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FlyedPiper
10-13-2011, 07:26 PM
Just picked up a Flea natural concert on ebay.

$195 for the uke, bag and booklet and free shipping! I thought it was a steal (barring any unforeseen problems). Plus I don't have to wait as long.

The Makala tenor I've been playing has been driving me crazy. Not only is it not set up at all it's a tenor, and I feel a lot more comfortable with the concert size at this point.

I was starting to go days between practices, so hopefully this uke upgrade will put the fire back in me! Plus it will be a nice "beater" uke when I decide to upgrade further.

Anyway, just wanted to share in my excitement :). I don't have a lot of extra money to throw around and I've been waiting for months to get a new uke so this is exciting for me...

ukunuke
10-13-2011, 07:49 PM
Good for you! I also bought a flea a few months back. I wanted something that I could strap onto my back and go. And I'm very impressed with the intonation and the bright sound. Enjoy! and play like a madman.

roxhum
10-14-2011, 03:50 AM
Congrats on your new uke. Good choice. I love the sweet sound of the Flea's. Had one, sold it, and have been hankering for another.

fitncrafty
10-14-2011, 03:55 AM
Enjoy it. I have been eyeing one too. A new uke usually does improve the motivation and fun of playing more.

shrink9
10-14-2011, 05:37 AM
Congratulations. I recall my surprise at how well the fleas and flukes sound the first time I played one. I usually play high-end ukes but these are certainly well worth the money. I look for used ones going for a good price to loan to folks who show interest but cannot afford to buy one for themselves. You will enjoy it, I'm sure!

Allen

mm stan
10-14-2011, 05:51 AM
Congrats on the Flea...I know you will have many years of enjoyment out of it.. here are some good deals in hawaii craigslist..http://honolulu.craigslist.org/kau/msg/2647914987.html
http://honolulu.craigslist.org/kau/msg/2624349543.html have fun and enjoy..Happy strummings..

FlyedPiper
10-14-2011, 08:10 AM
Thanks guys. Yeah, I wanted a concert uke that played well anyway (everyone I know that plays ukes has a concert), plus I wanted a uke I could take anywhere and play. So it's a win-win with the flea for me. Eventually I want to move up to a solid wood instrument and keep the flea for my travel uke, but I plan on having some fun with this one for a while first :).

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
10-14-2011, 08:24 AM
Congratulations! You've spent your ukulele money very wisely. Fleas rule.

BadLands Bart
10-14-2011, 08:39 AM
Better uke and at the size you want........can't go wrong!!!!
Congratulations

Nickie
10-14-2011, 10:05 AM
Congratulations! I've never played a flea, but one of the gals in the band "Fallopian Tubes" plays one, and it sounds pretty good.

Shastastan
10-15-2011, 05:37 AM
Good deal for you! I've been waiting for a pineapple and have also been thinking about a flea. Waiting a few weeks isn't too bad. Waiting 4+ months is a lot harder. Enjoy!

FlyedPiper
10-16-2011, 07:48 AM
Shipped out Saturday. I wouldn't doubt if it showed up tomorrow. Beats waiting for fleamarket to make it then ship it :) 4+ months of waiting even after I bought the thing would be intolerable! Not sure if I could do that...

Shastastan
10-17-2011, 06:02 AM
Shipped out Saturday. I wouldn't doubt if it showed up tomorrow. Beats waiting for fleamarket to make it then ship it :) 4+ months of waiting even after I bought the thing would be intolerable! Not sure if I could do that...

Just to clarify...The uke I'm waiting for isn't made by Fleamarket. I don't how long it takes to get one from Fleamarket.

franck3d
10-17-2011, 09:09 AM
Oh no! I looked on Ebay and there are lots of Fleas for me to drool over. I'll have to start being a very good boy and writing lots of letters to Santa!

FlyedPiper
10-18-2011, 06:47 AM
Yeah I just got mine yesterday!

I'm impressed overall. The action is perfect. Sound quality is good and surprisingly full. Loud!

My only gripe is something someone mentioned somewhere else on the forum about the recessed soundboard causing a little ledge that digs into my arm when I play it. Oh well, a minor annoyance I'm sure I'll get used to.

The vendor "true joy acoustics" I'm particularly impressed with. $195 for the concert size, strung with aquilas, gig bag, booklet and chord chart... and free shipping! Only took 2 days. Very high marks there.

Shastastan
10-19-2011, 06:02 AM
Yeah I just got mine yesterday!

I'm impressed overall. The action is perfect. Sound quality is good and surprisingly full. Loud!

My only gripe is something someone mentioned somewhere else on the forum about the recessed soundboard causing a little ledge that digs into my arm when I play it. Oh well, a minor annoyance I'm sure I'll get used to.

The vendor "true joy acoustics" I'm particularly impressed with. $195 for the concert size, strung with aquilas, gig bag, booklet and chord chart... and free shipping! Only took 2 days. Very high marks there.

Thanks for sharing. That's good info to know.

flutinggnee
10-19-2011, 03:36 PM
I LOVE my flea. It stays in tune so well and has a great, bright tone. I use it at the elementary school where I teach music. The kids love to sing along with it. They like the green color!

captaindanger
10-19-2011, 04:29 PM
excellent I have both a fluke and flea - they sound great and travel well - great choice

Shastastan
10-20-2011, 05:36 AM
Does anyone know if they make a flea or fluke concert with a tenor neck?

FlyedPiper
10-20-2011, 07:12 PM
The tenor neck is an option for the flea on the flea market music website.

In other words, the body is the same size no matter what model you get, a soprano body basically. However, it is much louder and more resonant soprano, due to the plastic backing. I refer to mine as a "super soprano", even though that's not entirely accurate.

I would look at flukes if you want a bigger body. The body is bigger but flatter than the flea, as far as I can tell.

Then again, once you get into those prices you can get into a nice solid bodied uke. Unless you want something for throwing in the back of the truck and going out to the bonfire party that is... and no need for a hard case or humidifier.

bazmaz
10-21-2011, 12:21 AM
You can't go wrong with a Flea. Every uke player should own one in my opinion!

mascompro
10-21-2011, 02:58 AM
The flea is on my list, unfortunately the list is easier to make then the money for the purchases.

FlyedPiper
10-21-2011, 06:54 AM
The flea is on my list, unfortunately the list is easier to make then the money for the purchases.

I hear you brother. I had to wait a couple months with my budget just to get the flea, plus sell a couple things :P

Shastastan
10-22-2011, 06:09 AM
The tenor neck is an option for the flea on the flea market music website.

In other words, the body is the same size no matter what model you get, a soprano body basically. However, it is much louder and more resonant soprano, due to the plastic backing. I refer to mine as a "super soprano", even though that's not entirely accurate.

I would look at flukes if you want a bigger body. The body is bigger but flatter than the flea, as far as I can tell.

Then again, once you get into those prices you can get into a nice solid bodied uke. Unless you want something for throwing in the back of the truck and going out to the bonfire party that is... and no need for a hard case or humidifier.

Thanks. I do have a concert pineapple w/tenor neck on order. The idea of just having a Fluke laying around to play without worrying about it so much is appealing though. I do have a solid wood tenor already that I'm pretty careful with. Another thing that appeals to me is the the flea/flukes are made in the U.S.A.. We are trying to buy America more now.

kaizersoza
10-22-2011, 06:20 AM
i have a fluke tenor neck and it is my go to uke, it comes everywhere with me including camping and the odd houseparty, i know you can afford a good solid wood uke for around the same price but nothing sounds like a fluke and no solid wood uke could take the same conditions that the fluke can handle, i am looking at a pineapple uke at the moment, but i will buy a flea to add to my collection soon, good luck with your new uke OP

FlyedPiper
10-22-2011, 02:20 PM
Thanks! I'm learning to hold on to the squirmy little sucker at the moment ;)

ukuhippo
10-22-2011, 10:30 PM
Let me know if I get this right:
The Flea is available with three necks: soprano, concert en tenor.
Besides from the extra frets is there also more space between frets?

Tor
10-23-2011, 12:33 AM
Just ordered a Natural Flea with concert neck, rosewood fretboard and pegheads options.

Should be just the thing for the coming cold winter I think.



You can't go wrong with a Flea. Every uke player should own one in my opinion!
Duly noted..

-Tor

mascompro
10-23-2011, 02:10 AM
Let me know if I get this right:
The Flea is available with three necks: soprano, concert en tenor.
Besides from the extra frets is there also more space between frets?

No,

Flea - Soprano & Concert
Fluke - Concert & Tenor


EDIT: My above answer appears to be incorrect, you can in fact select a tenor neck on a flea.

ukuhippo
10-23-2011, 02:14 AM
No,

Flea - Soprano & Concert
Fluke - Concert & Tenor

Now I'm confused, that's what I tought first, but here:

http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=6

I read:

Smaller than the Fluke, the FLEA uke offers easy playability, great sound and plenty of personality. The FLEA is offered in soprano, concert (15 frets) and tenor (17 frets) sizes

mascompro
10-23-2011, 02:17 AM
Now I'm confused, that's what I tought first, but here:

http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=6

I read:

Smaller than the Fluke, the FLEA uke offers easy playability, great sound and plenty of personality. The FLEA is offered in soprano, concert (15 frets) and tenor (17 frets) sizes

you are correct, the Tenor option is there, and is selectable for ordering. I was not aware of this.

Shastastan
10-23-2011, 05:51 AM
Okay, here's the real skinny.....

I just ordered a Flea natural with tenor neck from Elderly Instruments online. It comes with a gig bag and free shipping. Cost was $209 which I believe is probably the fair trade price. This is a fair deal, IMO.

ukuhippo
10-23-2011, 05:58 AM
Okay, here's the real skinny.....

I just ordered a Flea natural with tenor neck from Elderly Instruments online. It comes with a gig bag and free shipping. Cost was $209 which I believe is probably the fair trade price. This is a fair deal, IMO.

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/FLEAT-N.htm

Looks fantastic and sounds like a sweet deal, you made me jealous. I have to save up for one (and the shipping to Europe). Enjoy!

Shastastan
10-23-2011, 07:19 AM
http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/FLEAT-N.htm

Looks fantastic and sounds like a sweet deal, you made me jealous. I have to save up for one (and the shipping to Europe). Enjoy!

I don't understand why they don't make ukes in Europe. They seem to be popular there. I think some companies in the USA receive the parts made somewhere else and then assemble them here. Mainland is one such company. They make excellent quality instruments for a very fair price. I have their mahogany tenor. I understand about saving and jealousy.

ukuhippo
10-23-2011, 08:24 AM
I don't understand why they don't make ukes in Europe. They seem to be popular there. I think some companies in the USA receive the parts made somewhere else and then assemble them here. Mainland is one such company. They make excellent quality instruments for a very fair price. I have their mahogany tenor. I understand about saving and jealousy.

As far as I know a lot of ukes are made in Asia, and shipped elsewhere. About the shipping: I was mainly talking about Fleas and Flukes, which are hard to get in my region, I can get them from the UK, but the shipping is equally high as it is from the USA. Other ukuleles are sometimes even cheaper here then in their original country. I can (e.g.) get most Kala's for a bit less than the price in the USA.
Anyway, I want a Flea/Fluke tenor, and I'm jealous. And happy for you.

Tootler
10-23-2011, 11:20 AM
I don't understand why they don't make ukes in Europe. They seem to be popular there. I think some companies in the USA receive the parts made somewhere else and then assemble them here. Mainland is one such company. They make excellent quality instruments for a very fair price. I have their mahogany tenor. I understand about saving and jealousy.

There are local makers of ukes in the UK, but they tend to be hand made instruments. I spoke to one maker at Whitby Folk Festival but his prices were way more than my budget at the time. In the end I got one made in the far east at a very reasonable price for the quality of instrument. Another luthier I met later that day had a look and was very complimentary about the quality of finish.

The problem with Fleas/Flukes is there does not seem to be an agent for the makers in Europe. At least I did not come across one in my searches. This means you have to get them direct from the USA so you have to add shipping costs and customs duty which all pushes the prices up.

Shastastan
10-24-2011, 09:08 AM
There are local makers of ukes in the UK, but they tend to be hand made instruments. I spoke to one maker at Whitby Folk Festival but his prices were way more than my budget at the time. In the end I got one made in the far east at a very reasonable price for the quality of instrument. Another luthier I met later that day had a look and was very complimentary about the quality of finish.

The problem with Fleas/Flukes is there does not seem to be an agent for the makers in Europe. At least I did not come across one in my searches. This means you have to get them direct from the USA so you have to add shipping costs and customs duty which all pushes the prices up.

Sorry. I don't have any suggestions on how to avoid shipping and customs costs. Shipping can be even more expensive for individuals than companies, too. From what I'm reading, the demand for ukes is pretty high right now so there may not be a lot of discounts available either.

Shastastan
10-29-2011, 04:41 PM
Just picked up a Flea natural concert on ebay.

$195 for the uke, bag and booklet and free shipping! I thought it was a steal (barring any unforeseen problems). Plus I don't have to wait as long.

The Makala tenor I've been playing has been driving me crazy. Not only is it not set up at all it's a tenor, and I feel a lot more comfortable with the concert size at this point.

I was starting to go days between practices, so hopefully this uke upgrade will put the fire back in me! Plus it will be a nice "beater" uke when I decide to upgrade further.

Anyway, just wanted to share in my excitement :). I don't have a lot of extra money to throw around and I've been waiting for months to get a new uke so this is exciting for me...

Thanks for starting this thread. I have now been bitten/smitten by a Flea with a tenor neck. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised at both the sound and quality. For a small size, it has a really nice tone. I like the larger neck size and it seems easier to play than my Mainland tenor. It sure is very light and a little strange to hold while standing. I have the natural finish which is very nicely matched with the wood in the neck. Last, but very important, it's made in the USA. This is a good all-around uke that will get a lot of use by me. Hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am. Mega Mahalos!

FlyedPiper
10-31-2011, 12:15 PM
Thanks-

Yes I'm enjoying it very much. This one will be my travelin' uke. I do want to get a solid body uke to keep around the house, but I'm in no hurry. Loving the little Flea... it lives next to me sitting up against the wall next to my recliner. No need to worry about humidity or it falling over and getting scratched or damaged.

The action is great on these little guys!

FlyedPiper
10-31-2011, 12:22 PM
How is the sound quality compared to the Mainland? I want to pick up a Mainland concert at some point, but the bindings do not abide with me, so it might be a while...

Glad you love your Flea and I helped bring he/she into your life.:shaka:

Shastastan
11-01-2011, 08:56 AM
How is the sound quality compared to the Mainland? I want to pick up a Mainland concert at some point, but the bindings do not abide with me, so it might be a while...

Glad you love your Flea and I helped bring he/she into your life.:shaka:

I have a Mainland tenor and it has excellent sound. It's really not a fair comparison to put a Flea up against it. A Fluke comparison would be more realistic, but The Mainland is a very different uke from the Flea or Fluke. I have a Mainland concert pineapple w/tenor neck on order, but don't know when I'll get it and I ordered it 3 months ago. That's one reason why I bought the Flea since I wanted to have a higher sound to play with some other tenors. I like the sound of a tenor with a low G string best FWIW. I will say that the Mainland is a real pleasure to play. Happy Ukeking!

Tor
11-19-2011, 04:49 AM
Does anyone know how long it usually takes to get a flea produced? It's closing in to a month since I ordered at fleamarket, when I ordered I'm sure I saw something about taking a week to get produced. Can't find anything about that on the website now though. I did get a confirmation email saying it would be put to production.
Does it normally take a month or more? If it does I won't start sending nag mails just yet..

-Tor

Shastastan
11-20-2011, 06:07 AM
@Tor

Hey, it's your money. Send them a polite email asking when they are shipping your uke.

blender
11-20-2011, 12:29 PM
Does anyone know how long it usually takes to get a flea produced?

IIRC it took a couple weeks from when I placed my Flea order to when it was produced. That was in April or so, so my memory is a bit hazy....

Tor
11-20-2011, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the responses.. I sent them an email and asked about an estimated date of delivery.

-Tor

Tor
12-04-2011, 10:32 PM
Ok got my new Flea a few days ago.

The company really need to brush up their customer/email routine..

1) They shipped, but never emailed me the fact, not to mention the tracking number (and I had paid for the more expensive shipping option - was in email contact at that point so communication was working)

2) For some reason it took 3 weeks to get from US to Europe, before even entering customs (normally that should go quickly - and this was the 'quicker', thus more expensive option). Never mind that, but because it took so long and I hadn't heard anything from them I emailed and enquired about estimated shipping date (as I mentioned in an earlier posting). They never answered that email.

3) A week later I enquired again. Then, after another day, they finally replied and told me they had checked the tracking and my Flea had arrived the day before, but with a 'nobody home' at time of delivery report! Well, duh! I had not been provided with the tracking info, so how could I have known?

4) I replied and asked for the tracking info, which they provided, then I could get to the information I needed, print out the paperwork and go and pick up my Flea.

The above hassle would have been avoidable if the company could just have kept their customer/email practices in order. They should _really_ do something about that!

Now, what about the Flea?

I'm totally satisfied. I ordered it with a concert neck, the rosewood fretboard option, and the pegheads option. It has quickly become my favourite ukulele, I play it more than my Pono. One reason is the zero fret.. I raved about it in another thread as well. The intonation is perfect, and it's so easy to play.
I think one reason I like it so much is that intonation.. when playing strings together it's crystal clear, there aren't even the faintest dissonance. So not just the base notes but also the harmonics of the different strings play well together. I don't tire of listening to it.

Zero-fret is the way to go. I have one semi-high-end guitar with a zero-fret as well, and it has similar qualities - the only guitar that I own that can compete with it as far as intonation/playability is concerned is a hand-made 'custom type' high end guitar that I'm lucky enough to own. Obviously a lot of careful work was done there though.

Builders should use zero frets on all their instruments. Then you get rid of a couple of time-consuming problems all in one go.

Did I mention that I'm a fan of the zero fret? :)

-Tor

ukuhippo
12-04-2011, 11:30 PM
!,2,3 and 4: That's not good.

Congratulations with your new uke! Just wondering, does it have a zero fret and if so: do you like it?

Tor
12-05-2011, 12:01 AM
!,2,3 and 4: That's not good.

Congratulations with your new uke! Just wondering, does it have a zero fret and if so: do you like it?
It does, and I'm slightly partial to the zero fret, yes.. :)

ukuhippo
12-05-2011, 09:34 AM
Now I wonder which ukes do have zero frets, are there manufacturers that do this and others that don't ? Or is it just a thing they use on certain models?

Shastastan
12-05-2011, 04:15 PM
It does, and I'm slightly partial to the zero fret, yes.. :)

I'm a beginner and never thought about "zero fret", but yes, I really like being able to not have to use so much finger pressure. I understand why you like to play it so much.

I also understand your frustration about not being informed about shipments. I bought my Flea from Elderly Instruments so all was fine, but I've had problems with some other companies who do not understand the importance of customer satisfaction. Then, there are some companies who have so much business that they really don't care. There's a wide spectrum in the customer service area.

Tor
12-05-2011, 11:03 PM
Now I wonder which ukes do have zero frets, are there manufacturers that do this and others that don't ? Or is it just a thing they use on certain models? I've only heard about Fluke/Flea so far, for ukuleles (all Flukes and Fleas use a zero fret). Another poster told me in another thread way back in January (IIRC). There could be others.

From a technical viewpoint a zero fret can't be beaten [but see below about the non-use-cases..]. The reason it's not used more is probably stigma: Way back in time many guitars used a zero fret, but at some point there was an influence of cheap, low-quality guitars, and they more often than not had a zero-fret (because it's cheaper to make, obviously. Never mind that it works better too..). So zero-fret became, at some point, associated with cheap, low-quality instruments. It's silly really. It's a bit like if car engines with overhead camshafts were at some point associated with cheap cars (their makers adopted the process because it's simpler to make, with fewer parts), and the more expensive cars continued with pushrod valves because overhead cams were the sign of a cheap car.

But today there are a few custom guitar luthiers who build guitars with zero-frets, e.g. Harvey Leach. And there are other 'expensive' guitars with a zero fret as well, e.g. Fylde.

For some types of guitars a zero fret won't necessary be optimal, the most obvious example would be a steel string electric solid body where you want to do lots of bending (including all the way down to the first frets). Here you're better off with a well-cut nut.

And you can also get just as good results (as far as intonation is concerned) using a nut, it's just that you'll have to invest more work (and cost) to do it. I earlier mentioned that my best guitar is as good in this respect (as good as any guitar can possibly get, in fact), and it has a traditional nut.

On the ukulele the zero fret makes an awful lot of sense though:

1) String bending down at the first frets isn't typical ukulele technique, so no problems with a zero fret there
[Edit: I play some blues on my Flea.. with bends. The zero fret presents no problems.]

2) Strings are not steel, so even you for some reason decided that you will bend the strings down at the first or second fret all the time all day long, you would still not develop any grooves in your zero fret

3) As we all know, the ukuleles we buy almost universally come out of the factory in need of careful setup. And that's the crux. Why not let the ukulele come out of the factory with a perfect setup from the start (as far as the nut-end of the ukulele is concerned)? There's at least one company that has understood this..

So, back to the question you asked: Are there other manufacturers that do this? There probably are, but I only know about Fluke/Flea ukes. There must be others. If not, there _should_ be! :)

-Tor