We are privileged at the Southern Ukulele Store to meet and greet some absolutely fantastic instruments on quite a regular basis. As other Guitalele players out there know - You really aren't spoilt for choice at the professional end of the market. However, I think Pono may have just changed the game with this new take on an old instrument.
The Pono UL-20 is a steel strung Terz-Guitar inspired short scale Guitar. Tuned to G in the standard Guitar/Guitalele way (G,C,F,Bb,D,G) I had no issues using the instrument in standard Guitar tuning whatsoever and equally, a capo on the second fret will give you the A to A Guitalele tuning. It is evident the instrument performs at its best in G though, perfect string tension and just bags and bags of sustain like a harp or a piano (With a touch more depth in the bass/low mids on the Spruce and Cedar models). The instrument is just so fantastic sounding and adaptable that I actually felt like I was cooler for playing it.
This model has a solid Cedar top with solid Mahogany back and sides and produces not only a large amount of sustain but also a sublime crisp, clear and defined tone. Steel strings certainly help this but the lightweight build and volume are undeniable.
If you play Guitar and want the ultimate travel guitar then this ticks every box. Likewise, if you play the Ukulele/Guitalele and steel strings is your next venture then once again Pono have got you covered. Excellent work Pono and thank you for raising the bar once again.
Solid Cedar Top
Solid Mahogany Back and Sides
Macassar Ebony Fingerboard and Bridge
open back Grover tuners
Bone nut and saddle
High quality rope rosette
Pono fitted Hard Case