Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele

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28 Feb 2019

Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele

Ah the Flea Ukulele - the one that really got me going with this instrument. Look what just landed..

Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele



A quick note to start with - this is NOT a ukulele review - and why? Well, because I already reviewed the Flea Ukulele when this site started. You can find that embarrassingly sparse ukulele review here from way back in 2010. In fact it was so sparse, and the Flea so loved by this player that I had to give it another crack of the whip and a video in in 2017 in a feature about my most played ukulele.

And I did that follow up because of what I said in the opening line. It was the Flea that I bought a mere two weeks after buying a junk Mahalo (for which I should have known better) which could have put me off the ukulele for life. Thankfully I grabbed a Flea and didn't look back. No Flea - no Got A Ukulele! If I could encourage everyone to start with one of these things I really would.

Anyway, since that time there were a couple of things I'd really longed for in the Flea universe. The first of those was one of the very nice decorated tops that they have had on offer for some years. And in fact this one, called the Surf Flea design goes way back to those years too. It's still a laminate wood top like most Fleas are (and no bad thing because of it), but comes with this beach / surf / tiki style design in a screenprint that I always loved. The design is actually an original by a chap in California who goes under the moniker of 'Tiki King'. He designs and makes (you guessed it) tiki themed items (including his own ukuleles!), but also happens to be a musician and above all, a ukulele player. Anyway this is one a few designs he did for the Magic Fluke Company and I love it.

Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele Tiki King design


The other thing I wanted was one of the hardwood fingerboards with metal frets. Please don't get me wrong here, I am not dismissing the plastic fretboards of the standards one bit. It's a topic that I see often where people like to bash Magic Fluke with no real grounds or experience. I OWN a plastic fretboard model and I've owned it since about 2008. Sure the whole uke is a bit bashed up, and the frets are showing a touch of wear - but it still plays great. No, I just wanted the wooden one because I like the feel of them and, well, just wanted to also own the alternative.
Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele fingerboard



So here you have it - the Surf Flea. The same specs as my original flea - the typically Flea shaped neck, the unique Magic Fluke headstock, the same side facing fairly standard friction pegs, the same plastic bowl back. Only with that wooden fingerboard made of cherry and the Tiki King designed top. Interestingly, despite it being a wooden board it still comes with a zero fret to perfect the action and intonation at that end. Still no side dots though (grrrrr!!). And the result is a supremely low and comfortable action. Another departure from my original is the hardwood bridge with what looks like a removeable saddle. My original has a fixed plastic bridge with integral saddle, so that's another bonus.   And I rather love it. And like every other Flea it both plays and sounds great.

Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele bridge


My original Flea is still staying with me, battered and scarred, as a testament to why I play this instrument, though this one is being kept 'for best' as it were.

Maybe you have dithered around the Magic Fluke range, maybe they are new to you. Trust me - if you are a ukulele player and haven't done so - you really should try one.

Magic Fluke Surf Flea Ukulele headstock


Thanks to Mark Pugh at Stones Music - the UK distributor for the brand in helping source this purchase.

https://www.magicfluke.com
http://www.tikiking.com


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1 comments :

  1. Well said. I started with a Fluke and got drawn in to the charm, going through some truly top shelf instruments....20 years later and my favorite, my go-to, is a concert Flea. I have loved nothing more!

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