Aural

The Fluke Ukulele

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Cool cheap instrument

[This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2004. Since then, the makers of the Fluke introduced the soprano-sized Flea, also an excellent ukulele for $179. – MF]

There used to be two kinds of ukuleles: pressed cardboard junk for less than $50, and professional quality beauties for over $500. Now there is a third option – the Fluke, a half-plastic, half-wood ukulele that costs half that. As soon as my fingers hit the cute-as-a-bug instrument, I fell in love with it. It’s a pleasure to play and the sound is strong and chipper. Its radical design reminds me of the iMac or New Beetle. One fellow uker told me his Fluke sounds and plays better than his $3000 vintage Martin ukulele. He was almost mad about it. Jim Beloff, co-creator of the Fluke also publishes a bunch of excellent ukulele songbooks. My favorite is Jumpin’ Jim’s Gone Hawaiian.

-- Mark Frauenfelder 09/12/17