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View Full Version : Alright so I've been swayed: I'm buying a Fluke/Flea



kiduke310
08-11-2009, 11:43 PM
but the problem is i dunno which one to get!

money is obviously a factor, but i'm a guy who's been playing for like three months only. I own two ukuleles, the cheapest Lanikai (Nato wood?) Soprano which was my brother's birthday present from me until he gave it back cause he doesn't play at all, and my pride and joy, Sophie, a Kala Mahogany Pineapple Soprano.

I only own sopranos, and i'm looking to upgrade as well as upsize.

i was checking out DominicFoundTheMoon's Flea (i think its a concert) and i fell in love instantly. its good shape, solid sound, and freakin indestructableness is too irrisistable.

But i'm debating on whether i should go Flea or Fluke, Concert or Tenor, and what kind of strings go best with these beauties.

I want to travel with this, so maybe smaller is better? but if i'm dropping like two hundred shouldn't i just go for a tenor? flea is cheaper but less loud, but does it matter?

please help this uke NOOB.

mahalo! :D

UkeNinja
08-12-2009, 01:02 AM
If you're going for concert size anyway, get a Flea for roundness and little loophole for a strap / cord.


For travel, nothing beats a soprano Flea. And they are a lot of fun to play, regular song stuff does not need loads of frets.


Don't let the "I might as well get a supersize coke because it's only 20 cents more expensive" logic lure you into getting a tenor if you would be happy with a smaller size as well (portability!).


You are buying a sturdy instrument that will be fun no matter what the size.


(small personal thing: I think the Flea gigbag is much better thought out than the Fluke one)

I have a Flea, but at night I cry silently and dream of triangles suddenly turning into ovals... At the same time, waking up in the morning and having that Mango pyramid of joy standing next to my bed, is just great. I said, standing next to my bed and am referring to the Fluke!

Hey... just decide on the color and get one!

Thumper
08-12-2009, 01:58 AM
I own a concert Flea and a tenor Fluke. The Flea is a better travel instrument - it fits into a conventional rolling carry-on bag, it's slightly lighter in weight, and as Ninja said, its gig bag is better and offers it more protection.

I like Aquilas on my Flea. On my Fluke I've tried Hilos, Worth Clears and Aquilas - so far I like Worth Clears the best, although at the moment I'm using a hybrid set of 3 Worth Clears and an Aquila C string. I'm just kooky that way.

The Flea has a more traditional "uke-like" sound, closer to the two ukes you own - there's an inherent "cuteness" to its sound. The Fluke is both richer and fuller sounding. It's not like a guitar, but it still has a more "serious" sound than the Flea.

One thing I like about the concert Flea is that the body is no larger than a soprano Flea. A conventional concert uke's body is significantly larger than a soprano uke, and loses some of the toylike cuteness of a soprano. With a concert Flea, I get the more comfortable concert neck, but I retain the cuteness of a soprano-sized pineapple-like body.

So I guess my recommendation would be to start with a Flea. And I do mean "start," because I betcha that after owning a Flea, you'll end up buying a Fluke someday, too! Take it from me, it's great having one of each - I play them both daily, picking up one or the other depending on my mood.

Hope this helps. Either one of those instruments is sure to delight you.

salukulady
08-12-2009, 02:06 AM
Good advice from those that know.

micromue
08-12-2009, 02:31 AM
Concert Flea is perfect for travelling and pretty cool for playing at home. The shape makes it extra portable, thats why I prefer it over the fluke. And (to me) it is way easier to hold a flea than a fluke, especially while walking around. On the other hand a fluke is slightly louder, looks a little more "special" and offers some really cool designs. But all in all I like the flea better! You should get a plain coloured one and than add a really cool design, that makes it unique. It´s pretty easy!

As for the strings I prefer worth brown tenors on my soprano flea, ´cause they give me that extra punch.

Now get that flea!:shaka:

PoisonDart
08-12-2009, 03:54 AM
I love my flea... the ninja uke!

Fits right in my backpack and sounds a dream.

ichadwick
08-12-2009, 06:08 AM
Because it's a rather durable instrument, a Fluke tenor is strong, and will also fit in a carry-on bag, if reasonably well padded. I have had a concert and tenor and sold the concert - still like the tenor enough to play it often. In fact, it will be my take-to-Mexico uke when I travel there for vacation next year (unless I decide to drive to Paracho and buy a Mexican instrument to bring back).

generem
08-12-2009, 06:53 AM
I feel the same way. I was actually playing the 2 uke that Dom brought than my own.. The Flea and the Koaloha Concert.. "Thanks Dom for Being so Generous" I think my next buy will also be a Flea.. I was very surprise of the sound that comes out of that thing.. Great Jam yesterday BTW

salukulady
08-12-2009, 07:33 AM
I feel the same way. I was actually playing the 2 uke that Dom brought than my own.. The Flea and the Koaloha Concert.. "Thanks Dom for Being so Generous" I think my next buy will also be a Flea.. I was very surprise of the sound that comes out of that thing.. Great Jam yesterday BTWpictures posted on aldrine in ca thread...

artcrocker
08-12-2009, 08:02 AM
Guess I will chime in, all comments on the Flea are right on. I have a number of more expensive ukes, but the Flea is the one I take everywhere, it does travel well.

I would consider the rosewood fretboard, adds cost but is Way worth it.

Ukeffect
08-12-2009, 08:52 AM
Which ever one you decide on you won't regret it! Personally, I got a concert Fluke, I just liked the way it fits me...but it really opened my eyes to what a good action is supposed to feel like. Now I'm going to rework ALL my other ukes to get that smooooth easy feel! :rolleyes: Sigh, I know, I know... spoiled rotten!

ukuleG
08-12-2009, 09:09 AM
i have been thinking bout buying a flea or fluke ive been stuck with a lanikai lu21-c for the last two years the sound of it is doing my head in so any new uke would be an improvement.

Thumper
08-12-2009, 09:12 AM
i have been thinking bout buying a flea or fluke ive been stuck with a lanikai lu21-c for the last two years the sound of it is doing my head in so any new uke would be an improvement.


If you don't have Aquilas on your LU21, give them a try. They bring out the sound on a Lanikai better than the thin black strings some of them are equipped with.

ukuleG
08-12-2009, 09:25 AM
If you don't have Aquilas on your LU21, give them a try. They bring out the sound on a Lanikai better than the thin black strings some of them are equipped with.

yeah ive used a few sets on it i just feel i need a better ukulele to really feel any further improvement.

ritzer012
08-12-2009, 10:42 AM
I said, standing next to my bed and am referring to the Fluke!

i love it i think its so cool that my flea stands on its own!

kiduke310
08-12-2009, 01:35 PM
Guess I will chime in, all comments on the Flea are right on. I have a number of more expensive ukes, but the Flea is the one I take everywhere, it does travel well.

I would consider the rosewood fretboard, adds cost but is Way worth it.

whats the difference?

i thought the neck of a normal flea/fluke was wood, but actually its plastic?

and wouldn't adding rosewood fretboard make it more susceptible to damage?

Hosh
08-12-2009, 02:01 PM
whats the difference?

i thought the neck of a normal flea/fluke was wood, but actually its plastic?

and wouldn't adding rosewood fretboard make it more susceptible to damage?

I think most of the advantage here is the metal frets and the feel. The plastic frets can wear down.

kiduke310
08-12-2009, 02:37 PM
I have a Flea, but at night I cry silently and dream of triangles suddenly turning into ovals... At the same time, waking up in the morning and having that Mango pyramid of joy standing next to my bed, is just great. I said, standing next to my bed and am referring to the Fluke!

Hey... just decide on the color and get one![/QUOTE]

wait i'm so confused.. you have a fluke and a flea? or what?

UkeNinja
08-12-2009, 02:48 PM
I am sorry, it was a difficult way of trying to say that I have a Fluke, dream of Fleas (and would probably buy a Flea next time), but am happy in the morning to find my Fluke waiting for me nonetheless because it is sturdy, light, makes good sound, and does not need a case to store it in. Make sense? If not, that's also fine. Find one you like and go get it, it will be a lot of fun.

kiduke310
08-12-2009, 03:12 PM
i've been suddenly inspired.

i'm thinkin lava flea concert sized

with some kala reds. i'm really fond of those strings,
but has anyone had bad experiences or like know any setbacks those strings have?

i know di'addario strings (spelling?) slide nicer than aquilas but i have no idea what other difference strings make other than like slide ability and sound

david e
08-13-2009, 04:28 AM
I have Kala reds on my soprano Flea, changed out from the original black (Hilo's?). They seem a bit stiffer, notes played on the A string don't slip off the fretboard so easlily. They are plenty loud too. The C and E are wound, which makes them a bit rougher when I strum, but not bad. The wound strings also make some noise if you slide around the fretboard--I don't mind this, but I know some folks do.

The contrast of red strings on a black lava will make it a little easier to see on the fretboard than the black on black, and I think it will look great overall.

Strings are pretty inexpensive, I like to experiment.

umyuke
08-13-2009, 05:02 AM
Is the lucy color turners a upgrade to the stock flea turners ... Thanks

scooch
08-13-2009, 05:29 AM
I'd agree that the question is not 'shall I get a fluke or a flea', but instead which shall I get first! :)

I've got a concert flea and a concert fluke, I like the consistency of having the same neck scale on both, and both are rosewood fretboards which I think is a must for the relatively small additional cost (you'll only regret it afterwards). The flea is brighter and the fluke mellower (although that's maybe just in my head :eek: ). If I could only have one I'd always go for the fluke shape, because I like the triangle-style design, and also I bought the (tiki design) fluke first so it has a special place in my heart!

Whatever one you go for, you won't be disappointed.

Lori
08-13-2009, 06:07 AM
i've been suddenly inspired.

i'm thinkin lava flea concert sized

with some kala reds. i'm really fond of those strings,
but has anyone had bad experiences or like know any setbacks those strings have?

i know di'addario strings (spelling?) slide nicer than aquilas but i have no idea what other difference strings make other than like slide ability and sound

I tried some Kala Red Strings on my tenor. Up to this point I have been using all non-wound strings. I think the Reds sounded good, but I didn't like hearing the finger squeak from the wound strings against my fingers. It is the same sound people get on guitars when they have to move their fingers any distance up or down the neck. I think they have an all non-wound set of Reds available if you look hard enough. Those would be my choice if I were you.

–Lori

grownupboy
08-13-2009, 12:36 PM
That red cowboy fluke is looking pretty fine... i say grab one of those in tenor length with rosewood board. it's sure to make you popular at the next party!
k