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 Po Mahina Guitars
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Julie H

1206 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  4:36:16 PM  Show Profile
If you click on my name here, you'll see a photo of my Po Mahina Ukulele, the one that seems to be my very favorite, the one I play and travel with the most. I happen to be the one holding it lovingly in the photo...

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1628 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  09:02:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
Tho't ya'll might like a quick review of the Deluxe (pronounced Deeeee Lux).

As I said, I've played just about every model of guitar (and uke) that Dennis builds, and I love them all. One of the things I like about Po Mahina guitars is that each model has a distinct sound and feel.

Can't say that about some robot-built guitars: a Taylor is a Taylor is a Taylor (no flames--- I have one and it is great. Just that every Taylor I've played is somehow the same guitar.)

With a Po Mahina guitar, you get to match the vibe to your needs.

I play a lot of different kinds of music-- slack key, sure, but also country blues, Carter Family, old time fiddle back-up, DADGAD wangity wangity, cowboy songs... Stuff that's sweet & stuff where you dig in, snap the strings and hurt the poor thing.

The Deluxe is based on those wonderful prewar Chicago guitars built by Regal and Harmony and sold under a bunch of names (I used to have a Marwin...and if anyone sees a Paramount Cosmopolitan for sale, call me...)

Early blues players used 'em cuz they were cheap and they sounded great... or some of them did. I've play Harmony Sovereigns that I'd kill to own, and owned Harmony Sovereigns that weren't worth the cost of a new set of Black Diamond strings.

The Deluxe takes that funky Chicago esthetic--big block inlays, sleazy (in a good way) orange-y stained maple back & sides, cool art deco pickguard and ladder bracing, and then adds superb workmanship and great tone woods.

The result is the most all-around guitar I've played in a long time. It does everything: play it sweet for ki ho'alu and it sounds as good as any slack key guitar I've ever played. Dig in and rag it up a bit and it responds with some of the Chicago attitude: here's where I can use the word "honky" in a good way! It does great with flat picking--which my big koa guitar hates.

In short, this is one smokin' guitar.

Thanks, Dennis!

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34 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  09:26:12 AM  Show Profile
Just thought that I would check in and thank everyone who responded to my question about Po Mahina guitars. I just placed an order today for one - nylon string. Now I've got to practice hard so that I can be worthy of it when it arrives!
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312 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  8:19:35 PM  Show Profile
Aloha kakou:

Wow. What a lot of wonderful testimonials! Dennis, your ears must be burning! Reading them sent me off to play each of my Po Mahina treasures and listen carefully. Mark is right, each one has a distinctly different sound from the same style, but other Po Mahina instruments I've had the pleasure of trying.

I got to know Dennis well before and during the time he was building my first, the baritone. And by the time we went on to the guitar, I think he knew what would suit me better than I did. Lovely lovely tone, Cyril Pahinui played it one time for about twenty minutes and said "huh. good guitar." For him, it played jazz, blues and slack key!

Guess all I'm saying is that no worries, Dennis will build you a spectacular instrument, na 'oia'i'o.

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928 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  06:10:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Last night at our regular Wednesday night kanikapila, I saw a guy with an ukulele case sitting in the audience. I got up and went over to invite him to join the players. He was very shy, but we cheered him on. He had never played the 'ukulele before, but we sat him next to a helpful guy who could show him the chords.
When he opened his case, there it was: A Po Mahina cigar box 'ukulele with Aquila strings! What a wonderful instrument!

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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