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Thread: Need to replace my Flea

  1. #1

    Default Need to replace my Flea

    Hi all - first post.

    I need to upgrade my uke. I have a Flea right now with a pickup in it (not sure what kind of pickup - it's nothing fancy). I play live a lot and it's just sorta beat up, buzzy and needs to be replaced. I'd like to get something nicer and all wood. I will need a pickup in it too. I will be playing some rather large venues in the next year (theaters) so I'd love to get something that sounds great playing in small room, but also sounds great with a pickup.

    Forgive my lack of knowledge here - but I would love to get your advise on the following:

    1. I like the general tonal qualities of my Flea - I bought it about 7 years ago and I'm pretty sure it's a soprano (is it?). It was the only model they made back then. So I'm interested in a new soprano uke (or whatever size I have now) that has similar but enhanced qualities. Something that has a little depth to it - not too thin sounding - and something that will project well without getting brittle. Something that has a little more snap to it.

    2. What kind of pickups are people putting in Ukes?

    I can spend up to $700 at this point (with a pickup) - any more and I think I'd be pushing it.

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    jb

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hello Man,
    If you have $700, you could bougth a soprano standart Koaloha (if you love the soprano scale) or a concert pikake Koaloha with an active Mi-Si Pickup, with koaloha factory Mi-Si install, by MGM.
    Great acoustic uke and great plugin sound!
    Brazilian uke player
    Tenor Kamaka HF-3
    Soprano Famous FS-1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Honolulu, HI
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    JB, you described the KoAloha Soprano to a T. You may also want to consider their Soprano pineapple and throw a MiSi in there. Just as Fabio reccomended. Buy one, and you will NOT regret it. You may be able to call KoAloha directly and order one and have them install the pickup in the factory too. May be able to order a factory second too to save a bit of money.

  4. #4
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    Yup, you are exactly describing a Koaloha soprano. As a bonus, it's got one of the comfier soprano necks from my experience too.

    /Making my UAS of a Koaloha concert harder to shoulder...

    Kanile'a dlx super concert / Koaloha concert / Ohana sk-38 / Risa Uke Solid Tenor

    @Apollostowel @RockingDodars The Rocking Dodar Blog Proud to be TIGER. A REAL Tiger. All-in all the freakin' time.

    If you need me I'll be on twitter, google+ or r/ukulele

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    If you're willing to go up to $700, a KoAloha or another Hawaiian K-brand is definitely worth it! If you're mostly a strummer, the KoAloha is a beast. If you play up higher on the neck, you might want to consider a super-soprano (soprano body with a concert neck) because KoAloha's sopranos only have 12 frets. Even with a pickup, it should come out to under $700.

    How many frets does your Flea have? If it has 14, it's a soprano. If it has 15, it's a concert. If you really like your Flea, another option would be to order up a new one with a solid koa top and a pickup, so you can at least avoid the learning curve of adjusting to a new instrument.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    The KoAlohas are great ukes, but I would say they sound different than a Flea. KoAloha, to me, has a brighter tone. It would be best if you could try a few ukuleles in person. Do you have any ukuleles in local music stores? How about local ukulele groups... they can be very helpful in letting you see and try a wide range of instruments.

    There are a lot of good ukes out there, and they can all be fitted for pick-ups. I would say that a Solid Mahogany uke might be closer to the sound of a Flea.

    With a budget of $700, you have a lot of possibilities, and shopping is half the fun.

    –Lori

  7. #7

    Default

    You guys are awesome - thanks for the great info - you have saved me a ton of time.

    I will check out Koaloha for sure.

    jb

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybregar View Post
    You guys are awesome - thanks for the great info - you have saved me a ton of time.

    I will check out Koaloha for sure.

    jb
    Don't forget the Kamaka for a richer tone....I have a KoAloha too...their brighter....try them both, personal preference....then decide...good luck!!! Happy Strummings..MM Stan
    Gee, I'm the lone Kamaka man for now.... sheesh!!! he he..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm stan View Post
    Don't forget the Kamaka for a richer tone....I have a KoAloha too...their brighter....try them both, personal preference....then decide...good luck!!! Happy Strummings..MM Stan
    Gee, I'm the lone Kamaka man for now.... sheesh!!! he he..
    Oh if only I could find some comparisons of a Kamaka concert to a Koaloha concert... Both tug at the heartstrings for different reasons, both have a long list of plusses and minuses, and there's no way in hell to audition either before buying. When the time comes it'll be a flip of the coin I think.

    Kanile'a dlx super concert / Koaloha concert / Ohana sk-38 / Risa Uke Solid Tenor

    @Apollostowel @RockingDodars The Rocking Dodar Blog Proud to be TIGER. A REAL Tiger. All-in all the freakin' time.

    If you need me I'll be on twitter, google+ or r/ukulele

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plainsong View Post
    Oh if only I could find some comparisons of a Kamaka concert to a Koaloha concert... Both tug at the heartstrings for different reasons, both have a long list of plusses and minuses, and there's no way in hell to audition either before buying. When the time comes it'll be a flip of the coin I think.
    Totally agree.
    Laughlin 1M, Laughlin 3K, Firefly Banjo, Fluke Koa, Kamaka HF-3 x2

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