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Thread: New Master Series from Pono

  1. #11
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    Congratulations on the new ukulele. I'm looking forward to reading your impressions of it after you've had a chance to play it. I think it's a nice touch that Pono is using a more elegant logo (a stylized "P") on the headstocks of these Master Series ukes.

    I didn't care for the neck thickness of a Pono baritone I bought some years ago, but early this year I bought one of those Pono octave mandolins (which, with steel strings and DGBE tuning, is essentially an 8-string tenor guitar) and I love how it feels, plays and sounds. Pono is definitely doing some really cool things.

  2. #12
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    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_J View Post
    The new Pono pricing is close to many custom builds. So I think one would have to consider similar priced custom builds as competition. These imports are in the same price ranges as Ono and Myamoe, to name two.
    Seems like they're pricing themselves out of their niche. $1200-1500 puts you in reach of many "k brand" models as well. Choosing between Pono and Ono for equal money, I'm pretty sure which one I'd pick every time.
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Seems like they're pricing themselves out of their niche. $1200-1500 puts you in reach of many "k brand" models as well. Choosing between Pono and Ono for equal money, I'm pretty sure which one I'd pick every time.
    I have a Pono Pro Classic and if I didn't have a VERY GOOD one, I would have jumped on this as well. Congrats Rainer, I liked that one the best.

    I guess we would differ ... as per your comment Jim.

    I am a fan of Pono.
    How bad is your UAS?

  4. #14
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    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    I think the prices are still very good if you consider all the upgrades: soundboard selected by one of the top ukulele luthiers of the world, slotted headstock, radius fretboard, adjustable truss rod, reinforced side sound port, beveled armrest, high gloss finish in combination with a satin neck... There aren't many makers who offer all of these features, and those who do will easily cost three or four times as much, with each upgrade adding to the cost. To me, this makes for a very attractive value.
    Last edited by Rakelele; 12-04-2017 at 08:43 PM.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Allentown, NJ
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    I saw these come up on The Ukuele Site while I was at work and couldn't plug my headphones in fast enough to see which one I wanted to purchase. There were two listed that were one off customs that sounded incredible but just couldn't afford the extra couple hundred dollars over the "standard" limited run. So it was betweenthe acacia back and the mahogany back and went with the mahogany. I liked the tone more. A little more forward and punchy to my ears. Hopefully be receiving it within two weeks. The anticipation and excitment is at very high levels.

  6. #16
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    I think the prices are still very good if you consider all the upgrades: soundboard selected by one of the top ukulele luthiers of the world, slotted headstock, radius fretboard, adjustable truss rod, reinforded side sound port, beveled armrest, high gloss finish in combination with a satin neck... There aren't many makers who offer all of these features, and those who do will easily cost three or four times as much, with each upgrade adding to the cost. To me, this makes for a very attractive value.
    I agree with you Rainer. Great Ukes. More features. Years of enjoyment.
    How bad is your UAS?

  7. #17
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    Jun 2014
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    Anyone received theirs yet? What are your thoughts?

    After a painfully long wait in setup, mine was scheduled for delivery today, but now it's being held back at a remote DHL location for no obvious reason. I'll do a quick review when it finally gets here.

  8. #18
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    Nov 2016
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    Allentown, NJ
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    I received mine a couple days ago (went with the expedited setup option) and I am incredibly pleased. It is my first tenor so nothing to compare it to but I am incredibly happy with it. The arm bevel makes it incredibly comfortable to play. The neck is a nice shape and feel. The satin makes moving up and down the neck effortless and the slightly deeper neck shape (at least feels deeper) fills the hand nicely but is not cumbersome. Still easy to fret chords, even the big stretch chords. Tone wise (for the cedar mahogany) is very sweet. Not very loud but a very nice warm well balanced tone. I currently have Mahalo all plain strings on it so that might be contributing to the softer sound. Chords and single note runs are both very clear with excellent note definition. The only expection is when playing an open C string and a note above the 10th fret on the A string. The C string will overpower it a bit. But that could just be my instrument on my playing style so not necessarily something everyone will notice. Fit and finish and very nice. Frets are dressed beautifully. No sharp ends. Nice shine to them. Gloss finish on the body is flawless. Overall an absolutely stunning uke and I could not be happier with the purchase. Definitely worth the investment. This is the most I’ve spent on a uke but I feel for what you get on this uke feature and tone wise it is definitely worth the price.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Santa Monica, CA
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    For anyone considering getting one of these, or any other Pono, before year-end, The Ukulele Site is making a $40 donation to The Ukulele Kids Club for every Pono sale through year-end (this began in late Nov). That puts a uke into the hand of a child benefiting from music therapy to help battle a serious medical condition. As of last week, about 50 Pono were sold during this special incentive.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  10. #20
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    Jun 2014
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    Thanks for your detailed review zcregle, sounds like you're happy with your purchase.

    Our Pono MTSH-C-MS has arrived a couple of days ago and we are really impressed by it. Holding it up against our customs, we think that the craftsmanship is right up there. All details such as the finish, binding and purfling lines are executed just as clean or even cleaner than on ukes that cost three or four times as much.

    Most noticeable features, of course, are the beveled armrest and a side sound port. Along with the radius fretboard and smooth binding to cover the fret ends, these things really work for the player's comfort. Adding to this is the satin finished neck which many consider to be less sticky and therefore faster for sliding up and down. The neck might also be a tad thinner than on their previous models, but I'm not sure.

    We really like the new visual concept that Pono has come up with. Because of new restrictions, they omitted all Abalone and Pearl and replaced it with a simplified logo, a wooden rosette, and no fretboard markers. This makes for an understated, but classy looking two-tone theme of Caramel and Chocolate, just the natural beauty of the woods shown off by a spectacular gloss finish on the body and the faceplate.

    The only thing I would criticize are the strings - and that's certainly an easy fix. Still, I think the factory strings are not doing their instruments a favor. They sounded tinny and scratchy, so we quickly replaced them with Oasis Warm and a Thomastik-Infeld low G which provide a much fuller sound. Not quite as deep and rich as a custom Ko'olau, but you can definitely hear a resemblance.

    All in all, I think the Master Series offers a great value with many features that can only be found in much more expensive instruments. With its arm bevel, side sound port, radius fretboard and a fast satin neck, it is extremely comfortable to play while at the same time just beautiful to look at. Now I just hope they will extend this new line to other models as well, especially their bigger sizes...

    Pono_MTSH-C-MS_1.jpgPono_MTSH-C-MS_2.jpg
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

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