The Flea ukulele I won arrived today:
And I like it. It’s a factory second, and I think I see why, but the blemish is rather subtle. (I don’t think it’s the darker bit of wood in the headstock. Well, maybe.) The black frets and friction tuners will take some getting used to. The color fortunately won’t. (It was my first choice, but really anything except Bubblegum Pink would have been okay.)
Fleas are interesting. The back/side is a single piece of molded ABS and the fingerboard is polycarbonate with the frets molded in. (For a higher price you can get a rosewood fingerboard.) The top is laminated hoop pine. Might sound cheap, but the retail price is not much lower than what I paid for my solid lacewood and spruce Kala, and it’s regarded as one of the best ukes in its price range. It’s also a good deal more rugged than most.
And it’s one of the only ukes you can stand on end.
I’ve played it a little, intonation seems very good. One thing I didn’t realize is it has 14 frets, versus 12 on my Makala and Kala, hence a little more range.
It came strung with Aquilas, and I’m trying to decide whether to keep them, or replace them with some Fremont Blacklines I just got; or should I put the Fremonts on the Kala?
Anyway, it’s a nice instrument, and I definitely don’t need any more soprano ukes… for now. (Though I do have one I need to finish building someday.) I do want to try the tenor and concert sizes and maybe get one of them. Or one of each. Or two. [slap! slap!] Thanks, I needed that…
(And I hear Rogue makes a cheap baritone uke that’s actually pretty good… [slap! slap!])