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View Full Version : Got bitten by the Flea



cocohonk
06-23-2009, 07:42 AM
I've been playing for about a year.

Eight days ago, I finally replaced my $10 dollar non branded soprano uke with a real uke - a pono concert.

Now, having read through a lot of the threads here in deciding what to get and whatnot, I think I've contracted a mild case of UAS.

Now, I love my new uke. It's EONS better than what I've been playing with, and I can't stop strumming it whenever I have a free moment. I love how it sounds and how it looks. Basically I'm completely in love with it and satisfied with it. But, perhaps because I've been reading in the forums too much, I've been obsessing over maybe acquiring a second uke - a soprano Flea (mostly because of everyone's raves over it, that it's a durable one that's more suited for traveling, and that I'd like to have the option of a soprano or a concert to play) - to compliment my concert Pono.

Some specific questions on the Flea:

- Should I wait a bit before getting a second uke since I'm still much of a beginner in uke playing, and especialy since I've only gotten a new one days ago? Am I being completely nuts to want a second uke so soon after getting one?

- I'm not big on decorative stuff on ukes, and I'm lusting after the plain solid black "lava" soprano Flea with no upgrades (I'd like to keep the original fretboard, because it seems more travel friendly). Would this be a good choice? Are all Fleas (other than the ones that are specifically 'solid koa', etc) the same physically in terms of materials, other than the color?

- If I do get it, should I upgrade the strings to Aquilas immediately? I understand this seems to be the brand that most people like on their Fleas.

- Now, I live in HK. I don't think there's are Fleas available here at any store. I've been checking out fleamarketmusic, but shipping there would be around 43, which would make it even more expensive than my solid ohai pono concert (which was available here, so no shipping) - that doesn't seem right! (I've checked out ebay too, of course, but the shipping is about the same as well.) Anyone know of any stores in Asia that sells Fleas?

- My impression having read some of the threads here is that people seldom sell their Fleas. Is that true? Is buying a second hand Flea a rare occasion? And if such an occasion arises, what's the general cost of a second hand Flea?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this, and thanks!

Thumper
06-23-2009, 07:54 AM
- Should I wait a bit before getting a second uke since I'm still much of a beginner in uke playing, and especialy since I've only gotten a new one days ago? Am I being completely nuts to want a second uke so soon after getting one?

That's how UAS works. Each new uke makes you want another one. I didn't understand that until I bought my second uke - the day it showed up, I was online looking for a third. You're not nuts, but give it a few days to make sure your choice stays the same.



- I'm not big on decorative stuff on ukes, and I'm lusting after the plain solid black "lava" soprano Flea with no upgrades (I'd like to keep the original fretboard, because it seems more travel friendly). Would this be a good choice? Are all Fleas (other than the ones that are specifically 'solid koa', etc) the same physically in terms of materials, other than the color?

Other than the mahogany and koa Fleas, yes, they are the same. I play outside a lot, so I bought the plastic fretboard on my Flea, and it feels great. The only downside I've found is that it's hard to see the frets in dim lighting, and I'm new enough that I still need to look at the neck when I play. But I got used to that pretty quick. Some people experience fret wear with the plastic necks, but I figure I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it, since the Fluke company will replace the fretboard for free. All in all, the Flea is a great travel uke, but I bet your Pono may have a brighter sound. The Flea is surprisingly mellow, even though it has a full sound.



- If I do get it, should I upgrade the strings to Aguilas immediately?

I recommend that you see what you think of the original strings first. I bought mine strung with Aquilas, and I like it, but I almost wish I'd had a chance to hear it with Hilos first, so I'd have more of a reference for comparing them.




- My impression having read some of the threads here is that people seldom sell their Fleas. Is that true? Is buying a second hand Flea a rare occasion?
And if such an occasion arises, what's the general cost of a second hand Flea?

Unless they are badly worn, Fleas and Flukes seem to retain their value. The used ones I've seen usually go for about 30-50 dollars less than new ones, which isn't a very big difference.

Hope this helps. I'm a victim of UAS as well - I just ordered a tenor Fluke, so that my concert Flea will have a big brother!

RevWill
06-23-2009, 07:55 AM
- I'm not big on decorative stuff on ukes, and I'm lusting after the plain solid black "lava" soprano Flea with no upgrades (I'd like to keep the original fretboard, because it seems more travel friendly). Would this be a good choice?

Yes


Are all Fleas (other than the ones that are specifically 'solid koa', etc) the same physically in terms of materials, other than the color?

Yes


- If I do get it, should I upgrade the strings to Aguilas immediately? I understand this seems to be the brand that most people like on their Fleas.

Not necessarily. Some folks like those black Hilos, others like fluorocarbons like Worth. Aquilas do sound nice, though!



- My impression having read some of the threads here is that people seldom sell their Fleas. Is that true? Is buying a second hand Flea a rare occasion? And if such an occasion arises, what's the general cost of a second hand Flea?

Not necessarily. Check the Marketplace at FleaMarketMusic.com. Fleas pop up there from time to time.

seeso
06-23-2009, 08:24 AM
- Should I wait a bit before getting a second uke since I'm still much of a beginner in uke playing, and especialy since I've only gotten a new one days ago? Am I being completely nuts to want a second uke so soon after getting one?

No, you're not completely nuts. And it doesn't matter whether you're a beginner or not, you don't have to "earn" a new ukulele. You deserve what you can afford.

sukie
06-23-2009, 08:31 AM
- My impression having read some of the threads here is that people seldom sell their Fleas. Is that true? Is buying a second hand Flea a rare occasion? And if such an occasion arises, what's the general cost of a second hand Flea?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this, and thanks!

I bought a second-hand flea last summer for $100. It looked brand new. Probably a local shop will have the best deal rather than the internetz -- depends where you live.

Yes, you're nuts. I think we all are.

cocohonk
06-23-2009, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the input! I'm a little relieved that it's not too weird to want a second uke so soon after a really great first uke purchase

I'm still a bit miffed on the price of a Flea (that's still more expensive than my Pono no matter how I calculate :D), but I guess what I should do now is wait a little, save up some money, check out possible second hand ones that are still in good condition online, pray that the local store will stock them someday, and see if my desire to get a Flea sticks before making a purchase. But, if/when I do get one, the Lava Flea is MINE!

Now, how to stop oneself from constantly checking it (among other ukes) out online?

JT_Ukes
06-23-2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the input! I'm a little relieved that it's not too weird to want a second uke so soon after a really great first uke purchase

I'm still a bit miffed on the price of a Flea (that's still more expensive than my Pono no matter how I calculate :D), but I guess what I should do now is wait a little, save up some money, check out possible second hand ones that are still in good condition online, pray that the local store will stock them someday, and see if my desire to get a Flea sticks before making a purchase. But, if/when I do get one, the Lava Flea is MINE!

Now, how to stop oneself from constantly checking it (among other ukes) out online?

sever all contact with your ISP, and smash your smart phone.