar and what part of town is it in? This would make a huge difference IMO. :nana:

Jim Hanks
08-02-2014, 12:41 AM
Did you see this comparison vid?
http://theukulelereview.com/2013/03/10/hms-listening-booth-pono-tenor-in-various-tonewoods/

Or this?
http://vimeo.com/70395738

Rakelele
08-02-2014, 01:50 AM
My wife and I own several different Pono models, and we think that they all sound very distinct. Of course, even from the same model, one instrument may differ considerably from another. But here are some remarks on what we generally notice.

The all Acacia and all Mango ones produce a pleasant warm midrange sound, while the combination of Ebony and Cedar rings out like a Piano, with booming bass and very clear treble. These differences might not only be determined by the top wood, but also from how hard the body wood is. Dense and heavy wood such as Ebony is probably increasing both sustain and low ends.

What also seems to affect sound considerably, are different finishes. We think that the ones with a Satin finish are more open and "woody" sounding, while Gloss tends to produce a more focused, bell-like sound. Such contrasts may be enhanced by different string sets such as unwound fluorcarbone vs. wound nylon etc.

This just goes to show that it won't hurt to own a couple of different Pono models; they really do sound very different. In order to spot such differences, perhaps it would be most interesting to you to find a model that is complementary to the one you already have.

byjimini
08-02-2014, 02:25 AM
One thing I have noticed, the official shots of Pono ukes always seem to be in shadow, so you can't see the uke. :/

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 06:17 AM
Not sure what you're saying as I can see them pretty clearly

but here's a nice sound sample of several of them. I like the cedar which I have and the mahogany also. But as I suspected the differences are pretty subtle.
http://theukulelereview.com/2013/03/10/hms-listening-booth-pono-tenor-in-various-tonewoods/

coolkayaker1
08-02-2014, 06:34 AM
I have had several Ponos--concerts, sopranos and tenors--and they sound similar. Not precisely the same, but super close. Just like your instinct is telling you: the differences are subtle for sound. And they feel the same, same neck, same basic weight, same weight distribution, same bracing system, same tuners (unless you get a different headstock), same strings, same soundhole, etc. Unless you get a professional sponsorship from Pono, why do it? LOL

If you are asking if you should go with another brand for your second "quality" uke, Ice: I would.

Completely different in sound and feel are Martins, Mya Moes, KoAlohas, for instance.

If I were trying to find a different sound, even though I truly like Ponos (except for the necks), and still to this day own two--a slot-head maple tenor and a 'hog soprano--I would definitely get something different.

Honestly, you might love your car--but do you own two of the exact same models and years of that car? Well, actually, I do: my wife and I have his and hers Toyota Sequoias, same year. LOL. So, you see, I'm one to stick with what I like...and even I would get a different ukulele if I were you. lol.

I strongly encourage you to get with your local ukulele club, travel to Mya Moe, hit a store (some great ones in Eugene, and all over the state, I see on Google; and Neil Chin is at Pacific Winds now; he's amazing!), or befriend locals from UU and try their instruments. You have many threads on UU asking many questions (which is fine, btw), but if you haven't noticed by now, everyone's opinions differ, none match yours precisely, and most questions about sound cannot be put into words. Try some ukes, brother Ice. Try some ukes!

Dan Uke
08-02-2014, 06:48 AM
I agree that you should get something else or at least try many brands and then decide to get two of the one you like. Many of us go through the uke journey of buying and selling and eventually keep the ones that we really like (or keep the one where you will lose too much money selling it)

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 06:59 AM
I have had several Ponos--concerts, sopranos and tenors--and they sound similar. Not precisely the same, but super close. Just like your instinct is telling you: the differences are subtle for sound. And they feel the same, same neck, same basic weight, same weight distribution, same bracing system, same tuners (unless you get a different headstock), same strings, same soundhole, etc. Unless you get a professional sponsorship from Pono, why do it? LOL

If you are asking if you should go with another brand for your second "quality" uke, Ice: I would.

Completely different in sound and feel are Martins, Mya Moes, KoAlohas, for instance.

If I were trying to find a different sound, even though I truly like Ponos (except for the necks), and still to this day own two--a slot-head maple tenor and a 'hog soprano--I would definitely get something different.

Honestly, you might love your car--but do you own two of the exact same models and years of that car? Well, actually, I do: my wife and I have his and hers Toyota Sequoias, same year. LOL. So, you see, I'm one to stick with what I like...and even I would get a different ukulele if I were you. lol.

I strongly encourage you to get with your local ukulele club, travel to Mya Moe, hit a store (some great ones in Eugene, and all over the state, I see on Google; and Neil Chin is at Pacific Winds now; he's amazing!), or befriend locals from UU and try their instruments. You have many threads on UU asking many questions (which is fine, btw), but if you haven't noticed by now, everyone's opinions differ, none match yours precisely, and most questions about sound cannot be put into words. Try some ukes, brother Ice. Try some ukes!

Good advice. I will try others and already have 7 other brands besides my pono but I think I'm going to get another pono anyway because I really like my pono and because I can easily afford it. I'm going with Mahogany based on the sound sample I put up. I think that Mahogany had the most balanced sound. I'd never paid much attention to hog until lately when helping a friend look for one. But I guess I must have one and it might as well be a pono. (that reason will be even more apparent soon)

And yes I noticed opinions are all over the map but I pretty much knew that going in. The challenge has been to decypher the post to see what is motivating that opinion and to get answers to the actual questions I am asking. I sometimes ask a question and get half a dozen responses without anyone addressing that question I asked. lol

Dan Uke
08-02-2014, 07:11 AM
That's UU or life in general. What was the question again?


Good advice. I will try others and already have 7 other brands besides my pono but I think I'm going to get another pono anyway because I really like my pono and because I can easily afford it. I'm going with Mahogany.

And yes I noticed opinions are all over the map but I pretty much knew that going in. The challenge has been to decypher the post to see what is motivating that opinion and to get answers to the actual questions I am asking. I sometimes ask a question and get half a dozen responses without anyone addressing that question I asked. lol

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 07:16 AM
The question was why should I bother asking these questions all the time? (my secret motive being to socialize around something I love and connect with others doing the same thing and to show off my purchases and new, however limited skills, etc and to see who's got the most interesting toys and stories) Among other things.

Patrick Madsen
08-02-2014, 07:44 AM
I think I get what you're saying about the smoke filled bar room sound but further information would help. Is it a gay or straight bar and what part of town is it in? This would make a huge difference IMO. :nana:

lol Ice, the Favilla sounds like a southern juke joint on a small dirt road where is was picked and strummed by hands that picked cotton for a living; cracked in a few places from too many times being used to block a gin bottle being thrown from some dark corner of the room.

My next one, jazzbox ukes, coming in Dec. will more than likely be made of mahogany, quarter sawn. Was debating on spruce with maple b/s but want that sound only mahogany brings so 'hog it will probably be.

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 08:04 AM
Well that we agree on this time around. I'm going quarter sawn hog too. Just have to decided if it's going to be MTDX or MTSH-PC. I'm going to give HMS a call and see if there is any difference in sound. I actually think I like the plain look of the base model the best although I'd be giving up the radiused fretboard.

coolkayaker1
08-02-2014, 08:17 AM
There is no more a favorite wood for a ukulele, to me, than mahogany.

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 08:37 AM
Well that settles it for me then. :cheers: (I've just been waiting on you to chime in to make my decision final)

strumsilly
08-02-2014, 11:08 AM
Yeah nothing wrong with a Pono fpr sure. Yeah there would be a big difference even with the same strings. Your spruce would sound brighter, the cedar is more deep. An all Mahogany would be bout as mellow as the cedar, I have one of each, cedar, spruce and mahogany soundboards. All have the same Southcoast HML-RW's. I can tell a big difference especially with my '46-'52 Favilla 'hog. It's much deeper and like a smoke filled barroom on a Saturday night. I think it's because back then Herk made them with quarter sawn Mahogany.

Quality of the spruce, cedar etc. also makes a difference as does the way it's sawn; quarter sawn or straight grained cut.
Regarding the Favilla, if you are talking the baritone, I think the light build and the deeper bottom [3 1/2 inches ] has as much to do with the sound as whether the mahogany is quarter sawn or not. just my opinion.

Icelander53
08-02-2014, 01:50 PM
My wife and I own several different Pono models, and we think that they all sound very distinct. Of course, even from the same model, one instrument may differ considerably from another. But here are some remarks on what we generally notice.

The all Acacia and all Mango ones produce a pleasant warm midrange sound, while the combination of Ebony and Cedar rings out like a Piano, with booming bass and very clear treble. These differences might not only be determined by the top wood, but also from how hard the body wood is. Dense and heavy wood such as Ebony is probably increasing both sustain and low ends.

What also seems to affect sound considerably, are different finishes. We think that the ones with a Satin finish are more open and "woody" sounding, while Gloss tends to produce a more focused, bell-like sound. Such contrasts may be enhanced by different string sets such as unwound fluorcarbone vs. wound nylon etc.

This just goes to show that it won't hurt to own a couple of different Pono models; they really do sound very different. In order to spot such differences, perhaps it would be most interesting to you to find a model that is complementary to the one you already have.

Somehow I missed this post. Good information and welcome to the forums.

Patrick Madsen
08-02-2014, 05:12 PM
Yep, a baritone. IMO quarter sawn does have a different sound like any other wood that is cut in a different direction. I'm not an expert so can't say. Sure looks much better. May be the quality of mahogany was better back in those days.

Patrick Madsen
08-02-2014, 08:30 PM
I see from another thread you're planning to go with the Pono Pro with radius fretboard. Way to go Ice, you're gonna love it.

coolkayaker1
08-03-2014, 12:42 AM
I see from another thread you're planning to go with the Pono Pro with radius fretboard. Way to go Ice, you're gonna love it.

Patrick, I cannot tell from what he wrote, something about seeing it yesterday, if he's buying it or not. If he is not, I am. Lol. Wish I knew, no intention to usurp it from him. (Unless things have changed,when a uke is sold on HMS, it's live on their page until someone at HMS manually removes it, so I can't truly tell if it's sold yet).

Good luck with your hog baritone. I had a Favilla 1959 ish hog baritone that I adored...the neck was thick for me, more than even a Pono, if you can imagine that, but otherwise, it was golden. I probably should have kept it.

Be sure to tell us all what you actually get, Patrick.