L-40SP Li'i Small Body Parlor Guitar Ebony Spruce

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L-40SP Li'i Small Body Parlor Guitar Ebony Spruce


Pono L-40SP Li'i Series Small Body Parlor Guitar

  • Solid Ebony Back and Sides

  • Solid Engelmann Spruce Top

  • Slotted Headstock 

  • Top and Back Wood Binding

  • Macassar Ebony Fingerboard & Bridge

  • Abalone Top Purfling and Soundhole Rosette

  • 12 1/4 inch wide body

  • 24 5/8 inch Scale Length

  • 12th fret to body

  • Bone Nut and Saddle

  • Gloss Finish


Pono L-40SP Li'i Series, Small Body Parlor Guitar

Macassar Ebony is one of the most beautiful woods on earth.   
This species of Ebony comes from only one island southwest of Hawaii called Sulawesi.  The Dutch, who owned this island for over 300 
years named it Celebes, which is why the botanical name for this ebony is Dyosporos Celebes.  
Many guitar builders are using this particular hardwood now, both for it's beauty and excellent tonal properties.

Each day we still marvel at the exquisite beauty of each piece, each one slightly different, and each one 
appears as work of art in itself.  And due to the expense and difficulty in acquiring this particular species of Ebony, we use it only for a few select models.  

Macassar Ebony is one of the hardest woods used in guitar making, even harder and more dense than Rosewood.  
Our L-30SP is Rosewood with Spruce.  The L-40SP Ebony and L-30SP Rosewood are different.  Both woods are hard and dense, but they sound different. Macassar Ebony is a more dense, close grain wood than Rosewood.  Both produce a beautiful warm bass resonance.   

We like them both, and on occasion are asked why we offer them both?  There is a difference in tone.  The L-40 Ebony model has an interesting clarity in notation, both in bass and trebles.  Possibly the density of this species of Ebony contributes to a lack of overtones compared to Rosewood.  
Our conclusion is that Macassar Ebony, with a more dense grain and heavy weight than Rosewood is similar to Maple.  Sort of a black and brown version of hard Maple.  
And as with Maple guitars, mandolins, and violins, there is less sustaining overtones, and less of what is termed resonant dissonance.  What you hear is clear and clean melody.  

We combined Macassar Ebony with a unique species of Spruce named Engelmann Spruce.   It's found along the Rocky Mountains of North America.  Our Engelmann Spruce is from the interior forests of British Columbia Canada.  Only AAA and 4A quality Spruce is used.  Through experimental research, we concluded that the weight and density of the Ebony would be properly balanced with a warm and sweet soundboard made of Engelmann Spruce.  On some Pono Guitar models we use Sitka Spruce with it's hard and crisp qualities, but the Li'i Series sounds great with Engelmann.  However Cedar is also an available option for the L-40SP.  

The top and back are both protected and adorned with solid wood binding.  For Ebony models we use a light colored Tamarind wood.  In Hawaii this is called Wi'awa awa, and has been a treasured wood throughtout Hawaiian history.  

Purfling is the decorative strip that is usually inlayed between the binding and the top wood.   For the L-40SP we use abalone around the top, and then also for the rosette.   

The fingerboard and bridge are also Macassar Ebony.  Nut and saddle are bone.  And the headstock is slotted with the highest quality Grover 97-18 open gear tuners.  We recently went back to using Grover tuners.  In the past they only offered a cheap open gear in their vintage series.  The new 97-18 tuners are one of the finest quality open gear tuners available today. 

Additional Information

Model L-40SP Li'i Small Body Parlor Guitar Ebony Spruce
Dimensions 46x20x9
Finish Gloss
Package Includes Hardshell arched top wooden case- Shipping and Custom setup.

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