8.10.10

Fluke Ukulele - Review

Well it arrived!  The other day I pulled the trigger on a Fluke Ukulele on ebay (used).  I have wanted a Fluke for some time, but suppliers in the UK seem to be hard to find.  I already own a Flea (as you will find on my reviews page above) but have always wanted the big brother (or is that sister? ukes are surely female).

Arrived today and its in great condition
fluke ukulele

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!
fluke ukulele body


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.
fluke ukulele neck

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.

fluke ukulele headstock

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!


fluke ukulele bag
So, all in all, this is, as I expected, a 10 out of 10 instrument.  Its got bombproof construction, unique looks, great sound - what more could you want.  I am a happy man!


SCORES

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?

16 comments:

John said...

Very cool review and nice pics!

philxbx said...

I'm from the UK too, and would love one of these, but not without seeing/holding/strumming one first. But as that is unlikely to happen, your review has been great! If I saw one at a good price I'd go for it!

Anonymous said...

I bought one of these last year from Gamlins and I love it. Dont gig with it but its great for leaving lying around the house stood on its end and picking it up whenever the 'urge' grabs you..

I had read in reviews that the best thing about them is the fact they are so sturdy and you could literally throw it around the house without damaging it. Fair point I suppose but for what you pay for them I wouldnt like to try it just in case.
The only drawback is that if you like to use a strap you are pretty much knackered unless you get Krabbers to send you one of his velcro creations which he kindly did for me, cheers Krabbers!!!
If you are thinking about purchasing a Fluke then dont think too hard or worry about it, they are great :)

Lots of love
UkePunk

Anonymous said...

just purchased a fluke from SUS the stunningly beautiful black lava, thanx for your help on UU Barry, it should be here in a coupla days

richard

Anonymous said...

oops its a tenor not a concert, will i be ok with this as a beginner?

bazmaz said...

It will be fine - just got a slightly longer neck than a concert

Anonymous said...

ok thanx yet again Mr Maz

silveraven said...

hi, i'm new to ukuleles and have been hearing so much about the fleas and flukes. after trawling the internet for info on these, i kept wondering if they come set up? seems like a lot of other ukes need set up but i've not heard about the fleas and fluke needing them. do you happen to have any info about this? :)

Barry Maz said...

because of the way Flukes are made - setup is not even possible (nor is it needed). The saddle is one piece and cannot be adjusted and at the nut they use a zero fret meaning perfect scale length and string height. Totally worry free instruments!

silveraven said...

Awesome! Just what I needed to know. I'm getting a soprano starter uke first since they're cheaper, but when the time comes for an upgrade (if I decided I like ukes), I'm seriously thinking of a Fluke because they look really good! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I've had a tenor fluke for about 5 years and it's a great instrument, the only drawback is holding it without it sliding. I found a strap on Ebay which solves this problem. It is similar to a classical guitar strap, but shorter. It hooks into the sound hole. I got it for $3.99 including shipping from China. I thought it would be garbage but for the price I gave it a try. Surprise it works great and is very well made.
Give one a try. Paul

Anonymous said...

ive got very large fat hands will the concert fluke be ok?

Barry Maz said...

The 'got large hands and therefore can't play a small uke' thing is a misconception. I've got big hands and love to play soprano more than any other.

That said, a concert does have more space, and a fluke also has a wider fretboad. Great choice for the beginner.

Anonymous said...

ARE THE fluke concert and tenor fretboards the same then? or does the tenor have larger spaceing between the frets?

Barry Maz said...

I believe spacing is the same. But it's just a wide large fingerboard generally - very comfortable

Anonymous said...

IM going for a concert fluke,has i cannot get a tenor ukue in uk

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