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Thread: Durability of Magic Fluke and Flea

  1. #21
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    I always recommend the hardwood fretboard upgrade. That's a must for me on their Flea/Flukes. I've had pinging in the nut before with the plastic. I love Fleas/Flukes/Fireflies though. Everyone needs one if only to leave on the floor/ on the desk for immediate playability. Hands down, my most-played ukes. No problems with the tops.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by igorthebarbarian View Post
    I always recommend the hardwood fretboard upgrade. That's a must for me on their Flea/Flukes. I've had pinging in the nut before with the plastic. I love Fleas/Flukes/Fireflies though. Everyone needs one if only to leave on the floor/ on the desk for immediate playability. Hands down, my most-played ukes. No problems with the tops.
    It was this forum that got me to buy into the concept - literally. Two members of our group have a Flea and a Fluke, and I've seen others with them, but the praise for them here is dramatic. I got a basic walnut Flea from Amazon, and then I ordered a Woodie Fluke with wooden fretboard and extra sound hole. I'll have to wait at least two weeks for that. I was going to pick it up in person to save shipping charges, but the sales tax is almost equal to the shipping charge. : (

    Last night, I got a nine year old Flea soprano with the Tiki graphic, wooden fretboard, and Pegheds on ebay. I hope that's the end of my Magic purchases - three in three days.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    ...Last night, I got a nine year old Flea soprano with the Tiki graphic, wooden fretboard, and Pegheds on ebay. I hope that's the end of my Magic purchases - three in three days.
    If you are like most of us here on UU, this is just the BEGINNING - LOL...

    Congrats on your trifecta of MFC ukes. You've got a great start, and are now ahead of the game.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  4. #24
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    Aug 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Last night, I got a nine year old Flea soprano with the Tiki graphic, wooden fretboard, and Pegheds on ebay. I hope that's the end of my Magic purchases - three in three days.
    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    If you are like most of us here on UU, this is just the BEGINNING - LOL...
    Another one bites the dust...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    If you are like most of us here on UU, this is just the BEGINNING - LOL...

    Congrats on your trifecta of MFC ukes. You've got a great start, and are now ahead of the game.
    This is hardly a start. The three Magics were numbers 33, 34, and 35 in my collection. I have a Gold Tone ResoUke and one other awaiting delivery, but they're already counted in my total. One I plan to buy is a Dewdrop, from a maker in Baltimore. His latest batch should be finished later this month, and I'll either drive there or wait to see him at the uke event in Allegheny, PA, at the beginning of April. I hope I can find a way to stop buying ukuleles. Storage is becoming a concern.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Magic Fluke or a Flea, but I've read and seen two negatives. The finish on the top tends to wear away, more so than on other ukuleles, from contact with the player's hands. Whenever Jim Beloff appears, he has his Fluke, and the top is well-worn. Yes, he plays it a lot, but I haven't seen that kind of wear on any other ukulele. And, aside from being hard to see, the plastic frets tend to get dented from the strings over time. Barry Maz mentioned both of these conditions in a long term review of his Fluke. Have you noticed either of these?

    Magic Fluke has these instruments available with graphics printed on the top, but if they're going to wear away, what's the sense?
    Forgive my late contribution to this thread. I didn't read any of the responses and am only responding to the OP.

    I don't mind wear, in fact I think wear is cool. After all it's an instrument that I play, not collect. Now the frets wearing down, that's a serious issue, but I'm sure you have to really play it a lot and hard. I'm sure some strings are more harsh than others.

    My experience was, and this was completely my fault, I left my Flea in the car in what was likely a hot day. I didn't notice because it was in its bag. But when I pulled it out to play it some days later, the strings had pulled off the top from the bridge side: not the bridge but the top. It looked like a ramp.

    I mailed it across the country to FMM and they fixed it, I think for free. I just paid the postage to get it there, if even that. But, unfortunately, it didn't sound the same. I used to compare my Flea with my Koaloha Pineapple. And though they sounded different, they were both enjoyable. But after I got my Flea back from repairs, it sounded a little dead, as if I lost some of the high end. I'm speculating here, but I wouldn't be surprised if FMM might have added a little more glue than there was originally to secure the top better to the plastic bowl, and that caused it to lose some of the brilliance of it. Again, all speculation, and any comments on tone differences is at best subjective.

    I've since acquired other ukuleles that I play so my Flea doesn't get much attention anymore. But I love their product enough that I also own two of their concert-sized and triangle-shaped Flukes. I've also learned to not leave instruments in the car - stupid me for having to learn that the hard way.

    If anything, great service over there at FMM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanfe View Post
    I don't mind wear, in fact I think wear is cool. After all it's an instrument that I play, not collect.
    I don't mind wear, but I've heard about accelerated wear on the plastic frets and the sound board. I'll have to try to keep my strumming fingers and nails off the wood. : )

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Thanks for that. I have Aquilas on almost everything (except my Martin), but if the Martins give me better sound, I'll get them. I plan to put Grover 9NB geared tuners on the Flea or the Fluke or both.
    Please pardon my ignorance and my interruption of the thread but could some please clarify the change of tuners for me. As I understand it Grover 9NBís are right angle worm and wheel tuning heads (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-black-buttons). Is it actually possible to change from standard friction tuners to traditional geared ones and if so does it have to be the Grovers or are there others that work too? I donít recall the thread that Booli alluded to.

  9. #29
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    D8E_8113.jpgD8E_8116.jpg

    These are the Grover 8N tuners. The 8N has a slightly longer string post than the 9. You can see that there is still plenty of room between the posts in the middle, and you have more room on the post for string winding. Sides of the tuner plates have been ground down to fit the width of the headstock. One hole on each tuner plate has to be relocated and the plate ground down to make the plates fit end to end. Also note that I used the bushings supplied with the tuners to give the tuning shafts some stability since they are smaller that the holes in the headstock.
    Last edited by Uke Don; 03-08-2018 at 09:49 AM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uke Don View Post
    D8E_8113.jpgD8E_8116.jpg

    These are the Grover 8N tuners. The 8N has a slightly longer string post than the 9. You can see that there is still plenty of room between the posts in the middle, and you have more room on the post for string winding. Sides of the tuner plates have been ground down to fit the width of the headstock. One hole on each tuner plate has to be relocated and the plate ground down to make the plates fit end to end. Also note that I used the bushings supplied with the tuners to give the tuning shafts some stability since they are smaller that the holes in the headstock.
    Looking at my order, I see that I ordered 9NB, instead of 8NB. When I did a search, they showed up, so I clicked and ordered them. Booli used the 9s, so they should be okay.

    I noticed you had to use bushings, but Booli had to ream out the holes for the 9s. If the 8Ns are thinner and longer, I think I would prefer them. If I sell the Flea, which is unlikely, the tuner holes would be the standard size.

    EDIT: It seems that no one is selling the 8NBs.

    EDIT: Even Grover doesn't have them, but Stew-Mac has Grovers that seem to be the same size as the 8s, so I ordered a set.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 03-08-2018 at 10:51 AM.

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