Magic Fluke Timber Fretless Bass Ukulele
I could start with my opinion that this is the best ukulele bass there is on the market. Or the fact that after I first tried one, I had my credit card out within five minutes. Either of those statements would make a fitting start to this Magic Fluke Timber Bass review. Yes, it is the best bass I’ve ever tried – to the point where I had to instantly buy one, even with the obvious handicap that I can’t play bass. I was going to say I didn’t let that stop me, which is true. But that’s because my band’s bassist, The Prince (in Feckless, Fuddle and the Prince) has had the Magic Fluke Timber on permanent loan ever since. A bass player for thirty odd years, he now exclusively uses this short scale electric bass – and all his other full sized basses have been consigned to eBay. I hasten to add I haven’t seen the proceeds of those sales!
This fretless bass uke has so many good things going for it, including the custom LaBella roundwound strings. They look like electric bass guitar strings, and they feel that way too – while the sound is reminiscent of bass guitars too. A very, very good bass guitar at that. A fretted model is available, but the smoothness and ease of playing the Magic Fluke Timber seems to make fretless the ideal option. You can glide around the maple neck at will, sliding up and down to great effect. It is a joy to play.
The Timber bass has an American cherry wood body with a distinctive shape. It feels light and comfortable, while still being sturdy and substantial. For this reason, many of those people who have taken up this instrument have been bass guitarists who want that distinct electric bass sound, without the weight of a regular bass guitar. There’s also a Shadow active preamp and pickup, with tone and volume controls, together with an accurate on-board tuner. I’ve played in all sorts of venues alongside the Prince while he’s been playng this bass ukulele, and it has always sounded spot on, be that in a pub or a cathedral.
As is their way, the Magic Fluke Company make every bit of this instrument in the USA, including the included padded gig bag, integrated strap and the strings. What you end up with is a seriously good quality instrument with a fabulous sound and brilliant playability. For me, it was love at first play.