New Ukes from Pono!

Here’s a listen to some of the new Pono models that just arrived. Soon you’ll see them at our store – The Ukulele Site. These videos are all from one session where the Mics and levels are untouched so it’s a fair listen to the different instruments being sampled. Pono is consistently experimenting and revising their line up and these new models are super nice!

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.

13 thoughts on “New Ukes from Pono!

  1. David Crawford

    Are you guys currently putting Southcoast strings on the Nui? If not, do you have a set that would work?

    Demos sound great and I am LOVING my Mango Pono Bari!

    March 14, 2015 at 12:38 am
    1. andrewkitakis

      We have Southcoast sets that would work, but I think I am going to start stringing them with the D’addario Pro Arte extra high tension classical guitar set until Ko’olau makes one specifically for this scale. The scale is getting a bit too long for the wound 3rd string in my opinion. But the HML or ML-RW sets would work if you wanted to try Southcoast. Thanks David.

      March 14, 2015 at 1:30 am
      1. David Crawford

        Would the D’addario have any wound strings when used with the Nui? Do you have many of the BN-10D in stock?

        March 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm
        1. andrewkitakis

          Just the 4th string is wound. We have about 8 of the BN-10D right now.

          March 14, 2015 at 10:11 pm
  2. R+K

    Thanks for showing, and thanks to Pono for constantly coming up with nice new features! That sunburst might be among the cleanest I have seen. Very tempting.
    Here’s a couple of ideas for more things that we would love to see Pono doing:
    – a Pro Classic Guitalele
    – Archtop Tenors
    – Pineapple Concerts/Tenors with Pro Classic features
    Just thinking out loud… 🙂

    March 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm
    1. andrewkitakis

      Nice! I really appreciate the thoughts.

      March 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm
      1. david crawford

        How about a 5 string tenor and/or baritone?

        March 15, 2015 at 12:33 am
        1. andrewkitakis

          I like that idea too!

          March 15, 2015 at 1:19 am
  3. David Crawford

    Will there be a Cedar Top and Mahogany back Nui that is not Sunburst?

    March 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm
    1. andrewkitakis

      No, but there is a few spruce/mahogany non sunburst.

      March 17, 2015 at 5:50 am
  4. David Crawford

    A steel string Nui!

    March 20, 2015 at 12:12 pm
  5. I.C.

    Thank you, Andrew.
    This MTD-2 sounds incredible bright and clear. But the sound of original MTD is extraordinary deep and full. I’m listening these sound samples for several days and can’t decide which one is better – they are both better.
    Are these two instrument really has so different characters, or it’s mostly different playing technique and, maybe, strings?

    October 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm
    1. andrewkitakis

      A lot of it is the playing and technique and some of it maybe slight differences when recording mostly with mic placement. And there is some differences also in the tone of a spruce or cedar top to a mahogany top. That’s the only difference in the build.

      November 1, 2015 at 9:34 pm

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