View Full Version : Clara & Fluke Tenor - size

05-16-2015, 10:01 AM
I've been wanting Joe to make a Clara long neck or a new Ekoa Tenor.
I have only played the BBT once when I first started and could not reallyplay. Ive had never seen a Clara up close.

I've read others comments on UU from member so also would like a Ekoa tenor. I've been told it won't happen soon.

So, bought a Fluke tenor as the go anywhere ukulele. Its fine but can't help but appreciate the better sound and playability of a Clara.......

I'm wondering for those who have both or played them side by side....... The Fluke is pretty small with tenor neck. 24.25" long and 12 fret neck. Wonder .....how does the Clara feel being played size wise. I've never played a concert scale for that matter so wonder how the Clara would feel.

Ultimately, I want a Ekoa Tenor but.............

Andy Chen
05-16-2015, 05:22 PM
I had the Fluke before. Neck is broader and scale is longer.

The Clara being a concert has the concert scale, which is shorter.

So the comparison/differences between them would be the same as that between most concerts and tenors.

05-16-2015, 06:09 PM
I have played a fluke, a long time ago. Just got a Clara a couple of weeks ago. It plays wonderfully and sounds wonderful. It is an apples and oranges comparison. The Clara is in a completely different class.

05-16-2015, 09:18 PM
I guess the question really is....aside from scale difference do they feel pretty much the sale size to hold! The Fluke is a pretty small Tenor to hold. Small body and 12 fret neck joint. I understand that a Clara is going to sound a lot better. I really like the sound of Clara and that is what has me excited about the EKoa thing. I was in Mexico last year for a month and it would have be nice to have a Clara or BBT on the trip. I didn't take my Pono or my custom because of the extreme temp difference from Canada to Mexico for a solid wood Ukulele.I didn't have the Fluke at the time. It would seem the Clara or BBT would not have been an issue. I guess this is my pitch once again for a long neck Clara or tenor in Ekoa. <g> ....Any body listening......

05-16-2015, 09:59 PM
I'm a bit confused by some of your statements regarding scale length. Both the Fluke and Flea, which are made by The Magic Fluke Company, are currently available in soprano, concert and tenor scale lengths.

While the tenor scale Flea is no longer listed on their web site (linked below), when I called them last week and spoke with Betsy on the phone, she confirmed that you can special order a tenor Flea for an additional $20 fee.

Not all vendors/resellers have all models in all scale lengths in stock for sale, but you can get any size, with any option direct from the company on their web store.

Info above not withstanding, The Magic Fluke Company instruments are made from various woods and polycarbonate plastic (except for the tuners), whereas the Clara by Blackbird is made from eKoa, which is a composite that uses linen and a proprietary resin for all of it's parts (except for the tuners).

I know there's lots of love for both brands here on UU, and I myself own 4 instruments from The Magic Fluke company, and have not had the chance to try out the Blackbird Clara nor their Tenor, but would very much like to one day. I'm hoping to 'upgrade' to the Blackbird tenor if it truly wows me once I have it in hand.



Also, if you do not like the way your ukulele sounds, you should try changing to different strings, as there are over 20 different brands of ukulele strings available globally right now, in various different materials, gauges, tensions etc, and changing the strings can make a DRAMATIC difference in the sound and playability of your specific instrument.

There are an endless number of threads here on UU with discussions about which strings are favorites for different instruments, and YMMV.

05-16-2015, 11:58 PM
... The Fluke is pretty small with tenor neck. 24.25" long and 12 fret neck.

FYI, as per:


The tenor Fluke has 17 frets, and concert 15 frets.

and as per:


The soprano Flea has 14 frets and concert 15 frets.

I do not see any instrument from The Magic Fluke Company with 12 frets.

05-17-2015, 04:47 AM
I have a tenor Fluke as well, and have been strongly curious about the Clara too. I read in a thread somewhere on UU that the Clara is shaped very much like a Fluke except has more rounded corners at the bottom. I searched online to get a feel for the differences in dimensions between the tenor Fluke and the Clara:

tenor Fluke Clara
Length 24.25" 24"
Width 7.5" 7.7"
Depth 3.5" 3.0"
Scale 17" 15"
Width at Nut 1.45" 1.4"
# Frets 17 17

I'd love to hear a Clara in person and do sound comparisons with the tenor Fluke. I decided that until I am able to do this, and convinced that the sound of the Clara is worth it to me, I've decided to be happy with my perfectly wonderful Fluke. Ignorance is bliss.

05-17-2015, 06:31 AM
Booli...nowhere did I say I did not like the Fluke sound. I have tried many strings and have found some that work very well. Its a great ukulele.......

StacyAZ you hit the nail on the head. I should have looked up the measurements like you did and compare. It just seemed to me that the Clara and Fluke would be about the same size. You confirmed that. I know the scales are different. I've never really played a concert but for travel this makes sense. What I really want is a tenor EKoa scale that is a step up from Fluke that I can take anywhere. I was really just asking if people who have played BOTH think a tenor guy would do OK with a Clara. I agree with your last statement...... until I can get my hands on a Clara to compare myself....... I will continue on with my Fluke.... always looking to the future.


Andy Chen
05-17-2015, 02:38 PM
It is cramped, going from tenor to concert. No doubt about it, never mind the physical dimensions.

05-17-2015, 02:59 PM
Booli...nowhere did I say I did not like the Fluke sound. I have tried many strings and have found some that work very well. Its a great ukulele.......

Hi M3U-

I meant only to offer options for you. Not sure if you had experienced other strings or not. You mentioned 'better sound...with the Clara' so my intent was only to share that strings can make a difference. No harm intended, please accept my apologies if my comment made you feel that way.

No worries mate. It's all good with me. :)

05-17-2015, 04:22 PM
All good Booli.... I've read all your posts and you are the poster child for Fluke & Flea. I like my Fluke but also would love a EKoa Tenor.

Andy, good comment.... I was wondering about that. I have big fingers so sometimes even on a tenor I struggle to get my digits between the frets<g>.

I'm sure at some point .......Blackbird will add a eKoa tenor and if they were smart they would add a tenor that didn't take away from their unique BBT design which I really like. I just can't get my hands on one so have to go by sound samples.

I believe the general consensus is the EKoa give a woodier sound than carbon fibre. Not sure if that is the correct term or not.

Thanks for the comments.

05-17-2015, 04:38 PM
All good Booli.... I've read all your posts and you are the poster child for Fluke & Flea. I like my Fluke but also would love a EKoa Tenor.

Ha Ha Ha! :rofl: Thanks for taking notice of my cheerleading for The Magic Fluke Company. I am not compensated in any way, just a huge fan of their products and think that they are a great company...

Like you, if an eKoa tenor was available from Blackbird, you can count me in for wanting to try one out.

I'd be selling off many of my seldom-played ukes and guitars in order to be able to buy one.

05-17-2015, 04:40 PM
Clara owner here as well as a concert scale Flea owner. Two entirely different instruments. Each is great in its niche.

A tenor Clara is not simply a matter of swapping one neck for another.

The molds for Clara cast the back all the way from butt to headstock, likewise the top is cast all the way to the headstock. They are two complete pieces. Making a tenor means engineering a whole new set of molds, a new layup schedule, yada yada. Composite lutherie is WAY different from wood or even plastic construction.

Flukes and Fleas are assembled from interchangeable pieces. I'll be hiking for a month or more in Europe this summer. Taking my Flea. It's a little more rugged and less to worry about.

05-17-2015, 11:57 PM
I get it for sure. No small job designing a new instrument. The long neck Clara comment was more tongue in cheek. I've suggested before a whole new tenor design so Clara and BBT all stay in tact as products. They all fill a niche.
I guess I will have to wait and see.

05-18-2015, 04:09 AM
I reviewed a Clara, have owned several Flukes and fleas. My Clara comes Thursday, but that does not matter.
I am a concert fan, so I have no skin in the game when it comes to BB making a tenor eKoa uke, BUT... Why would they not offer the current Tenor Blackbird in Ekoa instead of the carbon fiber? I bet there is a really good reason, I am just confused.

05-19-2015, 01:54 AM
I am a concert player - so I'm pretty happy with the options available both from Blackbird and the Magic Fluke company. I have a Clara, a concert flea and my son has a concert Fluke and they're all great.

I will say that the Clara is a whole different animal from the Fluke or the flea. The Clara is louder, richer and all around an advertisement for "you get what you pay for". The value per dollar is excellent on both the Clara and the Flea/Fluke, but the Clara takes a lot more dollars to purchase.

Other things to note - the Clara comes with a strap button, the Flea/Fluke doesn't. The Clara can handle wound strings - the Flea/Fluke can't without the wood fingerboard upgrade. The Clara's headstock is relatively compact - it doesn't have as much room for first position chords as the Flea/Fluke.