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ukuleleden
10-16-2015, 10:42 PM
Yesterday (Friday), I took a short drive to visit the Magic Fluke company in Sheffield Massachusetts. What a nice surprise it was to find such a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you could see and play their many ukuleles on display. I was greeted by the very friendly staff and eventually met Phyllis Webb, wife of Dale Webb, the creator of the fluke ukulele. Phyllis' interview by Aldrene at the NAMM show can be seen on YouTube. For those who may not know, Phyliss is also the sister of the well-known Jim Beloff who has authored many ukulele publications as well as performs at many ukulele festivals and get-togethers and also can be seen in many videos on YouTube.

Aside from just visiting their headquarters, I had in the back of my mind the idea of purchasing a Tenor Fluke. After spending some time sampling the many flukes and fleas on display in their store, Phyillis had approached me and asked if there was anything in particular I was interested in. I expressed that I was pondering the idea of a Koa Tenor Fluke with a hardwood fretboard. Much to my delight, Phyllis offered to bring a handful of Koa tops from their build shop for me to choose from along with several different hardwood fretboard woods. So there I was at their headquarters hand selecting the woods to be used for what would turn out to be a custom built Tenor Fluke ukulele. I was able to choose a wonderful Koa top that stood out among all the others. In addition, I opted for the optional peghead tuners and went with the Walnut neck and a beautifully grained wood fretboard that nicely complimented the Koa top. The final accessories I added were a set of grip strips for the back and one of the magic fluke gig bags to safely store and carry the fluke around in.

My selections were sent in to the build shop, and I was told it would be about 10 days for the construction to be completed. This was a very fun and exciting experience and I cannot wait for the fluke to be completed.

I must say if you can do a road trip and visit the Magic Fluke headquarters, it's a great and fun experience that will well be worth your time.

VegasGeorge
10-17-2015, 01:09 AM
That does sound like a nice experience! I've never tried to judge the quality of raw Koa. Is the grain pattern readily apparent or do you have to wet it or something like that to get the grain to 'pop?'

Jim Hanks
10-17-2015, 01:25 AM
Go ahead and get the premium pickup too. Shoot the moon! :D

Sanfe
10-17-2015, 03:10 AM
Cool. I own a basic Flea and a Fluke. My kids and I take them on bike rides to the local university and park.

ukuleleden
10-17-2015, 04:41 AM
That does sound like a nice experience! I've never tried to judge the quality of raw Koa. Is the grain pattern readily apparent or do you have to wet it or something like that to get the grain to 'pop?'

The tops were already cut and finished in the shop, including the bridge holes. They were assembly-ready and I had my choice among those. Remember only the top on flukes and fleas are comprised of either the optional solid-wood choices or their standard laminent designs. The Back and sides are made from their proprietary one-piece composite combination of wood and injected molded thermoplastic. From their shop models I was able to do an A:B comparison of both flukes and flea with solid-wood tops and laminent tops, and the rooms in their building (which seems more like a super nice oversized ski chateau) lent themselves to some very good acoustics to hear the differences among the instruments. There was a measurable improvement (to my ears) with the solid wood tops over the laminent tops even with both example sharing the same composite one-piece body (back and sides).

I didn't really have a desire to add a pickup to this one, but your suggestion is worth consideration.

ukuleleden
10-17-2015, 06:25 AM
This was a video I came across that planted the idea in my head for the Koa Tenor Fluke custom build:



http://youtu.be/7bqhWpdMbRQ

Jim Hanks
10-17-2015, 10:22 AM
Just curious - what made you choose the fluke over the flea. Could you hear a difference between the two?

ukuleleden
10-17-2015, 11:07 AM
Just curious - what made you choose the fluke over the flea. Could you hear a difference between the two?

I wanted a Tenor and the Fluke design seemed to mesh better for what I desired.

Apples to Apples, I did play a Concert Flea back to back to a Concert Fluke and I did detect a little more volume/presence from the Fluke which wasn't really a surprise. But if a wanted a concert sized uke, I certainly wouldn't hesitate taking home the very nice sounding Flea.

joekulele
10-17-2015, 01:21 PM
Sounds like a perfect uke outing. I love my Fleas. Congratulations on your custom Fluke.
Joe

coolkayaker1
10-17-2015, 01:26 PM
Go ahead and get the premium pickup too. Shoot the moon! :D Agree. Agree.

Recstar24
10-17-2015, 01:35 PM
http://www.magicfluke.com/Fluke-Ukulele-p/fluke_spruce.htm

Well that's a game changer. Adirondack spruce top, sweet. Did you have a chance to check these out?

ukuleleden
10-17-2015, 02:04 PM
http://www.magicfluke.com/Fluke-Ukulele-p/fluke_spruce.htm

Well that's a game changer. Adirondack spruce top, sweet. Did you have a chance to check these out?

I didn't on this visit, but I am sure I'll be making more visits in the future! :cool:

coolkayaker1
10-17-2015, 03:15 PM
Is this the place, uden? What a cool looking place. Is that Phyllis, Jim Beloff's sister?


http://youtu.be/B7CSHkHMloc

SoloRule
10-17-2015, 04:11 PM
Is this the place, uden? What a cool looking place. Is that Phyllis, Jim Beloff's sister?


http://youtu.be/B7CSHkHMloc

This is very interesting. I have no idea they are made in the U.S. . This will be my next road trip destination.

DaveY
10-18-2015, 06:14 AM
What a nice surprise it was to find such a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you could see and play their many ukuleles on display. . . .

I must say if you can do a road trip and visit the Magic Fluke headquarters, it's a great and fun experience that will well be worth your time.

Agree x 2. Several times I've been to both their previous headquarters in CT, and their current one, which is larger, more attractive (the old one was cool, funky - a former gas station, I believe) and in an area with a much nicer setting and better things to do. I don't know when or if I'll make it to HMS in Oahu, so this will do for now.

ukuleleden
10-18-2015, 09:12 AM
Thanks Joe! My next road trip to the M.F.C. headquarters will involve a custom-ordered Concert Flea.

ukuleleden
10-18-2015, 09:26 AM
Is this the place, uden? What a cool looking place. Is that Phyllis, Jim Beloff's sister?

Yes, that is Phyllis who personally helped me select among all the solid-wood fretboards and Koa tops along with the other options selected. Phyllis is super nice and you can see and feel her passion in their mission to built quality USA built (and sourced) Ukuleles in an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Along with their already great ukuleles, her personal service and kindness has made me a customer for life!
:shaka:

ukuleleden
10-18-2015, 09:27 AM
This is very interesting. I have no idea they are made in the U.S. . This will be my next road trip destination.


You won't be disappointed!

ukuleleden
10-18-2015, 09:32 AM
Agree x 2. Several times I've been to both their previous headquarters in CT, and their current one, which is larger, more attractive (the old one was cool, funky - a former gas station, I believe) and in an area with a much nicer setting and better things to do. I don't know when or if I'll make it to HMS in Oahu, so this will do for now.

Dale and Phyllis have certainly made an awesome headquarters for their company and around Sheffield is also a treat.

M3Ukulele
10-18-2015, 03:32 PM
Congratulations. It sounded like a very cool visit. I got the same feel and great service over the phone from everyone at MFC. I would really like to see report and comments on the solid Adirondack spruce top vrs the solid Koa. I have s walnut laminate so curious on improvement in sound. I upgraded myself after purchase with Pegheds. Great tuners so good choice there. I went with poly fretboard to keep my Fluke cost down. Now thinking wood fretboard and solid top would be nice.

Originally I wanted a travel ukulele that I didn't have to worry about. My Fluke is all that but more I play, the more I want best sound I can get!

Enjoy your new Fluke when it arrives. Pics and sound sample after you've played it awhile if you can find time.
Cheers

ukuleleden
10-19-2015, 03:34 AM
Congratulations. It sounded like a very cool visit. I got the same feel and great service over the phone from everyone at MFC. I would really like to see report and comments on the solid Adirondack spruce top vrs the solid Koa. I have s walnut laminate so curious on improvement in sound. I upgraded myself after purchase with Pegheds. Great tuners so good choice there. I went with poly fretboard to keep my Fluke cost down. Now thinking wood fretboard and solid top would be nice.

Originally I wanted a travel ukulele that I didn't have to worry about. My Fluke is all that but more I play, the more I want best sound I can get!

Enjoy your new Fluke when it arrives. Pics and sound sample after you've played it awhile if you can find time.
Cheers

See my reply ( http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?110066-New-Solid-Spruce-top-Fluke-by-MFC&p=1761238#post1761238 ) about Adi-Spruce top Fluke thread...

Unless you really plan to subject your uke to a lot of atmospheric abuse, I would go with the solid top and fretboard if it fits your budget.

ukuleleden
10-19-2015, 03:44 AM
Go ahead and get the premium pickup too. Shoot the moon! :D

I gave it some thought over the weekend and I decided to do just that. So for the extra $149.00, this morning I added to the build specs the optional B-Band Undersaddle Pickup with preamp, tone/volume control and tuner.

ukuleleden
10-30-2015, 01:14 PM
The Custom Koa Fluke arrived today...

Link to Uke Review section thread with pics ---->> http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?114986-NUD-Magic-Fluke-Co-Custom-Koa-Tenor-Fluke-has-arrived&p=1768258#post1768258