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Thread: NUD: Finally joined the club... Koa Tenor Fluke!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Gloucester, UK
    Posts
    560

    Default NUD: Finally joined the club... Koa Tenor Fluke!

    I've hankered after a Fluke for a long time but the selection on these shores is always limited (rarely see the solid tops or wood fretboards) and I could never justify the cost of importing, taxes, etc. I was delighted to discover two things yesterday:

    1. A koa tenor Fluke for sale
    2. A uke specialist store 20 mins from my house!


    So today I went to The Uke Room and picked up the Fluke from Matt who runs it. Fantastic little shop, amazing selection of instruments there and Matt is very knowledgeable when it comes to ukes. (Possibly other things too, who knows?) Special mention to the KM Ukuleles soprano there - first time I've seen on of Kev's in the, er, wood and I came close to buying that one too.

    As for the Fluke, many many many of you own them and now I see what all the fuss is about. It sounds pretty much as I expected, which is a good thing, although the koa top gives it more definition than I was expecting from a polycarb back instrument. It's a lot lighter than I thought it would be. It plays sooo easily, that's been the really surprising thing - this should be the instrument given to beginners, it's just a breeze to play. I'm filing this in the "instruments I should have bought years ago" category.

    Couple pics below. I remember reading a post where someone said that their Fluke follows them around the house. This one has certainly done that today - so easy to pick up and drop onto its base.

    P1030046.jpg
    P1030047.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    4,366

    Default

    Congratulations! Magic Fluke makes very nice instruments, and they're wonderful people.

    You might be aware that after a bit of use, you will see scratches in the finish where your fingers hit the top as they strum. I have yet to see an older Fluke, including a koa tenor in our group, that does not have scratches there. A newcomer brought a Flea to our session today, and the printed pineapple design was completely gone from above and below the strings. Now, in all fairness, he plays with a pick, which is much harder on the surface than fingers.

    There is a wide assortment of "stick-ons" available, some of which are transparent and virtually invisible.

    Enjoy it!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Wow, what a cool uke! Congratulations, Pirate Jim, what great pick-up for you. I'm curious, how well does that shape of uke sit in your lap when you play sitting down? Is it hard to balance?
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned re-entrant gCEA)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned DGBE)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (currently tuned low-octave ADF#B)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    Congratulations!! I have the spruce top tenor and love it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Good on ya mate. The leader of my uke group, Cali Rose, is very keen on Magic Fluke, knows them very well and always touts their ukuleles. I was thinking about buying a beater uke that I could leave lying around when I saw a walnut plastic fret Fluke listed in the Marketplace for $150 shipped, so I bought it. Turns out it had the wrong saddle, so Cali called Magic Fluke and got me three saddles from them for $10 shipped. Made a big difference.

    I always use a strap, so I added strap buttons at the neck heal and the upper corner of the flat bottom, but that made the Fluke awkward to play, rotating the top towards me because of the curve of the back, so I moved the button to the lower end of the bottom and that made all the difference.

    If you have any problems with the tuners, I highly recommend the soon to be released Graph Tech Ratio Tune-a-lele when they come to the UK, $30 US for a set. I just did an evaluation of them on my Fluke and they're excellent.




    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    4,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    Good on ya mate. The leader of my uke group, Cali Rose, is very keen on Magic Fluke, knows them very well and always touts their ukuleles. I was thinking about buying a beater uke that I could leave lying around when I saw a walnut plastic fret Fluke listed in the Marketplace for $150 shipped, so I bought it. Turns out it had the wrong saddle, so Cali called Magic Fluke and got me three saddles from them for $10 shipped. Made a big difference.

    I always use a strap, so I added strap buttons at the neck heal and the upper corner of the flat bottom, but that made the Fluke awkward to play, rotating the top towards me because of the curve of the back, so I moved the button to the lower end of the bottom and that made all the difference.

    If you have any problems with the tuners, I highly recommend the soon to be released Graph Tech Ratio Tune-a-lele when they come to the UK, $30 US for a set. I just did an evaluation of them on my Fluke and they're excellent.



    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    That was a good deal, especially with the wooden neck. I'm looking forward to those Ratio tuners. I hope they are making thousands of them because there will be demand. The trick will be fitting them to the uke without leave a mess behind from the original tuners.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Germany, near Frankfurt/M.
    Posts
    110

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    I completely share Pirate Jim‘‘s experiences and joy about finding a solid top Flea or Fluke in Europe. I was hoping to find a Koa or spruce top model for some time, but they are really rare to find in the EU. Or they are quite expensive. And ordering directly from the US is no option, either. It has become even more expensive with all this crazy custom tariffs idiocy going on recently.

    So I was very excited to find a used Flea soprano with a koa top and wooden fretboard about six months back. It‘s a wonderful little instrument and really fun to play. I have really large hands (and I‘m talking junkbox top-like large here), and usually soprano isn‘t my first choice for a uke. Therefore I ordered a Flea with a tenor neck a few years back. It has the standard plywood top, though. But this little koa soprano surely is an easy player. And I agree it‘s the perfect instrument for beginners, safe for the direct tuners, maybe. I don‘t have any issues at all with them, but I know quite a few people who have.

    Anyway, to make a long story short: I absolutely share Jim‘s joy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Gloucester, UK
    Posts
    560

    Default

    Thanks for the lovely responses all!

    Jerry, appreciate the wear warning - I remember reading similar in Baz's review. I don't mind wear, luckily, I fall in the "they're to be played not looked at" camp and I think decent wear shows a well loved instrument!

    John boy, the shape is definitely a bit odd at first but after a little experimenting I've found a comfy spot both sitting and standing. I can see why people get the grip strips with them though - it does have a tenancy to rotate if my posture is poor. Still, only had it a couple of days so I'm sure that will improve!

    Mike, thanks for the strap tip - I do like a strap but I love the ability to stand it on end so I might pop a pin in on the back of the bottom corner rather than on the bottom itself. Will keep an eye out for those tuners too, ta!

    Frolicks, nice to know it wasn't just me. I wonder why MFC don't have a better presence in the EU? The Hawaiian made brands do so it can be cost effective for US manufacturers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    That was a good deal, especially with the wooden neck. I'm looking forward to those Ratio tuners. I hope they are making thousands of them because there will be demand. The trick will be fitting them to the uke without leave a mess behind from the original tuners.
    In case you were addressing the first sentence at me, mine has a plastic fretboard. I should mention that the Ratio tuners extend over the edges of the head slightly, doesn't bother me at all but some people won't like it. They also require opening the hole slightly, I overdid one a bit and had to add tape around the ferule to keep it in place. They also have two small screws to hold them in place. They're very precise and well built.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    816

    Default

    Welcome to the Koa Fluke Club :-)

    Speaking of straps for a Fluke, I found my own solution with no drilling. See thread below:
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...ht=Fluke+strap
    It is a bit of work, but it does the job.

    When I wanted a Koa Fluke, and couldnt find it in store in the EU, I wrote to a few EU distributors and asked If they would order one for me. I had luck with justecordes.fr, but I guess it was just luck that they were about to order.
    It saved me a lot compared to direct import.
    Last edited by UkingViking; 04-21-2019 at 06:45 AM.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

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