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Thread: Can't decide...Pono tenor Acacia or Mahogany ukulele? Big difference in sound?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Cool Can't decide...Pono tenor Acacia or Mahogany ukulele? Big difference in sound?

    Saw a Pono the other day and fell in love with it. A friend had it and showed it to me. It was mahogany.

    I have been looking at the acacia models also because I love the look of the wood.

    Is there a big difference in the sound of an all mahogany and an all acacia tenor uke?

    Does it depend on the strings?

    Thanks in advance for all your words of wisdom!~
    Teena
    Super Duper KoAloha tenor KTM-00, with Baggs 5.0 pickup
    Kala KA-KC-CT Concert Ukulele
    Taylor 912ce Guitar
    Baby Martin Guitar
    Kala Golden Acacia Solid Top Tenor
    Eleuke Peanut Uke

    "...whenever you went round George's house, after dinner the ukuleles would come out and you'd inevitably find yourself singing all these old numbers"

    Sir Paul McCartney, Concert for George - Royal Albert Hall, London - 29th November 2002

  2. #2
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    Have only heard them compared online. A matter of preference....I prefer mahogany, but not sure abut a "big" difference. GEt whichever one you like and work with some different strings to fine tune the sound. I just got one of the Pono tenor 6 string refurbs....going with Southcoasts.

  3. #3
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    I own three Ponos, and one is an acacia concert. I gave Hawaii Music Supply cart blanche to put any strings on it they felt best. I came with KoOlau Golds. My new favorite string is...drumroll..Koolau Golds.

    Man, this thing is awesome awesome! I reeeeally like the sound and the instrument. These Ponos are all superbly made. I don;t have a mahogany, but I have had other ukes in mahogany. I don;t know why, and I know it's just me, every mahogany ukes is sort of standard to me. No bling in terms of sound or looks. I know, Martins and stuff are great ukuleles made in mahogany. I just view it as middle of the road, something that everything else is compared to. It's hard to beat, again, in my mind, koa for a ukulele...be it Hawaiian or acacia.

    Good luck in your shopping, Teena. And if you have any questions, let me know. Cheers! -- Steve

    P.S. Many of these have a sound sample from Hawaiian Music Supply. They're awesome folks.
    http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/pono.html

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post
    I own three Ponos, and one is an acacia concert. I gave Hawaii Music Supply cart blanche to put any strings on it they felt best. I came with KoOlau Golds. My new favorite string is...drumroll..Koolau Golds.

    Man, this thing is awesome awesome! I reeeeally like the sound and the instrument. These Ponos are all superbly made. I don;t have a mahogany, but I have had other ukes in mahogany. I don;t know why, and I know it's just me, every mahogany ukes is sort of standard to me. No bling in terms of sound or looks. I know, Martins and stuff are great ukuleles made in mahogany. I just view it as middle of the road, something that everything else is compared to. It's hard to beat, again, in my mind, koa for a ukulele...be it Hawaiian or acacia.

    Good luck in your shopping, Teena. And if you have any questions, let me know. Cheers! -- Steve

    P.S. Many of these have a sound sample from Hawaiian Music Supply. They're awesome folks.
    http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/pono.html
    Yup, it's just you!!!! A Martin mahogany uke middle of the road!!!!! LOL, lots of us feel the same way about acacia! I have a mahogany Pono with Ko'olau Alohis and a pre-war mahogany Martin O...too bad we can't have a "uke out." I also have acacia and koa ukes. All have theirown character. This is the point I was making about using strings to fine tune your sound. Get the one you like, regardless of what it's made of and go from there unless it's unlikely the one you like won't give you the tone you want........then it's decision time.....come on, you know sooner or later you will want one or more of each. It's just too subjective an issue to suggest one sounds "better" than the other....just different. PS: Ko'olau Golds sound great on some ukes, not so great on others. Ko'olau put some Ko'olau Mahanos on my Pono mahogany refurb......way too mellow, will get them off ASAP.
    Last edited by PhilUSAFRet; 07-16-2012 at 09:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    My wife has a beautiful Pono MHC concert (pro deluxe) I think it sounds sweeter than other mahogany ukes I've played. Unlike others I really didn't like the Ko'olau golds and she has been playing Worth clears. That was until she put some Living Water strings on it. Man, now it has really come alive!
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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  6. #6
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    I just heard a demo of a new model of the Pono Acacia, and it sure does sound sweet....as much as I like my mahogany Pono's, sure like to have a pro-classic Pono, but I'd settle for a "lesser" model (read lower price, LOL) You can't loose either way, it's WIN WIN! Nice dilemna to be in. Check out Pono AT5 demo on this page if you haven't already: http://theukulelereview.com/2012/07/...-new-with-uke/

  7. #7
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    Thank you so much, all of you, for all your imput. ohhhh, that AT5 is sweet!!!!

    Does anybody know when Pono stopped making their ukes with koa and went to acacia? There is a PKT 1-E, that is koa on ebay and the seller says it is "under 10 years old" or in other words, "I don't know"!! The price seems so high for a used, "older" uke. It is here:] Pono PKT 1-E Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele w/ Hard Case on ebay. Sorry, I don't know how to make a link. The seller is a music store and they want $599, and I think these new were about $679, or something close to that.

    What do y'all think???
    thanks,
    Teena
    Super Duper KoAloha tenor KTM-00, with Baggs 5.0 pickup
    Kala KA-KC-CT Concert Ukulele
    Taylor 912ce Guitar
    Baby Martin Guitar
    Kala Golden Acacia Solid Top Tenor
    Eleuke Peanut Uke

    "...whenever you went round George's house, after dinner the ukuleles would come out and you'd inevitably find yourself singing all these old numbers"

    Sir Paul McCartney, Concert for George - Royal Albert Hall, London - 29th November 2002

  8. #8
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    I have 3 mahogany ukes and have had an acacia and a monkeypod. The tone of the acacia [a kala] and the monkeypod [ Lanaiki] sounded dull. I prefer koa , cedar, mahogany,or spruce. of course, the maker has a lot to do with the tone.

  9. #9
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    I'm with Phil USA, acacia koa (which is koa) sounds sweet. Owning several Hawaiian koa instruments, I can't tell any difference between it and the acacia koa. If there is a tonal difference, it must be the build.

    The acacia koa Pono is sublime.
    Martin Sopranos: 0M: 30, 64 ---
    1M: 22Dit, 23Dit, 24Dit, 49, 55--1K 26
    2M: 22, 23Dit, 23Dit, 49, 60, 12 --- 2K: 25, 12
    3M: 25, 48, 55x2, 12(ch) 3K: 29
    The Gibsons: Styles 2&3 28;1&2&3x3 27;UB1 25
    Tonk American 28; Favilla 55; Smeck Vita 30; Kamaka Gold Deluxe 60
    Kiwaya Thinline KS-0P Soprano; Gretsch American 30
    Covered Bridge Honduran Hog tenor
    Pono Maple Tenor, BE Acacia Bari & MS Sop

  10. #10
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    I dropped in at HMS a couple weeks ago and met up with Aaron and Andrew (awesome folks to deal with). Aaron showed us a few of the Pono ukes and I have to admit, the acacia one sounded real sweet.

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