Wow, wow, wow - this Pono tenor ukulele is utterly fantastic. I love Pono acacia instruments! They are just about the nicest looking and sounding ukes to come out of the east. This particular model from the pro classic range has top end features such as a slotted headstock, radiused fretboard, ebony fixtures and fitting, and abalone inlays and rosette. All of which are lovely, but do not add anything to the sound - which is already absolutely gorgeous!
This is down to the very carefully selected solid Asian acacia wood, which has lovely tight straight grain, which makes for a beautiful clean sound with lots of volume when required, and clarity when picked gently. Like koa, the sound is accentuated towards the mids, which makes it a very good choice for blues playing, or accompanying vocals. It is a very good all rounder in all honesty, with nothing that it is bad at, just more prominent in the mid range than something made of mahogany.
In the hand you really have to appreciate the craftsmanship of the clever guys at Pono. It is flawlessly well made, with a very light but incredibly solid body (which is where the impressive sustain and volume come from) and the neck feels very playable and easy.
Photos show actual instrument.
Solid Asian acacia top, back and sides
comes with unpadded pono cover
Ebony fingerboard, and bridge
Maple binding with abalone purfling
Rope pattern rosette
Pearl logo and position dots.
Bone nut and saddle.
Ko'olau alohi high G strings, all plain
Pono gigbag included (not padded)
Alex recently compared the ATSH-PC and MTSH-PC in a Facebook live stream. The video quality is a bit hit and miss but if you listen to the audio sample with headphones you can really gain some perspective about what to expect.
About the Pono line: The “Pono” line is made by Ko’olau one of the oldest and most traditional Hawaiian ukulele manufacturers. Ko’olau’s goal throughout the years has been to provide the highest quality stringed instruments available with a high standard of craftsmanship. And besides methods of construction to optimize tone and volume, they stress the importance of cosmetic beauty.
It is of interest to note that only the finest grades of quartersawn hardwoods, such as acacia, mahogany, rosewood, and ebony are selected for Pono instruments. However, only 20% pass the stringent requirements of density, grain patterns, flexibility, and cosmetic aesthetics. This is virtually unknown, especially in the Asian import market. Plus, all Pono instruments are made of solid woods.