“Ko’olau” and “Pono” are registered trademarks of the Ko’olau Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company
Q – What Pono ukulele models do you currently have available and what new models will you have in the near future?
A – Pono models available from our various dealers are the following:
1. Mahogany Series, satin finish:
– MS Soprano
– MC Concert
– MT Tenor
- MT 8 Tenor 8 String
- MB Baritone
2. Mahogany Delux Series, gloss finish:
– MSD Soprano
– MCD Concert
– MTDX Tenor
- MTDX8 Tenor 8 String
- MBD Baritone
3. Acacia Series, satin finish:
– AS Soprano
– AC Concert
– AT Tenor
– AB Baritone
4. Acacia Delux Series, gloss finish:
– ASD Soprano
– ACD Concert
– ATD Tenor
– ATDC Tenor Cutaway (with optional cedar top)
– ABD Baritone
Pro-Classic Series: This is our custom and limited production of Pono ‘ukuleles. They are crafted with master grade woods, top and back wood binding, abalone rosette, and abalone top purfling on select models. Available with either a solid or slotted headstock. Five different wood combinations:
1. Ebony with cedar top
ET-PC Tenor $999
ETC-PC Tenor Cutaway $1119
ET5-PC Tenor $1199
EB-PC Baritone $1059
EBC-PC Baritone Cutaway $1179
ETSH-PC Tenor $1099
ETSHC-PC Tenor Cutaway $1219
ETSH5-PC Tenor $1299
EBSH-PC Baritone $1159
EBSHC-PC Baritone Cutaway $179
2. Rosewood with spruce or cedar top
RT-PC Tenor $869
RTC-PC Tenor Cutaway $989
RT5-PC Tenor $1069
RB-PC Baritone $929
RBC-PC Baritone Cutaway $1149
RTSH-PC Tenor $969
RTSHC-PC Tenor Cutaway $1089
RTSH5-PC Tenor $1169
RBSH-PC Baritone $1029
RBSHC-PC Baritone Cutaway $1149
3. Acacia top, back, sides (optional cedar top)
AT-PC Tenor $799
ATC-PC Tenor Cutaway Cedar top $919
AT5-PC Tenor $999
AB-PC Baritone $859
ABC-PC Baritone Cutaway Cedar top $979
ATSH-PC Tenor $899
ATSHC-PC Tenor Cutaway Cedar top $1019
ATSH5-PC Tenor $1099
ABSH-PC Baritone $959
ABSHC-PC Baritone Cutaway Cedar top $1079
4. Mahogany back, and sides with Mahogany or Spruce top
MHT-PC Tenor $799
MHTSH-PC Tenor $899
MHTSHC-PC Tenor Cutaway $1019
5. One new Pro Classic model to be introduced in 2013 is made from Wi’awa awa (pronunciation is wee-ava ava), a wood known and also grown in Hawaii. Other countries call it Tamarind, known for it’s fruit which are long sticky pods hanging from the tree, used as a flavoring in the cuisines of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I is also now being used as a guitar wood. The Wi’awa awa tree was a favorite of Queen Liliuokalani, which she actually planted at her home in Honolulu in the late 1800′s, and the tree is still surviving at her home. The entire instrument has a light colored blonde appearance, which combines visually and tonally with spruce as a topwood. Videos will be posted on this site and also theukulelesite.com.
WT-PC Tenor $869
WTC-PC Tenor Cutaway $989
WTSH-PC Tenor $969
WTSHC-PC Tenor Cutaway $1089
Q – Why are Mahogany models more expensive than Acacia?
A – Genuine Mahogany (Swietenia Mahogani and Swietenia Macrophylla) has been used extensively in construction, both architectural trim and the boating industry. Neither are now commercially available from their original natural habitat, namely Central and South America. And so now Mahogany has become endangered and expensive. The highest quality, Swietenia Mahogani (Cuban or Caribbean Mahogany, and sometimes called small leaf mahogany) is now available only where cultivated. On Oahu we have this species thanks to botanists in the 1800′s. But it’s rare, very expensive, and used only for our Ko’olau models.
The other species from the Caribbean is Swietenia Macrophylla (sometimes called Honduras Mahogany or big leaf mahogany). This is the species most people are familiar with, both for body woods, and nearly every guitar neck ever made. But this species too is no longer available in it’s original environment. Swietenia Macrophylla has been planted in other countries, plantation style, for furniture, shipping, architecture, and musical instruments. Then there are many other woods named “Mahogany” and although technically a mahogany, they are not the original Mahogany (mahogani and macrophylla). Some of them are Khaya from Africa and Toon from Asia and Australia.
For Pono production we use both species, Swietenia macrophylla (big leaf mahogany) and Swietenia mahogani (small leaf mahogany). The story goes that the Dutch planted both mahogany species in Indonesia almost 200 years ago. It’s an excellent body tone wood, and still the perfect wood for necks. But back to the question, yes mahogany is becoming more expensive than most other woods. Many of our customers still prefer the natural beauty, sweet tone, and excellent projection of Mahogany, for back and sides, or even used as a top wood. And of course, can be combined with a spruce or cedar as a top soundboard.
Q – Why do you use Acacia wood?
A – For the same reason we use Hawaiian Koa. It’s pretty. And it sounds good. Our Acacia wood is the same species as Hawaiian Koa (Acacia Koa). But the Acacia that we use for Pono ‘ukuleles and guitars is Acacia Preta (and possibly a crossover of Acacia Melanoxylon) is more plentiful and not endangered, at least not yet. There are over 1300 different species of Acacia throughout the world. In fact there are so many different “acacia” trees that many arborists have a difficult time distinguishing them. But they all have similar characteristics. The actual trees look somewhat alike, and the wood grain is similar and beautiful. Our new Acacia model is our solution to the limited supply of Hawaiian Koa.
Q – What’s the difference between Mahogany and Acacia?
A - As for tonal comparisons to Mahogany, the Acacia family (including Acacia Koa) is different in weight and density. Mahogany is lighter and less dense, and thus produces not only a warm tone, but a unique tonal clarity and open brilliance. And in time, Mahogany changes in color and tone more than any other wood we have experienced. For those who own vintage mahogany guitars and ‘ukuleles, the aged tone is unsurpassable.
Acacia is heavier and more dense than Mahogany, and thus has it’s own unique tonal projection. And of course a beauty all it’s own. Most people are familiar with the sound of Acacia woods, having owned or played instruments made of Hawaiian Koa. All Acacia woods are similar. The Acacia that we use for our Pono instruments is similar in appearance to what was known to old timers in Hawaii as “black Koa.”
For lack of a better description, Acacia wood produces what could be called a deep woody tone. On our Pro-Classic Series we have select models that include a cedar top for a wider tonal range.
Acacia Preta does lack the rich red color tones of Acacia Koa, but still has beautiful black and brown figured grain patterns. We have been reluctant to use Acacia woods in the past due to the confusion of this species. Our Hawaii ecosystem is fragile, and it cannot afford to supply the entire earth with its resources, so we make it very clear that our Acacia wood for Pono ‘ukuleles is not made of Koa from Hawaii.
Q – Most Mahogany guitars and ‘ukuleles are dark in color. Why is your Mahogany so light in color?
A – Because our mahogany is not stained dark. What you are see on Ko’olau and Pono instruments is the natural color of Mahogany. Almost all Mahogany that people have seen on guitars and ‘ukuleles is actually stained dark brown. Through the ages guitar and ‘ukulele makers have been applying a dark brownish red stain to Mahogany. In fact, they have been doing it so long that people assume that Mahogany is dark brown in color. And the general perception is that the darker the color the better. Another reason Mahogany has been stained in guitar and ukulele production is that often remnant and poor quality pieces of mahogany have been used, especially for ukuleles, using a dark stain to hide blemishes. Often ukuleles have been made with left over scraps of Mahogany from guitar building. We have experimented with staining our Mahogany in the past. But instead have decided to just leave it natural and allow the wood to naturally age. Staining has a tendency to “muddy” the clarity of grain. Unstained Mahogany has beautiful distinct grain lines, and a natural light to medium brown red color. What is interesting though, more than any other wood, Mahogany naturally darkens when exposed to light. So in only a few months you will notice your Mahogany instrument darken to a beautifully natural brown red color.
Q – What’s the difference in the Mahogany and Acacia Series compared to the Mahogany Delux and Acacia Delux Series?
A – Mahogany or Acacia Series have a satin matte finish, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and open gear tuners.
The Delux Series has a high gloss finish, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and a fancier closed gear tuner.
Q – What is the different sound of all of the woods you use?
A – That’s not an easy question, but here is a simple answer (and it’s important to remember that one wood is not better than another, just different):
- Mahogany top, back, and sides: warm and mellow tone. Very even note equalization. The most traditional combination of woods for an ‘ukulele have been either all Koa or all Mahogany.
- Mahogany back and sides with Spruce or Cedar top: with the addition of Spruce or Cedar to the top of a guitar or ukulele the overall tonal range is increased. In other words, because Spruce or Cedar are technically “soft” woods, with more tensile flexibility, they can vibrate more freely and thus create clearer and pronounced treble and bass notes. Again, not better, just different.
- Acacia Koa top, back, and sides (available on Ko’olau models only): somewhat similar to Mahogany, but due to it’s density and weight (41lb/ft and .55sg, compared to Mahogany at 34lb/ft and .54sg), Koa produces a brighter, more projecting tone.
- Acacia Preta – similar to Acacia Koa, similar density, lighter weight. Warm tone.
- Acacia (Koa or Preta) with a cedar or spruce top. As mentioned above, cedar and spruce are soft woods and flex and vibrate more freely than hardwoods. Thus more projection and a wider tonal range.
- Rosewood back and sides: Rosewood is a relatively heavy and dense wood that produces deep warm tone. Although the top, back, and sides can be rosewood, the most common choice is either Spruce or Cedar. We use Cedar and Spruce with Rosewood for our current Pono production. Binding is Hawaiian Koa. Cedar on guitars or ukuleles produces a warmer, more aged tone (like having the wisdom of a 90 year old, with the body of a twenty year old). Spruce has slightly more brilliant projection and mid to high tonal range than Cedar. Both are good, just different. Pono Pro-Classic Rosewood with Cedar or Spruce models resemble miniature classical guitars.
- Wi’awa awa is also heavy and dense, but less than Rosewood. Our Wi’awa awa is combined with Spruce, and results in an excellent and well balanced tone and volume. Both Wi’awa awa and spruce being very light blonde colored woods, along with the neck also being made of Wi’awa aaa produces an overall blonde colored instrument. Binding is Hawaiian Koa.
- Ebony: the ebony we use is a rare species of ebony. The most common ebony used throughout the centuries has been from Africa, usually called Madagascar Ebony. And traditionally has been all black (though much of it is stained black because the accepted perception of ebony wood is black).
But the species we use is a higher and more expensive grade of ebony called Macassar, because it comes from an island in the Indonesian archipelago that was once named Macassar. We use this species of ebony for both our Ko’olau and Pono models. But due to the expense and difficulty in acquiring this wood, production is very limited.
On the scale of weight and density, Macassar Ebony is among the heaviest and most dense. However when machined properly the weight is not overbearing. Wood properties are likened to the various species of Rosewood, but with a different cell structure. And thus a different tone. Deep like Rosewood, but with more clarity. For Pono models we have chosen to combine the ebony back and sides with western cedar.
Q – What’s the difference between Spruce and Cedar?
A – Both are considered “soft” woods, from evergreen trees. Both have a tensile flexibility that’s different from “hard” woods, such as Mahogany, Koa, Rosewood, Maple, and Ebony. Due to their flexible or “bendable” nature they are excellent as top soundboard woods. Simply stated, when strings are played the top vibrates, which causes a “pumping” action, and thus projecting tone out the soundhole. Although Spruce and Cedar both great top woods, due to their density and specific gravity (weight) the tone is different. Spruce is slightly harder than cedar, and it’s cell structure is different, and so tone and volume is bright, clear, and projecting. Cedar is softer and thus produces a warmer tone, somewhat like an aged spruce.
Q – Are all Pono ukuleles still available with a hardshell case?
A – No, only Pro-Classic models come with a hardshell case. Other models may be ordered with a case for an upcharge.
Q – Why do you no longer offer Hawaiian Koa wood for Pono instruments?
A – Due to limited availability, and the environmental endangerment of Koa, we will no longer use Hawaiian Koa for Pono guitars and ‘ukuleles. We are now using a related species called Acacia Preta. Traditionally, Mahogany and Koa have both been used for stringed instruments, and both have their own distinctive sound. They are both good, but again, Koa is becoming rare and difficult to acquire quantities of high grade lumber. A similar wood that we use, and actually has been prized by guitar and ‘ukulele makers for many centuries is Mahogany. Pono mahogany ’ukuleles are very similar to the classic Martin and Gibson mahogany ‘ukulele. Sweet and mellow, with good volume and projection.
Q – Are gloss or satin finishes available on all models?
A – Mahogany and Acacia Series is available in both gloss and satin finish. We finish most Pro Classic models in gloss, however a satin finish can be ordered, with a construction time of approximately four months.
- Mahogany Series: satin
- Mahogany Delux Series: gloss
- Acacia Series: satin
- Acacia Delux Series: gloss
- Pro-Classic Series Rosewood: gloss
- Pro-Classic Series Acacia: gloss
- Pro-Classic Series Mahogany: gloss
- Pro-Classic Series Ebony: gloss
- Pro Classic Series Wi’awa awa: gloss
Q – Are Pono Guitars and ‘Ukuleles made by the Ko’olau Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company? What’s the difference?
A – Yes, Ko’olau makes Pono, but not in Wahiawa. We actually spend much of the year working in our other factories. We personally manage and oversee all of our Pono manufacturing at our Indonesia factory. All designs and styles are patterned after our Ko’olau instruments, and manufacturing techniques are supervised on a daily basis by our staff in Hawaii.
Ko’olau models have become our “custom” line of instruments. They are only available on special order, and normally take several months to complete. So several years ago we decided to retain our very limited production of Ko’olau instruments, but to accomodate a larger customer base with a duplicate line of guitars and ukuleles named Pono.
Of course with any manufactured product that is “mass” produced, there will be more problems. As much as we enforce strict quality control measures our Pono models will still have more issues than Ko’olau. But for an all solid wood instrument, very closely duplicating Ko’olau (we use our same molds, tooling, and dimensions), most of our customers feel they have a well constructed, professional, and asthetically beautiful instrument at a very affordable price.
In the past, stringed instruments made in Asian countries were thought of as cheap and of poor quality. But times have changed. Actually, much of the problem was due to European and American contractors (large production guitar manufacturers) who commissioned Asian manufacturers to make cheap guitars, ukuleles, and violins. So they accomodated our needs. But things have changed. You can still buy inexpensive products from China, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam (actually about everything we own). But those countries are also capable of manufacturing some of the finest quality stringed instruments in the world. Most high end instruments remain in their own country, bought and played by their own middle and upper class musicians.
Although we proudly hate to admit it, Asian craftsmanship sometimes surpasses the quality of our own domestic products. Not always … but what used to be the slogan “if it’s made in America, it’s the best” is not always true these days. Yes, some fine quality workmanship is still available in the US, but various factors such as costs of operation and pride in craftsmanship (or a lack of it) have caused a shift of manufacturing to other countries.
But aside from where our Pono instruments are made, we are personally involved in each phase of production, spending considerable time overseeing operations. In fact we daily monitor manufacturing, and then conduct a thorough inspection of every Pono instrument first at our overseas factories, and then again perform a similar inspection and set-up at our factory in Hawaii. So, with that being said, yes, Ko’olau makes Pono.
Q – The fret ends on my Pono ukulele are sharp, and I read that other customers have experienced the same problem. Why is this a problem on an instrument that’s considered high quality?
A – On occasion we hear a customer question how a flaw or defect could have passed through so many levels of quality control. No matter where anything is made there will be problems, and defects slip by. But what’s important is that a manufacturer stand behind what they make. Whenever there are defects due to faulty craftsmanship we will repair or replace the instrument. Our record of quality customer service speaks for itself.
As for sharp fret ends, be assured that Pono ukuleles NEVER leave our factory (or follow-up inspection stations) with sharp fret ends. In fact, all final end fret work must pass what we call the “baby butt” inspection. Frets are meticulously filed, sanded, and buffed until they are as smooth as a babies little behind, or as we say in Hawaii “okole.”
Regardless, we believe you when you say your fret ends are sharp. But again, they were not sharp when they left our factory. The reason they became sharp is that your instrument is now in a new climate. And it’s not that you necessarily did anything wrong in the care of your instrument. Your fretboard is made of wood, and your frets are metal, and and wood and metal expand and contract differently.
Actually, since the fret is metal it does not really expand or contract, because it does not transpire moisture (no sponge effect). Metal frets do not change in size. But woods change, and in this case, they shrink when they get dry. We build all Ko’olau and Pono guitars and ukuleles in a controlled atmosphere of 40% to 50% humidity. Luthiers have to find a balanced environment to build, knowing their instruments will be going to either dry or moist environments.
Regardless of the weather outside, our factories are controlled, always at the same 40% to 50% humidity level. If your instrument remains in Hawaii, or goes anywhere on the earth where humidity levels are higher than 50% then the fingerboard wood will expand. This is not as bad as when your humidity levels are far below 40% which will cause shrinkage. Taking in moisture and expanding is ok, but shrinking is not.
As for the fretboard, and sharp fret ends, if there is too much humidity the frets can possibly become dislodged from the slot, thus needing to be reset. And due to the fingerboard becoming wider (expanding), there will be a slight gap between the end of the fret and the edge of the fingerboard. This looks bad and may need a little adjustment, but not a big problem.
However when humidity is low, woods shrink. And this can cause severe problems. Complaints come in, and we hear of negative chat line discussions about sharp fret ends. This occurs, not because the instrument left our shop with sharp ends, but instead because the fretboard has shrunk. Remember, the fret does not shrink, but instead it protrudes off the edge and feels sharp.
Most of our customers say “but I take good care of my instrument, I even have dehumidifiers in my case.” And that’s good, but when your humidity is naturally 20% to 40% or less (such as in most of the western US states), or becomes low due to heating and air conditioning (which is the rest of the country), then regardless of how many humidifiers you have your instrument woods will shrink. The good news is that eventually your instrument will acclimate to your environment, but in the meantime it will expand and contract. Back to the fingerboard, whether it’s a $200 guitar or ukulele, or $4000, fret ends will protrude and be sharp if the fingerboard has shrunk.
To illustrate and readily show the above explanation, you could turn on your bathroom shower (hot water). Leave it on for as long as you feel comfortable wasting hot water. Set your guitar or ukulele in the bathroom and close the door (not in the shower, but somewhere in the bathroom). After turning off the water in about 10 or 15 minutes, continue to leave the instrument in the bathroom for an hour or so to fully absorb any left over moisture. In most cases you will immediately feel your frets less sharp because your fingerboard has now expanded.
Obviously this is not the solution to maintaining your instrument every day. But this will allow you to see what happens when your fingerboard has now expanded due to humidity.
After your instrument is again back in its natural environment, and after a few days the fret ends are sharp again you will need to have your frets “dressed” as they say. A qualified luthier repairperson will not only level and crown the top of the frets, but more importantly trim the edges to match the new width of your fingerboard. This may be necessary a few times over the next couple of years, but eventually the fingerboard will settle in and stop what is termed transpiration, or the release of moisture and resins.
Q – The bridge came off. I bought my ukulele three years ago and the bridge came off. I thought this was a high quality instrument?
A – This may sound like a dumb excuse, but the bridge is supposed to come off, especially under adverse conditions. If you noticed, it’s glued on, not screwed on. We could screw them down, but believe it or not, we want the bridge to come off when the instrument has experienced traumatic impact or drastic temperature changes.
Your instrument is under a lot of stress, many pounds of tension (35 lbs to 55 lbs depending on size of ukulele, and a guitar up to 100 lbs) when all strings are tuned up. Because of that tension, when your guitar or ukulele is subjected to some sort of damage (being dropped, thrown, banged against the wall, left in hot or cold weather, left in a hot car or trunk, and a multitude of other adverse circumstances) … something has to give. If your bridge is screwed down, either the neck will crack or come loose, or the top will pull up and not only crack but also break loose all internal bracing. So, a bridge is designed to come off. You might call it the “pressure” valve. Rather than the whole thing blowing up, only the bridge comes off. As long as you are not in it’s path when it comes off, everything will be ok ….. it can easily be repaired.
When this happens, be assured it happens to guitars and ukuleles worth many thousands of dollars. Again, it’s ok, it can be fixed. But it should be repaired by a qualified luthier repair person. Although it’s a relatively simple repair, it still must be done right or the instrument can be ruined.
Q – Pono instruments are made in Asia.
A – This is not really a question, but a comment we sometimes hear or seen written. And it deserves clarification.
Ko’olau and Pono luthiers have many years of experience in the construction of very high end classical and steel string guitars. Pono instruments are not simply a cheap “import” but instead, made with the same pride and integrity as our Ko’olau models. Times have changed, and so has the quality of production throughout the world. So as mentioned above, it’s not so much an issue as to where something is made, but instead, who made it. To answer the question, our current manufacturing of Pono is on the island of Java in Indonesia, just to the west of Polynesia and just north of Australia. Our staff include luthiers who have been building high end guitars for over 50 years. And again, we work closely to achieve the same high quality standards of Ko’olau.
The popularity and success of our Pono instruments is not simply a clever marketing ploy, but instead due to our many years of experience at building Ko’olau instruments and working to maintain our high standards of excellence. We do not just buy instruments from someone and put our name on it. They are OUR instruments. All Pono guitars and ukuleles are patterned after our Ko’olau models. Our Hawaii operations provide engineering design and on site supervisory liaison assistance to accomplish the manufacture of high quality musical instruments.
And our Pono workers have the same meticulous and conscientious attitude that we have in Hawaii. We consider our Pono and Ko’olau ukuleles similar to the duo level auto makers such as Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, and Honda/Acura. Both are made by the same manufacturer, but made in various locations around the world, and both are very high quality.
Here is an interesting quote that we read recently. “I have a dream ….. that one day ‘ukulele players will not judge an ‘ukulele by the location of its fabrication, but they will judge the ‘ukulele by the content of its voice”
So, whether it’s a Ko’olau or a Pono, the goal remains the same ……. high quality.
Q – Do you make “Pono” guitars?
A – Yes, we now have a completely new line of Pono guitars.
Steel string models include the popular 13 1/2″ O parlor size, both in solid and slotted headstock. The next size up is a 15″ OOO Concert size, and then finally a large body 16″ OOOO Grand Auditorium. One special new model is the Grand Auditorium OOOO-SP. This particular model has a 24 3/4″ short scale length, neck to body joint at the 12th fret, cutaway body, and a slotted headstock. The ultimate “big” body fingerstyle guitar.
In the nylon string catagory we make what is called a “hybrid” or “crossover” being a classical nylon string guitar, but lacking “classical” design, namely a fingerboard width at the nut and radiused fingerboard similar to steel string guitars. And a cutaway body. So it’s a steel string guitar design, with nylon strings. Easy to play and a beautiful sweet tone.
Pono Guitars are a very limited availability, and otherwise on a custom order basis. As of 2013 Pono Guitars are not available through out network of dealers. Please click on the tab “Instruments” and then “Pono Guitars”.
In the near future we will have a new website exclusively devoted to Pono Guitars, www.ponoguitar.com.
Pono Guitars are becoming known for their very high quality. The usual qualifying factor is “for the money” … as one customer recently commented “my Pono Guitar sounds better and plays better than my $4000 _________ brand guitar. But aside from the price, we have cut no corners for quality.
As mentioned above, it’s not so much “where” an instrument is made, but instead “who” made it. Our motto is “there are many good guitars …. but few are good and affordable.” And this true in the very competitive guitar market today.
Although we have not had an unhappy customer, we still offer a no questions asked, full refund return policy.
See “Pono Guitars” for more information.
Q – What amplification do you offer for guitars and ukuleles?
A – All Pono ‘ukuleles are available with our “Pono” brand undersaddle transducer passive pickup. We have them custom made for us. A “passive” pickups is designed for direct conductance of tone and vibration, and thus has no internal pre-amp or battery. This decision was not only to keep costs down, but our passive system is actually the finest quality “stand alone“ pickup we have tested (stand alone meaning without a preamp). However in certain settings of high levels of amplification an external outboard preamp can be used to convert the system to active. Any variety of outboard Pre-Amps are available at music stores.
A new option we are offering is a variation of our L.R.Baggs Element pickup called MiSi. The pickup itself is the same, but the preamp is made by MiSi. Batteries are not required, and a recharging of the active system is accomplished by plugging the end jack into an AC outlet for 30 seconds.
Q – Do Pono instruments have a warranty?
A – Yes, warranty is extended to the original retail purchaser for one year from the date of purchase. Warranty covers defects in materials and/or workmanship. Upon initial receipt of your new instrument, if you are not satisfied you may return it within three days, in original condition to the Authorized Dealer you purchased it from, for a full refund, no questions asked. Afterward, our limited warranty is valid for one year from the date of purchase. A “limited” warranty is designed to cover manufacturer defects. Warranty does not include shipping costs, neglect (including improper climate control and humidity regulation), abuse, strings, finishes, fret wear, or machine head tuners. Pickups and all electronic components have a one year warranty. Proof of original purchase will be necessary for any claims. All return shipping costs will be the responsibility of owner.
Q – What should I do if there is a problem with my instrument?
A – We suggest that you retain your original sales receipt, and also make a copy. This must be included when returning your instrument for a repair covered under warranty.
If you experience a problem with your instrument it is best to contact the Authorized Dealer where you bought the instrument. They may be able to resolve the problem without the need to return your instrument to our factory, which will save you the expense of return shipping. However, you may contact us personally anytime with any questions about your instrument.
If it is determined that your instrument should be returned to our factory here on Oahu we will issue you a Return Authorization file number. This number must be legibly written on the box. Please include a short note of explanation of what you feel is the problem. Also include your contact information, including name, address, phone number, and email address. Again, please include a copy of your original sales receipt.
Please note: You, the purchaser are responsible for shipping costs. Upon receipt we will examine your instrument, and determine if the problems you have noted are due to faulty craftsmanship on our part, or possibly due to environmental factors such as humidity or lack of it, or other possible issues of misuse. If it is determined that problems are due to faulty craftsmanship, we will repair your instrument (usually within 30 days) and return it to you, and we will cover the cost of repairs and return shipping (if covered under warranty).
Note: If upon examination of your instrument we determine that issues are NOT related to faulty craftsmanship on our part, but instead due to either misuse or adverse environmental climate control of your instrument, we will notify you immediately of the cost of repairs and the cost of return shipping. Upon receipt of payment for repairs and return shipping costs, we will proceed with repairs, and return your repaired instrument to you within 30 days.
If you choose not to have your instrument repaired, upon receipt of return shipping costs we will have your instrument shipped back to you.
Q – Where are Pono Guitars and ‘Ukuleles Available?
A – We have a network of domestic and foreign dealers throughout North America, Australia, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. Please see our website under “Authorized Dealers” for each listing. They offer all Pono ‘Ukulele models.
Pono Guitars are available only direct from us.
We are currently revising our network of dealers to include only a select few in each geographic area of the world. If you are unable to locate a dealer, please contact us and we assist in any way possible.
For further questions and inquiries:
Ko’olau Guitar & ‘Ukulele, Inc.
Pono Guitar & ‘Ukulele
401 North Cane St. A-10
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786
(808) 622-1064 • Fax: (808) 622-1646