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Thread: Any Koa Pono owners out there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Perth, Australia
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    Default Any Koa Pono owners out there?

    Hi all. Just wondering if there is any Pono koa owners out there? I got my PKT-2E here from Strumdaddy about 12 months ago and have been really enjoying it. There's almost no info on the net or this forum and very few videos of them being played so I thought I'd try find out more about a uke I'm really enjoying. It seems a bit of a mystery uke.

    From looking at archived Pono website these were made by Pono until 2008 until koa was kept to the Koolau uke's only. A PKT-2E in 2008 would set you back $955.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200809171....com/pono.html

    here's a few pics of mine.
    aviary-image-1560478756805.jpg
    aviary-image-1560478780290.jpg
    aviary-image-1560478675322.jpg


    I know the bling isn't for everyone but the grade of koa on these are very nice. They are heavier compared to other brands but they don't 'sound' over engineered to me. From the limited K brand ukes I've had a chance to have a go at, that higher end solid koa sound seems to be there.

    I was wondering if there was other koa Pono owners out there?
    Soprano: Maui Music Pre-fire SK (Koa), Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    Default

    Very interesting. I didn't know these existed. I think you are fortunate to own one.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Very interesting. I didn't know these existed. I think you are fortunate to own one.
    Thanks Kenn. It feels like a bit of a unique/uncommon one.
    Soprano: Maui Music Pre-fire SK (Koa), Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa)

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Oahu
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    Quote Originally Posted by raffrox View Post
    Thanks Kenn. It feels like a bit of a unique/uncommon one.
    I saw one a few years ago..the tone was great and the Koa was super nice and the price(500.00) direct from Pono was hard to believe not many around now congrats!
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Byron Bay, Australia
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    Default

    Glad to know you are still enjoying it Raff.
    In case anyone was wondering, I loved it too, but went over to the vintage side.
    Prettiest uke I've had the fortune to own....
    Ponos at that time were made in a Javanese factory - but not the current one.
    John Kitakis at Ko'olau would know all about it, and responds to emails.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Perth, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strumdaddy View Post
    Glad to know you are still enjoying it Raff.
    In case anyone was wondering, I loved it too, but went over to the vintage side.
    Prettiest uke I've had the fortune to own....
    Ponos at that time were made in a Javanese factory - but not the current one.
    John Kitakis at Ko'olau would know all about it, and responds to emails.
    Thanks Karl. Yep, still very much enjoying the uke From what I've read somewhere I think the change in factory was when they stopped using koa for Pono's. Great idea to email John Kitakis.

    Hope the Gibson is still going well!
    Soprano: Maui Music Pre-fire SK (Koa), Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boulder, CO!
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    Nice find! I had a PKT-1E for about a year, I thought it was well-built overall (no glue spots in the body, nice bracing etc). My main complaint with it was that it seemed a bit overbuilt and quieter than I was expecting. I tried a bunch of different strings and didn't manage to fall head over heels for the uke no matter how much time I put into it, and eventually flipped it for a newer mango model with a truss rod in the neck and a lighter build. Didn't end up liking that one either so I'm thinking it's just a me vs. Pono thing.

    I like the sound and projection of their spruce ukes though so we will see, maybe I'll end up with one of their ukes again down the line...
    -Ben

    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin
    Ohana TK-39
    c. 1970's Hikare Baritone
    Gretsch G9100
    Outdoor Ukulele Soprano #43


    Videos

  8. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    For all I know, Pono ukes and guitars are still being produced in Bandung, Java (Indonesia). They had a brief period of experimenting with a Chinese factory early on in this decade, but for the longest time, they have been and are still being made in Indonesia.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
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    My Pono MT-E has "made in the Philippines" on the label, so they've been around the block a few times with factories. It's a really clean and lightweight build but cosmetics must have been inspired by a plain brown paper bag.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    My Pono MT-E has "made in the Philippines" on the label.
    Really, what year was it made? Would love to learn more about this. In all my years of following the Pono brand very closely, I have never heard that they ever built some instruments in the Philippines. China and Java/Indonesia yes, but a google search for "Pono ukulele" and "Philippines" gives me zero results. What I find is that Mele ukuleles are or were made in the Philippines, but not a single clue for Pono. The ones I have seen always stated "Made on the island of Java" or "Made in Indonesia" on the label.

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