Pono MSD Deluxe Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
This Pono MSD soprano ukulele is a great all-rounder for your ukulele collection, scoring plenty of points on looks, tone and playability. It works very well as there’s warmth to the tone from the all solid mahogany construction, but clarity and brightness cuts through - aided by the ebony bridge and gloss finish. The result is a rich and full tone, but one with a pronounced and crisp attack. There’s plenty of volume too, making this a good uke for strumming, but that crisp edge also makes it nice for fingerpicking.
The 35mm wide nut (bone) and a relatively chunky neck profile combine to make this a soprano that feels quite full in the hand – even for those used to larger sizes. This, combined with a good playing action mean fingering is comfortable. While it is certainly a touch heavier than some traditional sopranos, it is well balanced and feels right when you hold it. The Pono MSD soprano’s impressive volume can become muffled though, if you’re a clamper (someone who holds the uke very tightly clutched in their arm).
The Pono MSD soprano ukulele is from the brand’s deluxe range, giving some extra decorative and finish upgrades over the standard Pono series, including the ebony faceplate and fingerboard. With a flawless gloss finish too, together with a pleasant rope-style soundhole rosette, this uke certainly looks the part. Add into the mix the quartersawn mahogany body, with its lovely grain and subtle striping, and it further entices the eyes. Unusually, the mahogany is not stained a dark brown, but left in its natural state.
There are Gotoh friction pegs on this model, the Pono MSD, which have large, smooth black buttons. Pono have been known to mix things up with the strings they use, with various types of Ko’Olau string having been witnessed on new models. At the time of writing, D’addario Titaniums were the preferred option.
Pono ukuleles are made in Indonesia by the famous K-brand ukulele company, Ko’Olau, with stringent quality checks and a final set-up and inspection taking place at their Hawaiian home. This helps to deliver a really good value package, given the expertise of one of the world’s finest uke makers, alongside a trusted manufacturing facility, overseen by experts in the Far East.
For an extra treat, select the option of a Mi-Si pickup to be fitted. Takes an extra few days but you end up with a top drawer electro soprano!