Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: New Pono Octave Mandolin

  1. #1
    flyfishermandolinist mandognome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Southern Colorado

    Default New Pono Octave Mandolin

    Just thought I’d share my thoughts on the Pono.

    I have been curious about these GBOMs and particularly what the difference in tone and playability I could tell between the 21.5 and 23 inch scale lengths.

    I heard from the Denver Folklore Center they were getting some in soon, and they were nice enough to call me when they arrived yesterday.

    I beat a snowstorm to Denver this morning and had a blast playing all 6 that they had just unpacked.

    I liked the feel of the larger (tenor guitar) sized body but the smaller (baritone uke) sized body was cool too.

    Cool enough, they had a gorgeous rosewood/spruce (with pretty maple binding) model in 23” and the same woods in 21.5” so those made a nice our for A/B-ing. The 23” neck meets the body at the 14th fret. The 21.5” meets at the 12th.

    My thoughts—particular to my sensibilities of course:

    The 21.5 worked great for melody, Neck felt really comfy, and didn’t lack anything for bouzouki style use for backing fiddle tunes or songs.

    The 23 also felt great. I didn’t think it had more mojo/jangle/Umph for chord backing work though. I liked the additional 2 frets of space on the neck but eliminated it because playing comfort (not stretching) is a big priority for me. It did feel like more of a hand stretch of course.

    They had a mahogany 21.5 cutaway model that could fit the bill really well, but I didn’t love the look of it, and maybe I didn’t take enough time to get it in tune after it’s recent journey but it just didn’t sound quite as good up the neck to me. I thought I could tell the cutaway reduced the volume a little too.

    I really liked the mahogany back models while playing them because it had more punch in general and a stronger midrange, but were balanced all over the fret board. They had a burst and a natural in the larger body size, plus the cutaway I mentioned.

    The rosewood model just looks amazing, Especially the binding, and when someone else played it I liked it a bit better than the mahogany one. It was darker by comparison and a little mellower with less midrange but still had plenty of volume. It will be an amazing instrument for someone. I was really tempted.

    Though I didn’t go to the Denver Folklore Center certain I would buy, I just couldn’t pass on the mahogany backed 21.5” scale OM, figuring I mostly play for my own enjoyment or at jams where it’s loud, or sometimes amplified, so I’d go for the instrument that sounded better to me while playing it. I brought it home and I am super stoked. If I were doing a lot of studio work I might have chosen the rosewood back 21.5.

    The Denver Folklore Center staff was really great to me. NFI, just enjoyed it!
    Weber original Bitterroot mandolin
    Weber custom Hyalite mandocello

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mandognome For This Useful Post:

  3. #2
    Registered User gortnamona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Belfast, Antrim

    Default Re: New Pono Octave Mandolin

    i love my rosewood 21.5, really comfortable and just great fun to play.

  4. #3
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: New Pono Octave Mandolin

    I love my rosewood back 21.5 too. But thinking of selling...too many instruments here.

    Enjoy that OM - it is a lot of fun.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  5. #4
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    North Bend OR

    Default Re: New Pono Octave Mandolin

    My neighbor owns one. She loves it!

  6. #5
    Registered User john bange's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Pacific NW

    Default Re: New Pono Octave Mandolin

    I have the rosewood 23". love it! I had Taylor Mullins from Chattanooga make an OM shaped pick guard for it...protect it from my fingernails.
    loud...easy to play.
    Jerry Samples custom 0-28hrt tenor guitar
    Republic Hwy 49 tenor resonator guitar
    Pono BN-30D tenor guitar
    Kinnard baritone uke
    Oceana baritone uke
    Zimnicki baritone uke
    Outdoor tenor uke
    Hoyt custom baritone banjo/ukulele

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts