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haolejohn
12-21-2013, 09:48 PM
Ukulele Underground,
I come to you asking for help. Last winter I destroyed two Ukes while traveling in the extreme Alaskan winter for my job (SPED teacher) inter village. I was a little stupid I only carried a solid wood uke with a gig bag only. And the dolphin wasn't even in a case or bag. Then I bought an outdoor uke. It survived the harsh GA summer (we own a house in GA) and even survived the mailing back to Alaska (no peanuts. Just uke inside a box).

The outdoor uke is what it is. A durable uke. It isn't a uke for the weak at heart. It sounds ok. But so far it would be the uke that I'd want to take to combat.

This winter I want to do a uke test. However I keep seeing mention of a flea/fluke as a possible option for us outdoor people. I'd like to place one in my test. Does anyone have one They'd be willing to donate to the experiment? I would pay shipping costs and would send it back. However, there is a possibility that the uke may not survive. I might even be able to buy one for the right price. Doesn't have to be pretty.
So the idea is that I am running three to four Ukes through a test in Alaska outdoors. I'm going to test the intonation, playability, tuning, and durability.

Edited to add if you have a spare uke that you think can withstand the sound/durability test let me know.

Uke lineup:
1. Outdoor uke
2. Makala dolphin
3. Makala laminate soprano
4. Fluke
5. ???

Wagster
12-21-2013, 10:27 PM
I have long suspected you were a mad scientist at heart, John.

Alas, it's no Fluke that I have no Fleas, but I will post a BOLO. I must ask though, have you considered strapping an Epi LP uke to your dog sled? It's a considerable hunk o' wood and I would rate it an easy 8.5 on the assault ukulele scale. Plus, it would burn considerably longer than your typical Dolphin should things take a turn for the worse.

ever helpfully yours,
Wag

P.S. Many parts of a ukulele are edible.

------------

"Trudgin' across the tundra. Mile after mile. Trudging across the trundra..... right down to the Parrish of St. Alphonso."

focsle
12-22-2013, 02:34 AM
Interesting experiment, let us know any results!

Cornfield
12-22-2013, 02:40 AM
I just hauled a Fluke without any case at all around the perimeter of Australia's mainland and Tasmania on a month long trip. It stood up to heat, dryness, humidity, cold and battering. And it still stands up. I'm pretty sure that it will survive your test too but you can't have mine :)
I second asking the Magic Fluke Company for a donation. They might even have an arctic prototype

cantsing
12-22-2013, 03:54 AM
I am too far away to send a uke. But have you thought of asking the Magic Fluke Company if they are interested in participating in the experiment? I have sent several emails to them over the years and they always answer nicely, even if they can't do much to help.

Maybe Magic Fluke would have a blem/second available that they would give you a good price on.

haolejohn
12-22-2013, 03:31 PM
I'm going to email them. I emailed blackbird uke for one of their Ukes too with no luck.

PTOEguy
12-22-2013, 04:15 PM
Maybe Magic Fluke would have a blem/second available that they would give you a good price on.

Typical pricing when I've talked with them is 20% off for the seconds - its a good deal (I have trouble telling what made mine a second) and they were great to work with.

Johnny GDS
12-22-2013, 04:42 PM
I have one that I will submit to your test. Its a concert sized fluke that is fairly used but in good condition. Shoot me a PM and we can work out the details!

silveraven
12-23-2013, 04:12 AM
Hey haolejohn, will you be able to test out the Martin 0XK too? I've seen it described as a hardy uke, possibly an alternative to the ODU as well? :D

Looking forward to your experiment! The nature of my work/field of study brings me to the sea a lot, and I like to hike. Was considering the ODU till I read all the bad reviews about it. :-/

haolejohn
12-24-2013, 12:29 AM
Hey haolejohn, will you be able to test out the Martin 0XK too? I've seen it described as a hardy uke, possibly an alternative to the ODU as well? :D

Looking forward to your experiment! The nature of my work/field of study brings me to the sea a lot, and I like to hike. Was considering the ODU till I read all the bad reviews about it. :-/
I'm not buying one, but I'll open this up to any Ukes that think they have what it takes. Lol.

strumsilly
12-24-2013, 04:16 AM
Do you think plastic would be more or less durable in the extreme cold? I know plastic can get brittle as I just destroyed a bucket trying to get the ice out. asking because I just got an Islander [Macciferi] bari.

Uke Republic
12-24-2013, 07:46 AM
Ahh, this should be an interesting test. The best sounding most durable ukulele to be determined. Tundra-lele! Artic-lele! Igloo-lele! Polar-lele! etc.

haolejohn
12-24-2013, 12:16 PM
Do you think plastic would be more or less durable in the extreme cold? I know plastic can get brittle as I just destroyed a bucket trying to get the ice out. asking because I just got an Islander [Macciferi] bari.
From my previous experience less, however the outdoor uke is supposed to be rated to -40. That is why I bought one.
I had a solid wood uke crack and a dolphin shatter last year on me.
The ODU seems to be the best option for extreme uking. I want to put it to the test. It isn't the best sounding uke but if I had the best sounding uke but it couldn't last, then who cares? Broken ukes do no good.