Outdoor or flea which will I play more?

diasuke

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I’m looking for a nice beater travel car uke that is durable and will stay in tune.

I’ve already posted on this so I’ve seen the suggestions—Enya, outdoor, and flea.

My question is between the outdoor or the flea which one will get more play time?
 

EDW

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Likely it will all depend on your tastes and needs. But, I will say that the flea is a darned good instrument.
 

diasuke

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I’ve done my research as to he neck profile and I’ve read good things about both instruments. I appreciate the feedback regarding the flea. My hunch is that the outdoor would stay in tune better if left in a hot car as opposed to the flea. What do the rest of you think?
 

badhabits

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only you can answer that question... for me, I didn't really care for the flea's friction tuners or black frets on black fretboard (tough to see sometimes with old eyes and no side markers; assuming you don't get the upgraded markers or wood fretboard). the flea will sound better (and the outdoor quieter, assuming both are sopranos) but is priced a good bit higher, even without any upgrades.
 

Joe King

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I’ve done my research as to he neck profile and I’ve read good things about both instruments. I appreciate the feedback regarding the flea. My hunch is that the outdoor would stay in tune better if left in a hot car as opposed to the flea. What do the rest of you think?


I don't know about that. The staying in tune is more a factor of temperature, and causing the strings to expand in the heat or contract in the cold.

You should expect to, and develp the good habit of checking the tuning at the start of each playing session.

I doubt you will see a difference as per the Flea or Outdoor in terms of tuning ability.

Also you should note that the Magic Fluke ukes come with "friction tuners" by default, but you can upgrade to the Peg Hed planetary tuners (I did) and it is a world of difference and much better for me.

I find friction tuners to be fiddly and do not like them. Fortunately there are other options.

IIRC the Outdoor ukes had geared tuners by default, like a guitar does, but I never played one.

Years ago, over about a 3-year span, I bought (and later sold off) about 12 different ukuleles, and the only one I kept was my concert Flea.

I love mine, and no you cannot have it, I am taking it to the grave with me
smile.png
.
 

Ukecaster

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Depends on the car. Avg temp inside a hot car is 118 degrees. Dark cars, with dark interiors can reach 150-180. I'd never leave my Flea in a car for very long in summer; they have wooden necks and tops. This is what Outdoor ukes were made for.
 
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Depends on the car. Avg temp inside a hot car is 118 degrees. Dark cars, with dark interiors can reach 150-180. I'd never leave my Flea in a car for very long in summer; they have wooden necks and tops. This is what Outdoor ukes were made for.

I was just thinking….
We have a small portable refrigerator that works off the car battery or can be hauled inside a motel room. Keeps things ~40 degrees cooler than ambient. Darn thing will almost freeze a bottle of water overnight.
One time we were traveling home through California Central Valley during the summer and we used the extended cord and placed it in the trunk.
When it is 110 degrees outside, the inside of the trunk is much warmer and a 40 degree cooling isn’t worth much.
Just thinking when you speak of 150+.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I’m looking for a nice beater travel car uke that is durable and will stay in tune.

I’ve already posted on this so I’ve seen the suggestions—Enya, outdoor, and flea.

My question is between the outdoor or the flea which one will get more play time?

People have been using Fleas in cars for a long time and have considered it a go anywhere instrument. Durable enough is good enough. An OU might be indestructible but strings are not and they are common to both instruments.

The Flea ain’t cheap but it does sound good, the OU is much more affordable but IMHO the Flea sounds noticeably better. People play a Flea in all types of outdoor and indoor situations but I’ve never heard of or met anyone who does that with an OU - it seems to be more single purpose to me. Instruments that don’t sound that good tend to end up being unplayed ... you’ll pick the dearer Flea up more often.


I don’t think you’d regret buying a Flea, but an OU won’t be what you want to take to your grave.

The OU is more of an affordable buy and not worry about damage purchase, an occasional rugged substitute for something that plays and sounds better. That’s my opinion for what’s worth.
 
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ReiQ

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Have you found one? I need one also
 
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Ziret

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If you want a uke that doesn’t sound that great but can stand the heat of the American deserts, (strings, as mentioned, may be a problem) I’d recommend an Enya Nova. It sounds much better than the Outdoor and costs much less. But in truth, I’ve kept a Flight TUS in the trunk for a couple of years, and had no problems and either it or a Flea will sound better than a Nova or Outdoor. I live in the Inland NW where every year brings a couple of weeks of temperatures well over 100 F. I’m inclined to agree that a cheap laminate import would be fine.

One key to success for the uke in the hot trunk is to have it in an “insulated” gig bag, like one of those foam cases or anything thick. Then if you have an old blanket or other soft items back there, pack them around it. This will help the uke and the strings. If it’s very hot, don’t try to tune it till it cools off.

I love the idea of the Outdoor but not the sound. And I dislike the flat neck on it and the Flea.
 

Dohle

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I don't mean to sound rude but I just fail to understand why you'd insist on keeping a uke in your car. Why not just take it out and chuck it in some corner of your house or something. Or in your tent or whatever if you're camping. I don't really see the benefit of having a uke always ready in your car when taking it with you to your house or other destination is hardly a chore.

Anyway, regarding the actual question, I'd never leave a Fluke or Flea in my car (as if I owned one) simply because it has wooden parts. And they ain't cheap either. If you really insist on storing a uke in your car I'd rather go with something all plastic like the Outdoor Uke or an Enya Nova, or alternatively a Flight travel uke simply because they're a fraction of the cost of a Magic Fluke so it's not a big deal if they get damaged. In terms of sound quality, Magic Fluke ukes just completely trounce the competition regarding these travel/durable ukes so I'd personally always go for one of those.
 

diasuke

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Well, I settled that. Today, I ordered a Flight Travel uke AND a Aklot Bamboo Cutaway tenor....
 

Arcy

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I don't mean to sound rude but I just fail to understand why you'd insist on keeping a uke in your car. Why not just take it out and chuck it in some corner of your house or something.
Don't judge UAS. A car-uke is a good excuse to indulge in UAS.


Why did I keep one in the car (pre-COVID. Not enough driving with COVID restrictions)?

Why not?

I don't NEED it, but it doesn't hurt anything, it doesn't cost much, and it's fun to have at hand!

My car uke gets serendipitous play. If I'm deliberately going out to play I'll grab something nicer. the car uke is for noodling when I'm out and have time to kill. A few time that come to mind:
  • Early for an appointment
  • Waiting for my wife
  • Waiting for the ferry
  • A nice day and there's a lonely park bench

None of these times are essential to have an uke, and if I didn't have it I'd find something else to do.

Since that something else might be shopping I could argue the car uke's paid for itself several times over :)
 
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Jerryc41

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Buy both and let us know in a year. I like my Fleas and Flukes.
 

Choirguy

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While this has been settled, the neck on my Outdoor Tenor remains one of my favorites of all my ukuleles. I also love the neck on the Concert Koa Kalane ukuleles (though I wouldn't leave them in the car). The Flight's travel series necks are also very nice, but the texture takes a little adapting to (incidentally, the concert models are due soon).
 

Eggs_n_Ham

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Don't judge UAS. A car-uke is a good excuse to indulge in UAS.

Why did I keep one in the car (pre-COVID. Not enough driving with COVID restrictions)?

Why not?

I don't NEED it, but it doesn't hurt anything, it doesn't cost much, and it's fun to have at hand!

My car uke gets serendipitous play. If I'm deliberately going out to play I'll grab something nicer. the car uke is for noodling when I'm out and have time to kill. A few time that come to mind:
  • Early for an appointment
  • Waiting for my wife
  • Waiting for the ferry
  • A nice day and there's a lonely park bench

None of these times are essential to have an uke, and if I didn't have it I'd find something else to do.

Since that something else might be shopping I could argue the car uke's paid for itself several times over :)

All incredibly good reasons to have a car ukulele.
 

badhabits

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Interesting choices, post back on your thoughts. I've also thought about bamboo for a beater/traveler. FYI, there is a rumor that aklot has dc'ed bamboo ukuleles due to cracking issues; something to keep an eye on perhaps.