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Monkeyswithladders
06-12-2008, 06:00 AM
I bought a $15 ukulele this weekend on a whim and have fallen in love with the instrument. I want to buy an actual uke now to learn on instead of this... err.. decorative toy.

I've been reading everything I can and haven't really seen anything negative to say about the flea-- I just want to be sure I'm not missing anything. I'm thinking about getting the surf flea with the rosewood fretboard.
http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/prodimages/FLEA%20Surf-DET.jpg

Would I be better off going with a total wood setup rather than the ovation style backing of the flea? If that's the case, another one I'm looking at is a Bushman Jenny Pineapple.
http://www.jumpingflea.com/images/ACF655.jpg

I'm personally attracted to the pineapple style bodies; does anyone have anything to say sound-wise about different styles?

Anything would be helpful-- thanks in advance :D

Oh, and I've been wondering which to get soprano or concert-- is there much of a difference? I'm leaning toward soprano for no reason at all.

UKISOCIETY
06-12-2008, 06:24 AM
I bought a $15 ukulele this weekend on a whim and have fallen in love with the instrument. I want to buy an actual uke now to learn on instead of this... err.. decorative toy.

I've been reading everything I can and haven't really seen anything negative to say about the flea-- I just want to be sure I'm not missing anything. I'm thinking about getting the surf flea with the rosewood fretboard.

Would I be better off going with a total wood setup rather than the ovation style backing of the flea? If that's the case, another one I'm looking at is a Bushman Jenny Pineapple.

I'm personally attracted to the pineapple style bodies; does anyone have anything to say sound-wise about different styles?

Anything would be helpful-- thanks in advance :D

Oh, and I've been wondering which to get soprano or concert-- is there much of a difference? I'm leaning toward soprano for no reason at all.

Go with the Flea. Stylish and great sound! Bushman's good, but in this case it's difficult to top the Flea in volume. It will be a mellower, fuller tone than the Bushman.

As for soprano or concert- try both if you can before you buy. I think every uke player should own both sizes. So I guess it doesn't matter which you buy first - if you know you're going to get the other size later!

Plainsong
06-12-2008, 06:25 AM
I've had a tenor surf fluke and now have a solid koa top flea with a concert neck. I've got zero complaints about either of them. The koa topped flea especially is its own special animal. I'd go with the Flea because it's made in the US and the folks who build them are awesome. That ovation-style back means the flea can be driven to crazy volumes before even thinking of buzzing. And yeah, you can play it quiet as well. I don't think you can go wrong with the Flea.

Monkeyswithladders
06-12-2008, 09:27 AM
Thanks for both of your perspectives-- I'll probably be buying the flea soon then :D

Do ukuleles work the same as guitars as far as pricing goes? Like I'd pay a lot more buying straight from Gibson than walking into a House of Guitars or Guitar Center or something?

I'm wondering whether I should order online right from Flea Market Music, from one of the online ebay stores, or trying to find a shop in person.

Boozelele
06-12-2008, 09:42 AM
When i bought my fluke I racked my brain searching for the lowest price. I was going to go with the lowest online price, and then discovered that I could buy one at the music store up the street for a few bucks more (still cheaper than buying directly from flea market). The question is...can you wait for it to be shipped, just to save a few bucks? I couldn't.

ichadwick
06-12-2008, 09:49 AM
Before you buy anything, check prices online as well as at local music stores. It's worth knowing before you go to a store to buy - in case you can squeeze some bargaining room from them.

Consider a Fluke, too. It's got a larger body and longer neck (concert or tenor sizes available). I have two Flukes and have no issues at all with build quality. They're good ukes, durable and fun. I expect Fleas are the same, just smaller.

And check musicguymic's eBay store online. He has a great selection at reasonable prices and offers good service. I've bought four from him this year already and never been disappointed by his service or prices.

deach
06-12-2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks for both of your perspectives-- I'll probably be buying the flea soon then :D

Do ukuleles work the same as guitars as far as pricing goes? Like I'd pay a lot more buying straight from Gibson than walking into a House of Guitars or Guitar Center or something?

I'm wondering whether I should order online right from Flea Market Music, from one of the online ebay stores, or trying to find a shop in person.


eBay is cheaper than direct.

Monkeyswithladders
06-12-2008, 11:09 AM
When i bought my fluke I racked my brain searching for the lowest price. I was going to go with the lowest online price, and then discovered that I could buy one at the music store up the street for a few bucks more (still cheaper than buying directly from flea market). The question is...can you wait for it to be shipped, just to save a few bucks? I couldn't.

That's exactly how I feel about it too-- In fact, I just found a guy that has an ukulele shop about an hour away from me, so I'm probably follow Chad's advice and research some prices and take them into the shop with me. I really hope I have one by next week. I'm going on vacation for the next 2 months and it'd be awesome to take a new instrument along with :D

northern uke
06-12-2008, 12:17 PM
The Flea is a no miss. You'll get what you expect, a loud, bright consistant tone with good set-up and customer service from the factory. Can't say the same about the Bushman. Some good, some bad. Plus the Flea stands on it's own. Do not under estimate the greatness of this! It's real handy with kids and dogs!

sukie
06-12-2008, 05:38 PM
I just got a flea about a week and a half ago and it's really fun. It does sound different than my other uke but I like the brightness. (If someone had told me a couple of months ago that I would learn what that means, I won't have believed them). I found mine at a local guitar shop. It was used but looks brand new. And the price was about 80% less than new.


I'd go for it.

NotoriousMOK
06-12-2008, 08:31 PM
I've had a flea for a few years and I really dig it -- but if I were to get another, I'd get the concert size neck. My hands are not huge or anything, but I run out of room quite a bit, so it does not get quite as much play time as the others.

have fun and welcome aboard!

14twelve
06-13-2008, 02:50 AM
I've had a flea for a couple of months now and really love it. As others have said, it's got a really nice bright tone. It's very light, so easy to carry around anywhere, and seems pretty tough so you don't have to worry about breaking it. If you can afford it, I think it's worth the upgrade to the rosewood fretboard, as it makes the frets a lot easier to see. Actually, if it's the surf flea you're going to get, I think it comes with the rosewood fretboard as standard.

Also, the body of the soprano and concert are the same size, it's only the neck that is bigger with the concert, so I'd choose the size by what size neck you prefer to play.

Let us know what you think of it when you get it! :D

Monkeyswithladders
06-13-2008, 06:58 AM
I've had a flea for a couple of months now and really love it. As others have said, it's got a really nice bright tone. It's very light, so easy to carry around anywhere, and seems pretty tough so you don't have to worry about breaking it. If you can afford it, I think it's worth the upgrade to the rosewood fretboard, as it makes the frets a lot easier to see. Actually, if it's the surf flea you're going to get, I think it comes with the rosewood fretboard as standard.

Also, the body of the soprano and concert are the same size, it's only the neck that is bigger with the concert, so I'd choose the size by what size neck you prefer to play.

Let us know what you think of it when you get it! :D

Oh, I certainly will :D

I'm planning on heading to the Madeira Beach, FL area Monday or Tuesday-- the guy that owns a shop out there told me he has both those ukes in stock and plenty of others, so I'm going to play a bunch and pick out which is for me. Then I'll have a full 2 months of play time while I take it easy during the summer. I'll definitely post what the conclusion is and what I think about it :D

Ukeguy510
06-14-2008, 10:02 AM
Have one, play it everyday, money well spent.

I got mine on Elderly.com at a great price. They also gave me the Fluke bag instead of the Flea. Don't forget to get some better strings. I have Worths and they sound and play great.

remy
06-14-2008, 10:17 AM
I am a very happy flea owner! I got the soprano with rosewood fretboard, and I'm really happy I went with that. I don't know what the cheaper option would be like, but I find this to be pretty easy to play, and it sounds great (would sound even better if someone who knew what they were doing would play it!) It's also lightweight, and even my cat knocking it off the table didn't manage to leave a dent, so I imagine it's quite durable for lugging around town. It's very pretty too!!!

Also, I was pretty happy with Flea Market music. I should warn you, it did take a while to ship (seriously, more than a week I think), since they are made to order, but they were really helpful when I emailed them to change an order, got back to me immediately, and were more than happy to accomodate me. So if you decide to get it online, you can definitely count on this place.

Monkeyswithladders
06-18-2008, 07:04 AM
Well I'm proud to say I'm a very happy Flea owner!

Yesterday I bought a soprano Surf King Flea and I looooove it.

The guy that runs Compass Music in Madeira Beach was very helpful picking out and explaining some pros and cons of different ukes, and I ended up going right back to the flea. If anyone else is in the area, it's a cool store to check out-- had some cool drums and wind instruments as well as guitars and stuff... and tons of ukes. Anyway, here's his youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/MadeiraSailor).

Moral of the story is that I'm a super happy camper with my new ukulele and thanks to all you guys that helped steer me :D

SailQwest
06-18-2008, 07:25 AM
Congrats on the new uke!

berylbite
06-18-2008, 07:35 AM
They`re both good ukuleles, I`m sure which ever you pick will be exactly what you were looking for.

sukie
06-18-2008, 07:37 AM
Congrats and enjoy! They're so dang fun to play!

NotoriousMOK
06-18-2008, 08:49 AM
Well I'm proud to say I'm a very happy Flea owner!

Yesterday I bought a soprano Surf King Flea and I looooove it.

The guy that runs Compass Music in Madeira Beach was very helpful picking out and explaining some pros and cons of different ukes, and I ended up going right back to the flea. If anyone else is in the area, it's a cool store to check out-- had some cool drums and wind instruments as well as guitars and stuff... and tons of ukes. Anyway, here's his youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/MadeiraSailor).

Moral of the story is that I'm a super happy camper with my new ukulele and thanks to all you guys that helped steer me :D

Congrats and happy strumming! I'm glad the trip was such a plus!

Have fun!

14twelve
06-18-2008, 01:03 PM
Well I'm proud to say I'm a very happy Flea owner!

Yesterday I bought a soprano Surf King Flea and I looooove it.



Congratulations on the Flea!! I hope you have a lot of fun with it :)

UkuLeLesReggAe
06-18-2008, 08:47 PM
Well I'm proud to say I'm a very happy Flea owner!

Yesterday I bought a soprano Surf King Flea and I looooove it.

congrats, its a nice uke.. i plan on buying it one day, but a concert. Congrats once again