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Thread: Neck Profiles: Koaloha vs Pono

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Steveston, B.C. Canada
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    Default Neck Profiles: Koaloha vs Pono

    My pal has been playing my mango Koaloha tenor and now wants to purchase a mango Pono tenor for herself. We are wondering how similar (or different) the neck profiles of these two ukes are because she does like the Koaloha and would prefer a similar neck.
    Of course if there was a Pono that we could try out it would be ideal but, alas, we live in a desert when it comes to anything much more than entry level ukes.
    Klos Tenor (carbon fibre)
    Mya Moe Tenor (myrtle)
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Haven't played a Koaloha, but they have a 38mm nut width, while the Ponos have the narrower 35mm. As to the profile, the Pono tenors I've played had a somewhat fatter back profile than many other brands. If your friend wants something less costly, but similar to the Koaloha, I'd suggest their Opio line; very similar construction, with different woods. Like this one:

    https://reverb.com/item/31936872-koa...-10-2018-gloss

    Of course, if she's gotta have mango, then her options are more limited.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 02-07-2020 at 05:39 PM.
    John

  3. #3

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    Huge difference.
    I have owned several Pono’s and don’t like their necks. Period. The aesthetics and sound are great, super value, but I unloaded them all due to playability issues. I also have a KoAloha, much better neck.
    Ron

  4. #4
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    Jun 2014
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    I have several Pono and one KoAloha Opio tenor and find the neck profiles to be very similar: perfectly rounded, not shallow like a Kanilea. Pono is about 1mm thicker (I measured). Despite the wider nut on the Opio, the string spacing and hence playing feels very similar to me. The wider nut on the Opio leaves more distance from the outer strings to the edge of the fretboard which I like. Not sure if the Hawaiian KoAloha tenors have a totally different neck profile (my guess would be they are the same).
    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. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Blaine, Washington
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    A person can always have a neck reshaped by a luthier. Usually costs under a 100 bucks on the ones I've had done.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
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    Thanks for your responses. Definitely some points being made here that have gotten me thinking more about our best options when it comes to a fast neck.
    Klos Tenor (carbon fibre)
    Mya Moe Tenor (myrtle)
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)

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