B-STOCK Pono MCD Deluxe Concert Ukulele
There are two ukes here, both with a tiny fault on the heel cap. In one case, it is just a piece of wood with a knot in it, which hasn't been quite levelled off (UKULELE 1) and in the other case, the same position has a small scuff which has shown in the lacquer (UKULELE 2). Each is a tiny thing - a couple of mm's long.
Main Review: -
This MCD model Pono concert ukulele is a good first step out of the ‘mid-range uke’ field, and into the possibilities offered by all solid wood instruments that have been made under expert supervision by one of the world’s finest ukulele companies, Ko’Olau. The Hawaiian maker has their Pono line made in an Indonesian production facility, before the ukuleles are brought back to their home for inspection and set up. The results are economical ukuleles, given their quality, that have impeccable finish and lots more going for them besides.
The Pono MCD concert’s name simple means Mahogany Concert Deluxe. This is the next level up from their basic series, differing with a flawless gloss finish that gives a little extra brightness and sustain into the mix, alongside the natural mahogany warmth. The result is a very pleasing all-rounder, a uke for any occasion. Well not any occasion, for example, it wouldn’t be particularly appropriate at a Christening, but any occasion where a uke might normally be found! Pono ukuleles have shipped with various strings in the past, but D’addario Titaniums seem to be the ones they’ve settled with now. These strings have a percussive attack, which suits regular chords, giving them some punch. They are sound fantastic when picked with a thumb or finger pad, a technique that brings out their warm resonance. If you are a picker with your nails, particularly higher up the neck, this attack may distract slightly from your melodies so a string change may be in order.
Although relatively simple in the looks department, the Pono MCD has plenty going for it because of the quality of the tonewood used. Quarter sawn, high grade mahogany, left unstained, is used – and it looks lovely, with subtle stripes of light and dark punctuated with a darker grain. There’s a nice dark wood headstock veneer too, and the Pono ukulele gloss finish makes both sparkle. A simple rope style soundhole ring gives a small nod in the direction of decoration. Gold coloured Grover geared tuners with black buttons are both effective and nice looking too.
The Pono MCD concert ukulele has a great, full and warm tone for chords, and will really suit club players who want to stand out from their peers with a richer, more complex sounding ukulele. The 37mm nut offers less nimble fingers a fighting chance at difficult chord shapes without getting tangled up, and the whole package looks good, with its gloss finish. Something for everyone then, is the conclusion of this Pono MCD concert ukulele review!