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View Full Version : Concert Uke-Standard, Flea, or Fluke?



Shastastan
06-13-2011, 09:07 AM
I've only had my tenor a week and already am thinking of getting a concert. Actually, I was torn between the tenor or the concert but opted for the tenor because I like the lower mellow sound of the low G string. My wife, also a musician (flute and piano) now wants to get a uke. This is fine with me since we can play duets and work the ukes into our other playing. Sound like great fun! Anyway, she said she would like my tenor. We agreed to joint ownership of the ukes so we can share. I'll be getting a concert but not sure of what type to get. Whichever it is will be $200 or less. One question I have is the shape possibly causing problems with the pointed corners. Also I would like one with a rich tone. I know there's a big selection out there, but could you folks point me this amateur down the right path? Thanks.

uke4ia
06-13-2011, 09:55 AM
If you're looking to use a low G and to spend less than $200, you probably want a standard concert. Low G strings are usually wound with metal, which will wear out the plastic fretboard of a standard Flea or Fluke quickly. The Fleas and Flukes that have wood fretboards and are good for using with a wound low G string cost more than $200 new. So unless you can find a used Flea or Fluke with a wood fretboard, you probably should get a standard concert.

mm stan
06-13-2011, 10:40 AM
Aloha Shastastan,
In that price range...I would suggest a KPK or vineyard concert....

Shastastan
06-13-2011, 11:33 AM
I wasn't planning on using a low G string on the concert-just the usual string setup. Does that change your answer?

I thought I did seem some flea/flukes on Flea Market? However, the rosewood fretboard is an upgrade item as were the geared pegs. Another thing that I noticed is that many websites are showing many ukes as "currently not available." it would not bother me to wait for one to be made that would have the features such as rosewood fretboard and geared pegs. FWIW

harpdog cc
06-14-2011, 07:14 AM
I really like low G on my concert Fluke (rosewood fretboard) which I found used for $150. It was a very good deal.

The corners do not cause me any grief, though the straight lower edge bothers some people where their arm comes across. No so for me.

spongeworthy
06-14-2011, 08:00 AM
You should check out the Kamoa E-Series Concert. It's under $200 with great sound and comes in Low or High G. You can buy it from the UU merch store or at ukuleleuprising.com. It's also the main uke that's being used on ukuleleremix.com.

-Hope this helps

uke4ia
06-14-2011, 10:35 AM
I wasn't planning on using a low G string on the concert-just the usual string setup. Does that change your answer?


If you're using a high G, all I can tell you is I have a Fluke and I'm happy with it. It has a nice big sound, that big plastic bowl resonates. I haven't found the shape to be any kind of an issue. I haven't played a concert Flea, but the people here say good things about them.

OldePhart
06-14-2011, 12:15 PM
A lot of people love the Flukes and Fleas but I've never been crazy about them and I especially wouldn't describe them as having a "rich tone." That's not to say they're bad - in fact I played one at UWC and it wasn't as harsh as I expected from many of the F&F clips I'd heard. Still not in the "rich tone" category, though.

Just my $.02.

John

Shastastan
06-14-2011, 01:51 PM
Thanks for all the helpful comments. I'm still mulling it over. The ones I heard on Youtube did have rich tones, but who knows if that was normal or done in the "mixing." The base price of $199 isn't bad, but when you add the upgrade options, the price jumps to $347. I can still afford that but I'm wondering about what other types of concerts I could also get at that higher price. I started another thread about ukes on ebay on the other section. I feel sort of like I'm floundering in the pool trying to find the sides or maybe driving in the fog would be a better analogy. The number of brands are legion. It's incredible that there are virtually no individual sellers taking bids--buy it now only.

mm stan
06-14-2011, 03:52 PM
Aloha Stan...
Psst...check the marketplace..for a second hand one.. that way you get a higher level uke for a better price...

Shastastan
06-15-2011, 06:57 AM
Aloha Stan...
Psst...check the marketplace..for a second hand one.. that way you get a higher level uke for a better price...

Good point, but I didn't have any luck trying to wade through all those posts. I pulled the plug and ordered a mahogany concert from Mainland for $219. They are supposed to be available in July. I watched a youtube review of the exact same instrument that I bought and it was not mixed at all and the uke tone was very good. There did seem to be lots of very favorable comments about Mainland and that really influenced my decision. Thanks to all for your comments.

OldePhart
06-15-2011, 01:00 PM
The base price of $199 isn't bad, but when you add the upgrade options, the price jumps to $347. I can still afford that but I'm wondering about what other types of concerts I could also get at that higher price.

Ahhh, now I can make some solid recommendations! Previously you said your budget was $200 max and there isn't anything that really excites me in that range. But, if you can go to ~$350 that puts you solidly into a Mainland (won't need a set up), a professionally set up Kala or Ohana solid, etc. - and a hard case or semi-hard (canvas over molded foam) case. All of those are better options than a fluke or flea, in my opinion. In fact, if you forego the case you might be able to get into a Mainland concert with a pickup, should you need a pickup.

OldePhart
06-15-2011, 01:05 PM
Good point, but I didn't have any luck trying to wade through all those posts. I pulled the plug and ordered a mahogany concert from Mainland for $219.

Ahhh, see, that's what I get for responding without reading all the new posts. :) You definitely won't be disappointed with the Mainland. I have three and love them - they ain't quite on a par with my Hawaiian "K brand" ukes but dollar for dollar they're probably a better value for most folks (a "K-brand" would set you back three times what the Mainland cost - and, while it's definitely better - IMHO it's not three times better unless you have deep pockets).

Shastastan
06-15-2011, 04:27 PM
Thanks Oldephart. It's good to know about the uke "value" factor. I really don't like buying instruments online even though I have many times in the past. It's just one of the disadvantages of living in a small town. Glad to say the advantages outweigh the disadvantages though. OTOH sad to say that my wife and I have purchased only a couple of instruments locally. We've both bought instruments costing less because we liked the sound quality and playabllity better. I watched some Mainland concert youtubes and the quality and sound are there so I'm sure I'll be satisfied for quite some time given my ability level.