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Thread: More about the Flea and maybe other ukes too..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Capital District NY
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    Default More about the Flea and maybe other ukes too..

    So I haven't gotten a new uke in a long time.. over a year and half.. It's high time...
    I don't get t play many different ukes and shops only have crap ukes around here so there really isnt much to try. Although I do from time to time. There is one shop with some nice Luna's but I already have a luna...

    So my questions about the flea are this.. I know they sound great and are so durable easy to dray around etc.. However when I go in and add on the extras I would like it becomes a pricey little investment uke!
    I like a concert size for sure.. then add the rosewood fretboard and peghead tuners.. ouch...
    So what would you not live without on a flea? No hard case, fretboard, peghead tuners etc...

    I am looking around $300 max... if not a flea what else would you suggest?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Flanders, New Jersey
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    Default

    If I were you, I'd save a bit and get either a walnut or a Mahogany Flea. They both come with the rosewood fretboard as standard (I could easily live without pegheads but I do like the wood fretboard). Increase to concert size and add a gigbag and you're right around $350.

    Even if you go for one with a design and add the wood fb and gigbag, it comes to $348+shipping. I know they're a bit more expensive than imports but I think they're well worth it. My Fluke is by far my most-played uke.

    FWIW, you might try calling Fleamarket Music at 800-459-5558 and ask about "seconds". These are ukes that have very minor blemishes that they usually sell at a pretty good discount.



    Scooter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Orange county,calif.
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    Personally, my previous tiki soprano and current pineapple tenor flea are just fine with plastic fretboard and their standard tuners. I have had more expensive ukuleles. It's not just a money thing. The plastic fretboard and standard tuners are just fine. I just saw new ones on eBay and elsewhere for $195-$225 I didn't get a hard case for either. First time a standard bag with it, the tenor I got the new backpack style bag not on their website at flea market yet. Both bags were just fine.
    Last edited by Newportlocal; 09-14-2012 at 05:42 AM.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
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    Illinois, but Hawaii at Heart ;)
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    I think the standard fretboard is great. So I'd dump the Rosewood Fretboard. I like the PegHed's on them, but again I don't think they're necessary. If you don't plan on doing major travel the hard case also isn't needed.

    I've owned about 4-5 Flea/Flukes. I think the standard issue is great. Although I have had the rosewood fretboard, and I think the plastic fretboard has better intonation. I would travel on planes with mine with the standard gigbag.

    I have been itching to get a tricked out Fluke lately though
    - Aaron

    Kamaka Ukulele History & Info Site (Unofficial)

    My Ukes: Kamaka Tenor, Pono Mahogany Concert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default

    I think people tend to like the version they have. My concert Flea has the rosewood fretboard, which I like; but if I'd never had one, I probably wouldn't much care. I would definitely skip the hard case; I've traveled on planes, trains and automobiles with it and never felt that it was vulnerable. (On planes, it's under the seat.) I like the standard tuners fine, but then I started out on a Flea, and still have no problem with friction tuners. You even could skip the gig bag, if you're willing to put it in a small duffel or something; I often put it (in the gig bag) inside a duffel that carries other stuff. And I think that with the Fleas/Flukes you're also paying for great customer service, FWIW.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    I don't own one but I've played a few, and if I was planning to buy one I'd definitely upgrade from the plastic fretboard for two reasons - I don't care for how it feels, and I find the black frets to be nearly invisible - of course, the latter could be more a reflection of my middle-aged vision than anything else But I always lose my place on the plastic fretboard since I can't see the fret "wires," and since the neck is wider than I'm accustomed to, I can't rely on "feel" alone.

    I'd also upgrade to the Pegheds because I love the darned things, but if you don't already have a uke with Pegheds then this probably won't matter - you won't know what you're missing, and the standard tuners should be just fine.

    One other thing worth mentioning - I do find the plastic backs on the Fleas and Flukes really challenging to hold. They are slippery little buggers! If you've never played one before, and can't try it out before you buy it, this is just something to be aware of.

    Have you considered the Firefly? This would be my next uke purchase if I was in the market. Like the Fleas and Flukes, they're great little ukes, and if you don't already have a banjo uke in your collection - hey, added justification for a uke purchase!

    Happy shopping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    You can safely pass on the Pegheds if you're okay with friction tuners. The stock tuners are good and I've never had a problem with them. The rosewood fretboard does feel better to me, but there's nothing wrong with the plastic. Skip the hard case; the gig bag is good and you can even put a concert Flea in one of those generic canvas/foam soprano cases. Overall, Fleas are good enough with the standard stuff that you won't be kicking yourself for skipping the pricier options.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2010
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    I've had a couple and if I get another, it will have the rosewood fretboard for the reasons janeray1940 mentioned. Also, I've noticed that after only about a month of playing the strings start to wear on the plastic frets. I'm not sure if it just kinda starts and stops or if it continually gets worse since I didn't own them for long enough to say.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    I have a rosewood fretboard on my tenor-sized Fluke and like it. The stock tuners are fine - once you gain experience with them.

    -C

  10. #10
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    I have a concert neck flea, with standard tuners and plastic fretboard. I normally hate friction tuners, but the Flea's standard tuners are fine. If you have any finger pains, Pegheads would be easier on your hands. I added fret markers to the side of the neck (sharpie), and I don't look at the frets much, so the black on black is not too much of a problem for me. Ken Middleton's "Living Water Strings" sound great on it. I have tried a koa topped Flea, with rosewood fretboard, and it did sound nicer than mine, but that is a bit more money. The hard case is not really necessary for everyday travel, the gig bag is sufficient.

    Happy shopping!
    –Lori

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