The 2 series have a cedar top and a radius fingerboard, like many of the pro classics. These were previously in a satin finish but given the nature of cedar, Pono opted to do these models in gloss for the protection it offers a cedar top instrument. Not that you won’t ding a gloss finish but…It looks good and how’s the sunburst? Very nicely executed. Pono builds with a custom quality and focus. In finishing, sunburst is a fine art. The color and fade of this finish is so smooth and beautiful.
These 3 tenors all have a cedar top and all sound very similar but much of the differences you can hear is the strings. The MTD-2 has a Southcoast HML-RW low G set. The ATD-2 has a Ko’olau Gold wound 3rd set, and the MTD-2SB has the Ko’olau Mahana all plain.
Both me and Corey were surprised by the thin body Acacia tenor. The prototype didn’t sound as warm as the one we pulled out to sample today. This is a real contender. Something unique and musical. It came stock with an all plain Ko’olau Gold set.
Next you can hear some of the best baritones on the market. These Pro Classics are not priced in the highest range but they will rival any bari in quality and tone. I hear the Spruce ans more focused and the cedar more spacious. Both excellent. We have other models like the EBSHC that we haven’t gotten to yet as well. Pono gives a sharp line up of baritones and then takes a giant step into the tenor guitar size 23″ scale nylon 4 string a.k.a Baritone Nui. The added scale and body add sustain and overtones like the best classical guitars you hear. Just beautiful tone from this big bari.
What you sacrifice with the Nui is fairly obvious but we should cover it anyway. We can’t just say it’s a baritone that sounds unreal. That is true, but it’s considerably larger in size and scale so chords can be a stretch and certain physical aspects of playing become more difficult. So it’s a give and take. One of the reasons that having many instruments is reasonable. Each can excel in their own unique ways. Mahalo for tuning in to the review. Please share your thoughtsw and questions in the comments below.