Pono Kalele MGB-K Solid Mango Baritone Ukulele
EXCLUSIVE IN THE UK TO SOUTHERN UKULELE STORE AND WORLD OF UKES
Pono have established themselves as one of the true pioneers of the ukulele. The original Pono series were based on the fantastic work of the Ko'olau custom shop. These Java, Indonesian made ukuleles have been one of the true trend setters of the ukulele boom of the 2010's... Before there was Flight, L.Luthier, aNueNue, Enya etc - we had Pono.
In recent years, the new brands have entered the market and innovation in everything from finishing to just the changing taste of players has meant that Pono became a little bit lost in the shuffle. Rising prices with the cost of manufacturing and materials haven't helped.
The Kalele series has now arrived and it is a slice of traditional Hawaii... This mango baritone ukulele is deep and rich with lovely pieces of quirky solid mango against a stripped back, simplified aesthetic work a treat. Pono have switched to an unusual hardwood for the fingerboard and bridge in Merbau which to me gives off vibes of the early NUNES ukuleles... It's very light and open and weird (in a good way).
Mango wood is possibly the best looking wood on the market for instruments, full stop. It has such a varied grain pattern, with light and dark shades running through it, and flaming and silking as well to create an almost holographic effect. Tonally, it is on the mellower and darker side and is perhaps not suitable when you want a scythingly bright tone, but it is full, rich and rounded and has a lovely warmth in the bass.
The finish on this instrument really allows the wood to speak for itself. There is very little in the way of decoration, and a very simple satin finish. In the hand it feels superbly balanced, and extremely well made and finished - which is also reflected in the sound. From delicate picking to vigorous strumming, you notice how poised the sound is, never harsh or muddy.
Listing shows a typical example but please do get in touch if you want to see photos of available stock.
Solid mango top, back, and sides
Merbau fingerboard and bridge
Mother of pearl logo and position dots
35mm nut width (27mm string spacing)
Bone nut and saddle
Ko'olau Alohi baritone DGBE strings (Wound D and G)