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Thread: Outdoor v. Enya v. Fluke Tenors

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Outdoor v. Enya v. Fluke Tenors

    This isnít really a review but a comparison. There are plenty of thorough reviews out there of these ukes. But, there has been quite a bit of discussion lately about the Outdoor Ukulele and the Enya X1. Since I now have all three of the tenor ukes in the title I thought it might be useful to do some comparisons. Most folks buying one of these are looking for a durable take anywhere instrument. That was my purpose, and I kept buying another uke until I was satisfied.

    Let me say upfront that I know there will be differing opinions, and that these are just mine. Please donít take it personally or feel a need to flame me if we donít share the same views. Iíve had the unlimited opportunity to play all of these back to back in my own home and these are my observations (and not what I expected).

    The executive summary is that of the three, the only one I would recommend is the Outdoor Uke.

    Outdoor Clear Tenor with upgraded Tuners Enya EUT- X1 Tenor Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor
    Construction Polycarbonate Ė indestructible. Well made. Well made. Laminate is somewhat brittle. Fit and finish are just OK. Feels like exactly what it is.
    Playability Feels like a real uke. 1.5Ē (38mm) nut. Easy to play and just feels good. Good. Slightly radiused fingerboard. The plastic fretboard and the ĺĒ lumber neck are unimpressive. Harder to play as a result.
    Tuners Donít bother to upgrade. The basic ones should work just as well. The upgrade does have plastic bushings, but they are no smoother in use. And the knob shape is annoying. Plastic tuner body with metal gears on a slotted headstock. They work surprisingly well. Donít know how long they will last. The standard Grover friction pegs are terrible. I donít understand why Grover would even make these they are so bad. I changed them out for Grover geared 8Ns.
    Sound Very pleasant and balanced sound. Does not sound ďplasticĒ. Not as loud as the Fluke but a lot louder that the Enya. Terribly unbalanced, but not unpleasant. Very quiet (see below). My least favorite, and to me harsh, hollow and plastic sounding. A great disappointment. The wood soundboard seems to make little difference. It is loud though.
    Setup No issues No significant issues. Neck relief a bit high. No issues.
    Intonation Good Good Good


    Overall Iím very pleased with the Outdoor Tenor. It plays well, feels like a real uke and I like the sound. The neck shape, fretboard feel and slightly wider nut all make for an enjoyable playing experience. I was most disappointed with the Fluke. I know Iím swimming upstream with this, because there are so many glowing recommendations for it. I bought it based on that. Maybe it was the best available when it was first introduced, but other choices are now possible. I already have to be subjected to my own playing. Iím not going to make it worse with an instrument I donít like the feel or sound of. Besides, it is twice the price of the Outdoor or Enya. I find it amazing that you can pay nearly $500 for the top of the line model. Given its construction I canít in any way justify even the base price, made in the USA or not.

    Regarding the Enya being very quiet, when I went to measure the sound level to see how much quieter it was than my wood ukes I discovered that the laminate just sucks up the high notes. The A string measured a full 10 db lower than the C. So the high strings sound half as loud. No wonder itís quiet.

    What also surprised me is that none of these instruments required any setup. They all had proper nut and saddle height, and except for the Enya being a little high in neck relief, they were great right from the box. Speaking of the Enya, Iíve had it several months now and there has been absolutely no change in neck relief. I know neck warping has been reported by one other UU member, but I have not seen it.

    Hopefully this probably overly long post will be useful to some. At least it was educational for me to have all three to compare.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Thanks. I've wondered about this. Nice chart, too! Now we'll see what everyone else says.
    Tiny Tenor spruce/mahogany
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  3. #3
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    Since baz has reviewed all three, it'll be interesting to see if he weighs in.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Since baz has reviewed all three, it'll be interesting to see if he weighs in.
    I don’t think he has reviewed the Outdoor Ukulele.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  5. #5
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    Thanks for putting together this well thought out comparison. The chart is quite helpful in seeing how each measures up, and confirms my thoughts about one day acquiring an Outdoor uke.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for posting your impression.
    I may have to look at an Outdoor ukulele now.
    As you know the Fluke has a legion of rabid fans, including me, but I understand that not everyone is not going to love them.
    Thanks again for your honest opinion.

    I do like the Enyas we have bought, not on the same par as Flukes, but very decent and a good value. Especially if bought on sale.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comparison!! This will come in very handy. OU seems to be the hot ticket on the forums right now.

  8. #8
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    Very good review, a new standard of excellence in very useful information.

    A friend of mine has both the tenor and soprano Outdoor Uke, I am a tenor guy through and through but thought the soprano sounded better of the two. This is only because I felt the tenor was on the quiet side for a tenor sized instrument.

    I own three Enya X1, a round body soprano, pineapple soprano and concert w-pickup. The round body is quiet and mellow, the concert is slightly quieter than other concerts but has a nice tone and the high notes are more evident then the two sopranos. The pick up in it is great, seriously. The pineapple is a winner, more volume then the round body, again on the warm mellow side but very resonant. You made a great observation with your results about lack of high tones

    Thanks again for "sticking" your neck out and doing an honest review.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 01-29-2018 at 02:39 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Great review and detail information Thank you.
    I have a Enya pineapple and have owned two Flukes. One is exactly the same model as you mentioned ! My feeling is the same as you on the Fluke !
    The pineapple is quiet. I will change the strings to give it a second chance.
    Brenda

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  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for being so supportive. I knew I was sticking my neck out a bit, and as as I said, the results were not what I expected. I was so disappointed and so surprised by the Fluke. I don't like being negative, but I had to call it as I saw it.

    Regarding the Enya, it's really not bad, just quiet. If it weren't for the Outdoor, I could be happy with it as a take anywhere uke. Besides, I'm a real sucker for a slotted head stock. I think if their wooden models are made as well as the HPL laminate they would be a viable option in an inexpensive uke.

    The Outdoor was also a real surprise. I expected a very hollow sounding uke that was just OK, sort of like an upgraded Waterman. That was not the case at all and I actually enjoy playing it. It's not perfect, and I'm going to try some brighter strings on it and likely change the tuners to Grover 8Ns, but I'm satisfied.

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