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Zagabog
01-20-2017, 03:00 PM
Earlier this week, I took possession of a concert Spruce Fluke with all the trimmings, including a couple small customizations like a maple neck and black fret markers. It is, in a word, lovely, and is exactly what I was hoping for.

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I already own a bog-standard ďnaturalĒ concert Fluke, so itís been interesting to compare the two. The Peghed tuners are a joy compared to the serviceable Grover friction tuners; no surprise there. The action is at least a millimeter lower at the 12th fret, adding to the playability with no hint of buzzing -- makes clawhammer harder though. The fretboard is beautifully done, and Iíll be glad not to worry about wearing down the frets (which is starting to happen on my standard Fluke).

In terms of sound, it is difficult to make a direct comparison because Iím using different strings on each, but the spruce top really does have a noticeably brighter sound. The first thing I did was take off the stock strings and put on some Fremont Blacklines (medium, high G). I have the hard version of the Fremonts on my standard Fluke, and they make that uke chime like a church bell, so I was surprised when the medium Fremonts didnít impress me. On the spruce top, they sounded a bit too thin and tinny. So a couple days later, I took them off and put on a set of Aquila Super Nylguts (also high G). MUCH better to my ears. My theory is that the spruce top likes warmer strings with more tension to drive it properly, but I'm really not an expert in these things. I just know what I like. :) Iíll order the hard Fremonts some time, Iím sure, but right now the Super Nylguts fit the bill nicely. (These strings continue to impress me, BTW, and Iím looking forward to Booliís review of the new CarbonBlacks.)

In terms of volume, I canít say that the spruce is louder. In fact, I might even give the edge to my standard Fluke... but I also think it produces a less even sound with a boomier C-string. Again, itís difficult to compare given the different strings, and I believe the spruce top will open up more in time.

Anyway, those are my initial impressions. Kudos to Magic Fluke for delivering another superb uke. This is the fourth MFC instrument in our household! :o

Bill Sheehan
01-20-2017, 03:51 PM
It's a beauty, Zag! Congratulations and enjoy!

Booli
01-20-2017, 07:11 PM
Congrats! Looks great and your high satisfaction level is what I've observed that most folks experience with MFC instruments.

If you haven't already, you might want to check out this thread, and the threads linked therein for more helpful info on getting the most out of your Fluke and/or Flea...

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread

:music:

JackLuis
01-21-2017, 04:52 AM
You have the perfect excuse to rephrase the song to "She's my little spruce Fluke, you don't know what I got.":rofl:

OhioBelle
01-21-2017, 05:18 AM
Congrats on the spruce Fluke! An instrument from MFC is in my future one day. I can't resist the allure of a small company making something that both preserved and advanced the art of the ukulele at the same time. Enjoy!

igorthebarbarian
01-21-2017, 06:55 AM
Congratulations and thank you for posting the photo. I am thinking about getting one of these too. I have the standard Fluke right now. The hardwood fretboard is an absolute must for me (as the plastic one does indeed wear down and ding/ping over time) - hardwood fretboard takes care of all of those concerns and is amazingly comfortable. The pegheads are a nice-to-have; they're better than the standard surely but I never had problems with the standard ones. My Flea and Fluke definitely get the played the most because they're all readily-available.

Camsuke
01-21-2017, 09:56 AM
Congratulations Zagabog, enjoy.

joekulele
01-21-2017, 11:31 AM
Love The Magic Fluke Company. I'm a two Flea owner and my UCCTWorld Flea has been half way around the world with me. Congratulations on the new Spruce Fluke!

Zagabog
01-22-2017, 04:22 PM
Thanks, all. The more I play it, the more I like it, so I couldn't be much happier at this point.

As a point of interest, Dale (via Phyllis) said that the sublimation dye process that they use for their designer tops would work fine on the spruce, so if anyone is hankering for a "Surf" spruce Fluke or similar, it can be done! (I decided against it so as not to obscure the wood grain, but it was very tempting.)

jer
01-23-2017, 12:52 PM
That's a great looking instrument from a great company. I can't say I've ever played or even seen a bad instrument from them. On top of that, their customer service is exceptional. Enjoy!

Pirate Jim
01-23-2017, 10:33 PM
I see that the body joins the neck between the 11th and 12th frets. How easy is it to access the higher frets? I have a couple of favourite pieces that take me right up to frets 14 and 15 so I'm curious whether it would be easy to play them on a concert fluke.

Booli
01-23-2017, 10:44 PM
I see that the body joins the neck between the 11th and 12th frets. How easy is it to access the higher frets? I have a couple of favourite pieces that take me right up to frets 14 and 15 so I'm curious whether it would be easy to play them on a concert fluke.

When I hold my concert Fluke, and with my fretting hand, have my ring finger right at the 15th fret easily, the web of my hand betw the thumb and pointer just hits the neck heel, meaning your pinky and ring finger are likely to be able to reach as well unless your hands are smaller than mine.

The Fluke shape has an effortless 'cutaway' and if I angle my fretting hand's thumb towards the soundhole in this position slightly, I can reach the 15th fret with my middle finger on the C string, but not the G string...

Hope this helps. :)

Pirate Jim
01-23-2017, 10:53 PM
When I hold my concert Fluke, and with my fretting hand, have my ring finger right at the 15th fret easily, the web of my hand betw the thumb and pointer just hits the neck heel, meaning your pinky and ring finger are likely to be able to reach as well unless your hands are smaller than mine.

The Fluke shape has an effortless 'cutaway' and if I angle my fretting hand's thumb towards the soundhole in this position slightly, I can reach the 15th fret with my middle finger on the C string, but not the G string...

Hope this helps. :)

Super helpful, thanks Booli! I really like the look of these spruce Flukes.

Booli
01-23-2017, 11:12 PM
Super helpful, thanks Booli! I really like the look of these spruce Flukes.

Glad to help.

I guess I was a bit lazy in measuring before when I posted, since I just tested it again now, but on my Koa tenor Fluke, and the 12th fret join on the tenor and concert is nearly the same place on the fretboard (within about 3mm), tenor being closer to the 11th fret and concert being closer to the 12th fret...

I can in fact reach the 15th fret with my middle finger for this chord shape (15) 0 (13) (15) in TAB, not sure how to write tab above the 9th fret, but you can see in the photos below (yes wearing fingerless gloves since our furnace is having trouble just now)

http://i.imgur.com/s8kVYVJ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/i8yu8dv.jpg

So, if the reach is possible on tenor like this, i would expect that it is easier on concert, all finger-lengths and hand-sizes being equal, which of course they are not. :)

Pirate Jim
01-23-2017, 11:18 PM
Not having the opportunity to try one, my main misgiving about the Fluke has always been the upper fret reach. Those photos are exactly what I needed to see - the shallow "shoulders" of the Fluke obviously allow for reasonable access to the frets. I've got my 30th coming up later in the year and I'm debating a spruce Fluke or a Pono baritone. I'm aware these are totally different instruments but I'd like each equally!

Booli
01-23-2017, 11:46 PM
Not having the opportunity to try one, my main misgiving about the Fluke has always been the upper fret reach. Those photos are exactly what I needed to see - the shallow "shoulders" of the Fluke obviously allow for reasonable access to the frets. I've got my 30th coming up later in the year and I'm debating a spruce Fluke or a Pono baritone. I'm aware these are totally different instruments but I'd like each equally!


Glad the photos helped. Easy high-fret access is one of the many things I love about the ukes made by MFC.

Spruce/Koa Fluke or Pono all-solid wood - tough choice to make for most folks, given the selling price of each.

I've got nothing against Pono, but I am the converse of you, in that I've not had one in hand myself, so if I were forced to choose based upon my own experience, I'd likely get another Fluke and maybe have the Spruce one be in a different tuning, like linear fifths tuning CGDA, like a mandola. Aquila makes a string set for this that works well on tenor despite being labeled for concert scale, called '31U' and I have them on another tenor at present.

Right now my Koa tenor Fluke is in re-entrant A6 tuning, i.e., E-A-C#-F# which is 2 semitones above standard baritone, using the Martin M620 strings, and this works because the strings have never been tuned higher than this, and the "C" string is 0.034". I find this tuning is ideally suited for my lower-range singing voice. I just play the normal C6 chord shapes and dont bother to transpose, but can slowly, on the fly if needed to actually name the chords...

igorthebarbarian
01-24-2017, 07:36 PM
Booli thanks for extra photos of the Koa Fluke. I might "need" one of those too in my future.
Also, love the fingerless gloves. As a Phoenician, I have no idea of what those are ;)


Glad to help.

I guess I was a bit lazy in measuring before when I posted, since I just tested it again now, but on my Koa tenor Fluke, and the 12th fret join on the tenor and concert is nearly the same place on the fretboard (within about 3mm), tenor being closer to the 11th fret and concert being closer to the 12th fret...

I can in fact reach the 15th fret with my middle finger for this chord shape (15) 0 (13) (15) in TAB, not sure how to write tab above the 9th fret, but you can see in the photos below (yes wearing fingerless gloves since our furnace is having trouble just now)

http://i.imgur.com/s8kVYVJ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/i8yu8dv.jpg

So, if the reach is possible on tenor like this, i would expect that it is easier on concert, all finger-lengths and hand-sizes being equal, which of course they are not. :)

Booli
01-24-2017, 07:45 PM
Booli thanks for extra photos of the Koa Fluke. I might "need" one of those too in my future.
Also, love the fingerless gloves. As a Phoenician, I have no idea of what those are ;)

Thanks Igor.

It gets a little colder sometimes when the old furnace is not working well, and I still gotta play and you cannot do that with mittens on LOL.

Also, I will soon be updating my photos on the MFC Appreciation Thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread), because my own arsenal of MFC ukes has grown since I had uploaded photos, and from what is in my avatar photo right now.