Arrived today and its in great condition
Like the Flea it has the unique Magic Fluke Co construction - its a very thin laminate Australian hoop pine top on a bowl shaped polycarbonate back rather like those used on Ovation guitars. The idea is to help sound projection and this presumably explains why they can get away with a laminated top. The neck back is maple as is the unusual headstock, but the fingerboard and bridge are moulded polycarbonate as well. This all makes it sounds like a toy, but it certainly isnt! As you can see from the picture, I went with the natural finish top which I like. Some people say it looks like a lute - and I suppose it does in a way. This is the concert model with 15 frets. It arrived with what look like Aquila strings on.
Check out that flat base too - no need for a stand!
The thing about the one piece poly fingerboard is it is super accurate - there are no seperately fitted frets. This means that intonation is always gonna be spot on - they are all identically made - a bit of a genius idea in my opinion. When ordering new from Fluke, you can specify a wood fretboard with metal frets, but I've always thought that was kinda missing the point of these instruments.
Tuning at the unique looking headstock is via friction tuners - I know a lot of people dislike friction tuners but honestly, the ones used on Fleas and Flukes are great. Frankly, I think that geared tuners would look odd.
So, you are never going to have trouble with set up on a Fluke - really nice instrument, but how does it sound?
Well strings will have a lot to do with it, and as I say above, this came with Aquilas. I went through a lot of string testing on my Flea and ended up thinking Aquilas were a bit overkill - in the end settling on Worth BM's. I obviously need to go through same testing with this Fluke, but as it stands now it does sound lovely.
Volume is around the same level as the Flea (I was expecting more), but that is still louder than most ukes. It really does stand above the Flea though in warmth. Its got that real characterful Flea chime to the strum, but just has a fuller more complex sound. (not running the Flea down at all there - this is, just, well, better!). I will be playing around with string options on it though and will report back
So easy to play too, light, nice to hold and the longer neck is noticeable nicer to use.
To top it all off, the Fluke, like the Flea, comes with its own branded gig bag. The Flea bag is a thin zippered affair - the Fluke gets a funky padded thing that you put the uke in from the top and close with a drawstring - very nice - shoulder strap too!
Looks - 8
Fit and finish - 20
Sound - 8.5
Value for money - 7
OVERALL - 8.4
Having owned this uke for a couple of years now - you can also read my Long Term Test - does it still stand up?