Ukulele at NAMM 2014- Part 1

Uke News from NAMM – Day 1 This year I’ll be posting a blog each day of the NAMM, or at least that’s my plan. Corey arrives tonight and we have scheduled recording with many of the manufacturers before the show starts to give high quality sound samples. Today I will just share photos and reviews of the ukes that …


The Best Tenors from $500-$700

These ukes are fairly new models and they are my top choices for a tenor in this price range. You can sometimes find local builders in this price range but these are a notch above what I have seen. Heck, next floor up from some I have seen. When you lay down over 500 bucks you want a super musical ...

Acacia or Mahogany?

That's a common question and I find it hard to take sides. Pono is very consistent at this point. On top of that, these woods are a similar density. Both have a .54 specific gravity. The Mahogany is slightly lighter at 34lb/ft while Acacia is 42 lb/ft, and both are close to Hawaiian Koa which is approximately 41lb/ft and .55 ...

HMS Listening Booth – Pono Tenor in Various Tonewoods

This is part of a new series of videos that we will offer for your comparison purposes. These are recorded with a Earthworks QTC-40. It is known for it's flat frequency response and for being accurate and uncolored. It is brought to level with an Earthworks ZDT preamp that is also known for it's exceptional transparency.  It is then recorded through a Apogee interface ...

The Slack Key master at Higher Ground’s Ukulele Keaka

Growing up in Kalapana, on the Big Island, young Ledward learned how to play from his uncles who taught him the “Jus’ Press” method. Good advice for all of us. Just press down on the string and make sounds. It’s like the Taoist approach to guitar. Led’s use of chromatisism shows the fact that you are never more than one note away from a “right” note, or a note in any key. Led walks right up to that note with a playful resolve, having fun with a guitar or ukulele like a Harlem Globetrotter does with a basketball.


New Pono Pro Classic Ukulele – Custom shop quality at an affordable price

Pono is a production model version of the custom shop Ko’olau, but when you look at the build quality, and attention to detail, you can tell that only very skilled and experienced craftsmen could have such a critical “artist eye” for this precision and beauty.John Kitakis, owner of Ko’olau, didn’t want to just “move boxes” with a cheap import line. He wanted to make the quality and depth of a Ko’olau instrument available to you at a price. And even though their is an unsurpassed refinement to the Ko’olau custom models, Pono is built the same quality, design, woods, and most importantly, there is meticulous oversite by the builders at Ko’olau, and it shows!