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Thread: Pono Atd2 vs Kala

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    14

    Default Pono Atd2 vs Kala

    Hello Guys,

    I have an Kala Comfort Edge Tenor Ukulele (Solid
    Cedar, Solid Rosewood).

    I have an opportunity to buy a pono
    "ATD2", and wonder if that would be an upgrade.

    I generally like the tone of the Ponos, but find them
    a bit too quiet. I had a MGTDC that I sold because of the volume.

    I think, a cedar top could add a bit of volume.

    Is that the case with this perticular model?

    What do you think of this pono?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,963

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    I love Pono, and particularly their Cedar tops. But that Kala model you have there sounds awfully nice, so personally, I tend to think that adding the Pono would be more of a lateral move instead of a real upgrade. My advice would be to safe the money for something else, perhaps even a fine custom ukulele.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    316

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    Well I can't answer you about that particular model, but I'll give you my thoughts about your question anyway, for what it might be worth. The Kala that you have seems very much like my Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor, both in shape, details, and quality. Which is to say, you have one of the nicer quality, standard Kalas. I do think that these Kalas are almost on par with Pono, build-wise. Mine can hold it's own with any of my ukes, which is to say it sounds good, is well made and plays well. It's a keeper. I find that my Ponos have taken a while to open up, especially the gloss models, which I prefer. They definitely become louder and better sounding with time and playing. And I change the strings from the stock ones, which I don't like - Uke Logics seem to work well. I wonder how long you had your MGTDC before you sold it? I would buy the Pono and give it a try, especially if it's used and/or a good price. It's a very nice, quality-built uke and worth a chance. You can always sell one or the other if you find overlap or prefer one over the other.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    KoAloha KTM-00 tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
    Pono ATC-PC acacia cutaway tenor
    Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor
    Pono MT-SP tenor
    Cocobolo concert #467
    Pono ASD acacia soprano deluxe
    Pono MGS mango soprano

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    14

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    Thank you for your thoughts. Are the cedar top pono louder than the all acacia or all mahogany ones?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
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    1,963

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joralin View Post
    Thank you for your thoughts. Are the cedar top pono louder than the all acacia or all mahogany ones?
    Not necessarily. In my experience (having owned about 12 different Pono models), there are greater differences from instrument to instrument than in between different species of wood. My Pono Cedar top from 2013 that is paired with Ebony is a cannon, while my Pono Master Series Cedar/Mahogany from c. 2018 has a much more delicate voice. I had an all Acacia basic Pono Tenor AT that sounded better than most Kamakas and Kanileas, very well balanced sound, perhaps not as loud as the Cedar/Ebony, but also less boomy, while being louder and much warmer than my Cedar/Mahogany Master Series.

    I fully agree with Cadia about changing the stock strings to a set of fluorocarbon.
    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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