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View Full Version : Magic Fluke Firefly tenor vs Beansprout tenor



kerneltime
03-10-2018, 02:23 PM
Advice needed from those who might have played both.
The brand new high end firefly tenor is around 450-500 and I could score a 2nd hand beansprout between 1000-1200.

I am learning the ukulele but have been on the fence for a Banjo.

Which do you think is a worth the price? Maybe a 3rd option.

I love sustain and some highend Banjos that I played with just blew me away (but I am not ready for those and banjolele is what I want).

Sound quality is the most important for me, I love listening to each note and the sound of different strokes and songs.

Comments?

maki66
03-10-2018, 02:41 PM
You can buy both and play them side by side, see which one you like and sell the other one off?

Jim Hanks
03-10-2018, 03:17 PM
Southern Cross by UU member Dennis O'Neal is a third option. Also Waverly Street but he only goes to concert.

kerneltime
03-10-2018, 04:04 PM
You can buy both and play them side by side, see which one you like and sell the other one off?

The risk is that I might keep both ;-)
On a more serious note, I don't see as many second hand tenor fireflys and don't want to pay depreciation on a new one.

maki66
03-10-2018, 04:21 PM
The risk is that I might keep both ;-)
On a more serious note, I don't see as many second hand tenor fireflys and don't want to pay depreciation on a new one.

They aren't very common on the second hand market for sure.
It makes me think that most owners keep them.
I'm buying a used one tomorrow, if all goes well.

About owning/or keeping two- it might not be a bad idea.
If I had a Bean sprout banjolele it would live in the case and never leave the house.
My Fluke lives on the wall and goes every where. Just a thought. Good luck, which ever way you go.

kerneltime
03-13-2018, 10:27 PM
They aren't very common on the second hand market for sure.
It makes me think that most owners keep them.
I'm buying a used one tomorrow, if all goes well.

About owning/or keeping two- it might not be a bad idea.
If I had a Bean sprout banjolele it would live in the case and never leave the house.
My Fluke lives on the wall and goes every where. Just a thought. Good luck, which ever way you go.

I got a MM Beansprout after some digging on craigslist and it is on it's way.. really excited.
I have tried the firefly at the local store, will try the beansprout in about a weeks time.

maki66
03-13-2018, 10:56 PM
A good move. The firefly is a good instrument, but you can buy one anytime as they are likely to be in production for a while longer. The beansprout is not a production uke, you only get so many chances to buy one. But I suspect, you want ever need another BU after the Beansprout arrives.

Congratulations!
I expect you're going to be very happy with you Beansprout.

Jerryc41
03-14-2018, 01:40 AM
Have you considered the Gold Tone DLX - with resonator, or the Duke 10 - without resonator? Both are in the $400 - $500 range and very nice.

kerneltime
03-14-2018, 05:05 AM
Have you considered the Gold Tone DLX - with resonator, or the Duke 10 - without resonator? Both are in the $400 - $500 range and very nice.

What I would like is a cello banjo.. those sound heavenly!

Ziret
03-14-2018, 06:12 AM
There's nice Deering in the marketplace forum right now. I'd get that.

captain-janeway
03-14-2018, 09:38 AM
There's nice Deering in the marketplace forum right now. I'd get that.

These have big heads and since it seemed like you like the banjo sound I'd go for that Deering. I just don't like the weight. It's like 5 lbs. The banjo ukes in general are really heavy (relatively). The Fireflys are the light ones. If you've played them you have an idea of what weight will work for you.

Good luck!

uketanzon
03-15-2018, 07:56 AM
you just missed the boat. A nice southern cross used banjo just sold....they are excellent.
I play mostly banjo in our performing group.

deering banjo, bought and sold it. Did not,like. Odd shape and cramped fretboard.sold it
Original soprano firefly. Still have it...easy to transport, feather weight, and sounds pretty decent
Southern cross concert...very high quality professional grade banjo uke, a keeper
Duke 8, it was ok, but a little chinsy, sold it
Duke 10, Much better quality, looks. better, playes better....its a pretty decent banjo uke keeping it
Goldtone concert, heavy as a brick, could not get to bond with it, sold it
Kmise banjo, super dirt cheap, but decent build, crappy sound, .... sold it

Note. there is a goldtone soprano for sale on fleamarketplace
for 150 shipped. that is a good price...
even thogh I do not like goldtones...

kerneltime
03-15-2018, 08:14 AM
you just missed the boat. A nice southern cross used banjo just sold....they are excellent.
I play mostly banjo in our performing group.

deering banjo, bought and sold it. Did not,like. Odd shape and cramped fretboard.sold it
Original soprano firefly. Still have it...easy to transport, feather weight, and sounds pretty decent
Southern cross concert...very high quality professional grade banjo uke, a keeper
Duke 8, it was ok, but a little chinsy, sold it
Duke 10, Much better quality, looks. better, playes better....its a pretty decent banjo uke keeping it
Goldtone concert, heavy as a brick, could not get to bond with it, sold it
Kmise banjo, super dirt cheap, but decent build, crappy sound, .... sold it

Note. there is a goldtone soprano for sale on fleamarketplace
for 150 shipped. that is a good price...
even thogh I do not like goldtones...

Thank you for your reply, if the banjo grows on me I will keep your feedback in mind when I buy the next one.
Any opinions on the MM Beansprout (I have one on it's way home.. and can use that as my starting point to gauge opinions)

uketanzon
03-15-2018, 02:03 PM
Never Played a Beansprout, but My guess it is going to be wonderful. Its a Mya Moe. How could it be bad?
has to be as good or better that the Southern Cross, I would think. Big $$ uke banjo.

igorthebarbarian
03-15-2018, 02:13 PM
I've had most of these ukes too - and this is a very well-summarized post.

I've never had a Beansprout, but I trust Aaron Keim to do really good work. I'm jealous. I'd get that if you can swing the dollars.



you just missed the boat. A nice southern cross used banjo just sold....they are excellent.
I play mostly banjo in our performing group.

deering banjo, bought and sold it. Did not,like. Odd shape and cramped fretboard.sold it
Original soprano firefly. Still have it...easy to transport, feather weight, and sounds pretty decent
Southern cross concert...very high quality professional grade banjo uke, a keeper
Duke 8, it was ok, but a little chinsy, sold it
Duke 10, Much better quality, looks. better, playes better....its a pretty decent banjo uke keeping it
Goldtone concert, heavy as a brick, could not get to bond with it, sold it
Kmise banjo, super dirt cheap, but decent build, crappy sound, .... sold it

Note. there is a goldtone soprano for sale on fleamarketplace
for 150 shipped. that is a good price...
even thogh I do not like goldtones...

maki66
03-15-2018, 02:13 PM
you just missed the boat. A nice southern cross used banjo just sold....they are excellent.
I play mostly banjo in our performing group.

deering banjo, bought and sold it. Did not,like. Odd shape and cramped fretboard.sold it
Original soprano firefly. Still have it...easy to transport, feather weight, and sounds pretty decent
Southern cross concert...very high quality professional grade banjo uke, a keeper
Duke 8, it was ok, but a little chinsy, sold it
Duke 10, Much better quality, looks. better, playes better....its a pretty decent banjo uke keeping it
Goldtone concert, heavy as a brick, could not get to bond with it, sold it
Kmise banjo, super dirt cheap, but decent build, crappy sound, .... sold it

Note. there is a goldtone soprano for sale on fleamarketplace
for 150 shipped. that is a good price...
even thogh I do not like goldtones...

Great post!
What are your thoughts on clawhammer style on the Firefly?
The finger board and drum top are at the same level, makes it harder to land my thumb.
Much less of an issue on my Magic Fluke.
I notice that standard sized banjos set up for clawhammer have a shortened fretboard and scooped area between the
fret board and drum head.

Jddewitt81
03-20-2018, 03:43 PM
I am the one selling the Deering. It is brand new; I may negotiate some on price. They are excellent!! Nice full banjolele tone but not as in your face as some. Very open and airy. The weight is like 4 pounds (I have owned vintage 8in banjoleles weighing more) and yes it is a bit bigger but I find it very easy to play and quite comfortable once you get used to it being bigger than a typical banjolele. I am only selling it because I bought the Southern Cross in the marketplace. I actually didn’t even have the Deering before I bought the Southern Cross but I thought the Southern Cross was so beautiful that I just had to have it!! However; once the Deering got here I found myself overly impressed with it. I am sure the Southern Crosses are great but I think something is to be said about the larger head of the Deering that you probably won’t get from a standard head. Not necessarily better but definitely different (in a good way). I will get the Southern Cross any day now and very much look forward to it. I have to say I will hate to see the Deering go but it just isn’t in the cards to keep both.

Having owned a few banjoleles I would either go with a Beansprout, Southern Cross or the Deering if I wanted to go a bit cheaper. I haven’t played a firefly yet. I imagine they are great fun but I can not imagine it coming close to the Deering. That is however just my opinion. I will say that my opinion on the Deering isn’t just because I am selling it and I have no way of knowing without playing a firefly but I actually really do like the Deering that much!!

kerneltime
03-20-2018, 08:29 PM
I received my beansprout today, quite like the feel of it (a lot heavier than ukes :-) ).. a lot more things to tweak than a uke..

I am the bottleneck as far as the sound goes which is good (Matt from UU talking about UAS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9plCbLa8sA )
Aaron's book on clawhammer is good but my strums are not yet at the right level of sound (too loud).

The banjo is definitely an acquired taste that requires technique and song selection to be right to be enjoyed.

The banjo head needed to be tightened, the previous owner did not much since getting it almost 4 years back.. and still has the original strings..

I guess I need to read on how to tighten it to the right tension, the little bit I did made a big difference but I don't know when to stop to being cautious here..

On the Banjo front the next in the BAS list will be a cello banjo.. but that is after I have made good progress.

uketanzon
03-21-2018, 03:01 AM
Actually for clawhammer, I liked the Duke 8 and 10 banjos. Upon thinking, The duke ten is really a pretty damn good banjo uke,
and it has a pickup. IF they had put a better quality remo fiberskyn top on it and a few more top clamps around the body, it would be a super banjo for money, especially if you find a super deal on one used like I did. I actually have mine with a low g tuning and I really like the sound it puts out......and I use drum stickers to fine tune the volumn.
I am actually having some wood burning engraving done on the side woods to spruce her up a bit.

Finn Bjerke
03-26-2018, 03:05 PM
The new firefly banjolele tenor gets excellent reviews also it more expensive than the older firefly banjoleles in soprano/concerto size.

Closer look here:
https://www.magicfluke.com/Firefly-s/1514.htm

Banjolele or Ukulele or both? 2 wonderfull Video demos same man same setting to banjo or not to banjo:
https://vimeo.com/220917113
https://vimeo.com/220862103

UAS you need both Magic Fluke products. They are very different instruments.Here is the smaller and less expensive Firefly banjolele longer demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrtDtTBkfb8 Review from fabulous Ukester Brown, he grooves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o773sUVKu4

If you mic a tenor banjo Ukulele you are a sadist barry tells us: But he "likes everything about" the new tenor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB9pQ_2hmJw IMpressive demo here of the soprano which is a lot cheaper than the soprano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iib0SnpxCnY

Here is the beansprout fom Aaron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff3ywnLeOak

maki66
04-20-2018, 03:24 AM
We visited USpace yesterday and they had a lightly used Goldtone tenor banjolele on the wall.
It was amazing and the good folks at Uspace had it priced very nicely.
That Goldtone is just the ticket for clawhammer style, unlike my Firefly, so I took it home with me.
I just adore it. It does have some weight to it which is why the former owner parted with it, but it also has VOLUME and
that great banjo sound. Its so much fun.

Next step is to learn Cripple Creek and give Cluck Old Hen a rest.

UkerDanno
04-20-2018, 04:45 AM
I got a MM Beansprout after some digging on craigslist and it is on it's way.. really excited.

Great choice! Never heard of a cello banjo, but googled it and, it's pretty fascinating!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxcgA455lIc

Found out there's also a bass banjo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21ruEVNLZU0

maki66
04-20-2018, 10:54 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_bBRhaN6v8

Coleman's March
Performed by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer.
These ladies are also outstanding on the ukulele, btw.

kerneltime
04-20-2018, 11:32 AM
Marcy had a role to play in binging it back
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUzHngTyfUs

I plan to get a Waldman Cell Banjo (less metallic and more earthy/woody tone). Only Gryphon Strings carries them.
https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/products/5-string-open-back-waldman-banjo-cello-banjo-new-53168

EDW
04-20-2018, 12:57 PM
The Beansprouts always impressed me with the great workmanship and sound. People looking for banjo ukes should also consider many of the vintage instruments out there.