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View Full Version : Plasitc fretboard on a fluke, is it worth upgradeing to a rosewood?



SamJ1206
05-01-2008, 08:54 AM
does it affect the sound?
is it actually worth it?

Plainsong
05-01-2008, 10:31 AM
My first encounter with the Fluke was a concert model with a plastic fretboard. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a Fluke the next day. I did spring for the rosewood fretboard and had no regrets.

I think whether or not it's worth it depends on a number of factors. Is it your first uke? Is it going to be subject to harsh conditions? Ever plan on using Low G tuning?

I think there is a positive sound difference with the rosewood fretboard, and of course it feels nicer, but it's not a night and day thing. If you never plan to Low G, it won't suck with the plastic fretboard.

Guting
05-01-2008, 12:07 PM
I dont see how the fretboard itself contributes to the sound of the uke. I'd be fine with the plastic one.

wearymicrobe
05-01-2008, 12:20 PM
I dont see how the fretboard itself contributes to the sound of the uke. I'd be fine with the plastic one.

I think the plastic one is preferable because I can take the thing to the beach leave it in the car and generally bang it around.

I would suggest that you paint the fret makers or use a bit of 1/16th auto tape to denote where the frets are if you don't play from fret feel.

nikolo727
05-01-2008, 01:27 PM
Im gonna say no.

I hear the plastic fretboard on the Fluke or on the Flea is perfect for the instrument.

It has a nice sound and its really unique.

I would definetly keep it on.

Plainsong
05-01-2008, 01:52 PM
I was just commenting that I hear a sound difference. I didn't say it was a dramatic thing, but it's there. Like I said, the plastic fretboard won't suck, but I'd be lying if I didn't report what my ears heard. Then again, audio fidelity is another hobby of mine, so keep that in mind. I'm used to splitting hairs over sound differences.

UkeNinja
05-01-2008, 09:05 PM
the plastic fretboard won't suck...I'm used to splitting hairs over sound differences.

If the difference is that small, how about variation among instruments as to soundboard thickness, finish, and structure? Couldn't that be similarly plausible factor to influence the sound?
I am no luthier of physics scientist, so perhaps someone can say something educated about the neck/fretboard vs. sound production issue, that would be a nice piece of information.

As for the plastic fretboard, it does indeed not suck, but I am finding it less durable than I had hoped for (refer to my Fluke review on this site). Knowing where you are on the fretboard is not a real problem: the Fluke tends to slide away to a somewhat horizontal position anyway where you can see the dots :o. Apparently the factory will replace the fretboard for you if wear becomes too drastic. I sure hope mine will stay fit for a couple of years...

Actually, rather than having fretboard issues, I found the walnut neck to have a nicer feel than the maple one. It gets kind of slippery in my hands, whereas the walnut wood has nice structure.

UkuLeLesReggAe
05-02-2008, 01:39 AM
what i have heard of and been told by the people who sell them, the rosewood fret board heaps both on the fluke and the flea ukulele, but then again - it cost a bit more so they may just be telling me that for more money - its human nature i guess.

IMHO it cost around roughly $100 more? I would do it, only because i like things to sound nice, even if its a bit better.

Plainsong
05-02-2008, 02:06 AM
If the difference is that small, how about variation among instruments as to soundboard thickness, finish, and structure? Couldn't that be similarly plausible factor to influence the sound?
I am no luthier of physics scientist, so perhaps someone can say something educated about the neck/fretboard vs. sound production issue, that would be a nice piece of information.



Sure, I don't see why not. Especially where wood is involved, you could go to a shop and play 5 of the same uke and each sound different. The Flukes and Fleas have less variation because of the plastic used, but probably also because of good QC. But even there, there's probably going to be some variation in sound, no matter how little.

Gary Jugert
05-02-2008, 03:59 AM
All you need to know is SweetAfton23 (Molly) has become a legend in the ukulele world without doing anything fancy at all. She sings well and chooses great songs. And, she has a plastic fretboard.