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Thread: Magic Fluke--Laminate vs Solid Koa

  1. #1
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    Default Magic Fluke--Laminate vs Solid Koa

    I'm thinking about buying a Magic Fluke in one of the Designer laminate options (there's one that I like a lot) but with the wood fingerboard and tuner upgrades that I'll be getting the price is about the same as the Koa version. There isn't a dealer anywhere near me that carries both versions and I've heard the samples on The Ukulele Site (which didn't help me make the decision)... does anyone have any personal experience with these models and an opinion to share? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You should check the Magic Fluke Company megathread, which you can get to from the link in my signature below.

    Tons of folks have described their experiences with these instruments there.
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
    -T. S. Eliot

  3. #3
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    I have the Koa Fluke with upgraded tuners, and it is lovely :-)
    I never had the chance to compare it to laminate though, so I guess it doesn't help much. It is a rather personal matter of taste whether the koa is only attractive for possible sound improvements, or also considered better looking. I like the look of it too, not that the designer ones aren't pretty. Especially that rock and roll Lava one...
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  4. #4
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    Booli''s thread is pretty comprehensive, do read through it.
    I have a laminate top, and my close friend recently got a koa. I've played both side by side. Admittedly I don't have the best ear, but I don't hear too much difference.
    I can say without hesitation that the koa Fluke that was in my hands was visually stunning.
    Hubba hubba!
    Musically, I'd be happy with either. Always comes down to budget.
    We both got ours here on the UU ukulele market place thread with WTB request.
    Last edited by maki66; 09-10-2017 at 11:12 AM. Reason: damned atuo correct
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  5. #5
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    I just got a Koa Flea (soprano) and love it! I have the friction tuners, but I've never had a problem with them, and this is my 4th MFC uke. Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend the wooden fretboard. My Fluke has the plastic board, and it's fine, but the hardwood version is impeccable, and I find it easier to play than the plastic.
    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 Lanakai LU-21 baritone

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  6. #6
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    I have had both laminates and the hardwood tops in both Fleas and Flukes.
    I'm 100% with hendulele in that the hardwood fretboard upgrade is well worth it. I had problems with getting pings/divots in the zero nut on the plastic fretboard. Also you cannot use wound strings on the plastic fretboard.
    I have no problems with the friction tuners (but some people hate them).
    The Koa is stunning visually and is well worth any extra cost. The Spruce though, not so much. They're the ukes I play the most.
    Also worth considering for anyone looking at the designer patterns, is that on the Spruce, I believe the folks at Magic Fluke can now print the pattern onto the Spruce top. Check with them though - I am fairly sure I read that somewhere. So, for example, if you like the Cowboy pattern - or the Trigon pattern - I think they can print that onto the hardwood Spruce top. That's what I would do if I were getting a patterned one.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  7. #7
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    Jul 2017
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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I had already read most or all of the 21-page megathread a few weeks ago, that's what made me want to get the Fluke in the first place. I don't remember whether anyone had compared the sound of the Koa vs laminate options, though (and I didn't want to read through the 21 pages again), so I'm grateful to those of you who shared your experiences with them. I was indeed looking at the Trigon pattern that Igorthebarbarian mentioned, and I might still go with that, but right now I think that the Koa might be the way to go (I'm going to get the hardwood fretboard and upgraded pegs so the price difference is all of $20). In any case thanks to everyone for the feedback and I'll revisit this thread after I make the purchase! They're both great choices.

  8. #8
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    I have a walnut laminate with walnut neck and poly fretboard. First thing I did when I got it was order the pegheds tuners. If doing again, I would get solid spruce or Koa top and wooden fretboard. Post you decision after you have it. Good luck

  9. #9
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    Thanks, your feedback is reinforcing my decision to go with the Koa! The wooden fretboard and peghed tuners are must haves for me, I intend to play this ukulele for years to come.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2017
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    I ordered the Koa Tenor Magic Fluke today from HMS, and as a bonus it was Kalei who took my order! Their price was significantly cheaper than buying direct from MF, too. Thanks again to everyone for helping me make my decision.

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