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Link
07-03-2009, 08:46 PM
So much talk about Flea lately (and for good reason) that I did a video review to help with some of the questions. Well.. at least to give my opinions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn0cHL3ZNkY

I highly recommend Flea for your outdoor, or take everywhere uke. But beware: you may not play your other ukes anymore. They have an incredible sound and are so easy to just pick up and play!

Ahnko Honu
07-03-2009, 08:55 PM
Aloha John, Awesome job on your review. My wife just adopted my honu Fluke so I'm gonna have to start saving for my dream Flea a plain vanilla with plastic fret board except of course for the pineapple graphics. Looking forward to the video. :shaka:

Boozelele
07-03-2009, 09:06 PM
Kick-ass review brother.

Link
07-03-2009, 09:43 PM
Thanks fellazzzz.

Ahnko.. you can't let her have that uke! It might as well be a sig uke for you, with the Honu stickers and such. But.. a flea would be better. Pineapple shaped :shaka: The vanilla color idea sounds way cool, too.

Witters
07-03-2009, 11:49 PM
A very nice review there Link. And you are right when you say they are adictive and might just pick up your Flea all the time instead of your other ones.

Can I just add to all players who may have a Flea, or may be thinking of getting one, an ordinary plastic everything Flea is pretty darn good right off the shelf.
To have some upgrades put on though (although not needed) makes it even better.

Also, I was an Aquila everything person, and they do sound great on a Flea, but when UAS struck me (all the time I may add) instead of getting another Uke, I went for SAS (string) and ordered many different strings to try.
I put Worths on my Concert Flea and they sound much better, although this would be subjective of course.
But honestly, do try different strings especially on the Flea because they do make a difference.

Captain_Lovehandles
07-04-2009, 04:03 AM
When I upgrade, I'n definitely keeping Flea in mind. I keep flip-flopping between Flea, Fluke, and Kala. I'd want a concert, a rosewood fretboard and pickup. It just seems you can get all that plus a hard case and preamp for less money with a Kala.

Great video.
Thanks.

Witters
07-04-2009, 04:13 AM
When I upgrade, I'n definitely keeping Flea in mind. I keep flip-flopping between Flea, Fluke, and Kala. I'd want a concert, a rosewood fretboard and pickup. It just seems you can get all that plus a hard case and preamp for less money with a Kala.

Great video.
Thanks.
That's true.
But I chose to go with the Flea in those options with a Koa top and I don't regret it one bit purely because it came to me as if it was built for me rather like a custom job, and it is superbly built with a low action.

uke552
07-06-2009, 10:20 AM
I purchased my Flea right off the shelf (plastic fretboard-no upgrades) and it has been the best $169.00 I have ever spent! Great low action, neck is comfortable-so very easy to play. I would say to any uke player-you have to have one of these in your collection!

Captain_Lovehandles
07-06-2009, 10:28 AM
You make a good point, Tim. I guess for the price of a tricked out Flea, one could get a Kala AND a basic flea. There's food for thought.

Link
07-06-2009, 11:12 PM
The upgraded Flea is not worth it in my opinion. It takes away from the charm and throw-around-ability of the Flea when you get a solid top, rosewood fretboard and bridge. I would honestly pay MORE for the plastic fretboard and bridge.

By the way, Witters, I put some Worth Browns on my Flea today and you were correct. Worths seem to take the Flea's tone to even greater heights. to anyone out there... always be sure to try many different types of strings.. different strings have a much more profound impact on tone than on guitar or bass.

cpatch
07-07-2009, 08:45 AM
The upgraded Flea is not worth it in my opinion. It takes away from the charm and throw-around-ability of the Flea when you get a solid top, rosewood fretboard and bridge. I would honestly pay MORE for the plastic fretboard and bridge.
To each their own...while I agree that the basic Flea is a great deal and certainly does have its charm and uses, the $500+ (not including the case) I spent on my custom Flea was totally worth it to me. Either way they're fun ukes.

I also agree with you on trying out different strings. I've got Ko'olau Golds on mine at the moment.

Witters
07-08-2009, 03:53 AM
At one time (I don’t know about now) Flea’s/Flukes were not that easy to get hold of in the UK. So when I found a store that had one I bought it straight away.
I was amazed at how easy they were to play compared to the horrible time I had over another Uke’s that cost double and then some compared to what I paid for the Flea.
I basically then just used the Flea all the time but wanted an all solid which I had shipped in from the States. This one was simply not as good as the Flea and I was very disappointed.

Time marched on and I decided to go with a Flea upgraded. My logic was that I was guaranteed to get something that well made, had a decent fretboard and top etc etc because you really cant get a bad Flea, so any upgrades would make it even better.
On the other hand, it was possible that I could have bought something else that I just didn’t like and I was back to square 1.

The Flea now is not like a Flea - well it is but there is something much better here. A newer sound and it does look the part. Yes it still has the composite back, but with Koa top and Rosewood fretboard and Walnut neck, it somehow seems like a different instrument.
The playability is the same because of the zero fret so it is nice and smooth.

I know that a Flea is a Flea is a Flea, and the idea behind part of it is that it’s a take anywhere, throw around, instrument, and the plastic fretboard is fine and capable, but here’s the thing - I actually like the ordinary Flea’s sound over many other solid woods anyway. And I am happier, more confident, and play it far better than anything else I have tried.
The upgraded one adds a bit of class to it and in my opinion takes the sound a stage further. Hence, I am more than happy with it and although it has lost the charm you speak of, it does have its own charm.

uke552
07-08-2009, 06:33 AM
I agree 100%. The "basic" Flea with plastic fretboard sounds better than some high end ukes that I have heard / played. I actually felt guilty the first time I played the flea and bought it a few minutes later. I felt this uke is so cheap and over half plastic, what are people gonna say? But the sound was so soothing! And I'm having fun playing it....and that's what counts at the end of the day!

veep
07-08-2009, 06:46 AM
cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

russ_buss
07-08-2009, 06:51 AM
great thorough review John!

i have 2 flukes, one with plastic fretboard, one with the rosewood. one doesn't sound any better than the other. far as i'm concerned, the rosewood upgrade is just for aesthetics. oh, also probably good to have the rosewood upgrade if you want to use any wound strings. just my 2 cents.

Witters
07-08-2009, 11:08 AM
But Russ, did you have the top upgraded to Koa like I did?

It does sound different than the normal Pine tops.

russ_buss
07-08-2009, 11:14 AM
But Russ, did you have the top upgraded to Koa like I did?

It does sound different than the normal Pine tops.

both flukes pine. both sound great. just making a comment on the different fretboard materials.

Witters
07-08-2009, 11:42 PM
I have to admit that I would be more than happy with a Pine top and plastic frets anyway especially if I was on a budget.
With the Pine you can have designs done on them or even paint them yourself, which if you have the Koa, you obviously wouldn't.

micromue
07-26-2009, 05:07 AM
I
With the Pine you can have designs done on them or even paint them yourself, which if you have the Koa, you obviously wouldn't.

Thats exactly the reason why I got me a new (lava) flea this week: There is no lack of ukes in this house, but I happened to find a design on the internets that would most perfectly fit on a black uke. So I got me a vector graphic-version and a supplier of rub on vinyl decals. I wouldn´t do this to a koa uke.


Oh, and I also dig the plastic fretboard. Hooray for plastic fretboards!:music:

uke5417
07-26-2009, 06:06 AM
Do they still have the raised edge on the body-top juncture? I had one several years ago and hated that. I always use forearm pressure to hold the uke in position, and every time I played I wound up with a nice red welt on my arm. Retired, then gifted it. Other than that, it was a great uke.

Ukulele JJ
07-26-2009, 06:50 AM
Do they still have the raised edge on the body-top juncture? I had one several years ago and hated that. I always use forearm pressure to hold the uke in position, and every time I played I wound up with a nice red welt on my arm. Retired, then gifted it. Other than that, it was a great uke.

There's a slight bit of a "lip" there on mine, yes. Not really much, IMHO, and it never bothers me. But I can see how it might leave a mark on a fella.

JJ

UKISOCIETY
07-26-2009, 07:05 AM
I hardly every play my Flea anymore. When I play serious stuff, I prefer my wood ukes. And when I'm in a lighter mood, the plastics are so fun to play!:)

cpatch
07-26-2009, 07:06 AM
I have to admit that I would be more than happy with a Pine top and plastic frets anyway especially if I was on a budget.
With the Pine you can have designs done on them or even paint them yourself, which if you have the Koa, you obviously wouldn't.
If you're going to do that you can have FMM send you an unfinished top, do the painting/design yourself, then send the top back and they'll fit it into a uke. I think the price is the same as for a regular one but you'd have to check.

jtafaro
08-01-2009, 01:17 PM
I just got a concert flea and I got the fretboard upgrade. This includes Aquila strings and a better bridge. The rosewood fret board is easier to see the frets on. If you want to put a low G string on it you can. That's the difference between the fretboards. This one looks better than the plastic board. I don't regret getting it. You never know what you will want to do in the future and this raises the resale value if nothing else.

Joe T

artcrocker
08-29-2009, 07:53 PM
OK, another opinion on the Flea. I have many expensive uke's but the Flea is the one I always carry with me and play the most, way the most. For some reason it seems easier to play than the others.

This is my second Flea because I felt the Rosewood fretboard was a must.