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Thread: Koa Flea with Soundport?

  1. #1

    Question Koa Flea with Soundport?

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to Magic Flukes....and interested in the flea concert. Has anyone invested in a flea with a sound port? Just wondering if was worth the investment. I have Tenor ukes with sound ports and like the extra bass with low g strings but was wondering if it expands the sound on a concert flea....

    Also has anyone purchased the solid sound boards like Koa? Just trying to understand the price performance of laminate? Is there extra care or can you leave it out without a humidifier?

    Thanks for your help!!!!

    PS: Thanks for the great threads on MFC.... very helpful!!!
    Last edited by Fixedgear60; 07-21-2019 at 05:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Those I have played with the koa soundboard are a notch above in sound, but if one is using it as a take anywhere instrument it would take a little more care. The laminate does sound remarkably good. One argument I have heard against them is that for the price point of the koa one could be looking at an all wood instrument. Of course, the feel, intonation and playability makes the design a huge plus.

  3. #3
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    I have a tenor Koa Fluke and a concert Tie-dye Flea (and a soprano Firefly). I’ve had no issues whatsoever with humidity (or anything else for that matter) and I do not take any special precautions. I don’t hesitate to take any of them anywhere I happen to be going to play.

    EDW is right about the solid Koa soundboard being a notch (or two) above the standard laminate, but the laminate sounds great in its own right. Neither of mine has a side sound port, but I have played a standard Flea with one and it did add a different dimension to the sound. I have it in my head that I “need” a soprano Surf Flea, and when that happens it will definitely have the sound port.


    Scooter
    Tenor Koa Fluke (rosewood fretboard, Pegheds)
    Concert Tie-Dye Flea (rosewood fretboard, Lucy's tuners)
    Soprano Firefly (walnut fretboard, Pegheds)
    Late 40's Martin Style 1 soprano
    Concert Oscar Schmidt Mousekulele
    Tenor Mainland Mahogany Slothead
    Concert Eddy Finn Moon and Stars

    "The way I see it as soon as a baby is born, he should be issued a Ukulele."
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  4. #4
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    If the question is to have a sound port or not, I’d recommend paying the extra for the sound port. All of my Ukes have them and I love the extra level of feedback they provide when I play. Particularly as they are only asking $25 ( I paid $150 extra for them on my custom builds) I’d highly recommend you add that option.
    "All worthwhile things in life should be easy to learn but hard to master"

    Hoffmann Lutherie - Baritone - Master Grade Ebony and AAA Red Spruce
    Beau Hannam Custom Tenor - Vintage Hand Rubbed Sun Burst all Tassie Blackwood
    Barron River Tenor - Satin Box Maple and Alaskan Yellow Cedar
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Concert - Angry Owl Ebony and Cedar

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone for their feedback on a solid wood top and sound port. Sounds like the solid top does not require extra care like an all wood ule (ie humidifier) and the sound port does add value. My outdoor ukes have ruined me :-). I do no want a uke that needs be stored in a case with a humidifier when not in use. Out of sight out of mind..... The koa flea is about +/- $60 more than the laminate if you factor in it includes a wood frett board. When adding in the peg tuners we are close to $500.... May have to take a ride to their shop to play but definitely on the hunt for it. Berkshires are gorgeous in the fall :-)

    Thanks all!!!
    Last edited by Fixedgear60; 07-22-2019 at 12:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    I ordered a Fluke with a sound port just because I could. I like the looks, and I do get sound from it. For $25, it's a good deal. Another good deal is the hardwood fretboard, for $79. The standard one makes the frets invisible. Also consider a "designer" Flea. You can even send them a photo, and they will put that on it.

    I compared the sounds of a laminate and a koa Fluke, and the koa does have a bit of a nicer sound. Unless you play them one after the other, I doubt anyone would notice a difference. I know people who bought a koa tenor Fluke just because it was the "top of the line" - biggest and best. I prefer concert from the Magic Fluke.

    The Flea and the Fluke are just about the same size, although the Fluke has more volume (space) inside the "box."
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  7. #7
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    So Jerry, you think adding the extra sound port provides a bit more sound to the player? Since I'm playing alone 95% of the time, I might get one added, assuming they can also do it on a concert Flea.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    So Jerry, you think adding the extra sound port provides a bit more sound to the player? Since I'm playing alone 95% of the time, I might get one added, assuming they can also do it on a concert Flea.
    I think that's the whole point of the sound port, and it does make a slight difference, comparing Flukes with and without the port.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  9. #9

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    Thanks Jerry.... I am more a a Flea guy...too... given the cost $25 seems reasonable ... it does sure add up quick as you add options :-)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixedgear60 View Post
    Thanks Jerry.... I am more a a Flea guy...too... given the cost $25 seems reasonable ... it does sure add up quick as you add options :-)
    Yes, the options add up. I bought several from eBay, both new and used, for a lower cost. You can't necessarily get exactly what you want, but if you're satisfied with the product, the price will be lower. I got a nice used Fluke with PegHeds and wooden fretboard for a good price. The same with a Flea - Tiki King.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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