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View Full Version : The Flea Soprano, Tonally



luvdat
05-03-2010, 02:06 AM
Frequently people say that tonally the Flea soprano is "it's own thing." Compared to more traditional ukuleles, do you consider the Flea soprano closer to certain concerts or tenors? Pineapples? Hey, it's a Monday...

kissing
05-03-2010, 03:04 AM
I still find the Flea quite Ukey.
With more mid-range, mellow tones than a typical soprano perhaps.

Comparable with a Concert or Tenor, but not quite the same. So in effect, perhaps it is its 'own thing'.

Still definitely a uke to my ears though.

luvdat
05-03-2010, 03:36 AM
Maybe just better to really enjoy that "it's own thing."

kissing
05-03-2010, 03:43 AM
Sounds very good to my ears.

Ukulele JJ
05-03-2010, 05:11 AM
I would call it "mid-rangey".

JJ

EDW
05-03-2010, 05:23 AM
I suppose it doesn't have the same zingy kind of soprano sound that you might find in a nice lightly built solid wood traditional instrument, but then again, there are many other ukes that don't have that sound either. I have heard some luthier built instruments and laminated imports that don't have those tonal qualities. That said, the flea still sounds like a uke. You could not mistake it for anything else. I have heard some in live and recorded settings that sound great. It is perhaps a bit less treble-y and has a little more mid range or warmth.

They play really well and have a nice set up with really good action and feel. They are well in tune with a really nice tonal balance. I have played and heard solid wood instruments that don't sound or play anywhere near as well.

luvdat
05-03-2010, 09:59 AM
Thanks for your responses. Not so much playability of trad sopranos esp. the imports in $200 range is tonal balance which having played them isn't there...even some more expensive overpriced Martin S-O's (hit or miss).

SweetWaterBlue
05-03-2010, 11:04 AM
To me it sounds more like a pineapple that a traditional figure 8 soprano. It also doesn't sound like an all wood pineapple to me - it sounds like a Flea or Fluke, even when I close my eyes.

luvdat
05-04-2010, 02:23 AM
The irony is that frequently the discussion around trad figure 8's is how to mellow or sweeten things...including going to D tuning, which is a great option with a trad soprano. You would have to go custom to get a neck as playable as the Flea. As EDW stated, not just lams but custom lutheir-made sopranos are NOT all trad sounding (ex. Boat Paddle). I do think that the pineapple shape (or something like it) offers better sound transmission/resonance than most figure 8's...easier also to balance tonally.

angelopb
05-04-2010, 09:18 AM
I suppose it doesn't have the same zingy kind of soprano sound that you might find in a nice lightly built solid wood traditional instrument, but then again, there are many other ukes that don't have that sound either. I have heard some luthier built instruments and laminated imports that don't have those tonal qualities. That said, the flea still sounds like a uke. You could not mistake it for anything else. I have heard some in live and recorded settings that sound great. It is perhaps a bit less treble-y and has a little more mid range or warmth.

They play really well and have a nice set up with really good action and feel. They are well in tune with a really nice tonal balance. I have played and heard solid wood instruments that don't sound or play anywhere near as well.


^
What he said.

luvdat
05-04-2010, 03:04 PM
I think it's fair to call the Flea a "modern soprano." The evolution of instruments in guitarland is no different, even famous electric like the Fender Telecaster. The classic 52 Tele yeah has a sound which purists will claim as the true Tele sound and by way of history they are correct...and this even includes ash wood requirement etc....but hey, nobody can complain about James Burton's Tele or Tele playing though for most of his touring career including backing up with Elvis, he wasn't playing Leo Fender's original design or tonally the same guitar...

All in all I have really come to appreciate the Flea anew and thanks for all the responses...