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View Full Version : Flea vs. Fluke



ukuleletodd
05-24-2019, 02:20 AM
Hi all. I know there have been threads about this.

I'm an elementary music teacher/guitarist/uke enthusiast. I have a few high-end guitars and a high-end Blackbird Farallon uke.

I want a Flea/Fluke for my music classroom and to play on the couch.

I have a really old Flea that I used to use in music class that's about 10 years old and pretty beat up. I REALLY like the shape and playability of the Flea.

So if I'm going to go all out and order all the extras: tuners, soundhole, grip strips, hard case, etc....should I order a tenor Fluke or Flea?

I already talked to them and they do sell tenor Fleas...they just don't advertise it.

I LOVE the shape of my Flea...and the Fluke is an unknown to me. Some say the sharp edges are not awesome.

Any advice would be appreciated. I have a high-end uke right now, so I'm not that interested in sound difference.

I do have to say, however, that my Flea sounds like a toy compared to the Blackbird...

Thanks.

ukuleletodd
05-24-2019, 02:23 AM
Also...would there be any difference between a laminate and solid wood top? Enough difference to warrant $100 upgrade?

Jerryc41
05-24-2019, 02:31 AM
You can't go wrong with the Flea. As for solid or laminate, I have laminate and koa Flukes, and the koa sounds better, but individually, each sounds great.

Don't forget eBay. There are dealers that sell new instruments for reduced prices. I got a koa Fluke concert with the good case for $350. Definitely get the wooden fretboard (in my opinion). It looks better, is more durable, and it's easier to see the frets.

I know several people who have put clear plastic above and below the strings to avoid getting them scratched from strumming. The Magic Fluke sells it, or you can use LCD screen protectors.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.H0.Xmagic +fluke.TRS0&_nkw=magic+fluke&_sacat=0

kerneltime
05-24-2019, 02:42 AM
Also...would there be any difference between a laminate and solid wood top? Enough difference to warrant $100 upgrade?
I have owned both laminate and solid top Flukes and yes the sound is better with solid tops but it needs humidity management like other solid body ukes.. if you want an upgrade in sound do go with solid tops..

sunshiNee
05-24-2019, 03:01 AM
Hello for the classroom of kids I would recommend the flea for size and shape.

I have a flea and it's my travel/beater uke. I love it it alot, however it's very slippery is my only gripe. I don't have straps or grip tape on it......... For new players ukulele slipping is definitely a stumbling block.

keenonuke
05-24-2019, 03:09 AM
Would the two ukes be equally comfortable?

Is the widest dimension different between the Flea and Fluke? Would the widest part being at the bottom for the Fluke be comfortable for you to play?

Going directly to Magic Fluke as you're doing is the closest thing to a "custom" and a really great way to get your Tenor Flea.

Everyone has different sensibilities for me I look at the delta of cost to get a better top. For me it would be less expensive to buy what I want where the cost difference is a delta between say a wood top vs laminate than to wind up buying a new instrument. However for other's that's not an issue. And wow the Ebay link looks really interesting. I have bought used ukuleles from Ebay and from Reverb. Also Guitar Center has used instruments as do other Music Shops. However it's unlikely those will be a Tenor Flea.

Happy Adventuring.

EDW
05-24-2019, 03:18 AM
I prefer the flea to the fluke. There is something about the size, sound and shape that I prefer. The koa instruments that I have played sound a good notch better than the laminates. They are really great players, although I know that some will say that for the price of a number of upgrades you could also be looking at a nice traditional all wood instrument. That said, you can't go wrong with the flea or fluke depending on your preference.

Jerryc41
05-24-2019, 03:23 AM
...however it's very slippery is my only gripe. I don't have straps or grip tape on it......... For new players ukulele slipping is definitely a stumbling block.

Three choices: Magic Fluke sells two adhesive strips (Grip Strips) that work very well. They're a grippy material that keeps the uke from slipping
https://www.magicfluke.com/product-p/gripstrips.htm


Stickin' with My Uke. Easy on, easy off stick gel pad. Not recommended for leaving it on good wood. You'll have to wrap it in clear plastic when storing the uke, or if you remove it.
https://www.stickinwithmyuke.com/

Buy generic gel pads. These also work well, but like the Stickin..., Not recommended for leaving it on good wood. You'll have to wrap it in clear plastic when storing the uke, or if you remove it.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B075Q7J68J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Jerryc41
05-24-2019, 03:33 AM
...although I know that some will say that for the price of a number of upgrades you could also be looking at a nice traditional all wood instrument.

I'd like to see them drop the composite fretboard and use solid wood. By standardizing, they could split the $75 upgrade charge and make their standard model more appealing. The standard friction tuners are okay, but I prefer geared, like Gotoh or Peghed. Not a deal-breaker, though. You can get any picture you want put on the front of either of these. I selected their "Woody" print for my Fluke for just $10 more. You can also get an upper sound port for a few dollars more - definitely a frill.

ukuleletodd
05-24-2019, 05:29 AM
Thanks everyone! I think I'm going with the Flea tenor with all the upgrades except the solid wood and the wood fretboard. I actually like my old Flea's plastic fretboard and I don't want to worry about a wood top since it will be in my classroom a lot during the unhumidified winters...

bunnyf
05-24-2019, 05:53 AM
I’ve owned a flea and played many a fluke. I’d go basic model, all plastic too. That’s what I had and it was perfectly fine. I don’t mind the friction tuners. In fact, that is what I have on my LoPrinzi walnut soprano and they are fine. The standard tuners weren’t bad on the flea but geared would probably be less finicky for new player. I’d only go for it tho, if it wasn’t too $$ upgrade. The flea is definitely much more comfortable for me. I do not dig the points on the fluke. It is more stable tho for setting down cuz of the wider base, which might be minimally important to you, since it is the bigger size (bigger they are, harder they fall).

gochugogi
05-24-2019, 08:17 AM
A tenor flea sounds perfect. I assume they use the same size body but install a tenor scale neck on it? I wonder why it's not advertised? Let us know how the tenor flea came out. I think I want one...

frolicks
05-29-2019, 10:47 AM
Yes, that’s correct. It’s the standard Flea body with a tenor neck. The body is a little bigger than the usual soprano Uke, so to my fingers it feels more like a concert longneck. They used to have it on their website as a regular option for ordering a Flea. Apparently, not many people ordered it, so they removed it. That’s what I think, at least.

But I’ve owned one for about six years, complete with wooden fretboard and pick-up, and it’s really nice. Wouldn’t ever want to sell it.

Andreas Fischer
05-29-2019, 11:57 AM
I always thought flea and flue is the same or better fluke is the company and flea the model.
Whats the difference between them? Check Pictures at Google and didnt see a difference.

bunnyf
05-29-2019, 12:00 PM
flea is smaller pineapple shape. fluke is more or less triangular.

mjh42
05-29-2019, 12:30 PM
I've played a friends Flea now and then, its a soprano scale....I prefer my Concert Fluke---I went with solid spruce top, wood fret board, geared tuners, case---no regrets. I take it to school now and then, travel with it. I did have the friction strips put on but latter added the MF strap that they sell. A roundish belly and roundish back uke kind of roll around together and not always how you want. The Uke in my avatar. In the end it's a lot of personal preference.