Pono BE-M Deluxe Thinbody Electro Baritone Ukulele
It's always exciting when a new shipment of Pono comes in. There's the ones you've had before to re-stock, and then the few extras you ordered from the price list a bit like an expensive pick 'n' mix. You unpack them, tune them up and enjoy experimenting with the new toys. Often, there's one that jumps out from the others as something really special, something outstanding. When this Pono BE-M Deluxe arrived... like Mourinho, this was the special one.
This uke, a baritone with a chambered, thin mango body, has the pick of the mango trees when it comes to lovely, figured wood. This light golden timber goes really nicely with the smooth ebony fretboard. There's a nice cutaway shape too.
The uke comes with a standard set of baritone strings, EGBD, with two wound and two unwound strings, made by Ko'Olau, Pono's parent brand. With the lack of a standard body and soundhole, the usual 'squeak' from the wound strings is minimised and therefore you can enjoy the extra sustain they provide. The two top strings have a real clarity and lively volume too - competing properly with the two wound bass strings. With the radiused fretboard too, it plays like a dream.
Although, with its good quality passive pickup inbuilt, the BE-M has been designed by Pono primarily as an amplified instrument, there is a bit of volume for quiet practice. Certainly enough volume to appreciate the lack of any muddiness - with each string getting its chance to shine in the mix. The tone is rich and yet retains a sprightly, playful air on the trebles... against a tapestry of warmth - all of which is most impressive.
Comes with a fantastic, hard case in black.