4/10/2016

2015 Pono MGCDP Mango Concert Pineapple Ukulele




Ko'olau is a widely-respected, hot-to-trot, Hawaiian make and their "upscale import" line made in Indonesia is Pono. This model is a deluxe version of their concert-sized "pineapple" uke made from figured, solid mango and sports an ebony bridge and fretboard. It's well-built along the lines of the parent company's own "island" instruments and has a thin, high-gloss, flashy finish and good-quality feel. With a fitted hard case, this uke sold for just a little under $500 when new, but it easily feels like a modern "island" uke in the $1000-1200 range.

Anyhow, this uke came in for consignment and it's in "as new" condition -- it looks like it was grabbed fresh off of a rack, put in a case, and shipped here. My only work was to very, very lightly adjust the setup and admire the set of strings -- which look like those "Living Water" fluorocarbons. Tone is mellow and sweet with the wideness you'd expect from a pineapple-shaped uke and playability is spot-on.


The mango used in the build is, well, pretty stuff. Tonally I've noticed mango (over several makes of modern uke) falling somewhere between mahogany and koa, with perhaps slightly more of the "dark" inherent in mahogany than the sparkle of koa, though it does have good clarity.

The nut and saddle are both bone and tidily-cut.



The dots are pearl and the neck profile is a comfortable mild C-shape. You can hear in the soundclip that it's nice and easy to move around a lot on it.


I like the rope rosette!




The drop-in saddle makes adjustments easy.





Check out how clean the transition to heel cap on that is? The craftsmanship is up there on this one.


The mango on the back has a lot of interesting discolorations in the grain.






The fitted, hard case (with Pono branding and red pinstripe) is awfully nice to have.

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