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Thread: Solid-topped Fleas: Do they need special care (more than the laminate Fleas)?

  1. #1
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    Default Solid-topped Fleas: Do they need special care (more than the laminate Fleas)?

    Hi folks,

    I'm considering a Koa or Spruce Flea for my next purchase. I've owned a laminate Flea and have a laminate Fluke and a Firefly. I like the wooden fretboard on the Firefly and wonder if the Koa or Spruce tops need more protection from variations in humidity than the regular Fleas?

    Thanks!
    KoAlana KCA- 0010 mahogany concert <VBG> Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top, willow back/sides) Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany gloss finish soprano Fluke natural concert <BG> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Koa soprano Flea Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert

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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Hi folks,

    I'm considering a Koa or Spruce Flea for my next purchase. I've owned a laminate Flea and have a laminate Fluke and a Firefly. I like the wooden fretboard on the Firefly and wonder if the Koa or Spruce tops need more protection from variations in humidity than the regular Fleas?

    Thanks!
    Hi Rick,

    I have a walnut Flea (in fact, it was the first uke I ever acquired) and I have never given it any special treatment; although, to be honest, I've never given any special treatment to ANY of my ukes! I think it's just as bomb-proof as the laminate ones, though. Hope this helps!
    Walnut Flea Soprano, Eleuke Peanut, Rob Collins Soprano, Motu, Ukubidon, Gretsch Camp Ukulele, Tenor "Style Manouche", Hora mahogany Baritone, Roger Terry baritone, Sylvain Enjoubaut concert, Outdoor Ukulele (tenor), Ohana Vita, Ohana KA-6 (6-string tenor), DoudsandJo electro-acoustic tenor.

  3. #3
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    Thank you, Val!
    KoAlana KCA- 0010 mahogany concert <VBG> Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top, willow back/sides) Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany gloss finish soprano Fluke natural concert <BG> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Koa soprano Flea Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert

    Raleigh Uke Jam:

    My YouTube page

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    I'm not sure what the official word is from MFC, but in the winter I've erred on the side of caution and have kept my solid-koa topped tenor Fluke in a case with a home-made humidifier, which is a sandwich-size ziploc bag with a dozen holes punched in it and a wet sponge, inside the soundhole, suspended from the strings...and in 3 yrs have had no issues.

    Otherwise when low humidity is not a concern (~25% RH in winter, right now, a comfortable 50% RH on Sept 2), the koa Fluke is out at arms reach all the time.

    Might be worth an email to MFC to get a statement from them. If you do contact them, please report back here, and I will link this thread in the Magic Fluke Company Appreciation thread in case other folks have this question in the future.

    http://www.magicfluke.com/Contact-s/1844.htm

    or

    sales@magicfluke.com

    or

    The Magic Fluke Company
    292 South Main Street
    Sheffield, MA 01257

    (413) 229-8536
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
    -T. S. Eliot

  5. #5
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    It will be interesting to see what the folks at Magic Fluke have to say about this. But my take would be that it depends on how the top is fastened to the body. On a typical guitar or uke the problem is that when the top is allowed to dry out, it shrinks. And since the top is firmly glued in place along the perimeter, something has to give, and it cracks in the middle to relieve the stress. Now on an instrument with a composite sides and wood top, if the top is not firmly glued in place, but just inset, then it would seem that as the top shrinks, it may just get smaller all around.

    So does anybody know how the top on a fluke is mounted?

  6. #6
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    IMO, same as any other solid top uke, guitar etc., if you don't want want cracks, keep in the case & humidify.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    I'm not sure what the official word is from MFC, but in the winter I've erred on the side of caution and have kept my solid-koa topped tenor Fluke in a case with a home-made humidifier, which is a sandwich-size ziploc bag with a dozen holes punched in it and a wet sponge, inside the soundhole, suspended from the strings...and in 3 yrs have had no issues.

    Otherwise when low humidity is not a concern (~25% RH in winter, right now, a comfortable 50% RH on Sept 2), the koa Fluke is out at arms reach all the time.

    Might be worth an email to MFC to get a statement from them. If you do contact them, please report back here, and I will link this thread in the Magic Fluke Company Appreciation thread in case other folks have this question in the future.

    http://www.magicfluke.com/Contact-s/1844.htm

    or

    sales@magicfluke.com

    or

    The Magic Fluke Company
    292 South Main Street
    Sheffield, MA 01257

    (413) 229-8536
    Hi Booil,

    Here's what I got from Phyllis:

    >>Good question since both the spruce and koa are solid soundboards. Here is what my husband and Magic Fluke instrument creator says:

    “9 times out of 10 not a problem as long as you take care to keep your Flea away from drying/hot air heat sources.”<<

    I may end up sticking with a laminate Flea, possibly with a wooden soundboard (but maybe not), since I also may want to use it as my beach/camping uke.

    As to besley's comment, from what I've seen from the website, the tops are glued onto the body.
    Wonderful response time from Dale and Phyllis, even so. They're good people!
    KoAlana KCA- 0010 mahogany concert <VBG> Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top, willow back/sides) Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany gloss finish soprano Fluke natural concert <BG> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Koa soprano Flea Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert

    Raleigh Uke Jam:

    My YouTube page

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    Here's what I got from Dale a few years ago regarding this same subject. I have a Koa Flea soprano and a Spruce Fluke concert (also just sold a Koa Fluke tenor). I've not done anything other than have them on the floor next to the couch in my apartment.
    I've had no issues with any of them. They're great and the ukes that I play the most Day-to-day. My friend's 5-year old just left and he liked the Flea the best but he was a little rough with it- no problems (thankfully)!

    "We have had very little problems with the solid wood tops however if the environment is extremely dry, less than 20% humidity, you may want to consider some humidification. On the other hand, extreme changes like we have here in N.E. can be more of a problem with swings of high humidity in the summer to very low with dry heat in the winter.

    Dale"
    Last edited by igorthebarbarian; 09-03-2017 at 05:38 PM.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    ...Isn't it amazing to be able to ask a question about your uke and get an answer direct from the company owners and uke designer. Not the front end sales team hired by a foreign company to run a sales and marketing plan, but the actual owners.
    Yes, and another reason why I am a big fan of MFC, not just for their ukes, but for the folks making them and running the business behind it.
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
    -T. S. Eliot

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by igorthebarbarian View Post
    Here's what I got from Dale a few years ago regarding this same subject. I have a Koa Flea soprano and a Spruce Fluke concert (also just sold a Koa Fluke tenor)....

    Dale"
    Hey Dale, you sold your koa Fluke tenor to my buddy. It looks GORGEOUS, and sounds AMAZING!
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

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