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VegasGeorge
09-18-2014, 02:48 AM
This is a spin off from my Beater Uke topic. So, living as I do in the Mojave Desert, where it get unbelievably hot and dry, I think getting an all laminate or man made materials Uke would be a good idea, especially if its intended to be a toss on the bench beater. So, which all laminate and man made materials Uke would be the best performer?

SteveZ
09-18-2014, 02:52 AM
I'm in a hot, high humidity area. My "outside" and leave-in-car ukes have been a Flea and a Kala Pocket Travel, both in maker's cases. They have taken the environmental abuse well.

DownUpDave
09-18-2014, 03:22 AM
Although I don't own one I think the flea or fluke is the ultimate uke for a sturdy and stable knock around player. You already know about my all laminate Gretsch, which is great. I did buy a car uke that has turned out fabulous. I went in for some worth strings and left with an Islander AS-4 which is an all laminate long neck soprano. It lives in the foot well of the back seat of my car, in a light gig bag. I am in sales and sometimes have an hour or so to kill in my car so I reach behind me grab the uke and go nuts. It has a micro tuner on the headstock at all times and it does not go too far out of tune even with the huge temperature swings inside a car in Canada. It will come inside during winter months, I might be nuts but I am not stupid.

I like a well made laminate, they can sound very good and the right ones are stable and carefree. I am looking at a good sounding and real pretty Islander spaltted maple in concert size at a local store........what else am I going to do with 150 bucks. I do own high end all solid wood instruments but there is nothing wrong with a good laminate and alot right about some of them.

kkimura
09-18-2014, 03:29 AM
My Martin OXK soprano (HPL body and weird laminated neck) survived desert like dry motel air in Bangor, ME last winter to 70+ Summer humidity outdoors in Lebanon, NH with only one issue. I had to tighten the tuners during the peak of the dry season because they were slipping. Haven't had to touch them since.

actadh
09-18-2014, 03:39 AM
Mine is not an all laminate, but my first "good" ukulele has turned out to be a good all-around uke and very stable as to weather swings. I live in a high humidity area too, and my AC and heat in the house is kind of challenged.

It is my Luna concert with laminate sides and back, but with a solid spruce top. Until recently it lived in a gig bag and life has not been particularly kind to it - I fell on a walkway in my yard while I was holding it, for instance, and we both kind of thumped on the ground.

I got mine nicely finished and set up from HMS, so I wasn't really understanding the negativity to Luna ukuleles that sometimes appear in the forums until I tried several off the shelf in person at a music store because I was thinking of getting the Luna laminate Tattoo tenor. The finish was rough, frets awful, and none played well. I almost wanted to get mine out of the car to show the staff that with a little care, they can be really nice ukuleles. The neck feels wonderful on mine, it sounds great, and is a joy to play.

I was doing the Outdoor Ukulele Tenor/Soprano package until that fell through. I was trying to talk myself into that Luna Tenor Tattoo from HMS for a "beater ukulele" for the car and camping, but I waited too long.

Ukejenny
09-18-2014, 03:46 AM
I want a Blackbird Clara. They are expensive, so I'm waiting until Christmas or after.

PereBourik
09-18-2014, 03:52 AM
Flea or Fluke. Sturdy and dependable with an agreeable sound. Get the plastic fretboard; put Martin M600 strings on it. Put travel stickers on the back. Use it to ward off thugs. My Flea has spent winter and summer in my car. Winters here get below zero and summers with the car closed up it probably reaches 140. Still plays just fine. As John Cameron Swayze said, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

PereBourik
09-18-2014, 03:54 AM
I want a Blackbird Clara. They are expensive, so I'm waiting until Christmas or after.

Yes. Yes you do. Please don't treat it like a beater. It is a fine instrument with great sound. It deserves to be treated like any other higher-end instrument. Except you don't have to use a humidifier.

Skinny Money McGee
09-18-2014, 04:06 AM
My Martin OXK soprano (HPL body and weird laminated neck) survived desert like dry motel air in Bangor, ME last winter to 70+ Summer humidity outdoors in Lebanon, NH with only one issue. I had to tighten the tuners during the peak of the dry season because they were slipping. Haven't had to touch them since.

+1 on the Martin OXK. 279 bucks, but worth it.

DownUpDave
09-18-2014, 04:07 AM
Flea or Fluke. Sturdy and dependable with an agreeable sound. Get the plastic fretboard; put Martin M600 strings on it. Put travel stickers on the back. Use it to ward off thugs. My Flea has spent winter and summer in my car. Winters here get below zero and summers with the car closed up it probably reaches 140. Still plays just fine. As John Cameron Swayze said, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

I am over 50 so I know who John Cameron Swayze is and what "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking" is referring to. The much younger crowd might think John Cameron is Patrick Swayze's grandad and " licking and ticking " could not possibly be about wrist watchs :p

RevWill
09-18-2014, 04:34 AM
I've found Flukes and Fleas to be darn near bulletproof while having great, loud tone.

Ukulele Eddie
09-18-2014, 04:36 AM
If budget allows, you won't find a better sounding man-made material instrument than a Blackbird Clara. There are a number of folks here who have Clara's among a quiver of fine wood Ukes that feel it holds its own very well. Not only is it durable, it sounds fantastic amd is extremely comfortable to play.

Icelander53
09-18-2014, 12:14 PM
I vote Fluke. I think they sound wonderful and are easy to play and won't empty your wallet.

Ukejenny
09-18-2014, 05:26 PM
Yes. Yes you do. Please don't treat it like a beater. It is a fine instrument with great sound. It deserves to be treated like any other higher-end instrument. Except you don't have to use a humidifier.

I definitely have no intention of treating it like a beater, but hope I won't have to worry so much when I'm playing it outside or giving a ukulele lesson to a six year old (which I've just started and they sure do wiggle a lot). I want something that sounds wonderful and that isn't too delicate.

Andy Chen
09-18-2014, 10:17 PM
Yes. Yes you do. Please don't treat it like a beater. It is a fine instrument with great sound. It deserves to be treated like any other higher-end instrument. Except you don't have to use a humidifier.

It is indeed a fine instrument, not a beater. It just doesn't need to be fussed about much.

I had it sent back to Blackbird for a touch up, and when I got it back, I thought it is still my best sounding uke.

But for toughness, its sister uke the Blackbird Tenor would be far superior. It is probably near indestructible.

Andy Chen
09-18-2014, 10:18 PM
Jenny: When you finally buy your Clara, do get the Gotoh UPTs on it.

KellyK
09-20-2014, 03:55 AM
My standard blackbird tenor is my "beater". I don't throw it but treat it like an instrument that can be used almost anywhere at anytime. It's not a garage queen! That being said it travels in its case and comes out to play.