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Thread: Pono Strings (quite surprised)

  1. #1
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    Default Pono Strings (quite surprised)

    I recently started playing ukulele after several years of playing guitar. I recieved a Makala Dolphin as a gift and I was surprised how much I liked it. It's all I was playing for a while, so I decided to get a tenor and bought a Pono MTD from HMS (great place).

    I've had it for two months now and despite reading several opinions (on UU) that many folks didn't love the strings that shipped on it (which I believe are Ko'olau Mahana) - I decided I'd give it a while before changing them. I've had "luke warm" feelings about the Pono up to this point to be honest. So today, I switched strings for the first time. I put on some Worth Browns, and after tuning up, I was frankly shocked. I realize that strings make a bigger diffence on a uke than they do on a guitar - but holy cow. The whole thing suddenly seemed to ring-out with this melodic personal voice! I was expecting some difference, but not this...

    I realize strings are quite subjective, but I'm somewhat suprised they keep shipping them with these strings when so many have had less than stellar feeling about them.

    So +1 to the already numerous opinions here on UU that if your uku isn't sounding great to you, swapping out strings might be worth a go.
    Last edited by mtwomey; 03-23-2018 at 11:33 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2

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    I clicked on this thread expecting to read good things about the strings, but it seems like the guys at HMS are the only true fans of these strings lol. I guess it's not surprising given that they're directly connected with Ko'Olau. I have a Pono AT on the way and didn't opt to change the strings because I wanted to try them out. Can't wait!!

  3. #3
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    Well, I'm not sorry I gave the strings it shipped with a good solid try for a while. You never know, for your specific uku and your ears - they might be perfect. But if you're not loving it, see what a different set has to offer for sure :-)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtwomey View Post
    Well, I'm not sorry I gave the strings it shipped with a good solid try for a while. You never know, for your specific uku and your ears - they might be perfect. But if you're not loving it, see what a different set has to offer for sure :-)
    Yes strings certainly can make a big change in the voice and tonal characteristics of a uke. But watch out for "string changing addiction". So many strings, so many possibilities, so little time left to play
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
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    I had a very similar experience to this with my MTD-SP. Wanted to give the stock strings a try (it came with the ones that are actually D'addario Titaniums with a wound 3rd). I liked the feel of them, the uke sounded fine. Used them for a couple months. I had a set of D'addario Nyltechs lying around (I'm a flouro string guy usually) and thought I'd give them a go. Good grief, what a difference. The uke sings! The Nyltechs are still on there I've been so happy with them but I'm excited to get some flouros on there once they start to fade.

    I think if I played plugged in I'd consider the Ko'olau strings as I did like the feel, but they did not realise the acoustic potential of my uke. Didn't sound bad, just didn't get anywhere near the response it was capable of.

  6. #6
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    But watch out for "string changing addiction"
    I can tell you right now, I will have this problem. There is no doubt in my mind at all. :-)
    Last edited by mtwomey; 03-23-2018 at 12:09 PM. Reason: add context

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirate Jim View Post
    it came with the ones that are actually D'addario Titaniums with a wound 3rd
    Mine had a wound 3rd also. Deducing from several forum posts over time, I belived I had the Mahana strings. However, now I'm not entirely positive. I'm not sure how I can tell for certain...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtwomey View Post
    Mine had a wound 3rd also. Deducing from several forum posts over time, I belived I had the Mahana strings. However, now I'm not entirely positive. I'm not sure how I can tell for certain...
    The strings Pirate Jim are refering to are Koolau Alohi. They have a purple hue identical to D'Addario Titaniums, probably made for Pono.

    Your Pono more than likely was shipped out with some type of Koolau nylon strings. Unless you specify a certain brand, which I always do and HMS is happy to swap them out no charge.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that. I got a Pono ACD a couple of weeks ago. I'll try those strings.

    Edit. $18 plus $13 shipping! The stock strings sound great!
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 03-23-2018 at 02:45 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    $18 plus $13 shipping! The stock strings sound great!
    Wait, what? What strings are we talking about? And who charges $13 ship a pack of strings?
    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

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