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View Full Version : Dings on a new flea - should I take it back?



jumpin
10-18-2010, 12:28 AM
Hi all,

I'm a newbie to these forums, so hello!

Just getting into uke-ing, and upgraded at the weekend from my crappy Makela to a Flea.

The sound of the Flea is lovely, but has a few cosmetic blemishes.

In particular, the paint is already starting to scratch off around the edge of the soundboard. Is this normal, or should I take the Flea back?

I was sort of expecting the Flea would be more resilient given some of the reviews on here, and it bugs my that my new lovely uke isn't perfect!

Anyway, the sound is lovely, so maybe I should just shut my eyes to these things and enjoy the music...

GreatGazukes
10-18-2010, 12:41 AM
Hi Jumpin and welcome to the UU

I don't have a Flea but if it's blemishes are bugging you now they are gonna bug you for ages. Take it back, the manufacturer has a good reputation and will probably cause you no grief about rectifying the problem. I had the impression they were bomb proof so it may be just a bad'n.

Cheers

jumpin
10-18-2010, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the advice.

Can any Flea owners tell me whether the paint on their soundboard scratched off easily? In my case the paint came off under my fingernail, when cleaning out a bit of dust between the soundboard and the body of the uke.

mm stan
10-18-2010, 02:09 AM
Aloha Jumpin,
Welcome to the UU and the forums....and the ukulele...congrats on the purchase of the new uke....As for the paint, maybe it was just painted recently....I've had a tenor fluke and
in several months showed wear from strumming, but not as bad as yours...If you like the sound of yours keep it, but do contact(phone) them and let them know your concerns with
the paint...maybe they'll give you some money back...but keep your uke if it sounds good to you, as you never know what the next ones gonna sound like..MM Stan..

Ukulele JJ
10-18-2010, 02:33 AM
Can any Flea owners tell me whether the paint on their soundboard scratched off easily?

The paint on my Flea has never scratched off.

JJ

jumpin
10-18-2010, 02:39 AM
I just did a quick google, and the Flea in this picture here:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_3K1w9KtJMv8/Sw7MMs_I65I/AAAAAAAAAAc/QJwE0ueNR-Q/s1600/DSC_4835.JPG

has exactly the same problem, the purple colour has come off in places in the edge of the soundboard where it meets the polycarbonate hull, exposing the pale wood underneath.

Perhaps this effect is only noticeable with the darker coloured ukes.

I'm still undecided - if this happens to all fleas I think can live with it, as I love the sound it makes.

bazmaz
10-18-2010, 03:07 AM
Mine did exactly the same - purple too - came off in cleaning - so I clean a little lighter now!

Also, my strumming has left a worn area on it too. They are not indestructible, but they are great ukes.

I dont mind my dings, cos I did them myself - makes the uke mine.

If it had arrived as new like that though, I would send it back.

roxhum
10-18-2010, 03:41 AM
I am checking out my flea which I bought second hand. It has been around, has marks from strumming and minor dings from being well loved but no chipped paint. My understanding is that the flea and flukes all sound pretty much the same. If it was me I would send it back, or at the very least ask for a discount.

roxhum
10-18-2010, 03:45 AM
P.S. I forgot to welcome you to UU. You will find that these folks are amazingly kind, helpful and generous with their knowledge. Welcome and let us know the outcome of your flea. That first bump is the worst. I banged my beautiful Mainland against a wall running into the kitchen to turn something off and made a ding in the binding. I am getting strum scratches in the beautiful wood. I wish I could have Pauljmuk's attitude about wear but dang, I don't want my uku to look like Willy Nelsons guitar.

Thumper
10-18-2010, 04:11 AM
Maybe it happens to Fleas/Flukes that are painted, as opposed to stained or silk-screened. I've had no such problems with my Bark Cloth Flea, Tiki Flea, or Mango Fluke. The Bark Cloth finish has faded slightly where my forearm presses against it, but other than that the finish has been pretty darn bulletproof.

SweetWaterBlue
10-18-2010, 04:33 AM
Thanks for the advice.

Can any Flea owners tell me whether the paint on their soundboard scratched off easily? In my case the paint came off under my fingernail, when cleaning out a bit of dust between the soundboard and the body of the uke.

I can tell you that the paint on my Lava Flea (matte finish) was tough as nails. I had a problem with it getting shiny because I played it so much, so I decided to take it down to bare wood and repaint it. It took quite a bit of sanding and scraping to get it off.

That said, all now ukes get nicks and dings. The first one hurts the most, then you setttle in and just play it.

SuzukHammer
10-18-2010, 04:53 AM
I have no problem buying used dinged ukes because it takes all that anxiety out of the equation.

I run around with my Fluke and accidentally bang it on telephone poles, walls, doors. Its fallen down at least 2 times from about 4 feet high.

It still plays and that's why I love it.

I consider Fleas and FLukes excellent practice and everyday take anywhere ukes. The beautiful koa ukes I have sit at home.

You will love what you can play.

haole
10-18-2010, 06:17 AM
Flukes/Fleas are pretty much indestructible, except for the finish. I'm sure FMM will take care of it for you if you're not completely satisfied, but even if you get a pristine one, you'll probably end up dinging it soon enough. ;) My pineapple Flea has worn finish where I rest my hand, and plenty of dings and scratches (admittedly, I beat the crap out of it though!). Whether you keep yours or swap it for one in better shape, Fleas are awesome, and finish flaws are about the worst thing you can expect with normal use.

SailingUke
10-18-2010, 06:37 AM
My Tenor Fluke had a badly worn spot from strumming when I bought it.
The paint had worn away quickly and I know the person I bought it from was not abusive.
I used a magic marker and colored in the bare spot. It is not a perfect match, but looks better than light colored wood showing through.

mds725
10-18-2010, 07:37 AM
Hi all,

I'm a newbie to these forums, so hello!

Just getting into uke-ing, and upgraded at the weekend from my crappy Makela to a Flea.

The sound of the Flea is lovely, but has a few cosmetic blemishes.

In particular, the paint is already starting to scratch off around the edge of the soundboard. Is this normal, or should I take the Flea back?

I was sort of expecting the Flea would be more resilient given some of the reviews on here, and it bugs my that my new lovely uke isn't perfect!

Anyway, the sound is lovely, so maybe I should just shut my eyes to these things and enjoy the music...

Where did you buy it, online or in a store? If I had bought a flea or fluke with the understanding that it was new, but it had chipped paint or other signs of wear, I'd bring it back to the shop where I'd bought it or contact the seller and explain the problem. The sooner you do it the better -- you're less likely to be accused of causing the paint chippping yourself. If you bought it from FMM, it's a great company with a great reputation and I'm sure it would take care of this. If you paid for a new ukulele, you're entitled to a new ukulele.

joeybug
10-18-2010, 10:39 AM
Where did you buy it, online or in a store? If I had bought a flea or fluke with the understanding that it was new, but it had chipped paint or other signs of wear, I'd bring it back to the shop where I'd bought it or contact the seller and explain the problem. The sooner you do it the better -- you're less likely to be accused of causing the paint chippping yourself. If you bought it from FMM, it's a great company with a great reputation and I'm sure it would take care of this. If you paid for a new ukulele, you're entitled to a new ukulele.

:agree: totally.

mm stan
10-18-2010, 11:23 AM
My Tenor Fluke had a badly worn spot from strumming when I bought it.
The paint had worn away quickly and I know the person I bought it from was not abusive.
I used a magic marker and colored in the bare spot. It is not a perfect match, but looks better than light colored wood showing through.
I had a tenor yellow top fluke and it looked nice when I got it...but through extreme playing and strumming it had wore out the finish...MM Stan
No big thing....I call that my badge of honor of playing and shows the amount of time I have devoted to that uke..Actually proud of it...

RevWill
10-18-2010, 11:27 AM
Dale at FMM really, really wants his customers to be happy. Don't hesitate to contact him. They're really good people at FMM, one reason I'm a satisfied return customer.

molokinirum
10-18-2010, 11:28 AM
If tha Flea is brand new, I would either take it back or contact the seller. If it bothers you now......it will bother you as long as you have the uke!

KevinTJH
10-18-2010, 11:38 PM
I was sort of expecting the Flea would be more resilient given some of the reviews on here, and it bugs my that my new lovely uke isn't perfect!

I feel your pain buddy, I'm probably worst off! Mine just arrived today
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/KevinTJH/DSC00736.jpg

Try spotting what's wrong with it

UkuLeLesReggAe
10-19-2010, 01:31 AM
it's not only me, but if I boguht something new, I expect it to be perfectly new. An unseen scratch unless put in sunlight isn't even good enough for me.

joeybug
10-19-2010, 01:56 AM
it's not only me, but if I boguht something new, I expect it to be perfectly new. An unseen scratch unless put in sunlight isn't even good enough for me.

:agree: I'm totally the same!

SuzukHammer
10-19-2010, 02:39 AM
I feel your pain buddy, I'm probably worst off! Mine just arrived today
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/KevinTJH/DSC00736.jpg

Try spotting what's wrong with it

There is a blemish on the hole on the right hand side,

the strings are off center of the hole,

and the paint job is more of a view from a beehive honeycomb with a seagull on the other side than a pineapple skin ?

?

KevinTJH
10-19-2010, 03:05 AM
The paintjob only looks bad because it was dark, it's actually okay.
I actually just noticed the blemish to be honest.

The major issue is not that the strings are off centre, the hole is off the strings!
And that's a brand new ukulele!