View Poll Results: Which Magic Fluke Company instruments do you own?

Voters
224. You may not vote on this poll
  • Fluke ukulele

    111 49.55%
  • Flea ukulele

    139 62.05%
  • Firefly banjo ukulele

    49 21.88%
  • Fluke SB solid-body electric ukulele

    5 2.23%
  • Cricket Violin

    3 1.34%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: The Magic Fluke Company Appreciation thread

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    I'm noticing more and more that I can't find what I want locally. Even for all the hate against guitar center, I still prefer buying things directly from them first if I can. But their ukulele accessory collection (tuner upgrades, etc) seems to be pretty thin. Other smaller shops are around but based on what they carry I don't think they know what ukuleles are.
    Guitar Center (GC) typically caters to 'the lowest common denominator' for most things. Every time I had gone in there in the past 15 yrs (in any one of the 5 different location within a 15 mile radius) I have heard a salesperson giving not only purely incorrect information, but also saying things that would demonstrate almost a complete lack of customer service training, (rude, impatient and hostile).

    It used to make me so frustrated and angry, and I used to intervene, and commandeer the person away from the GC employee and try to help them, and I can't tell you how many times GC offered me a job, which I always declined.

    I'd rather clean gas station toilets than work at GC. I hate that place. It's like they have institutionalized ignorance and evil.

    I would only buy from them in a dire emergency (like needing something on the way to a gig, with no other alternative, and I'd do so with extreme resistance).

    On the other hand, the hometown local music shop (Ritchie's Music in Rockway, NJ) is staffed with people who go out of their way to help, and have no problem saying 'I don't know the answer to that, but let me find one for you'.

    Absolutely anything that they might not have in stock that you might buy from an online vendor, they can order it and typically have it within a week, and at prices the same as Amazon or Musicians Friend, without any haggling necessary. Typically if I ordered something on a Thursday, I could go to the store and pick it up on Tuesday. The only online vendor I've seen that actually has the item to your door in less than 7 days for free shipping is with Amazon Prime, but you pay a one-time $80/yr for that privilege of guaranteed 2-day delivery, so it's not really 'free'...

    Ritchie's is an authorized Kala dealer and I bought my first ukulele from them back in March 2013, and by the time you added local sales tax, it was only $2 more in price than buying the same instrument from Amazon. I knew that I was going to replace the plastic or nubone saddle with a bone saddle, so I did not bother about having them do a setup.

    They now try to keep at least 2-3 of each soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone of this Kala series in stock, and they told me that about every 14 days they are selling out and need to reorder. When I started back in March they had no ukulele strings in stock at all, and no displays for them, and everything had to be ordered.

    Now they have a section on the wall with many of the Aquila Nylguts and Aquila REDS, the Martin m600, m620, m630 strings, D'Addario Pro Arte, and a few varieties of the Kala strings. I am trying to get them to keep Worths, Fremont and Oasis strings in stock as well, but they have been telling me that the demand is not there yet. They also have both padded gig bags and the Kala Uke Crazy polyfoam cases in stock regularly too at competitive prices.

    It's nice to see them respond to interest in the ukulele, and to have these items available only 4 miles away from me.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    PA, U.S.
    Posts
    545

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    Quote Originally Posted by WKerrigan View Post
    I confess to being intrigued by them, but they seem pricey for a plastic and laminate uke--and the fact you have to pay an additional premium for a wood fret board. Do most people pony up for the wooden fret board, or are folks content with the plastic one?
    I've thought they were pricey too. Though I've had many of their instruments, I've only bought one new from the factory. But, you're not just paying for materials. You're paying for quality and consistency. That's a big deal to me and makes the price worth it, especially since my only practical option is to purchase online. I'd rather pay extra to MFC and know before it arrives, exactly what I'm getting, than (as I've also done) pay the same or more for a uke I had to return. JMO.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    388

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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceweaver3 View Post
    I've thought they were pricey too. Though I've had many of their instruments, I've only bought one new from the factory. But, you're not just paying for materials. You're paying for quality and consistency. That's a big deal to me and makes the price worth it, especially since my only practical option is to purchase online. I'd rather pay extra to MFC and know before it arrives, exactly what I'm getting, than (as I've also done) pay the same or more for a uke I had to return. JMO.
    Worth every penny too! I love my Tiki King collection!
    Bay View, WI


  4. #24

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    I'd like to add that after reading tons of praise about the ukuleles from The Magic Fluke Company here on this forum for 4 months before being able to actually see, hold and play a Fluke made me a bit crazed about wanting one.

    It was not until I attended the Morristown Ukulele Festival for the Saturday night performance with James Hill, Anne Janelle, Victoria Vox, and Jim & Liz Beloff that I was able to satisfy this goal.

    While waiting in the audience prior to the performance (which happened after a series of day-long workshops), there was a really nice guy from Maryland (sadly I can't remember his name) that had a tenor Fluke with the natural top, polycarbonate fretboard and Fremont Blacklines low-g. He was kind enough to let me hold it and strum a few chords. At that moment it was like I had an epiphany and told myself that I must own one some day.

    After the concert I was lucky enough to meet all the performers and actually talk with them. James Hill (I'm a HUGE fan of his) was kind enough to discuss with me his nail care routine, and Victoria Vox talked to me about her songwriting process. But what really impressed me was talking with Jim Beloff about his approach to learning new chords, and new songs.

    I had already been working my way through his book 'The Daily Ukulele' and was having a hard time. Jim suggested that I take a song that I like, and break it down into smaller parts, and then work on each part, and once I was confident with that part, move on to the next part, and so on, and then when I was ready, to put all the parts together, and once I've done this a few times, learning new chords and new songs would become easier, and the more I did this, it would become easier still.

    He was spot on. I have followed his advice and am very happy with the results.

    Jim Beloff was just the nicest person in the world. After all day long of giving workshops, and performing 2 sets of shows, he was generous enough to give me his undivided attention about about ten minutes. I felt so privileged to have met him and talked with him. He is one of my 'ukulele heros' BIG time!

    In case you are not familiar with Jim & Liz Beloff, Jim Beloff's sister is Phyllis Webb, who is married to Dale Webb (the Webbs are the owners and founders of The Magic Fluke Company - see more here).

    The Beloff's are a driving force toward advocating all things ukulele, starting from back in 1992. They have several albums of ukulele music, as well as a whole series of instructional and also song books for ukulele. The have a company called Flea Market Music, and I've copied some text as it relates to The Magic Fluke Company, from their 'About Us page below:

    In 1999, Jim and Liz, along with Phyllis and Dale Webb, introduced a unique, colorful, and affordable ukulele called the Fluke and, later, a smaller-sized model, the Flea, that have won admirers all over the world. Jim and Liz regularly perform together at ukulele festivals in the U.S.A. and have also gone on uke tours of Japan and Australia. They truly believe in their company’s motto, “Uke Can Change the World.” You can reach them through the Flea Market Music web site at www.fleamarketmusic.com.
    Also, for anybody who's interested here is a picture from when I met Jim Beloff (click to enlarge):
    Jim_Beloff_and_Booli_IMG_0675-e1384882606163.jpg

    If you are a fan of The Magic Fluke company, you will most likely also find things you like over on the web site for Flea Market Music as well. They sell books, CDs, DVDs, and some uke-realted accesories, as well as having a helpful uke discussion forum and a 'marketplace' similar to what we have here on Ukulele Underground.
    Last edited by Booli; 03-05-2014 at 10:10 AM.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Orange county,calif.
    Posts
    13,271

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    I will state my appreciation. When I started out years ago I had a tiki soprano flea. It was a great uke. I have a tenor
    Pineapple flea currently. It is great. Take it anywhere without worrying and it is always out to pick up. Love that it stands on it's own. I called them once when I had lost my saddle doing a string change. I offered money to get a replacement. They said not to worry about it, and sent me a couple replacement saddles free. That is great service, and it was exceptionally nice of them. Great company.
    I'd rather be plucking at a ukulele on a faraway beach. I was not a soft-leather-Italian-shoe kind of man. I was a flip-flop man.
    J. Maarten Troost

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,874

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    Booli, I had the same experience with Guitar Center. About two weeks ago I wrote corporate a letter outlining exactly what I thought of them. What fun for me. I'll never shop there again except as you say in a dire emergency.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    379

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    Myself and a friend visited Magic Fluke Company a couple of months ago. He purchased a concert flea which they customized on the spot for him, adjusting the action to his liking and even adding side dots which they normally don't do. I had them change my Firefly neck from a soprano to a concert and I also added the side markers. They were most accommodating and helpful letting us walk thru their shop seeing how the ukes are made. Here are a couple of pictures I took. FM3.jpgFM4.jpgFM7.jpg

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    1,577

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    Here are a couple of pics of my MFC instruments...

    The new cricket violin, my prized pineapple flea, my fluke and firefly...

    In good company with the KoAlohas, and a 1929 Lyon & Healy soprano.

    By the way the photos are some of the favorites I've taken, and the posters behind the ukes are Jake, his set list, Victoria vox, and some other local artists all autographed. Up on top is maestro Pepe Romero who I met a month ago in NYC ....

    A music is so rewarding!

    image.jpg image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg

    I guess you can count me in as an MFC fan
    Last edited by Olarte; 03-05-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    7,183

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    I have a little collection - hibiscus red soprano Flea (FredBird), purple concert Fluke (Hayes), tie-dyed tenor Flea (Janis), and a soprano Firefly. If I played the violin, I'd have a Cricket. Maybe I should take up the violin.

    Last edited by kvehe; 03-05-2014 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Added photo
    Kathryn

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by kvehe View Post
    If I played the violin, I'd have a Cricket. Maybe I should take up the violin.
    Kathryn,

    I think you are not alone with that thought. Violin was my first instrument when I was 5 yr old, but sadly I did not stick with it, but want to return to it. As I had said in Olarte's review thread (linked in his post above), When i take up the violin again, there is no long and painful searching for me - I'm getting a Cricket Violin and never looking back, and I'm not going to worry about what else is out there. I simply don't care what else is available right now. The Magic Fluke Company has won me as a customer of first choice for any category of instrument they make.

    -Booli

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