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Thread: Acacia Pono vs Koa Martin?

  1. #11

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    I think sound is important here as well. The Hawaii made K ukuleles have a unique sound as compared to Martin, and I think Pono sounds like the K Hawaiian brands, at least to my ears. While I like that sound, my favorite ukulele tone has always came from Martin ukuleles. Just my personal preference. I have had both, Pono and Martin and still have many Martins. The C1K, in my opinion, is one of the best values on the market today in a solid wood instrument. Also, they are built flawlessly.

    Good luck in your search and ultimate purchase.
    Current Ukuleles:
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    2,161

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragtop232 View Post
    I have had both, Pono and Martin and still have many Martins.
    I see you have the Martin Iz. I have #393. It always surprises me how light it is for a tenor.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I see you have the Martin Iz. I have #393. It always surprises me how light it is for a tenor.
    Jerry, I do and the IZ is my favorite of the bunch really. I love the Mahogany sound and Martin did everything right on the 1T IZ model. Only thing I would change would be a pin bridge, but, the tone, balance and playability more than make up for this one area of my criticism. While I do enjoy my Koa Customs, the IZ is the one I play the most.

    Sorry kkimura, didn't mean to hijack your thread.
    Current Ukuleles:
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
    Posts
    852

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    I don't have a horse in this race, I'd just say that the necks are substantially different, and if that matters to you, it's a factor at least as important as sound.
    Kala KA-ASAC acacia baritone
    Tiny Tenor spruce/mahogany
    Kiwaya KTC-2 mahogany concert
    aNueNue Khaya I mahogany soprano
    Flight Travel soprano

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,057

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziret View Post
    I don't have a horse in this race, I'd just say that the necks are substantially different, and if that matters to you, it's a factor at least as important as sound.
    I didn't realize the necks were substantially different. Try before buy might be the way to go here.
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1
    Martin T1K

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,057

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragtop232 View Post
    I think sound is important here as well. The Hawaii made K ukuleles have a unique sound as compared to Martin, and I think Pono sounds like the K Hawaiian brands, at least to my ears. While I like that sound, my favorite ukulele tone has always came from Martin ukuleles. Just my personal preference. I have had both, Pono and Martin and still have many Martins. The C1K, in my opinion, is one of the best values on the market today in a solid wood instrument. Also, they are built flawlessly.

    Good luck in your search and ultimate purchase.
    More valuable information pointing toward Martin in this case.
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1
    Martin T1K

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    8

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    I am afraid that I don't have any experience with Pono, but I can comment a bit on Martin. My wife has a Martin T1K (that's the tenor size, of course) which she loves... mostly.

    The instrument is impeccably well built and sounds absolutely lovely. The nut width isn't overly generous (about 34 mm by my measurement) and while that isn't terrible, it is Martin's choice on the string spacing that causes her some headaches. The strings are spread quite a bit over that nut width, and the G and A strings are *very* close to the edge of the fingerboard. This can make it tricky to avoid accidentally touching the outer strings with your fingering hand when you don't mean to. Again, not a deal-breaker, but it does make it a bit less forgiving of sloppy technique.

  8. #18

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    I have a Martin T1k and like it a lot. However the finish is soft and easily marked with a fingernail. It will become roadworn. I don't mind but you might.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,057

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    Yeah, I love my T1K strung with Worth Brown, high g. My Kamaka HF3 has Worth clear low G and is a great finger picking instrument. The T1K is my strummer. I'm hoping to do the same in concert size with my Eastman in low G and a Pono or Martin in high g.
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1
    Martin T1K

  10. #20

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    Since you are considering a Pono and my above advice was based on a Pono I had back in 2008, someone has stated in the last 3 or 4 years Pono changed and they are now much lighter and have a re-profiled neck. Does anyone know if this is correct? If so, I would like to try a cedar topped slothead maybe in the future. Damn UAS, killing me.
    Current Ukuleles:
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele

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