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Booli
03-04-2014, 01:50 PM
[DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with or compensated by this company in any way, just a very VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER!!!]





Who loves their instrument(s) from The Magic Fluke Company (http://www.magicfluke.com/)?




I'm talking about the Fluke, Flea, Firefly, Fluke SB ukuleles and the NEW Cricket Violin...and the Timber Bass

I have been a multi-instrumental musician for 35 years and I am (or was prior to discovering the ukulele) primarily a guitarist, and I discovered the ukulele in December of 2012, and have owned, and still own some very high end instruments.

The quality of these instruments from The Magic Fluke company are simply some of the highest level I have ever seen, used, or owned. These folks take pride in their work and their acute attention to the details are easy to see.

I LOVE these ukuleles! I have a basic lava (black) concert Flea with the plastic (polycarbonate) fretboard and original friction tuners (soon to be replaced with the Gotoh UPT-L planetary geared tuners), and the top-of-the-line Koa tenor Fluke with rosewood fretboard, and pegheds tuners....both have Worth Browns mediums, high-g on the concert and low-g on the tenor. BM and BM-LG.

These are my best sounding, playing, feeling, LOOKING and intonating ukuleles, and at the moment my UAS is cured, and soon I might sell off all previous acquisitions in order to fund the purchase of more products from this company...

My concert Flea and tenor Fluke are my most prized and precious ukuleles of the 6 that I currently own, and while some may prefer to spend $1,000-$5,000 on a custom instrument from all the favorite names so frequently discussed here on UU, unless it has BETTER intonation than a Flea or Fluke, I'm simply not interested.

Unless the instrument is both manufactured and assembled in the USA, I'm also not interested. (I have nothing specifically against instruments made elsewhere, but I'd like to try and invest my money 'locally' if possible)

Instruments made by The Magic Fluke company are also affordable to the average joe, and by the reputation of The Magic Fluke company with their ukuleles, and my own personal hands-on experience (which is confirmed by at least a couple hundred other UU members) with the high quality, playability and tone, I can confidently say that you are getting a very good value for the money.

So, my fellow Ukulele Undergound members, please tell me:
1) What you got?

2) Why did you buy it?

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?



Bonus points if you share pictures of your instrument(s)!



Be sure to mark your entries on the poll at the top of this thread!

(as per suggestion from eugene ukulele (Jon) below, and since I can not edit the poll [don't know how] this thread and poll is for both past and present owners to participate, so if you do not own a Magic Fluke company instrument right now, but have had one in the past, please consider yourself included by default, and please add your voice to the discussion here)

Also, don't miss the NAMM 2014 video with Aldrine, down below in post #11 (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread&p=1487499#post1487499).

Please share and discuss below...

-Booli
[The following content was added on 8-3-2016]
Since creating this initial thread, here are a few of the following discussions where I have participated with my own recommendations, photos and links to the solutions that I currently use.

1. Pure Blasphemy! Geared Tuners-Fluke & Flea-installed-photos & explanations
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...p-explanations (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?110691-Pure-Blasphemy%21Geared-Tuners-Fluke-amp-Flea-installed-photos-amp-explanations)

2. Flea Question: difference between the standard Flea and the designer Flea?
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...-Flea-Question (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119264-Flea-Question)

3. Solution for frets and neck same color on plastic fretboard
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...72#post1820972 (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119128-Frets-and-Neck-are-the-same-colour-What-would-you-do&p=1820972#post1820972)

4. Fitting a strap to a Fluke
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...rap-to-a-Fluke (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119062-Fitting-a-strap-to-a-Fluke)

5. and
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...46#post1820246 (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119058-Fluke-has-anyone-changed-strings&p=1820246#post1820246)

6. Fluke strings discussion
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...hanged-strings (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119058-Fluke-has-anyone-changed-strings)
[The following content was added on 8-22-2016]
http://i.imgur.com/YnxCNhW.png

Above is directly from the Magic Fluke Company web site: http://www.magicfluke.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1830
[The following content was added on 7-2-2017 (moved the info below from another post to here)]

As they say, 'a picture is worth a thousand words', so here are two, recently taken, an 'MFC Family Photo'

https://i.imgur.com/zB2aUXG.png
Rear, from left: Lava concert Flea, Koa tenor Fluke, Hibiscus Red tenor Flea, Lava concert Fluke, Mango tenor Fluke.
Front, from left: Cricket violin with bow, Walnut tenor Flea with birch rosette

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
https://i.imgur.com/pJ1cgnm.png
Back, from left: Koa tenor Fluke, Lava concert Fluke, Mango tenor Fluke
Middle, from left: Walnut/birch tenor Flea, Hibiscus Red tenor Flea, Lava concert Flea
Front: Cricket violin with bow

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just got the Cricket violin on Saturday as part of a trade, so I cannot play it yet, but I have been preparing for this for a few months with a soprano using the Aquila 30U GDAE fifths-tuning strings on this soprano. A soprano uke is the same scale length as a standard 4/4 size violin. Violin is tuned GDAE in fifths tuning.

My first ever instrument was violin in 3rd grade, but I have not played one since (like 40 yrs) so this is like coming full circle.

- The Koa Fluke, Mango Fluke and Walnut Flea, all tenor scale, all have wooden fretboard.

- The Koa Fluke has PegHeds, the Mango Fluke has Gotoh UPT-L which I customized with the Carmelite colored tuner knobs, and installed the Gotoh myself.

- The Walnut tenor Flea, and Red tenor Flea both have open geared tuners also which I installed myself.

- The Lava concert Fluke also has Gotoh UPT-L tuners.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One might ask, why so many, aren't they all the same?, and simply the answer is NO.

The only way that they are the same is in how easy they are to play, the great tone, the excellent consistent build quality and best intonation of any uke I've touched so far.

Magic Fluke Company ROCKS! :rock:

Also a few of them are tuned a little differently, and because of that and the varying shape and scale lengths each MFC uke has a different purpose in my music-making toolbox.

- Koa Fluke is E-A-C#-F# re-entrant with Martin M620 strings (one whole-step [2 semitones] higher than DGBE baritone), and this is the uke I sing with since A6 tuning fits my vocal range easily.

- Mango Fluke is CGDA fifths tuning like mandola, viola or tenor guitar with Aquila 31U fifths-tuning string set. Sounds great in this tuning. Very full and rich tone.

- Lava Fluke is GCEA re-entrant with the new CarbonBlack strings from Aquila that I am testing and a video is coming in a few days once I get my technical issues resolved.

- Walnut tenor Flea has D'Addario T2 Titanium nylon in GCEA re-entrant

- Hibiscus Red tenor Flea has Oasis Warm in GCEA re-entrant

- Lava concert Flea has Worth CM in GCEA re-entrant

- The Cricket violin also has the B-Band pickup installed and D'Addario violin strings (don't remember which ones they are called).

I have other ukes, but these get the most play time, and most of the others are soon to be listed for sale as I am downsizing now and hedging towards minimalism.

If I want a linear tuning, my Lanikai LU-21B gets more play than any other bari, and if I want a guitar my Cordoba Mini SM-CE is the one I reach for and is in Terz tuning.

Yes, I have bought all of these with my own money and am in no way compensated by MFC. I am just a huge fan of their well-made products, how they run their business, and the people all involved that work there.

So please relinquish any thoughts of my being a shill, as this is simply not true.

Olarte
03-04-2014, 02:02 PM
Absolutely, Booli

It's because of my past great experiences with the 4 Magic Fluke instruments that I have owned (gifted one to my niece) that I made the plunge after 37 years and am now back to playing violin... Thanks to The Cricket!


in fact if you search some of my posts you'll see my indepth review do the cricket violin...

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93533-The-%93Cricket%94-Violin-by-the-Magic-Fluke-company-A-Personal-Review%85


You'll also see mr bojangles instrumental on my prized flea with rosewood fretboard and of course pegheds.... I picket it out as the best choice for my video, yes even over my KoAlohas and the lovely Mya-moe
Why? Because the sound is nice and clear, it plays like butter, intonation is perfect even to the highest note at the end. And note, I was able to play this with no strap, it feels fine right in my arms.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93425-A-new-Mr-Bojangles-instrumental-arrangement-for-Ukulele-on-a-Flea-this-time

Icelander53
03-04-2014, 02:07 PM
Me me! What a timely thread. I just sent them a note of appreciation for the job they did on my special ordered Fluke. It came back everything I was hoping it would be. I just heard back from them a couple of hours ago thanking me for the appreciation. They rock.

(lava black tenor Fluke with rosewood frets, low g tuning)

(concert fret Fluke in plastic)

Not much to dislike but I wish I could see the frets on the plastic fretboard. I would replace them in a second if lost or damaged. I may spring for a wood fretboard to replace the plastic one as I find the low action kind of difficult when barring chords. But it sure plays easy.

Hippie Dribble
03-04-2014, 02:32 PM
Just thinking Booli, it may have been helpful to have another option in your poll for those members to participate who don't own one of these instruments. I've owned a couple of fleas and a fluke in the past and enjoyed each one very much.

Icelander53
03-04-2014, 03:20 PM
I have another comment on the Magic Fluke Co. It's really pleasing to me, being older to see something of good quality at a reasonable price made in my country by my countrymen. I think we can be proud (without being unnecessarily patriotic) about that. It seems such a rare thing now. When I was a young man it was a different game altogether and I miss finding quality products I can afford being made here by skilled craftsmen.

Booli
03-04-2014, 03:25 PM
Just thinking Booli, it may have been helpful to have another option in your poll for those members to participate who don't own one of these instruments. I've owned a couple of fleas and a fluke in the past and enjoyed each one very much.

Jon, that's a great idea, and I'm sorry for not thinking of it. This is the first poll I've ever created and I do not see a way to edit the poll or add a second poll to this thread, is there a way to do either?

Please advise...

Hippie Dribble
03-04-2014, 03:29 PM
Jon, that's a great idea, and I'm sorry for not thinking of it. This is the first poll I've ever created and I do not see a way to edit the poll or add a second poll to this thread, is there a way to do either?

Please advise...

Na, no biggies mate, you'd have to do a start a separate thread with a new set of options. It was just a thought "out loud" maybe for next time. Poll is col as-is.

Hippie Dribble
03-04-2014, 03:32 PM
I'm cheating here but these were two of the lovelies I used to own... :)
6452464525

WKerrigan
03-04-2014, 03:44 PM
I confess to being intrigued by them, but they seem pricey for a plastic and laminate uke--and the fact you have to pay an additional premium for a wood fret board. Do most people pony up for the wooden fret board, or are folks content with the plastic one?

Booli
03-04-2014, 03:59 PM
Na, no biggies mate, you'd have to do a start a separate thread with a new set of options. It was just a thought "out loud" maybe for next time. Poll is col as-is.

I just now have edited the top post to include everyone, as it should have been in the first place (sorry), and also added some personal information to qualify my experience and perceptions of these instruments.

bnolsen
03-04-2014, 04:24 PM
natural concert poly fluke i tweaked to take a phd non wound low-g. I installed 3 of 4 grover 4b tuners on that (waiting for a missing screw).

red true joy branded concert poly flea. i'm very seriously considering selling this since i decided I prefer my fluke and now have a martin oxk. still considering what to do...

Booli
03-04-2014, 04:41 PM
I confess to being intrigued by them, but they seem pricey for a plastic and laminate uke--and the fact you have to pay an additional premium for a wood fret board. Do most people pony up for the wooden fret board, or are folks content with the plastic one?

If you want to use a low-g string and prefer higher tension strings, and are committed to concert scale, then the wooden fretboard is necessary.

A metal wound string will chew up the polycarbonate fretboard and is not recommended by The Magic Fluke company.

If you are looking at the tenor scale, and want low-g, then you can get either fretboard, as with the tenor scale there is enough tension for most unwound low-g strings.

I prefer higher tension strings than most people, and after testing 24 different sets of strings (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93141-It-s-like-UAS-only-worse-SCO) (<--click to see the thread) on concert scale instruments, I have concluded that at this moment, other than the Aquila REDS low-g, all other strings I have tried do not have enough tension for me, so my lava concert Flea is my go-to high-g instrument, with Worth Brown medium strings (BM), and my Koa tenor Fluke is my default low-g instrument, also with Worth Brown medium strings but with the low-g (BM-LG).

Some folks with vision issues have trouble 'seeing' the frets on the polycarbonate fretboard, as it is all monochromatically brownish in color, and this was a little problem for me at first, but after having the instrument now for 4 months, and this is now 11 months I am playing the ukulele, I am training myself NOT to look at the fretboard, unless I am learning an new chord, and even so, despite being farsighted and wearing eyeglasses, I do not have trouble to 'see' the monochromatic fretboard.

There is a great thread currently going now on this very topic created by fellow member Icelander53 that you can see here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93629-Highlighting-Fluke-frets).

if you want to use a WOUND low-g string, and want to avoid premature wear on the (polycarbonate) fretboard (and getting it replaced, by The Magic Fluke company, which they will do under warranty for up to 3 yrs to the original owner, and then after that for a nominal cost), then your safest option is to upgrade to the wooden fretboard, and thus you are not limited to string type and can use any strings you wish without fear of the strings inflicting damage.

The wooden fretboard is a $79 upgrade IIRC, so that puts you in the ballpark of ~$300 depending upon the scale length and which instrument. So you can then compare that to other brands in the $300 range, but then the issue with other ukuleles is going to be intonation.

Unless the $300 ukulele you buy has a setup that can guarantee that the intonation is going to be no more than 8-10 cents off at the 12th fret, or you plan to adjust the string geometry yourself or take it to a luthier and have the nut and saddle adjusted, you are not truly comparing apples to apples. Most factory made instruments are shipped with high saddles, and poorly cut nut slots, both of which can cause the intonation to be poor, and both of which might need to be remedied to correct the problem.

Most people either dont care or dont know about intonation. If you never go past the 3rd fret, you will probably never hear that the intonation is off. However, if you want to play more complex music, like John King or Jake Shimabukuro, you will be making use of the entire range of the fretboard and typically when the intonation is off by too much, you can never really get the instrument in tune with itself, regardless of what fancy strings you put on it.

It's a simple fact: If the string geometry is cockeyed, intonation is poor.

You will also not be able to perceive when the intonation is off until your ear is trained for it, and then sadly, you can hear it always.

As a beginner, sometimes as the saying goes 'ignorance is bliss' and that $40 uke from BestBuy or Costco sounds fantastic to the beginner. God bless them for what they dont know that they dont know, as long as the uke makes them happy.

In my mind, the careful attention to detail in the design and engineering, as well as the quality control procedures that are done by the Magic Fluke company to make absolutely certain that the instrument shipped has near-perfect and highly-accurate intonation on a wooden fretboard, is absolutely worth the price.

My question is, why is it so completely impossible for other manufacturers to compete and provide similar results?

Mind you, I am not indicting all ukulele builders, and there are many smaller luthiers/custom builders with a careful eye and deft hand, but even at the $300 range, there is little motivation for the cookie-cutter factory-built instruments to take extra care to make sure the intonation is better than 'barely good enough' to the 5th fret.

I will not name manufacturer names, but this forum if full of more discussion about problems due to poor factory set up out-of-the-box than probably anything else, and that is a huge reason why HMS, MIM's and Uke Republic are so well regarded, --- it's because they take instruments that might be unplayable and by doing the setup work before the instrument ships to the customer, they are correcting these 'defects' such that the instrument is better than it was direct from the factory....

Remember this is all related to NEW instruments, and a buyer might happen to get lucky and get an instrument from Amazon and it happens to be very good with the intonation and action, but this has all been well documented here on the forum, and this is the rare exception rather than the rule...

As they say, 'you spends your money, and you takes your chances..'

With instruments from the Magic Fluke Company, they take these careful steps during the manufacturing process to make sure that their instruments do not have these problems, and require no after-the-fact manipulations. The polycarbonate fretboard should have no issues with intonation unless it was installed in the wrong position on the neck, and this skews the scale length, but I have never even heard of this happening.

Booli
03-04-2014, 05:15 PM
I'm cheating here but these were two of the lovelies I used to own... :)
6452464525

No, it's all good - everyone can 'play' :) - see the updated first post at the top - where I credit you for the suggestion!

If you got more from the past to share, let's see them and hear about it, and please feel free to do the poll at the top as well.

These are very nice, and very 'arty' looking.

Icelander53
03-04-2014, 05:24 PM
Wow you are a fan Booli! The Music Store (Cripple Creek Music) in Ashland Oregon where I abide is well known for the high quality of instruments and knowledgable staff. They do a full set up on every Ukulele that hits the wall there. Except for the Fluke and Flea. They told me that wood or plastic they are always good to go when they get them. I usually buy from them but based on that information I bought my first Fluke sight unseen and got a free padded gig bag and tuner thrown in for the same price they sell them. It was perfect on arrival and I loved it so much for it's playability and sound that I sprung for a second one with the full tenor fretboard in rosewood. I told them I wanted as low of an action as possible due to finger arthritis. I emphasized that and was a little concerned that they'd do it so low that it might buzz or such but I've had it for over a week now and it's perfect. I was so inspired by it that I emailed them a letter about it yesterday just to let them know they done good. :rock:

Icelander53
03-04-2014, 06:04 PM
BTW I was in that music store a few days ago selling a friend on a flea and I played with that little banjo guy. I want one. It's on the wish list. It has a really happy sound and very fun to play.

Booli
03-04-2014, 06:17 PM
BTW I was in that music store a few days ago selling a friend on a flea and I played with that little banjo guy. I want one. It's on the wish list. It has a really happy sound and very fun to play.

Barry (bazmaz), a highly regarded fellow UU member, has a comprehensive review (http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/04/magic-fluke-firefly-banjo-ukulele.html) and video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NASsK8ow6Cg) on his web site (http://gotaukulele.com) on the Firefily banjo Ukulele.

In the past, he has also done excellent reviews for the Fluke and the Flea. You can also find them on his page linked above.

Also, our brother Aldrine has a video from Winter NAMM 2014 where Phyllis Webb (co-owner of The Magic Fluke Company) shows him several instruments including the Firefly:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umYVzZIU7VA

Booli
03-05-2014, 06:35 AM
I have another comment on the Magic Fluke Co. It's really pleasing to me, being older to see something of good quality at a reasonable price made in my country by my countrymen. I think we can be proud (without being unnecessarily patriotic) about that. It seems such a rare thing now. When I was a young man it was a different game altogether and I miss finding quality products I can afford being made here by skilled craftsmen.

:agree:

Buying locally also uses less resources, and is more environmentally responsible than having something shipped from far away.

Not only because you are not shipping tons of foreign goods, but also because you are maximizing the investment in local resources and strengthening your local supply chain, and local ecomony, even if only by the creation of jobs and function of long term employment.

but I digress...

bnolsen
03-05-2014, 07:21 AM
Buying locally also uses less resources, and is more environmentally responsible than having something shipped from far away.

I'm noticing more and more that I can't find what I want locally. Even for all the hate against guitar center, I still prefer buying things directly from them first if I can. But their ukulele accessory collection (tuner upgrades, etc) seems to be pretty thin. Other smaller shops are around but based on what they carry I don't think they know what ukuleles are.

ogg
03-05-2014, 08:15 AM
I got my first uke at a yard sale, a very dusty concert-scale Fluke with a missing plastic fretboard for $15. Got the fretboard upgraded and then went on to purchase a concert Flea and a Firefly. Rarely walk past them without snatching one up and playing for a while. Excellent Ukes! You don't want to leave it out in the rain but you don't have to baby them either.

peaceweaver3
03-05-2014, 09:03 AM
1) What you got?

* I don't own a MFC instrument right now, but have a pending order of a walnut concert Flea w/ hardwood fretboard. Cannot wait!

I've previously owned and loved:
1. Lava soprano Flea
2. Moonlight blue soprano Flea (discontinued, bought for the color)
3. Pineapple design soprano Flea (bought for the design)
4. Lava tenor Flea (the longest I've ever owned a uke and only sold to pay grad school tuition)
All with standard fretboards.

I've owned and not loved, but only because of the shape:
1. Concert Fluke SB
2. Tenor Fluke w/ walnut top, wood fretboard, hibiscus soundhole, PegHeds

I once installed PegHeds on the tenor Flea. Did not like, so uninstalled them (boy was that difficult!) and replaced the original friction tuners. Much better. The only reason there were PegHeds on the Fluke is that I bought it from another UU member that way. :)

2) Why did you buy it?

* Durability, intonation, sounded consistent on all reviews--something I've never heard from another brand. And after I had one Flea, I liked more of the designs and colors so I got those, too. I never owned all the Fleas at once though; I think at one point I had 3. :D

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?

* Love: Intonation, this can't be overstated! Portability. Durability. Re. Flea, cuteness. The Fluke is built like a tank, but not so cute to me. The Flea though, I cannot put down. And the standing on end? How cool is that?

Hate? Don't think so! If I had to complain, I'd say I had some fret wear on one of the Fleas. But I played the thing every day for years, and it was only on 2 strings, 2 frets. Had I kept that Flea, I might have upgraded to the wood fretboard to prevent future damage.

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?

* No, I can only play one at a time and expect the impending Flea to be my only. (Now stop laughing all of you! :D )

But if I decided to play violin again, I'd buy a Cricket in a heartbeat!

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?

* Absolutely, assuming I had the cash on hand.

Booli
03-05-2014, 09:08 AM
I'm noticing more and more that I can't find what I want locally. Even for all the hate against guitar center, I still prefer buying things directly from them first if I can. But their ukulele accessory collection (tuner upgrades, etc) seems to be pretty thin. Other smaller shops are around but based on what they carry I don't think they know what ukuleles are.

Guitar Center (GC) typically caters to 'the lowest common denominator' for most things. Every time I had gone in there in the past 15 yrs (in any one of the 5 different location within a 15 mile radius) I have heard a salesperson giving not only purely incorrect information, but also saying things that would demonstrate almost a complete lack of customer service training, (rude, impatient and hostile).

It used to make me so frustrated and angry, and I used to intervene, and commandeer the person away from the GC employee and try to help them, and I can't tell you how many times GC offered me a job, which I always declined.

I'd rather clean gas station toilets than work at GC. I hate that place. It's like they have institutionalized ignorance and evil.

I would only buy from them in a dire emergency (like needing something on the way to a gig, with no other alternative, and I'd do so with extreme resistance).

On the other hand, the hometown local music shop (Ritchie's Music in Rockway, NJ (http://ritchiesmusic.com/)) is staffed with people who go out of their way to help, and have no problem saying 'I don't know the answer to that, but let me find one for you'.

Absolutely anything that they might not have in stock that you might buy from an online vendor, they can order it and typically have it within a week, and at prices the same as Amazon or Musicians Friend, without any haggling necessary. Typically if I ordered something on a Thursday, I could go to the store and pick it up on Tuesday. The only online vendor I've seen that actually has the item to your door in less than 7 days for free shipping is with Amazon Prime, but you pay a one-time $80/yr for that privilege of guaranteed 2-day delivery, so it's not really 'free'...

Ritchie's is an authorized Kala dealer and I bought my first ukulele (http://kalabrand.com/Models/Kala/Mahogany-Satin/DetailsPageMahogSatin.html#six) from them back in March 2013, and by the time you added local sales tax, it was only $2 more in price than buying the same instrument from Amazon. I knew that I was going to replace the plastic or nubone saddle with a bone saddle, so I did not bother about having them do a setup.

They now try to keep at least 2-3 of each soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone of this Kala series in stock, and they told me that about every 14 days they are selling out and need to reorder. When I started back in March they had no ukulele strings in stock at all, and no displays for them, and everything had to be ordered.

Now they have a section on the wall with many of the Aquila Nylguts and Aquila REDS, the Martin m600, m620, m630 strings, D'Addario Pro Arte, and a few varieties of the Kala strings. I am trying to get them to keep Worths, Fremont and Oasis strings in stock as well, but they have been telling me that the demand is not there yet. They also have both padded gig bags and the Kala Uke Crazy polyfoam cases in stock regularly too at competitive prices.

It's nice to see them respond to interest in the ukulele, and to have these items available only 4 miles away from me.

peaceweaver3
03-05-2014, 09:10 AM
I confess to being intrigued by them, but they seem pricey for a plastic and laminate uke--and the fact you have to pay an additional premium for a wood fret board. Do most people pony up for the wooden fret board, or are folks content with the plastic one?

I've thought they were pricey too. Though I've had many of their instruments, I've only bought one new from the factory. But, you're not just paying for materials. You're paying for quality and consistency. That's a big deal to me and makes the price worth it, especially since my only practical option is to purchase online. I'd rather pay extra to MFC and know before it arrives, exactly what I'm getting, than (as I've also done) pay the same or more for a uke I had to return. JMO.

DaleR
03-05-2014, 09:42 AM
I've thought they were pricey too. Though I've had many of their instruments, I've only bought one new from the factory. But, you're not just paying for materials. You're paying for quality and consistency. That's a big deal to me and makes the price worth it, especially since my only practical option is to purchase online. I'd rather pay extra to MFC and know before it arrives, exactly what I'm getting, than (as I've also done) pay the same or more for a uke I had to return. JMO.

Worth every penny too! I love my Tiki King collection!

Booli
03-05-2014, 10:31 AM
I'd like to add that after reading tons of praise about the ukuleles from The Magic Fluke Company here on this forum for 4 months before being able to actually see, hold and play a Fluke made me a bit crazed about wanting one.

It was not until I attended the Morristown Ukulele Festival (http://www.folkproject.org/ukefest/ukefest.shtml) for the Saturday night performance with James Hill, Anne Janelle, Victoria Vox, and Jim & Liz Beloff that I was able to satisfy this goal.

While waiting in the audience prior to the performance (which happened after a series of day-long workshops), there was a really nice guy from Maryland (sadly I can't remember his name) that had a tenor Fluke with the natural top, polycarbonate fretboard and Fremont Blacklines low-g. He was kind enough to let me hold it and strum a few chords. At that moment it was like I had an epiphany and told myself that I must own one some day.

After the concert I was lucky enough to meet all the performers and actually talk with them. James Hill (I'm a HUGE fan of his) was kind enough to discuss with me his nail care routine, and Victoria Vox talked to me about her songwriting process. But what really impressed me was talking with Jim Beloff about his approach to learning new chords, and new songs.

I had already been working my way through his book 'The Daily Ukulele (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idProduct=258)' and was having a hard time. Jim suggested that I take a song that I like, and break it down into smaller parts, and then work on each part, and once I was confident with that part, move on to the next part, and so on, and then when I was ready, to put all the parts together, and once I've done this a few times, learning new chords and new songs would become easier, and the more I did this, it would become easier still.

He was spot on. I have followed his advice and am very happy with the results.

Jim Beloff was just the nicest person in the world. After all day long of giving workshops, and performing 2 sets of shows, he was generous enough to give me his undivided attention about about ten minutes. I felt so privileged to have met him and talked with him. He is one of my 'ukulele heros' BIG time!

In case you are not familiar with Jim & Liz Beloff, Jim Beloff's sister is Phyllis Webb, who is married to Dale Webb (the Webbs are the owners and founders of The Magic Fluke Company - see more here (http://www.magicfluke.com/category-s/1814.htm)).

The Beloff's are a driving force toward advocating all things ukulele, starting from back in 1992. They have several albums of ukulele music, as well as a whole series of instructional and also song books for ukulele. The have a company called Flea Market Music, and I've copied some text as it relates to The Magic Fluke Company, from their 'About Us page below:


In 1999, Jim and Liz, along with Phyllis and Dale Webb, introduced a unique, colorful, and affordable ukulele called the Fluke and, later, a smaller-sized model, the Flea, that have won admirers all over the world. Jim and Liz regularly perform together at ukulele festivals in the U.S.A. and have also gone on uke tours of Japan and Australia. They truly believe in their company’s motto, “Uke Can Change the World.” You can reach them through the Flea Market Music web site at www.fleamarketmusic.com. (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com.)

Also, for anybody who's interested here is a picture from when I met Jim Beloff (click to enlarge):
64554

If you are a fan of The Magic Fluke company, you will most likely also find things you like over on the web site for Flea Market Music as well. They sell books, CDs, DVDs, and some uke-realted accesories, as well as having a helpful uke discussion forum and a 'marketplace' similar to what we have here on Ukulele Underground.

Newportlocal
03-05-2014, 10:40 AM
I will state my appreciation. When I started out years ago I had a tiki soprano flea. It was a great uke. I have a tenor
Pineapple flea currently. It is great. Take it anywhere without worrying and it is always out to pick up. Love that it stands on it's own. I called them once when I had lost my saddle doing a string change. I offered money to get a replacement. They said not to worry about it, and sent me a couple replacement saddles free. That is great service, and it was exceptionally nice of them. Great company.

Icelander53
03-05-2014, 10:58 AM
Booli, I had the same experience with Guitar Center. About two weeks ago I wrote corporate a letter outlining exactly what I thought of them. What fun for me. I'll never shop there again except as you say in a dire emergency.

brUKEman
03-05-2014, 11:03 AM
Myself and a friend visited Magic Fluke Company a couple of months ago. He purchased a concert flea which they customized on the spot for him, adjusting the action to his liking and even adding side dots which they normally don't do. I had them change my Firefly neck from a soprano to a concert and I also added the side markers. They were most accommodating and helpful letting us walk thru their shop seeing how the ukes are made. Here are a couple of pictures I took. 645556455664557

Olarte
03-05-2014, 11:11 AM
Here are a couple of pics of my MFC instruments...

The new cricket violin, my prized pineapple flea, my fluke and firefly...

In good company with the KoAlohas, and a 1929 Lyon & Healy soprano.

By the way the photos are some of the favorites I've taken, and the posters behind the ukes are Jake, his set list, Victoria vox, and some other local artists all autographed. Up on top is maestro Pepe Romero who I met a month ago in NYC ....

A music is so rewarding! :old:

64558 64559645606456164562

I guess you can count me in as an MFC fan :cool:

kvehe
03-05-2014, 11:36 AM
I have a little collection - hibiscus red soprano Flea (FredBird), purple concert Fluke (Hayes), tie-dyed tenor Flea (Janis), and a soprano Firefly. If I played the violin, I'd have a Cricket. Maybe I should take up the violin.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh638/kvehe/Mobile%20Uploads/photo_zps5daddac7.jpg (http://s1255.photobucket.com/user/kvehe/media/Mobile%20Uploads/photo_zps5daddac7.jpg.html)

Booli
03-05-2014, 12:13 PM
If I played the violin, I'd have a Cricket. Maybe I should take up the violin.

Kathryn,

I think you are not alone with that thought. Violin was my first instrument when I was 5 yr old, but sadly I did not stick with it, but want to return to it. As I had said in Olarte's review thread (linked in his post above), When i take up the violin again, there is no long and painful searching for me - I'm getting a Cricket Violin and never looking back, and I'm not going to worry about what else is out there. I simply don't care what else is available right now. The Magic Fluke Company has won me as a customer of first choice for any category of instrument they make.

-Booli

ksiegel
03-05-2014, 12:45 PM
I was the first outsider to visit the Magic Fluke Company when they moved the Sheffield, MA. The building wasn't quite finished, but very homey. Most of the products were in the front hallway - actually, with the exception of the solid body Fluke (which was too heavy for me), and two prototype Firefly banjo ukes, everything in the hallway was a Second (for various reasons).

I picked up a Fluke Tenor (Mahogany top, rosewood fingerboard, peghed tuners, and the old style B&B pickup) and played it. I played every Fluke and Flea in that hallway - all seconds, as well as the two prototype Fireflys for nearly 3-1/2 hours. Dale brought the solid-body Fluke to me to ty, and Phyllis brought me back into the shop to play new stock - And I kept going back to that Tenor Fluke.

I bought it and a hard case, and back then the bag was included (I have since sent it to Ivan Olarte, since I didn't need it), and I tried to talk Dale into letting me buy one of the Firefly prototypes then and there - but he said no. Then he showed me the new tailpiece and neck he had just designed, and that was all it took - I ordered one that day. (I have S/N 22).

I still have the original Aquila strings on the Fluke - it just sounds great, the intonation is superb, and the peghed tuners are exactly what I wanted. I now have 3 instruments with Pegheds.

I have 14 ukes - my Flukes are in the top 5 of my favorites.



-Kurt

Olarte
03-05-2014, 12:49 PM
Kathryn, I was going to reply here about the cricket and violin in general but felt it belonged more In my cricket thread. You can read my comment #13 here http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93533-The-%93Cricket%94-Violin-by-the-Magic-Fluke-company-A-Personal-Review%85/page2&highlight=Cricket


I have a little collection - hibiscus red soprano Flea (FredBird), purple concert Fluke (Hayes), tie-dyed tenor Flea (Janis), and a soprano Firefly. If I played the violin, I'd have a Cricket. Maybe I should take up the violin.

Olarte
03-05-2014, 12:51 PM
Hi Kurt, yes I remember your kind gesture. I still use it anytime I take my fluke and flea on the road...;)

It always makes me smile,when I reach for it, as I can't help about the Aloha spirit and the fact that you gifted it to me...:shaka:

And yes, out of all my ukuleles, my flea and fluke are the ones I reach for the most... Even more than the Mya-moe, if nothing else because they are also so durable and less prone to dings and scratches. Although I must say the mya-moe survived a 5 day workshop with barely a scratch.

And in fact I chose the pineapple flea out of all my ukes for my mr bojangles instrumental. It felt perfect for it.




I bought it and a hard case, and back then the bag was included (I have since sent it to Ivan Olarte, since I didn't need it), and I tried to talk Dale into letting me buy one of the Firefly prototypes then and there - but he said no. Then he showed me the new tailpiece and neck he had just designed, and that was all it took - I ordered one that day. (I have S/N 22).

I still have the original Aquila strings on the Fluke - it just sounds great, the intonation is superb, and the peghed tuners are exactly what I wanted. I now have 3 instruments with Pegheds.

I have 14 ukes - my Flukes are in the top 5 of my favorites.



-Kurt

Olarte
03-05-2014, 01:01 PM
On a different note a fellow UU member pm me about my interest in selling my fluke.... I'm sure you can guess my answer.

In any case what I did do is share what I did, and thought I would paste and share it here for your benefit...

Sorry, but the MFC instruments I will never get rid of, besides they have rosewood fretboard, and pegheds which ended up costing around 400 but well worth it.


Two things I definitely recommend though is to get all the options, rosewood fretboard, pegheds and a pickup. You will either keep it for life, or should be able to get a good price for,it even with all the options.

Also, which is what I did... Is call them and see what seconds they have...

I got lucky. I wanted both the pineapple and the surf patterns for a flea and fluke respectively and they had both... And the defect was some fading on both which as you can see looks fine with this particular designs.

The bleached look is fine for the surf and the pineapple is faded a tiny bit on top. I would not even consider it a second.

Anyway they sent me photos of both before I ordered and got $45 off each which I used to fund the pegheds.

I like the fluke a lot but the flea is one of my favorites... I even picked it from a dozen ukes to do mr bojangles.

So sorry I won't be selling either but at least you know what I did and what I recommend...

chuck in ny
03-05-2014, 02:15 PM
there is the inevitable tendency to go apples to apples and simply compare price. if you want to buy american you have to be flexible and just hand over the money.
i have a fluke concert with the australian pine top. i'm going to take it in and have them do the wood fretboard on it and not worry how much i have into it. it is a keeper and a unique piece of work.
they actually come close enough to offshore pricing which is not a fair comparison at all.

Booli
03-05-2014, 02:43 PM
I just found this short video clip on youtube that MGM MusicGuyMic (RIP) put up with James Hill playing a Firefly banjo Uke from NAMM 2011:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLR3_Ob_MSk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLR3_Ob_MSk

uke4ia
03-05-2014, 03:29 PM
I've got a concert Fluke with a sunburst pattern on a natural background that I bought in 2006. I've been using it for my travel uke. It's been on many car vacations with me, and has been to Hawaii. I've had to repaint the position marker dots on the fretboard; other than that, it's still in good shape.

I mostly play a tenor with a low G, so eventually I'd like to get a tenor Fluke with a rosewood fretboard that I could string for low G. That way, my travel uke would better fit the way I usually play. I'd probably get one with a pickup, because I recently learned how to run an electrified uke through the effects processor module on my synthesizer, to add distortion, chorus, etc.

peaceweaver3
03-05-2014, 04:10 PM
I keep coming back to this thread while I so impatiently await my Flea! :o

So on the pickup thing, I know Booli and Barry (Bazmaz) have installed soundboard pickups in a Flea and Fluke respectively. I plan to install a JJB Electronics pickup in the Flea too.

And I must be the only one who doesn't like PegHeds. :) I wouldn't say I hate them, they weren't bad at all. I just don't like the feel, how they stick out so much. And I like to install strings by going twice through the hole in the post. PegHeds didn't allow that with a nonwound low G. I like fluoro low G's regardless of fretboard material. Anyway the PegHeds just weren't a good fit for me either time I tried them. Variety is the spice of life, or something like that. So I saved myself the price and ordered plain got friction tuners on the Flea.

FTR I also tried the colored Lucy's tuners they had on the Flea Market Music site. Again, the post wasn't long enough for my usual string installation. Oh well, so I had 3 colored tuners and one original. It was fine.

I also have to say, I realize installing tuners isn't a big deal for many. Neither is fitting a pickup. But I'd be much less comfortable doing either if we were talking about another uke. Solid wood, pretty inlays, less durable and so on, a uke you have to baby, and/or that costs more. But that Flea took everything I put it through with no complaints and nothing but the fret ware I mentioned as "evidence". Kudos to Magic Fluke!

ksiegel
03-05-2014, 04:11 PM
I just found this short video clip on youtube that MGM MusicGuyMic (RIP) put up with James Hill playing a Firefly banjo Uke from NAMM 2011:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLR3_Ob_MSk

Yeah, that's one of the prototypes I played at the Magic Fluke Company. I think it still had Mr. Hill's mojo, 'cause I sounded better that I thought I had a right to, when I played it.


-Kurt

Booli
03-05-2014, 08:34 PM
I keep coming back to this thread while I so impatiently await my Flea! :o

You are ALWAYS welcome here! No worries!


So on the pickup thing, I know Booli and Barry (Bazmaz) have installed soundboard pickups in a Flea and Fluke respectively. I plan to install a JJB Electronics pickup in the Flea too.

I've heard good things about JJB, as well as K&K pickups, but if you are looking at their offerings for ukulele in ~$30 range, you are probably getting items that are almost identical in composition and function (I have not used either brand myself, but from the pictures and specifications, they seem to be very similar). The one thing to remember with soundboard transducers is that your going to pick up lots of surface noise from the instrument, you have to hold very still when you play, otherwise anything and everything that rubs on the top, back and side, as well as if you slide your fretting hand on the strings, will get amplified. Most folks would not want this.

I had to remove the pickup that I built & previously installed, since I have an improved model that I plan to install after I complete a bit more testing. The pickup version that I am testing right now, is such that it has signifcantly less surface or body noise than most other pickups. But I am not ready to share the details yet.


And I must be the only one who doesn't like PegHeds. :) I wouldn't say I hate them, they weren't bad at all. I just don't like the feel, how they stick out so much. And I like to install strings by going twice through the hole in the post. PegHeds didn't allow that with a nonwound low G. I like fluoro low G's regardless of fretboard material. Anyway the PegHeds just weren't a good fit for me either time I tried them. Variety is the spice of life, or something like that. So I saved myself the price and ordered plain got friction tuners on the Flea.

When I restring, I too, ALWAYS put the string end twice through the hole in the post, and there is a NEW model of PEGHEDS out now, which I have on my Fluke where the hole is of a wider diameter, specifically for this purpose. (Peaceweaver, you might want to verify if your new Flea has the option for the NEW PEGHEDS with the wider string holes, if it has not shipped yet)

In fact my currently installed Worth Brown Medium Low-g (BM-LG) all the strings are through the hole, around the post half-way and then through the hole again. I've NEVER had a string slip at the peg from installing them this way, not in 30+ yrs on guitars of all types, and not in 11 months with the ukulele.

In fact if the tuner peg hole was not wide enough for me to do this, well then out comes the dremel with the 3/32"(or 1mm) tungsten-carbide drill bit.

The PEGHEDS came with my Fluke, which I bought used. If they were not on there I would have probably either tried the Grover 4B friction tuners, and if did not like those, then the Gotoh UPT-L would be the next choice. I already have the Gotohs, and all that's necessary to install them is to ream the tuner holes in the headstock wider than the existing 8mm diameter to approximately 10mm diameter, and then the Gotoh UPT-L planetary geared tuners with 4:1 ratio will basically screw in tight, and that's it.

The reason I chose the Gotoh (in my head) over the PEGHEDS is because like Peaceweaver3, I thought they stick out too much also, and they kinda looked like Frankenstein's neck bolts to me.

However, once the PEGHEDS are in use, they are SO MUCH better to tune with than the Grover 2B friction tuners. I mean for my Flea to hold, either the friction tuners had to be too tight to be able to turn them to tune, or else they would slip from string tension, there was no middle ground. I'm not going to bother with removing/replacing the PEGHEDS on the Fluke.

When you are playing the Fluke, you do NOT SEE them as you do from the front. I see the neck and the koa top, and both please me, and I forget about the tuners because THEY WORK SO WELL. All the hype about how easy they are to use is true. I'm just glad that I did not have to install them myself (have to buy the proper TAPERED violin peg reamer, if I wanted to do that.)

I have not yet quite got the knack of the push/pull function for adjusting the resistance, and they are a little tight now, but the strings are settled, and for the past 5 days I've not had to adjust them when I pick up the Fluke, since now it stays in tune.

On my Flea I've also been able to successfully modify the stock friction tuners with the addition of several small washers on each side of the wood, in between the metal parts of the tuner assembly, and the wood of the headstock. I looked at lots and lots of photos of the higher end friction tuners, Waverly, Sperzel, and others, and they are all with a fixed metal to the wood, and then the tuner peg ON BOTH SIDES is metal-to-metal.

The washers I'm describing above are maybe a nickel or 10-cents each, I do not know why they are not made this way in the first place.

This 'upgrade' has both greatly improved the grip at lower screw tension, as well as improving the 'slip' of the tuner when you need to adjust the strings. The improvement is significant enough that I'm now on the fence about replacing them with the Gotoh UPT-L planetary geared tuners.

Q: So HOW, or WHY does this 'upgrade' work?

A: The addition of the washers increases the surface area where the 'friction' takes place, which also make the friction function of metal-to-metal, ALL THE WAY through the mechanism, instead of the default metal-to-wood, where the metal part IN FACT turns against the wood of the headstock and when tight enough to NOT slip, it is chewing a circle cut into the wood like a circular hole saw.

I tried about 25 different iterations of 'assemblies' using washers and such from my parts box, and the addition of these washers now obviates the upgrade to better friction tuners.

If I had to go out to the hardware store and buy a 12-pack of washers in each of the 2 sizes needed, MAYBE it would cost like $3 at the hardware store, if that much, and each tuner takes about 5 mins to remove, modify and reinstall and then retune the strings.

So if you dont want to bother with tools, then get the PEGHEDS upgrade option for $69 when you buy you instrument.

Otherwise, get a proper tapered hand reamer for violin pegs (from StewMac or LMI) for ~$50 and put in the Gotohs - I got my Gotoh UPT-L set of 4 for $59 from that 'H' vendor everybody loves.

Otherwise, you can spend only like $3 at your local hardware store, and add washers to your existing tuners, and not have to modify the headstock at all, and if you already have a #1 Phillips-head screwdriver, you do not need to buy any tools.

For the record, I also tried out a set of cheapo geared machine heads sold by C.B. Gitty (for cigar box guitars) and held them fixed in place with nylon zip ties for testing, but there was anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of the turn rotation of 'play' in the tuner when you would turn the button, and this drove me insane, and I was constantly over-tuning beyond the desired pitch. It's like the grooves in the worm gear were cut with poor precision, i.e., too wide a groove for the teeth on the little wheel.

I am glad that I did not screw them in, because that would have blemished the headstock with holes when I removed them, that I would only have to fill later on to make it look nice, and I admit, that I'm lazy and would like to avoid extra work if possible.

The other thing about these and also the classical guitar style tuners that I temporarily fitted to the headstock for testing also with zip ties, is that there's a significantly greater amount of metal showing on the headstock, and it kills the aesthetic of the Fluke/Flea headstock for me, and aside from that, these kinds of tuners are like 3x the weight of the factory friction tuners, and made the concert Flea significantly overweight and unbalance at the headstock, even with a guitar strap tied at the nut and then attached with velcro to the flat bottom.

You could try the Gotoh STEALTH ukulele tuners (which are TINY) [EDIT: previously I had written that they cost $149 for a SINGLE tuner, which was incorrect as detailed by fellow UU member ScooterD35 in the post below, when in FACT they can be found at LMI which has the ukulele tuners listed at $89 of a full set of four. -Thanks Scooter]

So the standard guitar style tuner machines are just a bad idea all around as far as I'm concerned, and I know first hand why The Magic Fluke company did NOT use them by default: WEIGHT and LOOKS.

You might ask why I bothered with hacking around on the original Grover 2B friction tuners?
Well it took a lot longer than expected to receive the Gotoh UPT-L tuners than I had hoped. In the time span when I was waiting I started thinking about 'what if'...and one night when I could not sleep and my mind was filled with a flurry of ideas, I had to test them out...of course when I actually solved the problem I was very pleased, but then I was both dismayed and surprised to look up and see daylight when I realized that I had been working through the night like a mad scientist, yet again...

But alas, I love a 'project' :)

ScooterD35
03-06-2014, 03:11 AM
I'll be adding my MFC story to this excellent thread soon (I need to take a picture) but I'd like to make a correction for Booli.

You may have misunderstood or been misinformed by someone, but LMI has the Gotoh STEALTH ukulele tuners listed at $89 of a full set of four.


http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/tuning-machines/other-instrument-tuners/gotoh-ukulele-tuners/gotoh-ukulele-stealth-tuners/4587-gotoh-stealth-cosmo-black-2l/2r/flypage-noimage


Great thread!

Scooter

Booli
03-06-2014, 11:19 AM
I'll be adding my MFC story to this excellent thread soon (I need to take a picture) but I'd like to make a correction for Booli.

You may have misunderstood or been misinformed by someone, but LMIi has the Gotoh STEALTH ukulele tuners listed at $89 of a full set of four.


http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/tuning-machines/other-instrument-tuners/gotoh-ukulele-tuners/gotoh-ukulele-stealth-tuners/4587-gotoh-stealth-cosmo-black-2l/2r/flypage-noimage


Great thread!

Scooter

Scooter thanks for the heads up! I have made corrections above and credited you for the proper information. :)

Booli
03-07-2014, 09:13 AM
Here is photo of my instruments from The Magic Fluke Company.

On the left is my lava concert Flea, and on the right is my koa tenor Fluke:

64616
(click to enlarge)

PTOEguy
03-08-2014, 05:48 PM
In response to the original questions

1) Concert natural flea with plastic fretboard (bought as a 2nd from Magic Fluke), a soprano Firefly, maple with wood fretboard (also a 2nd), and my daughter has a concert atomic flea, and I just ordered my twin boys a Fluke for the cello player and a flea for the violinist (both concert).

2) Heard good reviews on it, the fact that it would be well set up made sense. It was my third uke after two I bought in Hawaii with little to no research, and it immediately became my daily player.

3) I love the tone on my flea, the ease of playing and the durability, ditto for the Firefly. The things I dislike (hate is a bit strong), no strap on the flea, the low visibility of the frets on the plastic fretboard, and this must just be a banjo thing, but getting the Firefly in tune is a pain (the flea is no sweat).

4) I've got the ones on order for my twins, and that should be good. I don't plan to buy another (unless... my boy's Fluke is too good to ignore).

5) Probably not - I'm saving for a Mya Moe.

Booli
03-13-2014, 01:13 PM
In this video from NAMM 2011, Aldrine talks with Jim & Liz Beloff.

You can see the birth of several products, not the least of which is their book series 'The Daily Ukulele' which has been very well received all over the world.

I have and LOVE this book and use it every day as part of my practice routine.

Also, launched as new products in 2011 are the Firefly Banjo ukulele, and the Fluke SB solid-body electric ukulele.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5ZCkyjklkM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5ZCkyjklkM

Icelander53
03-13-2014, 01:21 PM
A little bird told me that I can expect a firefly concert size with wood fretboard for my 61st birthday which is only a month away. That will make for three of their fine instruments in my home. :)

Thanks for posting that video. I never thought about forming the G chord with my pinky finger. I'm going to play with that idea.

Booli
03-13-2014, 01:57 PM
A little bird told me that I can expect a firefly concert size with wood fretboard for my 61st birthday which is only a month away. That will make for three of their fine instruments in my home. :)

Thanks for posting that video. I never thought about forming the G chord with my pinky finger. I'm going to play with that idea.

I have to admit, despite using 'The Daily Ukulele' every day, I seem to have missed that tidbit, and there are a few songs now that I'm learning and using the 'pinky-G' makes much better sense for finger dexterity. I 'might have' skipped over all 'the beginner stuff' and just jumped in straight to the songs, yeah, maybe. :)

I might not feel any pain by going back to it now after I post this, and actually READING the first 10 pages of the book 'again-for-the-first-time' if you know what I mean...

Olarte
03-16-2014, 08:40 PM
Here is an update... I did my first multi track video for St. Patrick's day, with the Cricket violin from the Magic Fluke Company...

You can follow that thread at http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94069-Danny-Boy-Electric-LP-Risa-Ukulele-Cricket-Violin-Happy-St-Patrick-s-Day-2014&p=1494053#post1494053

Booli
03-20-2014, 05:10 PM
I wanted to make sure that those folks subscribed to this thread would not miss this one.

I posted the video I found of Loudon Wainwright III performing his song "Got A Ukelele" on a Flea in another related thread...

You can see it over here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93549-Fluke-on-tour&p=1496199#post1496199).

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93549-Fluke-on-tour&p=1496199#post1496199

Booli
03-21-2014, 12:56 PM
Took today off so I thought I'd take a picture of my Fleas & Flukes.

L-R: Ukelyptus Fluke tenor, Black Lava Flea tenor, Laser Island Fluke concert, Ukelyptus Flea soprano, Natural Flea soprano


Thanks for showing them off!

That's quite a collection you've got there - I'm a bit jealous! :drool:

Are those P/W NS Micro tuners on the back of each headstock that I see?

Funny you put yours there, because I had mine in the same spot for a while...

kwall
04-28-2014, 07:11 PM
I just wanted to say thanks to this thread as well as my other questions on separate threads I purchased a firefly and boy do i love it. At first I thought magic Fluke Co was weird, but then I tried the firefly and it was great! Thanks to this forum I purchased one.

Its the perfect balance between ukullele and banjo, so much punch and sound but not too too much twang. I have a plastic fretboard which i like but might have gotten the wood if it wasn't so much more, but not much of a concern.

Any string reccommendations? I know I can't go wound on it but I was thinking what can I put on it or others if have thought of a good combo.

Now playing one I am a believer and would promote to anyone

Andy Chen
04-28-2014, 08:05 PM
1. I have the Fluke Tenor walnut with rosette. Peghed tuners, hardwood fingerboard, K&K pick up.

2. I played my friend's Fluke soprano for five minutes and just thought its playability was superb. Also, it was loud, resonant and durable.

3. I would love to have the Flea Concert Tiki King or Firefly banjo uke.

4. I would definitely buy a Fluke again if lost of stolen.

Icelander53
04-29-2014, 03:05 AM
I've owned three Flukes now. Hard to find a better sounding ukulele and I adore my firefly.

Katz-in-Boots
05-01-2014, 05:42 PM
I received my Firefly banjo uke a couple of weeks ago. Concert maple with hardwood fretboard. Loving everything about it except the friction tuners (though I haven't tried adjusting the tension yet).

It makes me smile; it is so light & just plain funny. Great sound too.

rappsy
06-05-2014, 03:02 PM
Hi:

I had a Soprano Flea Soprano that had black strings. I recently sold it and bought the Concert Flea as I wanted a little bigger fretboard. It was not new so I assume it's broken in. It has the plastic fretboard and is the natural finish model Uke. This one came with white strings, which I don't think sound as good as the black strings.

Any idea what brand and model the the black and white strings are (I believe both are factory) and what suggestion can be made for a string that has a little thinner E and A string than the white ones and that offer a bit of a brighter sound as the Flea has a enough bottom end for me.

I have a set of DAddario Ukulele T2 Titanium Concert Strings that I was given as a gift that I can put on now, but will wait for suggestions. Don't want to restring twice.

I also have a set of Aquila Nylgut Soprano strings. Will soprano strings work on a Concert Flea?

Thanks in advance.

Lenny...

kwall
06-05-2014, 03:44 PM
The black strings are more than likely Hilo's, and white strings Aquila's. I have Martin's on my concert Flea and I think it sounds pretty chimey with those. You can also try Oasis bright high G's. I have those on my natural Flea soprano and those also make her nice and chimey sounding.

my white strngs when i got mine had D'addario on them so i dont think they are aquilas. My other ukuleles have aquilas and it deff sounds and feels differnt than what i have on my firefly....

but also mine is a firefly so it may be different for flukes and fleas

Charley
06-05-2014, 03:53 PM
I purchased a Fluke Tenor (ukalyptus) about two months ago. My first fluke, and my 3rd ukulele over all. No complaints whatsoever, and I'd buy another one in a heartbeat.

I do a fair amount of travel back and forth to Africa, and next time I go, my Fluke is going with me!

kwall
06-05-2014, 05:26 PM
Speaking of Firefly's, I want one again. I sold mine last year for some reason that I don't remember. I may have a Fluke concert in mango to trade for one.

Aha, sorry i love mine too much. maybe post in the market place

iamesperambient
06-05-2014, 05:58 PM
[DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with or compensated by this company in any way, just a very VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER!!!]





Who loves :love: their instrument(s) from The Magic Fluke Company (http://www.magicfluke.com/)?




I'm talking about the Fluke, Flea, Firefly, Fluke SB ukuleles and the NEW Cricket Violin...

I have been a multi-instrumental musician for 35 years and I am (or was prior to discovering the ukulele) primarily a guitarist, and I discovered the ukulele in December of 2012, and have owned, and still own some very high end instruments.

The quality of these instruments from The Magic Fluke company are simply some of the highest level I have ever seen, used, or owned. These folks take pride in their work and their acute attention to the details are easy to see.

I LOVE these ukuleles! I have a basic lava (black) concert Flea with the plastic (polycarbonate) fretboard and original friction tuners (soon to be replaced with the Gotoh UPT-L planetary geared tuners), and the top-of-the-line Koa tenor Fluke with rosewood fretboard, and pegheds tuners....both have Worth Browns mediums, high-g on the concert and low-g on the tenor. BM and BM-LG.

These are my best sounding, playing, feeling, LOOKING and intonating ukuleles, and at the moment my UAS is cured, and soon I might sell off all previous acquisitions in order to fund the purchase of more products from this company...

My concert Flea and tenor Fluke are my most prized and precious ukuleles of the 6 that I currently own, and while some may prefer to spend $1,000-$5,000 on a custom instrument from all the favorite names so frequently discussed here on UU, unless it has BETTER intonation than a Flea or Fluke, I'm simply not interested.

Unless the instrument is both manufactured and assembled in the USA, I'm also not interested. (I have nothing specifically against instruments made elsewhere, but I'd like to try and invest my money 'locally' if possible)

Instruments made by The Magic Fluke company are also affordable to the average joe, and by the reputation of The Magic Fluke company with their ukuleles, and my own personal hands-on experience (which is confirmed by at least a couple hundred other UU members) with the high quality, playability and tone, I can confidently say that you are getting a very good value for the money.

So, my fellow Ukulele Undergound members, please tell me:

1) What you got?

2) Why did you buy it?

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?



Bonus points if you share pictures of your instrument(s)!



Be sure to mark your entries on the poll at the top of this thread!

(as per suggestion from eugene ukulele (Jon) below, and since I can not edit the poll [don't know how] this thread and poll is for both past and present owners to participate, so if you do not own a Magic Fluke company instrument right now, but have had one in the past, please consider yourself included by default, and please add your voice to the discussion here)

Also, don't miss the NAMM 2014 video with Aldrine, down below in post #11 (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread&p=1487499#post1487499).

Please share and discuss below...

-Booli


can someone tell me what this cricket thing is never heard of it.

gouacats
06-05-2014, 06:11 PM
I have a concert Tiki King Flea on the way. Should be here Tuesday, so I can't answer most of the questions. That being said, my biggest pet peeves regarding ukes are intonation and volume (not necessarily tone). It certainly sounds like the Flea will be right up my alley. Looking forward to Tuesday!

ScooterD35
06-05-2014, 06:46 PM
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0lMo4zuh3Fg



Scooter

iamesperambient
06-05-2014, 07:48 PM
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0lMo4zuh3Fg



Scooter
im guessing its a volin tuned like a uke?
sounds pretty much like a volin. im not a big fan of the style hes
playing but pretty unique i guess.

iamesperambient
06-05-2014, 08:26 PM
No, it's violin tuned like a violin. In other words, it's a violin.

http://www.magicfluke.com/The-Cricket-Violin-s/1817.htm

ok...its odd that a uke company would go right into making volins. I know ive seen ukelins or uke violins i thought maybe
thats what that was appearently its a VIOLIN!

bunnyf
06-06-2014, 02:27 AM
Interesting thread. My first uke was a baritone, which I still play and love but I wanted to venture out into the world of little ukes for several reasons..feel and comfort of a smaller body and fretboard(easier to stretch for some chords), the portability, and of course, the voice. I was attracted to the flea because of the durability, since this might be my take everywhere uke. The variety of designs was a cute plus.
Looking into them further, I found them a little too pricey for my budget, so I looked into used fleas and got an excellent buy on a concert pineapple design flea with standard tuners and plastic fretboard.
I've had it now for a couple of years and still love it. I now have fancier custom ukes but the flea still gets played regularly. In fact, it sits so conveniently on its flat little bottom on the table near my couch that it gets picked up frequently for a quick strum when the spirit moves me (during a commercial). It's my go to uke for camping, boating and the beach and it's the uke that I let beginners or kids play, without having to worry about damage. I have no problem with the plastic fretboard, especially since my uke does occasionally get wet. I don't really look at the fretboard when I play, so being all one color is not an issue for me. I don't really have any negative thoughts about the flea..but...I am not overly fond of the friction tuners. I just find they can be a little temperamental. Right now my E wants to slip, and if I tighten the screw it becomes too stiff to adjust (no middle ground). Booli, I'm gonna look intro the suggestion about washers. I'm not very mechanical and don't usually fiddle with my ukes, but this seemed doable. The only other thing is that the edge of the body sometimes annoys my strumming arm. It's just a little sharper edge than my other ukes, and being a little slippery (I know I could put tape on back) and no strap, I guess I clutch it a little more with my right arm and after a long time playing, I have a crease in my arm.
BUT, it's all good and I would not get rid of my flea. It fills an important niche in my uke family. I don't feel the need to have another flea or fluke but I do have a hankering for their banjolele (some time in the future, if I can find a good bargain used).
If lost, I would definitely replace it. I can't think of another uke that would fill its shoes better (for my purposes).

Louis0815
06-06-2014, 02:44 AM
What you got?
Ukelyptus Concert Flea (M-42) w/ BBand pickup, stringed with Living Water Strings (for the time being I prefer fluoros over Aquila). It replaced a buzzing natural concert (never found the reason for the buzz but fortunately got a full refund from the shop)
Had a Fluke for a couple of days but didn't like the balalaika shape of it - the fuller sound couldn't compensate for that.
Why did you buy it?

don't remember, I guess the rigid construction was one reason
Intonation and low action (zero fret) might have been another
BBand tuner was added mainly for the integrated tuner (one less piece to worry about)
Ukelyptus is the best matching colorwhen going on board with my Flea :cool:

Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?
see above. Action and intonation are spot on, sound is loud and clear - and did we mention that it stands on its own?
MFC has a great customer support, they were extremely helpful making my decision.
Never had any trouble with the direct tuners, the only slight disadvantage are the almost invisible frets on the moulded fretboard. But I need my eyes for the songsheet anyway, there's not much time for staring at my left hand... Muscle memory helps a lot in that respect. And I added some side markers with a white paint marker.
There's one "cosmetic" complaint about the headstock design: the outer strings don't run freely from nut to peg, they slightly touch the edge of the headstock "window". Not that it affects usability in any way, it just would look better if strings ran free (IMHO)
http://my.4str.in/flea_headstock_strings.jpg
Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?
No. I'm satisfied with the one I have - and I have enough ukes anyway (see signature)
If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?
Most probably yes, one should have at least one Flea in da house...

674726747567474

DownUpDave
06-06-2014, 02:54 AM
Is there a difference in sound between individual flukes like there can be between the same models of traditional ukes. I was on the fence about the tone of most flukes and fleas I've tried, ok but does not move me. I then played a particular concert Surfboard fluke that really got my attention. There were no other flukes to play against but side by side to other traditional concerts in the store I liked it. I revisited this fluke a few days ago and went to two other stores and played some other flukes and fleas, nothing sounded as good to me, not even close.

To all you MFC experts have you noticed much difference between individual instruments.

iamesperambient
06-06-2014, 07:07 AM
Is there a difference in sound between individual flukes like there can be between the same models of traditional ukes. I was on the fence about the tone of most flukes and fleas I've tried, ok but does not move me. I then played a particular concert Surfboard fluke that really got my attention. There were no other flukes to play against but side by side to other traditional concerts in the store I liked it. I revisited this fluke a few days ago and went to two other stores and played some other flukes and fleas, nothing sounded as good to me, not even close.

To all you MFC experts have you noticed much difference between individual instruments.


I don't really care for their design honestly.
I think a funky design is cool for an electric solid body
but for acoustics i really prefer the 'classic' or traditional
figure 8 style body. The head stock on the fluke also isn't
to my taste either. As for the sound, i can't really say i'd have to play one.

DownUpDave
06-06-2014, 09:15 AM
I don't really care for their design honestly.
I think a funky design is cool for an electric solid body
but for acoustics i really prefer the 'classic' or traditional
figure 8 style body. The head stock on the fluke also isn't
to my taste either. As for the sound, i can't really say i'd have to play one.

I appreciate that you have personal tastes but none of the above answered my question, which was all about the sound. Which was stated before as below

" To all you MFC experts is there much difference in tone between individual instruments"

Icelander53
06-06-2014, 09:38 AM
I think there is having now owned a couple. My fluke tenor with wood fretboard seems to have a beautifully rich tone and the concert length in plastic seems to be lighter and more chimey if that makes any sense. I vastly prefer the wood tenor but love both. It does really well in a low G tuning.

hoosierhiver
06-06-2014, 09:44 AM
Jim Beloff really deserves a lot of credit for helping start the current craze for ukuleles, plus he's a really nice guy.

coolkayaker1
06-06-2014, 02:22 PM
Anyone put up this video yet? I didn;t see it, but if redundant, it's for a good cause. :) Nice video of a good company.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7CSHkHMloc

I like their green, environmentally friendly bent, but let's be real here: if we toured the injection-molding plant in Connecticut that makes, essentially, the entire ukulele, I think we'd see the poisonous elephant in the room (I have a buddy that owns a plastics company that makes bottles for Walmart...put on your hazmat suit before the tour!)

But, it is a cute store where the ukes are assembled. A pastoral, New England gift shop for ukuleles.

coolkayaker1
06-06-2014, 02:31 PM
Jim Beloff really deserves a lot of credit for helping start the current craze for ukuleles, plus he's a really nice guy.

That's certainly true, Mike. Yes.


I'm no expert but to my ear all the Fleas and Flukes that I've owned have sounded basically the same. Most of the tonal differences I've heard come from what strings are on it. Currently most of my Fleas have Oasis bright high G's or Martin strings. The ones strung with Oasis' are much more chimey, the ones with Martins a bit more mid-rangey. My green Flea soprano has the new GHS flurocarbons tuned to D. It's already a bit muddy sounding so the GHS', while good strings, don't help that much. I'll be putting some Oasis high G's on her when I can muster up the gumption to do so, i.e. I'm feeling lazy and don't want to do it.

I never played one, but I often wondered if they sound the same. Do the wooden fretboard and plastic fretboard sound the same (I assume they do, but just thought I'd ask since you have many, Cap.)

PereBourik
06-06-2014, 05:07 PM
1. Bark cloth Tiki King Flea concert neck with plastic fretboard, strung with Martin M600 strings.
2. Wanted a sturdy 'ukulele for car and travel.
3. It delivers what it promised. OK tone. Sturdy construction. Quirky design.

Flea Market Music sent me a replacement tuner for free when I broke one going through airport security in Hamilton, Australia 3 days from the end of the trip. Frankly I think my family was glad it broke.

You get exactly what you pay for with a Flea or a Fluke.

ScooterD35
06-06-2014, 05:59 PM
1) What you got?

Tenor Koa Fluke (rosewood fretboard & Pegheds)
Tie Dye Concert Flea (rosewood fretboard & Lucy's tuners)
Soprano Firefly (walnut fretboard & Pegheds)
Aloha Red Concert Flea (rosewood fretboard) my wife's Uke

2) Why did you buy it?

Fell in love with the design, the tone, the feel, the look and the integrity, attitude and dedication of the folks that make them.

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?

There really is nothing about these instruments that I don't like.

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?

I have serious UAS for a soprano Flea, possibly the Surf design. Why? ...Why not?

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?

Absolutely!

67516

Scooter

what name
06-10-2014, 03:17 AM
Finally read this whole thread, and am glad to see I'm not alone in my appreciation of instruments that so many people just don't seem to catch on to.
It started with a concert Fluke in the Abstract design, plastic fretboard, way back when they only offered the plastic board. This was for my wife, and we had never owned a ukulele...she just liked the look, and I did also. When it arrived, I tuned it (I am a guitar guy), and when I tried it, I was hooked.
I didn't want to hoard her uke, so I ended up ordering a tenor, which by then offered a wooden board. It fell out of a canoe and survived just fine.
Over the years, I got more hooked and did a lot of trading. We still have the original Fluke, a red Flea with plastic board, and a Firefly, #17 with wooden fretboard.67637

I appreciate fine instruments in solid woods, and my current best uke is such, but I still love the unique sound of Flukes & Fleas, and
I am on the prowl for a used Tenor Fluke with K & K pickup and wooden fretboard.....if there is one out there waiting for a new owner....

peanuts56
06-10-2014, 12:00 PM
My first uke was a Fluke concert. I bought it around 1999-2000. I live in Conn. and they were originally made here. I was in a store that only sells items made in Conn. My wife grew up in Honolulu so buying was an easy choice. I cut my teeth on that instrument. I don't play it too much these days as I graduated to a Kamaka Tenor. I've been thinking of buying the Fluke Tenor. They have moved their operation to Sheffield, Mass. It's only an hour from where I live and I've been planning on taking a ride up there next week.

TaoJones1066
06-12-2014, 11:30 AM
1. Flea Natural Soprano. Basic tuners and fretboard.
2. Bought it based on reviews here at UU.
3. So far I like the low action, great playability, weight and shape, and tone. I have yet to find a dislike.
4. I may buy another for variety. The natural is nice, but I could use a walnut, banana, tiki, or surf model as well.
5. I'd replace it as soon as financially possible if lost or stolen.

67773

gouacats
06-12-2014, 01:29 PM
Just recieved my Tiki Concert Flea earlier this week. Intonation and action are spot on, as expected. I'll probably try some new strings eventually, since I'd like some that are a bit brighter. I bought it directly from the factory as a 2nd (blem is in the upper right in photo) and had them install the grip strips. I highly recommend the grip strips! I'll look to add something similar to the rest of the ukes in the family. Anyhow, all in all, I'm very pleased with the Flea (and already thinking about a Tenor Fluke)!

steel rider
06-12-2014, 01:47 PM
My Stripe Tenor Fluke just arrived from a fellow UUer!
It already has the grip strips, so I just need to add the strap or maybe get a Uke Leash.
It also has the transducer pickup, so one day I will have to get an amp to play around with.

I picked up some Aquila Reds and Worth Clears, both with low G. Will be trying those out very soon.

Love that bright plucky sound!

DownUpDave
06-12-2014, 02:50 PM
Just recieved my Tiki Concert Flea earlier this week. Intonation and action are spot on, as expected. I'll probably try some new strings eventually, since I'd like some that are a bit brighter. I bought it directly from the factory as a 2nd (blem is in the upper right in photo) and had them install the grip strips. I highly recommend the grip strips! I'll look to add something similar to the rest of the ukes in the family. Anyhow, all in all, I'm very pleased with the Flea (and already thinking about a Tenor Fluke)!

That is my all time favourite graphic, Tiki King on the flea. Makes me want to buy a flea, though I prefer the fluke body thatTiki King flea rules. Just makes me want to throw some M&M's in that mouth.

M3Ukulele
06-13-2014, 11:28 AM
Just bought a Tenor Fluke, plastic fret board and standard friction tuners. I'm used to geared tunes so will wait and see how I like stock tuners on Fluke. Back on page 5 of this thread, there is mention of Gotoh Stealth tuners and I looked them up. Very small and lightweight. It was unclear...... but did ScooterD35 put Gotoh Stealth on a Fluke? If so, I'd love to see pictures. There is a You Tube Video of a guy changing out the friction tuners on his Fluke for generic Grover type open geared tuners. When job was done it looked fine. He did have to filing and cuts to make them fit. I can't find width of Stealth tuners but am curious as they look like they may just go on stock. AT $89.00 for Stealth vrs $69.00 for Pegheds.... wondering what most people think of the two. I was tempted to put Pegheds on my order! Comments?

steel rider
06-13-2014, 09:06 PM
Just bought a Tenor Fluke, plastic fret board and standard friction tuners. I'm used to geared tunes so will wait and see how I like stock tuners on Fluke. Back on page 5 of this thread, there is mention of Gotoh Stealth tuners and I looked them up. Very small and lightweight. It was unclear...... but did ScooterD35 put Gotoh Stealth on a Fluke? If so, I'd love to see pictures. There is a You Tube Video of a guy changing out the friction tuners on his Fluke for generic Grover type open geared tuners. When job was done it looked fine. He did have to filing and cuts to make them fit. I can't find width of Stealth tuners but am curious as they look like they may just go on stock. AT $89.00 for Stealth vrs $69.00 for Pegheds.... wondering what most people think of the two. I was tempted to put Pegheds on my order! Comments?

I jut got my Fluke with stock tuners yesterday. I'm used to geared as well so it was a strange feeling using the friction. They are hard to turn and make a huge tuning change at the slightest movement. I changed the strings, which may have helped me get used to the tuners, but they seem OK now. Definitely stay put. A benefit was I didn't need a crank to restring since several turns by band did the job.
Personally I don't see a need to add $70 tuners if these work well. Just have to get used to them.

M3Ukulele
06-13-2014, 09:32 PM
I'm definitely going to give the stock tuners a chance. I wouldn't change without a good trial. I do like to tinker but I like to play more. Excited to try the Fluke.
Cheers

consitter
06-13-2014, 10:04 PM
I greatly appreciate the Magic Fluke Company. My daughter had to stay in Cincinnati Children's Hospital for a week in April. A music therapist came in with his guitar to play, and several little drums and other instruments my daughter couldn't hurt banging around on. After he finished with his session, he asked if I would be intereseted in having an instrument if I played. I, of course, asked if they had any ukes. He said that they had some really tough ones that were donated by a company a few years back.

What he brought looked for the world like a flea. But it had another name in the soundhole. But in tiny writing on the edge of the label, it said a product of the magic fluke company. Wood top, hard plastic back, and molded fretboard. It was a tenor, and it played like a dream. It had little divots out of the wood, but it was awesome. I loved it. If I get a chance, and ever have the money, I'm buying a flea. And I'm an owner of some very high end ukes. But this little flea impressed me immensley.

As does the company for donating instruments to such worthy causes, so the children (and their families) in these hospitals might have entertainment. Thanks to you Magic Fluke Company.

ScooterD35
06-14-2014, 06:37 AM
Just bought a Tenor Fluke, plastic fret board and standard friction tuners. I'm used to geared tunes so will wait and see how I like stock tuners on Fluke. Back on page 5 of this thread, there is mention of Gotoh Stealth tuners and I looked them up. Very small and lightweight. It was unclear...... but did ScooterD35 put Gotoh Stealth on a Fluke? If so, I'd love to see pictures. There is a You Tube Video of a guy changing out the friction tuners on his Fluke for generic Grover type open geared tuners. When job was done it looked fine. He did have to filing and cuts to make them fit. I can't find width of Stealth tuners but am curious as they look like they may just go on stock. AT $89.00 for Stealth vrs $69.00 for Pegheds.... wondering what most people think of the two. I was tempted to put Pegheds on my order! Comments?

I did not put Gotoh Stealth tuners on my Fluke (I've never even had the opportunity to try them).

My tenor Fluke and my Firefly were both purchased used and came with Pegheds. While they are excellent tuners, it's pretty unlikely that I would spend $70 for the upgrade on a new instrument. The stock Grover's on Magic Fluke instruments are just fine.


Scooter

M3Ukulele
06-14-2014, 12:56 PM
Thanks for clarification and comment Scooter. I am going to try to be patient for my new Fluke to arrive and then get to know it a bit. I couldn't justify the $69 upgrade to pedheds myself without ever trying them so I went stock and we will see where this takes me. The Fluke was to be my take anywhere uke so I went all stock.

CeeJay
06-14-2014, 02:05 PM
Oh dear a slightly negative voice.....well not entirely....I recently decided to buy a new Banjo-Uke and took a sickle ride off to my local shop ....not a good idea taking a motor bike to buy a banjo !! still...the chap in the shop offered me a choice of several ....including a Firefly.......well the sound was amazing ...loud ,barking and gorgeous.....but to an old fart like me it did not feel right ....it was too light ...it would not nestle and moved around in my arms (I do not use a strap)throughout various strokes....and it had a plastic (bleah) fretboard....with plastic frets..(augh)- as you can see, I studied at the Charles Schultz academy of writing vocal expressions) ......I then tried a Kala and it was like my old Banjo uke...solid, heavy and real.....and sounded great....the sales chappy and I had a good long chat and a bit of a jam ...he said that he would prefer the Firefly ....I said this " It sounds beautiful. No question ... but it has a fret board that only it's mother could love and I could never find it in me to get involved with it..it is too lightweight ...it is a seriously good instrument but it is not choosing me ..the Kala "fits" ..Both machines were in the £200 region and I took the Kala home...


PS
I see that for an extra something or other $ or £ 70 you can get a Firefly with a wooden fretboard ........hmmmm that would help but no guarantee.....

gouacats
06-27-2014, 07:09 PM
Quick question for you flea/fluke owners with the plastic fretboard. I just got my flea about 3 weeks ago and I noticed today, when trying to bend notes for the first time, that I get a "ping." A little investigation indicates that the zero fret on the E string is indented, so when I bend, the string will pop out of the indentation and "ping."

The flea is only a few weeks old and I'm very happy with it, other than this. Does anyone else have this problem? I wouldn't expect wear this quick, but I've probably been playing an hour a day or so. Anyone have a guess if this was a defect or just wear?

Icelander53
06-27-2014, 07:13 PM
Oh dear a slightly negative voice.....well not entirely....I recently decided to buy a new Banjo-Uke and took a sickle ride off to my local shop ....not a good idea taking a motor bike to buy a banjo !! still...the chap in the shop offered me a choice of several ....including a Firefly.......well the sound was amazing ...loud ,barking and gorgeous.....but to an old fart like me it did not feel right ....it was too light ...it would not nestle and moved around in my arms (I do not use a strap)throughout various strokes....and it had a plastic (bleah) fretboard....with plastic frets..(augh)- as you can see, I studied at the Charles Schultz academy of writing vocal expressions) ......I then tried a Kala and it was like my old Banjo uke...solid, heavy and real.....and sounded great....the sales chappy and I had a good long chat and a bit of a jam ...he said that he would prefer the Firefly ....I said this " It sounds beautiful. No question ... but it has a fret board that only it's mother could love and I could never find it in me to get involved with it..it is too lightweight ...it is a seriously good instrument but it is not choosing me ..the Kala "fits" ..Both machines were in the £200 region and I took the Kala home...


PS
I see that for an extra something or other $ or £ 70 you can get a Firefly with a wooden fretboard ........hmmmm that would help but no guarantee.....

I have the firefly with the wood fretboard. It's still light as a feather but that's exactly why I like it.

igorthebarbarian
06-27-2014, 10:01 PM
I have this on my E string too. Mine is several years old and only recently developed the small divot. I have not got around to sending it back in for replacement. I have a Firefly banjo uke with the wood fretboard too and have no problems. So it must be unique to the plastic fretboard. Weird that you have it on the E string too



Quick question for you flea/fluke owners with the plastic fretboard. I just got my flea about 3 weeks ago and I noticed today, when trying to bend notes for the first time, that I get a "ping." A little investigation indicates that the zero fret on the E string is indented, so when I bend, the string will pop out of the indentation and "ping."

The flea is only a few weeks old and I'm very happy with it, other than this. Does anyone else have this problem? I wouldn't expect wear this quick, but I've probably been playing an hour a day or so. Anyone have a guess if this was a defect or just wear?

SteveZ
06-28-2014, 04:58 AM
Quick question for you flea/fluke owners with the plastic fretboard. I just got my flea about 3 weeks ago and I noticed today, when trying to bend notes for the first time, that I get a "ping." A little investigation indicates that the zero fret on the E string is indented, so when I bend, the string will pop out of the indentation and "ping."

The flea is only a few weeks old and I'm very happy with it, other than this. Does anyone else have this problem? I wouldn't expect wear this quick, but I've probably been playing an hour a day or so. Anyone have a guess if this was a defect or just wear?

Have found the same stuation. Apparently there is a burr centered in the string slot which will probably require the slot to be filed into a rounded-bottom slot to permanently fix. The ping on mine occurs from the zero fret back to the tuner.

Am a little reluctant to do the filing even though I have the correct round-files. The plastic will require a very gentle touch, and going too deep-hard with a file will mean the entire molded nut/neck will have to be replaced.

What has solved the problem for me was putting a string suppressor in place. The suppressor is just a short piece of leather bootlace. I do the same on my mandolins between the bridge and tailpiece (quite a common thing with mandolins). The suppressor deadens the sound (ping). On the Flea it actually helps keep the string from rubbing back and forth over the burr. If the problem causes the string to snap, then I'll consider g e n t l y filing the burr, but not until then.

68325

elbilo
07-03-2014, 04:22 AM
I got a concert Flea for Fathers Day. I wanted this particular uke based on reviews I've read, praising it for durability and sound quality. I wanted a uke that sounded well, but also didn't want to worry about my uke breaking when playing around with my son, who's a year and a half. The added bonus is that it's made in the US (about 2.5 hours away from me)! I'm very pleased with the overall quality and sound, so I purchased a tenor Fluke today at a nearby music store. I like the modern aesthetics of both. I also think it's pretty cool that they use wood that's native to my region.

I actually travel around Sheffield, MA a few times a year for work, so I plan on visiting their facility at some point!

rappsy
07-03-2014, 06:50 AM
I have a Flea Concert in Natural Finish with the plastic fretboard. I want something with a little more pizazz as the color. Anyone want to trade theirs for mine? I could also kick in a few bucks to sweeten the deal.

I am not the first owner. It's been taken care of and plays nicely. I will include two sets of strings with it. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe they are Aquilas (taken off another Flea Concert and HILO's, taken off this Flea Concert).

I know this should probably go in the Marketplace, but I thought I would start here first.

WHATCHAGOT???

Newportlocal
07-03-2014, 07:02 AM
Quick question for you flea/fluke owners with the plastic fretboard. I just got my flea about 3 weeks ago and I noticed today, when trying to bend notes for the first time, that I get a "ping." A little investigation indicates that the zero fret on the E string is indented, so when I bend, the string will pop out of the indentation and "ping."

The flea is only a few weeks old and I'm very happy with it, other than this. Does anyone else have this problem? I wouldn't expect wear this quick, but I've probably been playing an hour a day or so. Anyone have a guess if this was a defect or just wear?

I have never had an issue. I have had two different fleas for multiple years. Give them a call. They will be super helpful. Sorry, I didn't see your question earlier to give you a response.
http://www.magicfluke.com/Contact-s/1844.htm

rappsy
07-12-2014, 09:26 AM
I had this on my Flea as well. I brought it over to my local Uke store and we think we know why.

I had the stock strings on it when I bought it. I subsequently bought Living Waters strings which are much thinner. As the nut was holding thicker strings, the thinner strings move within the nut ever so slightly and the moving seems to minutely displace the strings during bending. I found this mostly happening on the E string, although every once in a while it would happen on the C They told me to put something in the nut, like a tiny piece of tissue and that should do it. I didn't try it yet.

Does this help?

gouacats
07-12-2014, 12:21 PM
I had this on my Flea as well. I brought it over to my local Uke store and we think we know why.

I had the stock strings on it when I bought it. I subsequently bought Living Waters strings which are much thinner. As the nut was holding thicker strings, the thinner strings move within the nut ever so slightly and the moving seems to minutely displace the strings during bending. I found this mostly happening on the E string, although every once in a while it would happen on the C They told me to put something in the nut, like a tiny piece of tissue and that should do it. I didn't try it yet.

Does this help?

I just got around to trying the paper trick and it worked! Now to find some black paper and make it look a bit nicer...

Thanks everyone!

rappsy
07-12-2014, 02:46 PM
So, something that I added to the conversation actually worked?? WOW. What day is this? I need to mark it down. YAY!

gouacats
07-12-2014, 04:16 PM
So the paper in the nut slot worked, but would slip out if the nut slot when tuned. A small slice of electrical tape is doing the trick and matches the fretboard.

uke4ia
07-12-2014, 04:51 PM
68800

I just got a Trigon Fluke last week, with a pickup and wooden fretboard. I've changed out the G and A strings for classical guitar strings, including a low G.

LM in Kentucky
07-12-2014, 05:20 PM
I got a Hibiscus Flea after my/everyone's gateway uke, the venerable Dolphin had me wanting more . . . I love my Flea! It sounds great and plays the same. I was having a laugh with my Son last night about it being the only stringed instrument Ive ever relic'd, naturally over time. I wish they made a Fluke with a soprano scale neck and I would by one of those, too. The only thing I would change now, is I would have paid extra for the wood fingerboard. But, thats just nitpicking. I love my Flea!
68801

Icelander53
07-12-2014, 06:00 PM
I have a wood fretboard on my Fluke and it sounds awesome but to be honest the plastic fretboard is much easier to play for me at least. With the exception of barre chords.

igorthebarbarian
07-12-2014, 07:07 PM
Wow that Trigon looks really cool in-person. Better than the online photos.


68800

I just got a Trigon Fluke last week, with a pickup and wooden fretboard. I've changed out the G and A strings for classical guitar strings, including a low G.

rappsy
07-15-2014, 12:36 PM
I know I should put this in the marketplace, and will if it does not work here.

I sold my Concert Flea with the natural finish so I can get another Concert Flea with a bit more pizazz. I'm not against a wood fretboard or different tuners although it doesn't matter if it has them or not. I'm interested in the more unusual colors. I do want to stick with the Concert size Flea and not the Fluke.

WHATCHAGOT?

molokinirum
07-16-2014, 05:43 AM
Cant vote, I do not have any of those nor have I ever played one, though would love to try one someday!!

Coconut Willie
07-16-2014, 07:03 AM
ahh....you need a choice for not owning one.

stevejfc
07-16-2014, 05:58 PM
I've had a Fluke for several years, and find it overall a below average instrument.........about what you should expect for the price. Good for the beach or camping. I'm glad it's American made as several have pointed out; (seemingly forgetting that Hawaii is after all USA).

Booli
07-17-2014, 04:28 AM
I've had a Fluke for several years, and find it overall a below average instrument.........about what you should expect for the price. Good for the beach or camping. I'm glad it's American made as several have pointed out; (seemingly forgetting that Hawaii is after all USA).

I've never heard this kind of opinion on an instrument from The Magic Fluke Company...

What exactly is 'below average' with your Fluke? Please clarify.

also, who 'forgot' that Hawaii is part of the USA? I do not understand what this means.

Booli
07-17-2014, 04:33 AM
ahh....you need a choice for not owning one.

Thanks but, it's way too late now, once a poll is created & published, you cannot modify the choices (at least it was that way when I made this thread).

The initial intent of the poll was for past/present owners, and I did not consider the case of a non-owner.

However, anyone is free to comment in the thread :).

stevejfc
07-17-2014, 02:43 PM
Many have pointed out that it's made in the USA, almost as though it is the only USA Uke. I would agree that it is the most likely prehaps, the only the USA made entry point uke. Flukes and Fleas have below average intonation, so-so action and (as most entry point ukes) , do not lend themselves to to individual customization. However, compared to the Chinese entry levels, they are an upgrade. But OVERALL, and OVERALL is the key word, they are below average, but certainly rugged.

gouacats
07-17-2014, 03:26 PM
Flukes and Fleas have below average intonation, so-so action

This may be the first time I've heard this about Fleas/Flukes. The main reason I bought mine was because most rave about the intonation and action being spot on. Adjusting the action if it's not to your liking may be another story, however. Mine was just what I expected. Good action (for me) and great intonation.

Andy Chen
07-17-2014, 03:53 PM
Fwiw, my Fluke has excellent intonation to my ears and is extremely inviting to play, as many others have said of their Flukes and Fleas before.

Icelander53
07-17-2014, 04:44 PM
Sound wise how would you compare your Fluke and tenor Blackbird?

Andy Chen
07-17-2014, 04:58 PM
Sound wise how would you compare your Fluke and tenor Blackbird?

The Blackbird definitely has more depth and more oomph, although right now they are strung with different strings (Blackbird has D'Addario Pro Arte, and the Fluke has D'Addario T2 with an Orcas fluoro low G), so I can't A-B them.

Playability wise: They are on par with each other.

Booli
07-18-2014, 03:57 PM
Many have pointed out that it's made in the USA, almost as though it is the only USA Uke. I would agree that it is the most likely prehaps, the only the USA made entry point uke. Flukes and Fleas have below average intonation, so-so action and (as most entry point ukes) , do not lend themselves to to individual customization. However, compared to the Chinese entry levels, they are an upgrade. But OVERALL, and OVERALL is the key word, they are below average, but certainly rugged.

Steve:

Would you mind to please clarify your perspective here, and to confirm that you are not in fact just trolling this thread?

I really want to understand your points of reference for your comparisons - if you consider Flukes and Fleas as 'entry level' and in your experience 'have below average intonation' - I have a few simple questions for you:

Which brands and models do you consider to be mid-level? and what about high-end?

What do you seek in your rating criteria?

Are you a luthier?

-Booli

CeeJay
07-18-2014, 04:15 PM
Steve:

Would you mind to please clarify your perspective here, and to confirm that you are not in fact just trolling this thread?

I really want to understand your points of reference for your comparisons - if you consider Flukes and Fleas as 'entry level' and in your experience 'have below average intonation' - I have a few simple questions for you:

Which brands and models do you consider to be mid-level? and what about high-end?

What do you seek in your rating criteria?

Are you a luthier?

-Booli
Booli ...Mate ....do not do a CeeJay (Me) and go off on one....lol...Stevejfc is entitled to his opinion ....I tried a firefly banjo uke ....I did not like it ...it was too light in weight and there was no differentiation for my fingers on the plastic fretboard...I could not "feel" the frets....the sound was fantastic and it barked like a banjo uke just should....but I came home with a heavy old (well new) Kala....and I love it......Ukes ....like guitars choose you .....I applaud your passion for the Flea Fluke ukes...(I do love the look of the ones that stand on their own behinds and I have not as yet wrung one's neck......)

Sound as a Pound

CJ

Booli
07-18-2014, 04:34 PM
Booli ...Mate ....do not do a CeeJay (Me) and go off on one....lol...Stevejfc is entitled to his opinion ....I tried a firefly banjo uke ....I did not like it ...it was too light in weight and there was no differentiation for my fingers on the plastic fretboard...I could not "feel" the frets....the sound was fantastic and it barked like a banjo uke just should....but I came home with a heavy old (well new) Kala....and I love it......Ukes ....like guitars choose you .....I applaud your passion for the Flea Fluke ukes...(I do love the look of the ones that stand on their own behinds and I have not as yet wrung one's neck......)

Sound as a Pound

CJ

Hi CeeJay-

Thanks for the heads up - I'm not trying to wage a holy war, my intentions are quite the opposite, I am looking for common ground, and to try and put myself in the other persons shoes and try to see the world through their eyes and ears for moment, so that I can truly appreciate and in the end hopefully respect that other persons opinion.

I really am here on UU looking only to make friends, and not to antagonize anyone, but having said that, I've seen that despite trying to be kind, some folks just love controversy more than they love the ukulele, and that is a sad thing, as well as a waste of time.

I have no intent of malice here - I am truly trying to learn how other people form certain opinions that are very different from mine, and from my own experiences.

Yet...the future path is unwritten.

-Booli

CeeJay
07-18-2014, 04:41 PM
Hi CeeJay-

Thanks for the heads up - I'm not trying to wage a holy war, my intentions are quite the opposite, I am looking for common ground, and to try and put myself in the other persons shoes and try to see the world through their eyes and ears for moment, so that I can truly appreciate and in the end hopefully respect that other persons opinion.

I really am here on UU looking only to make friends, and not to antagonize anyone, but having said that, I've seen that despite trying to be kind, some folks just love controversy more than they love the ukulele, and that is a sad thing, as well as a waste of time.

I have no intent of malice here - I am truly trying to learn how other people form certain opinions that are very different from mine, and from my own experiences.

Yet...the future path is unwritten.

-Booli

MMmm'kay ...gotcha ....

cheers

Be Coll...Cloo ...Cool (dyslexic fingers at Silly O'clock UK time )

LM in Kentucky
07-18-2014, 05:42 PM
This may be the first time I've heard this about Fleas/Flukes. The main reason I bought mine was because most rave about the intonation and action being spot on. Adjusting the action if it's not to your liking may be another story, however. Mine was just what I expected. Good action (for me) and great intonation.

I would agree with this. While I am new to ukes, Ive been a life-long guitar player so know a little about this stuff. My Flea has great intonation and action. I can improvise/solo on it guitar style and all the notes, everywhere are relatively in-tune for such a basic set-up. :)

Booli
02-17-2015, 02:34 PM
Just in case you missed it...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N154P9nH3SM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N154P9nH3SM

Gotta love Aldrine and crew for making these videos! :)

stevepetergal
02-17-2015, 03:51 PM
Booli, you're absolutely right. I don't own any, but the Magic Fluke Company does indeed make fantastic instruments.

Booli
02-17-2015, 04:16 PM
Booli, you're absolutely right. I don't own any, but the Magic Fluke Company does indeed make fantastic instruments.

Thanks for the acknowledgement!

Since I started this thread, I now have a total of 3 instruments from The Magic Fluke Company...

(in purchased order)

1. Bought new from Uke Republic: Concert Lava Flea w/poly fretboard & GOTOH UPT-L tuners (self-installed)

2. Bought used from a fellow UU member: Tenor Koa Fluke w/rosewood fretboard & PegHeds

3. Bought used from Elderly: Tenor Walnut Flea w/birch rosette and rosewood fretboard & geared machine-head tuners (self-installed)

and I am eagerly waiting for the Fluke SB-shaped bass uke they are going to release in June.

Of the more than a dozen ukes I currently own, the Flea and Fluke ukes are the ONLY ones that instantly and always bring me a smile and a feeling of great satisfaction when I pick them up and play. It's like the difference of driving a base-model Honda/Hyundai 5-speed manual with a finicky clutch and scratchy straw seat-covers vs sitting in a BMW, Mercedes or Cadillac that has heated leather massaging seats and very smooth automatic transmission (the Flea/Fluke are like the BMW/Mercedes/Caddy)

I'd also like to get their Cricket Violin, since violin was the first ever instrument I played when I was 7 yrs old, and I dont want to waste time and money and frustration with the cheapo $79 asian-factory balsa-wood or Alder fiddles you can get off eBay- Fellow UU Brother Ivan has done several demo videos of the Cricket and he is even featured on their 'Press' page (http://www.magicfluke.com/Press-Testimonials-Reviews-s/1885.htm) for his review and demos of it. but alas....some day...

I will add photos of the above in my list later when I have more time.

bnolsen
02-17-2015, 07:06 PM
i dunno about those solid bodies. There's a reason so many solid body instruments have horns on them. it's all about neck dive.

Booli
02-17-2015, 08:03 PM
i dunno about those solid bodies. There's a reason so many solid body instruments have horns on them. it's all about neck dive.

Are you referring to the Fluke SB? (please clarify)

The ones I've seen for sale from resellers all have a 1" wide leather-like strap pre-installed by The Magic Fluke Co. So using it without a strap at all, yes, will probably more difficult to hold.

Same complaint could be said about the acoustic Flukes, Fleas and all pineapple shapes, including the much loved Blue Star KonaBlaster, and just about every Oud, Bozouki, Lute, Sitar, Banjo and Banjolele on the planet, so I'm not sure of the point exactly.

MOST people playing a tenor scale or larger uke will be more comfortable using a strap, especially if you play while standing.

Some folks like to find fault with everything and are never happy.

NOT ME. I want one any way. I will be supporting this company by buying and USING their products, and believe in what they stand for, what is wrong with that?

bnolsen
02-18-2015, 03:26 AM
Are you referring to the Fluke SB? (please clarify)

The ones I've seen for sale from resellers all have a 1" wide leather-like strap pre-installed by The Magic Fluke Co. So using it without a strap at all, yes, will probably more difficult to hold.

Same complaint could be said about the acoustic Flukes, Fleas and all pineapple shapes, including the much loved Blue Star KonaBlaster, and just about every Oud, Bozouki, Lute, Sitar, Banjo and Banjolele on the planet, so I'm not sure of the point exactly.

MOST people playing a tenor scale or larger uke will be more comfortable using a strap, especially if you play while standing.

Some folks like to find fault with everything and are never happy.

Being able to hold larger instruments is an issue. I had an ashbory. People weren't happy with strap button placement. Neither was I.

i dont need to use straps to hold other ukuleles. Balancing them isn't an issue because they are small. And my largest uke that I play is a concert fluke. At first I had some problems but figure out a comfortable way to hold it that would never ever work for bass. I do wish the fluke had a hook at the heel like the flea does, that would allow use of a lanyard...probably not a suitable solution for bass.

Do you see some pattern here?

Putting a strap at the headstock is likely a solution, but not great.

Booli
02-18-2015, 03:50 AM
Being able to hold larger instruments is an issue. I had an ashbory. People weren't happy with strap button placement. Neither was I.

i dont need to use straps to hold other ukuleles. Balancing them isn't an issue because they are small. And my largest uke that I play is a concert fluke. At first I had some problems but figure out a comfortable way to hold it that would never ever work for bass. I do wish the fluke had a hook at the heel like the flea does, that would allow use of a lanyard...probably not a suitable solution for bass.

Do you see some pattern here?

Putting a strap at the headstock is likely a solution, but not great.

Sorry you are unhappy with the options available to you.

bnolsen
02-18-2015, 06:50 AM
I'm more than happy with solutions available. Just pointing out that the new fluke SB bass (the only SB in the namm video) may well have a design problem associated with that body style. Pointing out how this problem could be solved with their body shape aside from the obvious solution the other solid body makers have pursued would be helpful.

I have a hadean omega solid body ubass in olympic white that is great. Especially after I defretted it and shimmed the neck pocket. Gets some good "muah" effect going, even with thunderguts. Even it has a touch of neck dive but I currently have a really slick strap on it so that's an easy fix (waiting on a cheap woven strap along with some new short scale strings).

The 500usd MSRP will make the fluke SB competitive with the kala sub series, made in china i think. Those sell street for ~450usd (?) currently.

Rondo music hasn't released any more of the hadean omega solid bodies as of yet. The prototype instruments were 150usd, 170usd for that nice swamp ash body.

Booli
02-18-2015, 07:43 AM
I'm more than happy with solutions available. Just pointing out that the new fluke SB bass (the only SB in the namm video) may well have a design problem associated with that body style. Pointing out how this problem could be solved with their body shape aside from the obvious solution the other solid body makers have pursued would be helpful.

[snip]

The 500usd MSRP will make the fluke SB competitive with the kala sub series, made in china i think. Those sell street for ~450usd (?) currently.

Maybe you should contact The Magic Fluke Company and speak to Dale and Phyllis Webb, or Betsy and share your opinions and let them now how you feel.

hendulele
03-09-2015, 03:39 PM
I bought a mango soprano Flea about six months ago. I switched out the stock strings for Martin M600s and soon noticed the E string was getting caught in a tiny notch at the "nut." I contacted Dale at Magic Fluke, who suggested I send photos to see if he could ID the problem. I sent photos and a video, and he thought it wasn't necessary to replace the plastic fretboard. Instead, he said some of the thinner-gauge strings can cause problems, so he sent several sleeves to slip over the offending strings. I did so and the Flea plays like a dream. Can't say enough good things about their responsiveness. And, yes, I'll be buying another uke or two from them.

rappsy
03-09-2015, 05:19 PM
Ok. Here's a subjective question.

I own the Koa Concert M40 with the Hardwood Fretboard. The purpose of my purchase was to use it as my travel Uke and not to have to baby it. Well, because I got the top of the line, I do baby it and I do not do with it what I intended.

My question is this: I like the sound and am wondering how much different, if any, will it be from the plastic fretboard and their standard soundboard material? I realize Koa will change the sound somewhat, but does anyone feel it is substantial? I am thinking of putting this up for sale or trade and just getting one that I won't have to baby.

Opinions???

Thanks in advance.

ScooterD35
01-29-2016, 09:41 AM
Just thought I'd bump this for the new year, as a new member asked in "Buying Tips" about the Fluke!


Here's this year's NAMM video with Aldrine and Phyllis.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyiLvCq-O78&index=17&list=PLrzw25MQ0Nr1Z5IRxTXx5f3VLIza2WdYB




Scooter

deschutestrout
01-29-2016, 09:47 AM
Got a Flea concert in a trade last year. Absolutely love it. Most stable of my ukes in terms of staying in tune, even after temp and humidity changes. I, too, ALWAYS smile when I grab my flea. Someday I'll own a Fluke.

Booli
01-29-2016, 04:15 PM
Scooter's recent post above reminded me of something I've been meaning to do for a while here, so:

Instead of double-posting the info to this thread...

For those interested to see how I installed GEARED tuners on my Flea ukuleles...

I've provided a link to THAT thread below which includes close-up pictures, info about the tools I used, and sources for the parts as well.

see here:

Pure Blasphemy! Geared Tuners-Fluke & Flea-installed-photos & explanations (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?110691-Pure-Blasphemy!Geared-Tuners-Fluke-amp-Flea-installed-photos-amp-explanations)

BTW: As of the date of that thread, my toolbox includes FOUR total instruments made by Magic Fluke Company (http://www.magicfluke.com). They are each currently in different tunings (typically LOWER than standard C6, save for the concert Flea), with different strings.

My wishlist still includes one with a spruce top, one of the 'blackout' ALL-BLACK Lava models, a Cricket violin, and a Timber bass...

When I get one of the new (from NAMM2016) Mi-Si Air mic/preamp (http://mi-si.com/2016/01/17/ahead-of-namm-new-pickups/) modules, I plan to install that into my 'hibiscus red' tenor Flea, which currently has an inexpensive passive piezo disc transducer inside.(but more info on that will come later :))

Booli
01-29-2016, 04:32 PM
Got a Flea concert in a trade last year. Absolutely love it. Most stable of my ukes in terms of staying in tune, even after temp and humidity changes. I, too, ALWAYS smile when I grab my flea. Someday I'll own a Fluke.

YAY! Glad you're enjoying your Flea!

My next uke from Magic Fluke Company will likely be a Fluke too, but I'm not sure if I want the next one to be the spruce top model:
http://www.magicfluke.com/v/vspfiles/photos/fluke_spruce-3T.jpghttp://www.magicfluke.com/v/vspfiles/photos/fluke_spruce-2T.jpg

or the all-black lava model:
http://www.magicfluke.com/v/vspfiles/photos/Fluke_TotallyBlack-2T.jpghttp://www.magicfluke.com/v/vspfiles/photos/Fluke_TotallyBlack-3T.jpg

I think it's really great that they have so many options to choose from!

jeratoll
01-29-2016, 06:42 PM
So am I missing something on the Lava version? As you can get a Lava faceplate on a normal Fluke it seems to me that for $40 all you get is a black head stock and an unpainted fret board.

Edit: Also, does the extra 1" of the concert Flea vs a soprano make that much of a difference?

ScooterD35
01-29-2016, 08:01 PM
It's all a matter of personal preference. If you're into an all black Flea, it's probably worth it. I'm more into the designer Fleas and Flukes, so that's where I would spend the $40.

http://www.magicfluke.com/product-p/flea_designer.htm

The scale is also a preference kind of thing. The soprano is the standard, concert is a bit longer with a few more frets and the tenor is even longer. The concert scale generally seems to be the most popular in the great scheme of things, but each has its charms and uses.


Scooter

Booli
01-29-2016, 09:46 PM
So am I missing something on the Lava version? As you can get a Lava faceplate on a normal Fluke it seems to me that for $40 all you get is a black head stock and an unpainted fret board.

Edit: Also, does the extra 1" of the concert Flea vs a soprano make that much of a difference?

There are actually two DIFFERENT models that they are designating with the LAVA label.

One has just the black-painted soundboard, with the molded one-piece bridge/saddle and standard maple neck and the 'all black' model has the black soundboard, a black-stained WALNUT neck, two-piece bridge/saddle, and if you order the ROSEWOOD fretboard upgrade, the fretboard is ALSO stained black, otherwise the standard plastic fretboard is not 'quite' black, but more of a dark black-cherry or blackberry color.

Scale length differences from soprano to baritone typically increase with +2" from each size up to the next, as well as longer scales having more frets. Magic Fluke instruments increase in 1.5" increments.

Some folks with larger hands or age-related impediments to manual dexterity find a smaller scale more difficult to play on, and conversely for folks with smaller hands and various hand problems find it difficult to play on a longer scale.

Shorter scales like soprano, the frets a closer together than a concert, tenor or baritone. Soprano can be uncomfortable if you have BOTH fat hands and arthritis for some folks.

Also, for someone who might be coming from a classical guitar, whose scale is 25.5" to a soprano at ~14" usually will feel impossibly small and difficult to play (at first), and those folks might go to a baritone, or a tenor.

I can 'play' soprano, but find it uncomfortable since I play mostly tenor and baritone now. However, on a soprano you can span across a few more frets than tenor to say play a chord or roll that has 11th or 13ths jazz chords which could be a difficult or impossible stretch on tenor or baritone.

If you are only ever going to play chords in first position at the nut, you will probably not need more than 12 frets, but if you are going to learn and use ALL of the movable chord shapes, and/or learn Campanella style or Celtic tunes, you will likely want to maximize the range of notes you can play by having more frets such as 15 on concert or 17+ on tenor or 18+ on baritone, whereas MOST but NOT all sopranos have only 12 frets.

Magic Fluke sopranos have only 14 frets.

Keep in mind that a re-entrant tuned, 14-fret soprano uke has only a 2-octave range, a low-G or linear tuned uke has a 2.5-octave range, and something with 18 frets in linear tuning usually has at least a 3 octave in standard modified fourths tuning of GCEA if tuned linear.

If you are using a fifths tuning like mandola and viola (CGDA), or Irish tenor banjo (GDAE) you can actually get a FOUR-octave-plus-a-minor-third playable note range if you have 18 frets. This is at least DOUBLE the number of playable notes you have on a 'standard' 12-fret soprano.

You can see all the reference points for the different scale lengths and number of frets at this page from Magic Fluke company:

http://www.magicfluke.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1830

Booli
01-29-2016, 10:29 PM
I suspect you will find the Lava model is not standard and if you want it you have to pay $40 to get it painted. $40 retail is not a bad price for a good paint job on a uke. Try painting a uke yourself to get an idea of what is involved. So you are paying $40 for a different colour, not unlike paying $40 for a piece of wood that has pretty figure and probably just as much affect on the sound. For those who want black or feel a practical need to have a black uke for their stage act, $40 is not a barrier. Possibly if there is a deluge of orders for Lava, it may become a standard model and the extra cost might be lowered by volume. I am thinking about getting one so I can play some darker tunes.

For clarity's sake, please understand there are in fact two different versions as I mentioned above, as in two different products being offered, and one is actually a 'standard' model, go here and click on the black-colored one:

http://www.magicfluke.com/Fluke-Ukulele-p/fluke_standard.htm

and the description pull-down changes to LAVA. I have the LAVA Flea concert scale.

The 'other', ALL BLACK 'LAVA' model is here:

http://www.magicfluke.com/Fluke-Ukulele-p/fluke_totallyblack.htm

I like the all-black version, or 'blackout' version as I like to call it because I just think it looks bad-ass. Yes, I fully admit to wanting this one for the LOOKS, and I'm not usually attracted by the looks of an instrument as the sound is most important to me. But knowing that the sound and playability are consistent on these instruments (now that I own four of them), and EVERY time I pick up one of them after playing one of my other 12+ ukes from various different makers, my instant and overall feeling is 'ahh YES - this, is it'
MFC = :):rock::music:...

If they also offered a solid cedar top option and/or a larger-bodied (than the Fluke/Flea standard) in a baritone scale, I'd likely stop looking at other uke makers all-together. To me, MFC instruments are that good.

Booli
01-31-2016, 02:30 AM
...I have read that MFC will send you a top to paint with your own pattern and then you send it back and it is built into the uke. Maybe if you talk to the people a MFC and find a nice suitable piece of solid cedar, you could get your dream of a cedar top?


Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe this is some food for thought. :)

ScooterD35
03-27-2016, 06:19 PM
Some cool new video on the Magic Fluke Co. on YouTube!



http://youtu.be/VChaSWGoHqU


Scooter

ScooterD35
03-27-2016, 06:21 PM
...and one more!




http://youtu.be/2LcWurtBp2I



Scooter

Booli
03-27-2016, 09:31 PM
Some cool new video on the Magic Fluke Co. on YouTube!


...and one more!

Hey there Scooter-

Thanks for finding and posting these videos. I love seeing the 'behind the scenes' insights into the folks and their motivations that create these wonderful instruments.

Mahalo,

Booli :music:

Booli
08-03-2016, 08:38 AM
I am posting here as a push reminder to those who are still subscribed to this thread to let them know that I have added some links to other discussion on the Magic Fluke instruments here on UU since this thread was started.

THEY ARE IN THE FIRST POST TO THIS THREAD. (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread)<---CLICK HERE

This way you do not have to page through all the thread to find them or use the search here on UU.

I hope to add updates as well as time goes on.

If you still have your Fluke or Flea after all this time can you please check in and report how it's doing and when/how/why you are still playing it?

Thanks!

Booli

Tootler
08-04-2016, 06:20 AM
My Fluke and Flea are the ukes I take out to singarounds. (Think acoustic open stage). They are robust and have good tone. Occasionally I plug them in using a microvox (http://www.microvox.co.uk/banjopage.htm) pickup and this works well.

People tend to be curious about them, especially the Fluke, because of their unusual shape but overall the reaction is positive and I get a lot of comments on how they like their sound.

I reckon they are less common here in the UK than over there because when I go to ukulele events, I am often the only one with them but a fair proportion of the people do know what they are.

Personally I like my Fluke and Flea. They are great sounding ukuleles as well as being robust and well made. Mine are both in standard setup with friction tuners and the plastic fretboard. It's what was available from dealers over here. The plastic fretboard seems to be holding up well so far and the friction tuners work well. Most of my ukuleles have friction tuners so I have got used to them and can get them in tune with few problems. It's a matter of getting used to making very small adjustments and if you overshoot, deliberately de tune and bring up to tune again. I can do that pretty much as quickly as most guitarists tweaking the tuning on their instruments with their geared tuners.

SoloRule
08-22-2016, 03:50 AM
I recorded a song with the Fluke Tenor Walnut top to compare with my $2,000 tenor uke and asked uke friends to do a [Pepsi / Coke challenge] . The recording was done with my Iphone and built-in mic . Recorded less than 1 foot away from the mic. Most people mistaken the Fluke for the custom uke because it sounds crystal clear.

I like the Fluke because you don't need to worry about room humidity. I could leave it in the car in all kind of weather. This will be my worry free travel uke.

This instrument stay in tune for weeks and weeks. I strung both of my Fluke with Aquila Red and there is no issue with breakage. Perfect action.

I am currently selling the concert Fluke because I only play Tenor size. Good instrument should be played daily. If no one buys it , I am happy to keep it . It would be a perfect size to bring on the plane or even throw it in my check-in luggage.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?121899-F-S-Fluke-CONCERT-SIZE&p=1881823#post1881823

igorthebarbarian
09-02-2016, 09:43 PM
I just got a Fluke concert, mango rosette, with Pegheads and the Hardwood Fretboard. I ordered from the Strum Shop in Roseville, CA (recommended/ shipped quick/ very well packed) - and I got a good deal on it.

I have had two Flea sopranos in the past, but never bonded with them. One had the plastic fretboard (did not like) while one had the hardwood fretboard. The hardwood is definitely worth the extra money.

The slightly bigger body/shape of the Fluke is noticeable better compared to the Flea in my opinion. In pictures and videos, I did not think it would be that much difference, but holding it, I much prefer the Fluke shape. I think the extra width at the bottom edges makes it considerably easier to hold. I find it nestles into the crook of my arm perfectly. I could never get the Flea to hold comfortably - it could have been its overall rounded-shape that made it kind of slippery.

I like the Concert size; it's perfect right in the middle. The Pegheads are really nice. I haven't had trouble though ever with their normal friction tuners though. They've always been solid and reliable and hold tight once the strings stretch out. I don't think the pegheads are worth the upgrade as much as the hardwood fretboard is.

Also, lastly, I still love the ability of it to stand on its own base. Made in the USA too.

hendulele
01-23-2017, 02:58 PM
(Relatively) new to the stable: a slightly used Firefly concert maple. Love it! I took it to last week's jam and everyone was raving about it. (We've had other banjo ukes at the jam before, but the compliments were very flattering.) Some of the old-timey songs just plain need that banjo sound and I have a blast with it. Also, you can't beat how light and easy to handle it is. MFC scores again!

Booli
01-23-2017, 03:17 PM
(Relatively) new to the stable: a slightly used Firefly concert maple. Love it! I took it to last week's jam and everyone was raving about it. (We've had other banjo ukes at the jam before, but the compliments were very flattering.) Some of the old-timey songs just plain need that banjo sound and I have a blast with it. Also, you can't beat how light and easy to handle it is. MFC scores again!

Thanks for sharing the great story. I am glad your Firefly won the approval of the folks at the uke jam.

A few months ago I came across a used concert Fluke, 'LAVA', that likely was an older vintage model (New Hartford, CT on the sound-hole label, and the top was smooth and shiny, not wood-grain like my LAVA concert Flea) at a price that haunted me for days (the deal was that good) and finally I relented and received it a few days later. It is definitely used, but still in great shape and plays and sounds like a dream. Lots of projection and very clear note separation. Very happy with it myself.

I now have 5 different instruments from MFC and will soon be receiving a 6th, and am very happy with the sound, the feel, and the playability of every single one.

I will post an 'MFC group photo' soon showing them all.

MFC has announced a viola-scale Cricket fiddle and tenor-scale Firefly banjolele at NAMM 2017, as well as plans for a true 5-string banjo in a shorter scale...and years from now I would not be surprised to see a mando-type instrument or a guilele or kiku...

I will post the videos from NAMM 2017 for MFC to this thread later today for your viewing pleasure...:)

Booli
01-23-2017, 11:31 PM
Here is Andrew from HMS/The Ukulele SIte with Dale and Phyllis Webb from MFC at NAMM 2017, talking about what's new for this year:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ6ytGAvxC4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ6ytGAvxC4

Booli
01-24-2017, 07:15 PM
Fellow UU brother BazMaz has a new article up on Got A Ukulele about why his soprano Flea is still his most played uke after 10 yrs...

I thought that since it might interest other Magic Fluke Company fans, I've put the direct link here for your reading pleasure:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2017/01/what-is-my-most-played-ukulele-its-flea.html

THANKS Baz for always telling the story as straight and honestly as possible in your wonderful reviews! :)

j.roth
02-14-2017, 09:27 AM
Here is my 7 year old, green Flea ukulele. I bought the basic stock soprano with the plastic fret board, and friction tuners. I added a pick up that I made from a piezo doorbell buzzer wired backward to a 1/4" input jack. Everything else is just plane wear and tear from playing, as well as promiscuous use of markers. There is something about this ukulele that makes it special. I have played other Fleas and Flukes, but this one just feels the best (even though I know that there are many carbon copies).97811

FYI: even though my strumming hand has worn through the finish and into the wood around the strings, there is no fret wear on the fret board.

EDW
02-14-2017, 09:55 AM
I don't currently have one of their instruments, but a flea is on my wish list. As others have mentioned, they have decent sound and great action and intonation. I think that one of the things that is most important is that a number of years back many inexpensive ukuleles were junk. The Magic Fluke company put instruments in the hands of many who love playing precisely because of the quality of these instruments.

Bill Sheehan
02-14-2017, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the heads-up on that article, Booli! And awesome artwork, j.roth !!

bazmaz
02-14-2017, 10:01 AM
Fellow UU brother BazMaz has a new article up on Got A Ukulele about why his soprano Flea is still his most played uke after 10 yrs...

I thought that since it might interest other Magic Fluke Company fans, I've put the direct link here for your reading pleasure:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2017/01/what-is-my-most-played-ukulele-its-flea.html

THANKS Baz for always telling the story as straight and honestly as possible in your wonderful reviews! :)

Thanks man - sorry I missed this!

Cornfield
02-14-2017, 11:47 AM
I own several very nice instruments including a Moore Bettah, two Mya-Moe and two Kamaka ukuleles. I also recently traded an unused uke for a used Fluke. The Fluke sits on the corner of my desk, ready to be played at all times.

I don't worry about the Fluke being affected by humidity, the cat knocking it over or being accidentally bumped if I slam the stapler.
I find that practicing on the Fluke on a regular basis makes me a better ukulele player. The plastic fret board is no problem and the stock tuners work fine for C6 tuning.

Bill Sheehan
02-16-2017, 10:53 AM
Hi friends, I was wondering-- does anyone here normally tune their soprano-scale Flea up to aDF#B ? I have come to prefer that tuning for the soprano uke generally, as the gCEA tuning often doesn't quite seem to ring very well for me on the soprano scale (though of course I know that many, many folks use gCEA on the soprano and are very satisfied with it)-- in other words, to me it just seems too "floppy", whereas aDF#B makes the soprano uke come alive! I'm wondering if any of you have experimented between the two tunings on a soprano Flea specifically, and what your impressions might be... thanks!

igorthebarbarian
02-16-2017, 01:22 PM
Hi Bill, yes, that is how I have my Soprano Flea tuned "up". It sounds better and the strings feel better. No more floppy strings.


Hi friends, I was wondering-- does anyone here normally tune their soprano-scale Flea up to aDF#B ? I have come to prefer that tuning for the soprano uke generally, as the gCEA tuning often doesn't quite seem to ring very well for me on the soprano scale (though of course I know that many, many folks use gCEA on the soprano and are very satisfied with it)-- in other words, to me it just seems too "floppy", whereas aDF#B makes the soprano uke come alive! I'm wondering if any of you have experimented between the two tunings on a soprano Flea specifically, and what your impressions might be... thanks!

3j0hn
02-16-2017, 01:46 PM
does anyone here normally tune their soprano-scale Flea up to aDF#B ?
I had my Flea tuned up to that (D6 tuning) for a long time, but I found it hard to keep it in tune. It was always going flat like it was telling me it wanted to be in C6 tuning after all. I took the hint and now keep it in C6 tuning. I didn't find I had a strong preference for the sound or string feel one way or the other.

Bill Sheehan
02-16-2017, 01:48 PM
Thank you, Igor !! And if I may, let me push this question a bit further... what if a person hoped to experience, on a soprano Flea (or any soprano, I suppose) the more taut "feel" associated with the aDF#B tuning, while actually having the uke tuned to gCEA ? In other words, is there a way to opt for the gCEA tuning on a soprano without having the sense of "floppiness" that goes with it? Perhaps a specific set of gCEA soprano strings that are higher-tension or somewhat more rigid...?

Bill Sheehan
02-16-2017, 01:50 PM
Thanks, 3j0hn !! Very interesting observation there! By the way, string-wise, I typically use Martin M-600's on the soprano uke...

Ziret
02-16-2017, 02:27 PM
Thank you, Igor !! And if I may, let me push this question a bit further... what if a person hoped to experience, on a soprano Flea (or any soprano, I suppose) the more taut "feel" associated with the aDF#B tuning, while actually having the uke tuned to gCEA ? In other words, is there a way to opt for the gCEA tuning on a soprano without having the sense of "floppiness" that goes with it? Perhaps a specific set of gCEA soprano strings that are higher-tension or somewhat more rigid...?

Pretty much anyone on here knows more about this than I, but I have two sopranos, different brands, same strings. One has low action, the other high. At least the perceived tension is greater on the high-action uke. You might try some card stock under got saddle and see what you think. If nothing else, it's easy and free.

Bill Sheehan
02-16-2017, 02:37 PM
Pretty much anyone on here knows more about this than I, but I have two sopranos, different brands, same strings. One has low action, the other high. At least the perceived tension is greater on the high-action uke. You might try some card stock under got saddle and see what you think. If nothing else, it's easy and free.

Thanks, Ziret! That may well be something worth looking into (at least for my non-Flea soprano, as I think the bridge on the Flea doesn't have the traditional saddle piece that you can lift out).

j.roth
02-16-2017, 03:41 PM
An easy way to experience both tunings is to put a capo on the 2nd fret for the a d f# b tuning, and take it off for standard tuning. No modifications needed. No new strings sets. Simply get a mandolin/ banjo/ ukulele capo. Keyser makes one. Since Fleas (even the sopranos) have such easy fret access where the neck meets the body, a Soprano player does not give up too much real estate on the fret board by doing this.

3j0hn
02-16-2017, 05:57 PM
Thanks, 3j0hn !! Very interesting observation there! By the way, string-wise, I typically use Martin M-600's on the soprano uke...

I was using some D'Addario clear nylon strings marked for D6 tuning (I don't know if they were actually thinner than strings for C6 tuning). They don't feel too loose to me tuned down to C6 though. But maybe I just prefer less tension anyway.

Bill Sheehan
02-17-2017, 04:30 AM
Thanks for your additional thoughts, j.roth and 3j0hn! What it seems to come down to, for me, is that the C6 tuning on the soprano matches my singing range best, so I'm good vocal-range-wise with using C6, but I like the "feel" of the uke when it's tuned up to D6 tuning. So, what I'm after is C6 tuning but with a little more resistance, a little more tightness in the strings. Perhaps someone makes a soprano string set suitable for C6 tuning but designated as "higher-tension"? My thought is that a higher-tension set, tuned to C6, wouldn't be any harder on the uke than a "regular-tension" set tuned up to D6. I guess I'm hoping for the best of both worlds-- to be tuned on the soprano to C6, but to have it feel like it's in D6. Lots of subjectivity and personal preference here, I know! For instance, one guy I admire a lot is "Ukulele Uff"; he plays a Martin soprano tuned to C6 and that seems to be just fine with him!

Croaky Keith
02-17-2017, 04:53 AM
Have you thought of trying tenor strings?

I know when I put some on my concert I thought they had more tension.

Bill Sheehan
02-17-2017, 06:32 AM
Have you thought of trying tenor strings?

I know when I put some on my concert I thought they had more tension.

Interesting thought, uke1950, and I may consider trying that! Also, just want to acknowledge that I have veered off-course on this thread, which Booli originally established as a Magic Fluke-specific thread, and I do apologize for that!

igorthebarbarian
02-17-2017, 05:19 PM
Fremont sells medium or hard tension so maybe try the "hard".
http://www.theukulelesite.com/fremont-ukulele-strings-blackline-soprano-concert-med-or-high-tension.html

Bill Sheehan
02-18-2017, 08:01 AM
Fremont sells medium or hard tension so maybe try the "hard".
http://www.theukulelesite.com/fremont-ukulele-strings-blackline-soprano-concert-med-or-high-tension.html

Thank you so much, Igor! On the link that you provided, one of the reviewers mentions that the "hards" solved the problem he tended to have with string "floppiness" on the soprano scale. I'll try a set of those and see if that might be the answer!

bikemech
02-18-2017, 04:56 PM
Please make a note of my Magic Fluke appreciation.

My wife and I are now owners of our very first Magic Fluke instrument, a Surf Flea soprano. It is a fantastic instrument in almost all regards. The only concern for me and my old eyes is the dark-on-dark poly fretboard. We play in a low-light environment and the frets are hard to see. For this reason, we may return it and order a Flea with hardwood fretboard. Otherwise, the construction is fantastic. It's better looking in person than I expected it to be. The sound is quite warm for a soprano instrument and a bit quieter than I expected. I love the longer-than-typical soprano scale as it is much easier to fret the notes in the wider fret spaces. I really don't have a problem with the plastic back either. I know the round plastic back is a concern for some who find the uke too slippery to hang on to. I play seated and use my legs to prop the instrument up and have not had an issue with slippage. The standard tuners work well enough for us. No, they are not as smooth as butter (or geared tuners) but they work with limited frustration.

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Phyllis on two occasions. I have also had e-mail correspondence with both Phyllis and Dale. They are a class act and very professional as well as friendly and helpful.

Thank you, Booli, for this thread and for all those who have contributed to these forums with your knowledge and experience with the Magic Fluke Company. It helped us make our decision to purchase a Flea.

David

Ziret
02-18-2017, 06:39 PM
Please make a note of my Magic Fluke appreciation.

My wife and I are now owners of our very first Magic Fluke instrument, a Surf Flea soprano. It is a fantastic instrument in almost all regards. The only concern for me and my old eyes is the dark-on-dark poly fretboard. We play in a low-light environment and the frets are hard to see. For this reason, we may return it and order a Flea with hardwood fretboard. Otherwise, the construction is fantastic. It's better looking in person than I expected it to be. The sound is quite warm for a soprano instrument and a bit quieter than I expected. I love the longer-than-typical soprano scale as it is much easier to fret the notes in the wider fret spaces. I really don't have a problem with the plastic back either. I know the round plastic back is a concern for some who find the uke too slippery to hang on to. I play seated and use my legs to prop the instrument up and have not had an issue with slippage. The standard tuners work well enough for us. No, they are not as smooth as butter (or geared tuners) but they work with limited frustration.

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Phyllis on two occasions. I have also had e-mail correspondence with both Phyllis and Dale. They are a class act and very professional as well as friendly and helpful.

Thank you, Booli, for this thread and for all those who have contributed to these forums with your knowledge and experience with the Magic Fluke Company. It helped us make our decision to purchase a Flea.

David

David, I had that problem on $25 Vorson black plastic uke. I bought a Posca paint marker (white, but other colors would work) and drew a thin line above and below each fret. If you decide you don't like it, you can scrape it off with your fingernail or a credit card. But you probably don't want to mark up your new uke. Just an idea.

bikemech
02-18-2017, 07:46 PM
David, I had that problem on $25 Vorson black plastic uke. I bought a Posca paint marker (white, but other colors would work) and drew a thin line above and below each fret. If you decide you don't like it, you can scrape it off with your fingernail or a credit card. But you probably don't want to mark up your new uke. Just an idea.

Ziret,

I had thought of doing something like that. If I decide to keep this one I may pursue it. Thanks

OhioBelle
02-19-2017, 04:41 AM
Nail polish will also work. I used some to mark the SIDES of my frets, not the frets themselves. Just seeing where the sides are out of the corner of my eye helps a lot.

And agree with everyone on this thread that the soprano Flea is an astonishing little instrument. I was considering a Makala Dolphin for an upcoming summer trip, after having played the one I got for my niece. But this Flea is SO. MUCH. BETTER. All thoughts of the Dolphin have left my head. :)

j.roth
02-20-2017, 04:08 PM
I hD the same issue with my Flea when I first got it. It taught me how to play without looking. It is a great tool for growth.

j.roth
02-26-2017, 05:49 PM
I think I would like to get a blue fluke with a laser etched pieces symbol, and an orange fluke with a laser etched picture of Mr. Fox (it is a family favorite, both the book s the movie).

Legba
03-15-2017, 06:28 PM
98575
#14 of 20! Celtic Fluke designed by Dan Frank in Ashfield Mass, to commemorate the first international Ukulele Ceilidh in Nova Scotia.

Legba
03-16-2017, 08:19 AM
98578
Better picture.

Ukecaster
03-16-2017, 08:26 AM
Just in time for tomorrow...March 17th! If I owned one, I'd call it my Shillelagh Ukulele :D

OhioBelle
03-16-2017, 03:37 PM
Nothing better than a bright green fluke for some sprightly Celtic tunes!

Rrgramps
03-18-2017, 02:55 AM
Yesterday, my Flea soprano in surf motif arrived at my doorstep. Compared to my Mainland tenor, it's tiny. My expectations for sound quality were pretty low, considering my tenor ukulele is highly regarded as a really decent and above average sounding instrument. This new thing is made of plastic and laminated wood; can't sound very good. After all, it's a soprano, and I've avoided the little size ukulele because of its tiny, tinny sound perception, due to the box's reduced volume. However...

I tuned it up.

I played a C-chord.

Then an F...

...and a G

What??? My ears are deceiving me into thinking I'm hearing good sound, and it's warm. WARM!!! Warmer than a tenor all-wood. Sweet too. No way! But it's my lying ears, I'm sure of it. :smileybounce:

OhioBelle
03-18-2017, 04:27 AM
Trent, you've been bitten by the Flea!

Me too. :)

I agree with everything you said. The sound and playability of that plywood and plastic are astounding.

Ukecaster
03-18-2017, 06:05 AM
I haven't tried a Fluke or Flea yet, but am looking forward to it. Saw this one on eBay, it is from Hawaii. Major play wear (or is that mojo?) :) Imagine the stories it could tell? I'd be afraid the frets were worn out.

98613

OhioBelle
03-18-2017, 06:39 AM
I haven't tried a Fluke or Flea yet, but am looking forward to it. Saw this one on eBay, it is from Hawaii. Major play wear (or is that mojo?) :) Imagine the stories it could tell? I'd be afraid the frets were worn out.

98613

Great mojo, John. If the price is right, go for it! If the frets are worn, the Magic Fluke Co can replace that fretboard for you.

Ukecaster
03-18-2017, 07:28 AM
$150.00 including shipping, kinda steep IMO.

Ziret
03-18-2017, 07:33 AM
Yesterday, my Flea soprano in surf motif arrived at my doorstep. Compared to my Mainland tenor, it's tiny. My expectations for sound quality were pretty low, considering my tenor ukulele is highly regarded as a really decent and above average sounding instrument. This new thing is made of plastic and laminated wood; can't sound very good. After all, it's a soprano, and I've avoided the little size ukulele because of its tiny, tinny sound perception, due to the box's reduced volume. However...

I tuned it up.

I played a C-chord.

Then an F...

...and a G

What??? My ears are deceiving me into thinking I'm hearing good sound, and it's warm. WARM!!! Warmer than a tenor all-wood. Sweet too. No way! But it's my lying ears, I'm sure of it. :smileybounce:

Welcome to the world of sopranos. You, unfortunately, have not discovered the only amazing soprano out there.

Rrgramps
03-18-2017, 11:28 AM
Trent, you've been bitten by the Flea!

Me too. :)

I agree with everything you said. The sound and playability of that plywood and plastic are astounding.
My reason for purchasing it was not for its sound, but because I'm getting ready for a beach trip. I had chosen, and wished for, firstly the Outdoor Ukulele and 2ndly a MFC. (For use in or near the water). My preference for the beach vacation was and still is the Outdoor Ukulele, but they were not available before I leave, due to some business operations. So I settled reluctantly for the Flea. It looks like I will still sit out on the beach, but will not play underwater. :D

ukuleleden
04-14-2017, 07:58 AM
My first Magic Fluke purchase was the Banjo Ukulele. It was so well done and fun to play, that led to me making an in-person trip to their headquarters which a short road trip from my home. That visit resulted in a Custom build Kia Fluke that ended up getting a hand-selected figured Kia top and all the options available. It was really over the top! When I did my Uke clearout, I found a buyer who appreciated it as much as I did and was willing to acquire it. While Indont have it any longer, I'll say that was my favorite Fluke and would be hard for me to replicate again.

I actually like the new additions to their designer series and for a fun Uke to bring along I may entertain the idea of a designer flea in the future since I never owned the flea body style.

dave4761
04-25-2017, 08:35 AM
Hello all:

I just purchased a koa tenor fluke with peghead tuners and string with Martin uke strings. I have given a couple of weeks for at least partial string settling, however, I find the instrument has serious intonation problems which is typically something the flukes don't have a problem with. My worst problems is with the e string which is virtually sharp from the second fret on and worsens as you go up the fretboard. the g and a strings become progressively flatter as you go up the fretboard, though not as flat as the e string is sharp. the c string is tolerable , but a little sharp at the 12th fret. Im trying to learn finger picking and chord melody, so I am all over the fret board, and the result is I'm pretty out of tune working in the mid fret board let alone all the way up the fretboard. Could the strings be the problem? I'm going to reseat the strings at the headstock and see if that makes the difference. If not I'll change the strings and see. Has anyone else had significant intonation issues?

bikemech
04-25-2017, 05:37 PM
Hello all:

I just purchased a koa tenor fluke with peghead tuners and string with Martin uke strings. I have given a couple of weeks for at least partial string settling, however, I find the instrument has serious intonation problems which is typically something the flukes don't have a problem with. My worst problems is with the e string which is virtually sharp from the second fret on and worsens as you go up the fretboard. the g and a strings become progressively flatter as you go up the fretboard, though not as flat as the e string is sharp. the c string is tolerable , but a little sharp at the 12th fret. Im trying to learn finger picking and chord melody, so I am all over the fret board, and the result is I'm pretty out of tune working in the mid fret board let alone all the way up the fretboard. Could the strings be the problem? I'm going to reseat the strings at the headstock and see if that makes the difference. If not I'll change the strings and see. Has anyone else had significant intonation issues?

The intonation on my Flea is not nearly as good as I expected especially considering that Fleas are known for superior intonation. Is yours a new instrument? I would call Magic Fluke. Is it used? I would change the strings.

dave4761
04-29-2017, 07:15 AM
The intonation on my Flea is not nearly as good as I expected especially considering that Fleas are known for superior intonation. Is yours a new instrument? I would call Magic Fluke. Is it used? I would change the strings.

Brand new. Ordered from them and made for me. I have called. One of my in7tial requests was Martin strings which they dont have much experience with. So they're going to string another tenor with Martins and see of they're the same. We'll start with changing strings. Its possible the action maybe a little too high and the saddle needs to be adjusted and compensated which it can be since it's a wooden fretboard. It wouldn't be so bad if all the strings went out in the same direction but with 2 strings going flat, one in tune, and one really sharp the discrepancy is unfortunately really apparent. Worse comes to worse I can have a luthier look at it. I am confident though Magic Fluke will make it right.

kente777
07-03-2017, 04:11 PM
I just received my new Flea with all the upgrades (wood fretboard, metal frets, tuners) and I love it so far.

Anyone have a low G on the Flea? What are your thoughts?

I usually lean toward Worth or Martin, but what other strings make your lil' guy sing?

Thx

Ken

Ukecaster
07-05-2017, 12:13 PM
New Uke Day! Got a concert Fluke off eBay last week. It has arrived, and I like it alot. Supposedly a Lyle Ritz custom concert Fluke. It has some miles on it, but plays & sounds great with installed low G Worth Browns. It has a rosewood board, metal frets and factory pickup installed. Tuners are the stock cheap frictions, not easy to use, compared to other better quality frictions I've used. This uke was played by a touring musician, and recorded on this little ditty:
https://youtu.be/GT8PP3tWGZY

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magic-Fluke-Company-Lyle-Ritz-Custom-Concert-Ukulele-Uke-With-Pickup-/292161087527?hash=item4406286827%3Ag%3ACEMAAOSw1WJ ZMtmL&nma=true&si=32uOraNDuSPqP4soNGW0ddxeKaI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

101322

maki66
08-07-2017, 05:23 PM
Just got my used Fluke concert M12. Its serial number is 1911, how luck is that?(Any other John Moses B. fans?)
I cannot put it down! The wide fret board is an absolute joy.
The D Major which gives me problems is totally doable.
Great volume and perfect intonation.
I'm giving my wife the Kala TEM to convert to low d for her use.

ukeinfused
08-07-2017, 07:10 PM
Having just sold that last one, I find it quite "flukey" that the last two posters bought the EXACT same used concert Fluke model - color in 'natural', rosewood fretboard, factory pick-up! (Albeit one travel-worn and one pretty minty.)

Enoch, nothing more satisfying than seeing a great but unused instrument come out of the closet and into the hands of someone who will love and play it... Glad it's got a home with you.

librainian
08-07-2017, 08:44 PM
Picked up my second Magic via Craigslist last Saturday, a soprano flea with the Tiki design. I saw it posted for $100 with the denim gig bag and was over there in 30 min. I know a good deal when I see one! It still had the original strings and I think it was barely played. A quick string change with some Fremonts and it sounds sweet as can be! I notice they are selling Fremonts directly on the website. I highly recommend them with these ukes too.

maki66
08-08-2017, 05:03 AM
Having just sold that last one, I find it quite "flukey" that the last two posters bought the EXACT same used concert Fluke model - color in 'natural', rosewood fretboard, factory pick-up! (Albeit one travel-worn and one pretty minty.)

Enoch, nothing more satisfying than seeing a great but unused instrument come out of the closet and into the hands of someone who will love and play it... Glad it's got a home with you.
Pretty and Minty for sure, also, my JOY!
Thank you Tracie.

besley
08-08-2017, 12:07 PM
I had read somewhere that the necks on typical Flukes and Fleas are sort of squarish, with a flat back. But I just noticed that the neck on my Tenor Firefly Banjo Uke is fully rounded. jSo are the Flukes and Fleas necks squarish? Anybody with a soprano or concert Firefly who can comment on their neck profiles?

Ukecaster
08-08-2017, 01:51 PM
The very back of My Fluke concert Neck is flat, but the shoulders are rounded. Very comfy IMO.

Booli
08-08-2017, 04:36 PM
The very back of My Fluke concert Neck is flat, but the shoulders are rounded. Very comfy IMO.

This is but just one of my favorite features of the Fluke and Flea ukes.

Very comfortable in the hand to me and the nut/neck is just the right width for my hand. :)

rappsy
08-08-2017, 06:28 PM
We all like something different about our Ukes.

My Tenor Scale Flea that is listed here has had the neck altered to satisfy my desire for a thin D shaped neck. It came out great and it's definitely more comfortable for me to play.

Check out the pictures.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128504-F-S-TENOR-SCALE-FLEA-in-Walnut-w-cutout-Rosette-a-hard-to-find-Uke

Just another opinion on neck shapes....

Prattism@gmail.com
08-08-2017, 08:26 PM
Love my Fluke. Bought it on the Marketplace here, walnut top, rosewood fretboard. When I first tried it I was amazed at the sound and playing comfort.

I have a lot of very good ukuleles, but I keep them in my music room, many in their cases, and am extremely careful not to knock them around.

The Fluke stays in the living room, always handy. If (no, make that when) it gets knocked over, I don't care. I take it to the beach frequently. It holds its tuning well. The intonation is excellent. The action is low and comfortable. It's built like a rock, plays great, and needs minimum care. What's not to love?

It probably gets the most playing time of all my instruments just because of accessibility and travel ease.

Pleasure Paul
08-10-2017, 11:46 AM
1) What you got?

A Flea, bought around 2006

2) Why did you buy it?

Good ukes were very thin in the EU. I found this at FranÁois Charle's in Paris, and it was the best choice possible at the time.

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it?

There's much to like. Leo Fender would love it. So many clever design solutions. Harmony inspired (?) moulded fretboard including nut and zero fret (for consistent good action and intonation), flat neck board, open headstock, plastic back, plywood front (I wondered why there was not a solid option, but this design could just have been optimised for plastic and plywood), and then there's this great flat bottom feature - a stand up uke, would you believe it. And there's probably more to it which is beyond me. My color is cool, kind of blue/green. When I first had it, I travelled by train, had the uke standing up on the table, and people were trying to buy it off me. It has a warm, friendly sound and good intonation. I consider it to be the best uke for indoor use. In the studio I realised that this uke does not have ultimate 'bark'. That is its minus. But I understand the design choice, leading to the present sound compromise. The other minus is its 1/1 pegs. This is a minus on any uke IMO. I understand that there are other tuner choices these days. Overall a very well judged uke.

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why?

Why should I? Anyone should have one, but I have mine. I'm into sopranos only.

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately?

Perhaps not, as I have too many ukes already, it is possible to live without a Flea, but I would miss a very competent and practical allround performer.

Booli
09-23-2017, 05:37 AM
Just an FYI in case you have not seen it yet - fellow UU brother BazMaz has put up a very detailed review with photos and a video demo of the Magic Fluke Company's Firefly Tenor Banjo:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?129343-Magic-Fluke-Firefly-Tenor-Banjo-REVIEW

Check it out! :music:

bazmaz
09-23-2017, 05:53 AM
Ah - thanks for sharing that friend!

TobyDog
10-10-2017, 02:56 PM
I just ordered my first Flea today, a concert walnut rosette with tuner and fretboard upgrades. It's a slightly different look than they normally make - the rosette area is darker. But they had it in stock, I should have it in my grubby hands by the end of the week at the latest.

I was planning to get a Pono Mango Pineapple, but after reading all the positive reviews online of the flea I changed my mind. One of the main selling points is that I don't have to baby it regarding humidity. I live in Mass, and my heat is on from at least Nov-April. And I like the fact that it's a local company, with a good customer service reputation.

ScooterD35
10-10-2017, 05:35 PM
I just ordered my first Flea today, a concert walnut rosette with tuner and fretboard upgrades. It's a slightly different look than they normally make - the rosette area is darker. But they had it in stock, I should have it in my grubby hands by the end of the week at the latest.

I was planning to get a Pono Mango Pineapple, but after reading all the positive reviews online of the flea I changed my mind. One of the main selling points is that I don't have to baby it regarding humidity. I live in Mass, and my heat is on from at least Nov-April. And I like the fact that it's a local company, with a good customer service reputation.


Congratulations! I really like the look of the top and that fretboard. You made a great choice!


Scooter

hendulele
12-28-2017, 01:06 PM
Some more love for Dale and Phyllis.

I wanted to upgrade the standard tuning pegs on my Flea, Fluke, and Firefly and wound up with Grover 6s. According to the Grover website, the post holes for the 2 and the 6 are the same size. The swap should have been no sweat.

But it was.

For my Fluke, which may be a 2010 vintage, the new hardware dropped right in and I made the switch in less than 30 minutes.

The Flea (new Koa-topped) and Firefly (2015?) were other matters. The post holes were 1/64 of an inch smaller, maybe? And the hardware for the 6s is just that much larger than the 2s.

I used a tapered reamer to make holes and replace the crappy geared tuners on my Makala with vintage-looking Grover 85s, but couldn't really do much with it on the MFC's slotted headstock.

So, I emailed MFC. Phyllis (and then Dale) got back to me within a couple of days. Dale said they had been using a local shop to produce some of the necks on newer instruments, and occasionally the post holes may be a little small for an upgrade. He suggested using a round file to open the holes just a little, and maybe even bevel the inner holes just in case the hardware was too crowded during installation.

To make a long story somewhat longer, the file worked like a dream! A little gentle elbow grease, and I'm fully upgraded.

The new tuners adjust SOOO much more smoothly than the 2s, and they look pretty spiffy, too. (see below)

As always, Dale and Phyllis are the best. Always generous with their time and advice. Plus, making some fantastic instruments as well.

105643105644105645

OzzyyzzO
02-02-2018, 04:41 AM
Brand new. Ordered from them and made for me. I have called. One of my in7tial requests was Martin strings which they dont have much experience with. So they're going to string another tenor with Martins and see of they're the same. We'll start with changing strings. Its possible the action maybe a little too high and the saddle needs to be adjusted and compensated which it can be since it's a wooden fretboard. It wouldn't be so bad if all the strings went out in the same direction but with 2 strings going flat, one in tune, and one really sharp the discrepancy is unfortunately really apparent. Worse comes to worse I can have a luthier look at it. I am confident though Magic Fluke will make it right.

Hello Dave,
Iím new to UU and myself just ordered a Koa Tenor Fluke, and desperately wondering how things played out (bad pun...) with your situation. Did new or different strings resolve the issue; did the company help resolve the issue? My Oder is being processed, and based on the many reviews, your issue seems to be somewhat of an outlier. Thanks in advance - Ozzy and little Ozzy (my son; he lurks with me sometimes; weíre here to learn together).

LimousinLil
02-02-2018, 05:26 AM
It's news to me that there IS a Magic Fluke appreciation thread! My very first uke was a Walnut Flea, which I still have and which is always very reliable and seems to keep itself remarkably in tune although I don't get it out all that often. I have just ordered a Walnut (I think!) Firefly. Although I now have several (ahem!) other ukes now, I don't think I'll ever rehome the Flea.

Croaky Keith
02-02-2018, 06:48 AM
I'm surprised you hadn't heard about this thread before, Val, as Booli used to promote it at every opportunity...... :music:

Booli
03-03-2018, 09:02 AM
Just a heads-up for anyone looking for a nice concert Fluke - there's one for sale or trade here in the UU Marketplace:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?131644-FSOT-Concert-Fluke-Ukulele-w-TKL-Gig-Bag

tstarky
03-05-2018, 04:37 PM
I am really new to ukes and before I really knew what I wanted I picked up a Flea soprano on an auction for a great price. When it arrived I realized it had some moisture damage especially in the tuner area. The tuners were rusted. I had thought it was just dirt in the pictures. Being the crafty person I am I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a beauty make-over.

I decided on aqua and coral stain. The coral stain didn't work out as well as I hoped but it does "mask" some of the grayed wood. You can see from the image that it appears to be bleeding. The damaged area seemed to have sucked up the stain and decreased as it got closer to the healthier wood near the body. And of course the fret board popped off before I started staining. :mad: (I think it must have been kept in storage, not temp controlled.) I coated the stained wood with 3 coats of satin finish. I added a couple "tattoos" for interest, although the one above the nut is going to have to go as it isn't centered. Drives me nuts (LOL, so puny). I ordered white Grover tuners so I could stain them for more color. A few drops of alcohol ink and they came out just as I imagined.

I finished it up today and started practicing. I really like it so far! The chords seem easier to me. I've included the before and after pics. It is by far not perfect but it is perfectly for me. :) Not sure why the last 2 are sideways?

107052
107053
107054

TobyDog
03-05-2018, 05:23 PM
I really like the way the Grover tuners look!

tstarky
03-06-2018, 01:24 PM
Thank you!

maki66
03-06-2018, 01:40 PM
Really nice work there Tstarky!

Booli
03-06-2018, 02:00 PM
@ Tstarky -

I absolutely love what you did here and how you made it your own, while also 'making a silk purse from a sow's ear' as my grandmother used to say...

The colors are almost like a reversed sunburst/fade and I've never seen anything done exactly like that before, just wonderful. I applaud and admire your skill in doing this make-over.

I am a big fan of the traditional 'tobacco sunburst' on guitars, but it seems so common nowadays....


... I ordered white Grover tuners so I could stain them for more color. A few drops of alcohol ink and they came out just as I imagined...

This too looks AMAZING to me. I'd love to learn how to do this with the white plastic tuner buttons, as I have a few ukes I'd like to customize the tuner colors.

Is there a web site or YT video that can show the method? Or if not, are you able to give us the steps of the process?

In any case, this is a wonderful project and strongly appeals to my own sense of DIY.

Kudos to you! Job well done! :) :rock:

tstarky
03-06-2018, 02:46 PM
Really nice work there Tstarky!

Thank you!

tstarky
03-06-2018, 03:13 PM
@ Tstarky -

This too looks AMAZING to me. I'd love to learn how to do this with the white plastic tuner buttons, as I have a few ukes I'd like to customize the tuner colors.

Is there a web site or YT video that can show the method? Or if not, are you able to give us the steps of the process?

In any case, this is a wonderful project and strongly appeals to my own sense of DIY.

Kudos to you! Job well done! :) :rock:

Thanks Booli!

Here is a link to basic alcohol ink technique:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KbNWkzZFQg

I used 2-3 drops of the main color of ink on the corner of the stamper and 1 drop of minor color (I used stream and citrus). I also add 1 drop of the alcohol blender at the same time and then just blotted (don't rub) the entire peg. I used a q-tip with the blender on areas I wanted to add a little more "splashy" look. Also, the q-tip works great for the nooks and crannies (a drop of each color and blender) and just jabbed it to get the ink to spread. This stuff dries really fast. The best thing is if you don't like it, clean it off with rubbing alcohol and start over. If you have some old white dominoes you can use them for practice to get the look/color you like.

I lightly sprayed a matte clear coating over them by punching holes in cardboard and inserting the tuner through the hole with the peg dangling downward. A second light coating after the first dried. When I first installed them they felt very slightly tacky but it was gone by the time I got it tuned.

If you don't want to invest in the inks, youtube has several tutes on making your own. You can make your own felt dabber in any size using self stick velcro, felt and a wooden dowel.

Took me more time to get the color combo the way I wanted it then it did to color the pegs. :)

OhioBelle
03-06-2018, 03:56 PM
This looks wonderful! Congrats on your Flea upcyle!

maki66
03-11-2018, 01:04 PM
I just picked up a used Firefly M90 concert, #5xxx at a very good price.
I found it on Craigslist in San Diego, after another member posted his amazing find I started looking harder in areas further out.
This is a stunningly beautiful instrument with all the MFC bells and whistles;
Wood fret board
Peghead tuners
Pick up
This one is just about new in the box. My first banjolele!
I'm having fun trying clawhammer.
NUD!!!!

tstarky
03-11-2018, 01:12 PM
This looks wonderful! Congrats on your Flea upcyle!

Thank you! :D

TobyDog
04-07-2018, 11:27 AM
I'm up to 3 Magic Flukes now, 2 concert fleas both with upgraded fretboard and tuners, one is high g, the other low g. And I just got a new-to-me concert mango Fluke (no upgrades). I find the fluke difficult to hold, but I really like the sound, maybe more so than the flea. I think I'm going to have to get me one with the upgraded fretboard so I can tune it to low g.

Clearly I'm a disciple of Booli. What are we called, Booliites?

hendulele
04-07-2018, 01:55 PM
I just noticed Mim has become a MFC reatailer (on her Reverb site). That’s great! I would have bought my koa from her if I had the chance!

Booli
04-08-2018, 02:33 AM
I just noticed Mim has become a MFC reatailer (on her Reverb site). That’s great! I would have bought my koa from her if I had the chance!

Thanks for sharing this info. This is great news that Mim is going to be carrying them!

I'm off to check it out....wheeeeee :)

EDIT: direct link added: https://reverb.com/shop/mimsukes?make=magic-fluke

Booli
04-08-2018, 02:47 AM
I'm up to 3 Magic Flukes now, 2 concert fleas both with upgraded fretboard and tuners, one is high g, the other low g. And I just got a new-to-me concert mango Fluke (no upgrades). I find the fluke difficult to hold, but I really like the sound, maybe more so than the flea. I think I'm going to have to get me one with the upgraded fretboard so I can tune it to low g.

Clearly I'm a disciple of Booli. What are we called, Booliites?

Congrats on your nice collection. :)

If you go to the first post of this thread, you will see a link to a discussion of how several folks (including myself) have devised ways to put a strap on a Fluke or Flea, and this might provide some ideas for you that can make your Fluke easier to hold...

Disciple of Booli? Ha Ha, you flatter me. :)

I'm not trying to create a cult or anything like that...but more a collective of friends, maybe a band of rebels (pirates) LOL - perhaps 'Booligans' or 'BooliFans' are more appropriate?

Humility prevents me from commenting further. I will let the group decide. \m/

OhioBelle
04-08-2018, 04:06 AM
Booligans! I like it! :rolleyes:

EspressoDan
04-08-2018, 08:55 AM
Just ordered my first MFC...Hibiscus Concert. It is going to be a long week until it gets here.
Dan

Croaky Keith
04-08-2018, 08:56 AM
Ditto Booligans - that's got just the right feeling of reverence to it...... :smileybounce:

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-08-2018, 09:35 AM
About one year ago I picked up a cheap penguin ukulele. It was orange. I played on that for a few weeks as I realized I could learn to play music, but wanted a better instrument. I found the pineapple shape and began my search. I found MFC and sent them an email. It also happens to be around my birthday and i ended up with some cash. So, at MFC recommendation I got a Flea with a Concert Neck. I loved it, but always wondered if i should have gotten the soprano.

5 months later we were in San Jose area visiting friends and found ourselfs in a music shop. it may not have been unitentional, as a i knew from MFC’s site they were a dealer and happens to have a Firefly. After playing with that I started saving. A few months later they had sold the one I had played with, but Elderly had another. About the same time I also acquired a Fluke that recently found a new home. I got the Soprano Flea I wanted to check out. BEfore it heads to work so I can practice at breaks, I thought I would add my story hear, as well as a “family photo.” I am not sure how long the Soprano Flea will stay at work. Our 3 year old is already trying to claim it.
107996

OhioBelle
04-08-2018, 12:11 PM
About one year ago I picked up a cheap penguin ukulele. It was orange. I played on that for a few weeks as I realized I could learn to play music, but wanted a better instrument. I found the pineapple shape and began my search. I found MFC and sent them an email. It also happens to be around my birthday and i ended up with some cash. So, at MFC recommendation I got a Flea with a Concert Neck. I loved it, but always wondered if i should have gotten the soprano.

5 months later we were in San Jose area visiting friends and found ourselfs in a music shop. it may not have been unitentional, as a i knew from MFC’s site they were a dealer and happens to have a Firefly. After playing with that I started saving. A few months later they had sold the one I had played with, but Elderly had another. About the same time I also acquired a Fluke that recently found a new home. I got the Soprano Flea I wanted to check out. BEfore it heads to work so I can practice at breaks, I thought I would add my story hear, as well as a “family photo.” I am not sure how long the Soprano Flea will stay at work. Our 3 year old is already trying to claim it.
107996

Pineapples! Love them! Do you find the sound much different from soprano to concert neck?

maki66
04-08-2018, 12:54 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Maki and I am a Booligan.

Hey Tobydog, how do you like the Fluke as a low G?

TobyDog
04-08-2018, 02:22 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Maki and I am a Booligan.

Hey Tobydog, how do you like the Fluke as a low G?

I don't have a low g Fluke yet, I really like my low g Flea ;). I think my next purchase might be a Fluke with an upgraded fretboard so I can do the low g thing with it.

maki66
04-08-2018, 02:40 PM
Sorry I got that wrong.

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-08-2018, 03:33 PM
Pineapples! Love them! Do you find the sound much different from soprano to concert neck?
Thanks me too! I think they are fun.
I do not. By chance, tobydog can correct me if Iím wrong, but they both have m600 and sound very similar. Keep in mind Iíve only been at this a year.

Booli
04-10-2018, 03:15 AM
Just ordered my first MFC...Hibiscus Concert. It is going to be a long week until it gets here.
Dan

It will be worth the wait. I have a Hibiscus Red tenor Flea, that I got from Gryphon in Palo Alto, CA and it is very nice to play and sounds great.

Was yours the 'red' hibiscus or the one with the hibiscus-flower shaped sound-hole?


Ditto Booligans - that's got just the right feeling of reverence to it......

Thanks Keith! :)


...So, at MFC recommendation I got a Flea with a Concert Neck. I loved it, but always wondered if i should have gotten the soprano.

...About the same time I also acquired a Fluke that recently found a new home. I got the Soprano Flea I wanted...

Congrats on your MFC acquisitions! If the little one is eye-ing it, then I have to say that I think he has very good taste for one at such a young age! :)


Hello everyone, my name is Maki and I am a Booligan...

I guess it's official now that a few folks have said that they like 'Booligans' is the name of our group. LOL.

Welcome to the club maki! :)

maki66
04-10-2018, 05:51 AM
I often go back and reread some of your threads Booli, this one and the string thread in particular.
Seems like I'm always learning something by doing so.
Thank you, and to those like you who help us n00bs.

EspressoDan
04-10-2018, 02:39 PM
[QUOTE=Booli;2056857]It will be worth the wait. I have a Hibiscus Red tenor Flea, that I got from Gryphon in Palo Alto, CA and it is very nice to play and sounds great.

Was yours the 'red' hibiscus or the one with the hibiscus-flower shaped sound-hole?


It is the "red" hibiscus-no flower. It looks great on the website and will look even better in person (about two more days). My kinder class is going to love the colour.

kerneltime
04-10-2018, 04:18 PM
Does any one have the solid wood spruce/koa fluke? Does it sound different/better than the laminate flukes?

Do the laminate fluke sound different for the different colors/laminate wood types?

Yishai
06-29-2018, 10:07 AM
Has anyone here ever thought of putting a Flea/Fluke neck on a different body?

I recently found a concert flea with a wood fretboard and fell in love with the feel of the neck. Every chord I played felt perfect. I'm not a big fan of these bodies though, especially the thermoplastic back and sides. It's the same reason I never bought an Ovation guitar.

Anyway, I was wondering if it would be possible to just take the neck off and have someone attach it to a different body. Or is the neck joint different in a way that would make it incompatible?

Jerryc41
06-30-2018, 03:40 AM
Does any one have the solid wood spruce/koa fluke? Does it sound different/better than the laminate flukes?

Do the laminate fluke sound different for the different colors/laminate wood types?

Someone in our group has the tenor koa Fluke, and it sounds very nice. I have a concert Fluke, and I can't tell the difference in sound, but I imagine someone could. As for the sound of different woods and colors, I think you would need expensive scientific equipment to detect any differences.

Jerryc41
06-30-2018, 03:43 AM
Has anyone here ever thought of putting a Flea/Fluke neck on a different body?

I recently found a concert flea with a wood fretboard and fell in love with the feel of the neck. Every chord I played felt perfect. I'm not a big fan of these bodies though, especially the thermoplastic back and sides. It's the same reason I never bought an Ovation guitar.

Anyway, I was wondering if it would be possible to just take the neck off and have someone attach it to a different body. Or is the neck joint different in a way that would make it incompatible?

Yes, the Flea/Fluke has a very nice neck - the wooden one. It's wide and comfortable. I don't like the composite neck. As for taking the neck off, I'm sure it's possible. I asked Magic Fluke about swapping the composite neck for a wooden one, and they said it's no problem. I would begin by somehow removing the top and seeing how the neck is attached.

Booli
06-30-2018, 06:50 AM
Has anyone here ever thought of putting a Flea/Fluke neck on a different body?

I recently found a concert flea with a wood fretboard and fell in love with the feel of the neck. Every chord I played felt perfect. I'm not a big fan of these bodies though, especially the thermoplastic back and sides. It's the same reason I never bought an Ovation guitar.

Anyway, I was wondering if it would be possible to just take the neck off and have someone attach it to a different body. Or is the neck joint different in a way that would make it incompatible?

You would have more success in using a flat spokeshave to carve the back of the neck and then a hole saw of appropriate diameter and rasps to shape the headstock of a different uke than to transplant the neck of a Fluke or Flea...

The neck on a Fluke or Flea is screwed into the polycarbonate body, and then the soundboard is on top of that, and then the fretboard is on top of that....

so to the remove the neck, you have to sacrifice the Fluke or Flea pretty much, unless you use great finesse in removing the fretboard as well as the top. This requires some skill, the proper tools, and LOTS of patience.

TO me, that's a lot of money to spend just to extract the neck.

Also, most traditional ukuleles use some form of dovetail joint, tenon dowels, or bolt-on method, so if you are going to use something like a Kala or Ohana to recieve the neck, you will have to do some serious modifications to the neck block inside, which involves removing the top (soundboard) of the recipient instrument.

Seems like too much work.

If it were me, I'd reshape the neck of another instrument and just leave the tuners as they are in the headstock on that instrument.

A spokeshave, rasps and files are not complicated to use and can be had for cheap (less than $50 US), and you will also need several different grades of sandpaper to do a smooth finishing on the neck, and likely also some sealant or stain to match the rest of the instrument and protect the wood...

Yishai
07-03-2018, 05:54 PM
Thank you. Yes, that does sound like too much time, money, and effort. Better to just enjoy the Flea as it was made.

jim275
07-08-2018, 11:33 AM
1. What do I have? Soprano Flea in Pistachio Green, SN: 167 (approx. 2004), Strung low G.

2. Why did I buy it? Honestly it was because of an EBay coupon that was going to expire. I started scrolling through the Buy-It-Nowís and spotted this lightly used instrument. I didnít have a soprano and the green color just spoke to me.

3. What do I like/hate?
Likes: I like being able to just leave this uke sitting out (this is currently my office uke). It plays and sound good, was not expensive and is semi-rugged. As a bonus it has the flat end so that it sits there just waiting to be played.
Hates: None. The friction tuners arenít great but donít bother me enough to go through the effort of changing them.

4. Plan to buy another? I donít currently plan to, but would definitely consider buying another, maybe a concert. Iím more of an opportunist when it comes to buying.

5. Replace? I would definitely buy another to replace it. I donít know of anything better for the office than a flea.

110319

Additional Comments:
Shortly after purchasing my flea I realized it had the older Connecticut label with a low serial number. I was curious about the year of manufacture and what they called the light green color (it was discontinued). I emailed the Magic Fluke Company for information and Beth responded the next day with the answers. Thatís some great customer service considering Iím not even the original customer!

Booli
07-08-2018, 01:31 PM
Thanks for sharing your story and the photos of your now-rare color soprano Flea.

For the past few years all of the greens are called 'Eucalyptus' and a more dark green, sort of like a forest green color.


1. What do I have? Soprano Flea in Pistachio Green, SN: 167 (approx. 2004), Strung low G.

2. Why did I buy it? Honestly it was because of an EBay coupon that was going to expire. I started scrolling through the Buy-It-Now’s and spotted this lightly used instrument. I didn’t have a soprano and the green color just spoke to me.

3. What do I like/hate?
Likes: I like being able to just leave this uke sitting out (this is currently my office uke). It plays and sound good, was not expensive and is semi-rugged. As a bonus it has the flat end so that it sits there just waiting to be played.
Hates: None. The friction tuners aren’t great but don’t bother me enough to go through the effort of changing them.

4. Plan to buy another? I don’t currently plan to, but would definitely consider buying another, maybe a concert. I’m more of an opportunist when it comes to buying.

5. Replace? I would definitely buy another to replace it. I don’t know of anything better for the office than a flea.

110319

Additional Comments:
Shortly after purchasing my flea I realized it had the older Connecticut label with a low serial number. I was curious about the year of manufacture and what they called the light green color (it was discontinued). I emailed the Magic Fluke Company for information and Beth responded the next day with the answers. That’s some great customer service considering I’m not even the original customer!

maki66
10-02-2018, 02:51 AM
I was playing my concert Fluke yesterday and it still amazes me how much I love the sound.
One thing I plan to do soon is to change the tuners to Grover geared machines. Since I started playing
last June I am getting a better ear for notes only slightly out of tune,

Bill Sheehan
10-02-2018, 01:51 PM
Sounds great, Maki !! I (and Booli too) have swapped out the friction pegs on Flukes and Fleas, for the Grover geared pegs (or even the very inexpensive Kmise brand with the "classical"-looking buttons), a couple of times in the past, and it's definitely "doable". The funny thing is, in each instance I eventually put the original friction pegs back on! I think I may have concluded that the original frictions are just so much a part of the "vibe" of a Fluke or Flea, that I actually began to miss them! And over time, I have (little-by-little) become more adept at working with the frictions confidently and effectively, especially in the area of tweaking the screw tightness so that they're snug enough to hold tuning securely, but not not overly tight; and I think that has something to do with it too. As others have pointed out, it's a good idea, when fine-tuning with friction pegs, to automatically back the peg down a little bit first, and then bring the note up to the desired pitch. Of course we all have our preferences and enjoy exploring these things; good luck on your switch-out!

jimrex62
01-04-2019, 10:00 AM
Hello,

I began my ukulele journey about two years ago after deciding that my 6 year quest to get back into bass guitar playing just wasn't working out. I tried revisiting classical guitars, but that didn't stick either. When I bought my first uke, I was working from home and had many opportunities to pick it up and play while "attending" conference calls. Since early 2018, I wasn't able to practice as much due to no more working from home so practicing meant isolating myself from the nightly marital bliss of shared distracted TV watching.

Decided to put the uke up for sale in the marketplace, and researched solid ukes for a few weeks before selecting the MFC Solid Body Tenor in Low G. I'm practicing more, using a EH Headphone Amp and also bought a Vox Mini3 G2 for when I might try to place for others.

Now, after taking the Fluke along for several trailer campouts, I'm wondering if I might buy a second uke for leaving in the trailer rather than toting the Fluke SB around and then possibly having to carry the amp and cable outside. Thinking of a Fluke Tenor...

So, question is: How durable is the wooden fretboard and laminate top to the heat and humidity found in southeast Texas? Will I have issues with warping or laminate separation with repeated exposure to the elements? I'm not considering leaving it outside or anything but possible leaving locked up in trailer between trips.

1. What do I have? Fluke SB Tenor Strung low G.

2. Why did I buy it? Wanted a great quality, professionally crafted, mostly silent instrument - bonus that it's made in USA!

3. What do I like/hate? No hate here! I like everything about it so far - mainly that it doesn't use batteries since the MiSi pickup has a rechargeable capacitor.

4. Plan to buy another? Maybe a regular acoustic Fluke Tenor

5. Replace? I hope to not have to replace - I'm 56, so this will become something to pass down. MFC was very accommodating with my request to add a custom logo on the back that I created with help from my daughter and her husband.
The logo represents my Cayman Islands heritage and love for music.

114500

Jerryc41
01-05-2019, 03:46 AM
Our uke group is taking a "Field Trip" there next week.

lhamilton
01-06-2019, 08:23 AM
Hi,

I got my Fluke Tenor a couple of months ago.

1) What you got? Fluke Tenor High G

2) Why did you buy it? I liked the look of it and the sound and read good things about the intonation -- which was bothering me on my Luna soprano

3) Tell me what you like about it, and what you hate about it? I like the look, tone and intonation. I'm having mild difficulty with the slipperiness of the fretboard on the high A -- occasionally the string slips off the fretboard. I also found the strings a bit unresponsive and switched them to aquila super nylgut which I like. I've also bought a Fluke strap since I find this ukulele a bit slippery to hold -- but no more than my soprano.

4) Tell me if you plan to buy another and why? I'd like to also have a concert firefly and possibly someday a fluke tenor that I'd fit with a low G

5) If it got stolen, lost or damaged would you replace it immediately? Yes.

Linda

AQUATOPAZ
01-06-2019, 10:01 PM
MOD EDIT: I've removed a strange, out of context quote that I suspect this poster may have included accidentally.

The people at Flea Market Music are the most helpful and responsive anyone could hope for. That said, I did get a chance to play one prior to ordering one and found the sound dead. Granted, I am not a great player and the salesman did manage to make it sound good. However, I want an instrument I can enjoy the sound of even with my limited skills. I rate sound by playing individual notes and listsening to the sound and sustain. The fleas have incredibly limited sustain, even the Koa models. My $100 solid Ammoon has more purity and musicality to the individual notes. My solid Ohana pineapple Sopranissimo, despite its diminutive size, blows the flea away in purity and clarity of notes and sustain. To me, these instruments are a huge disappointment. I would consider gifting one because of the great designs to someone whose ear can't tell the difference, but I NEED a better sound from the notes. I think the lack of depth in notes and lack of sustain may be why some of us are underwhelmed by the Fleas.