Firefly Maple-Poly Soprano Banjo Ukulele. Made in the USA by The Magic Fluke Company, already world famous for the innovative design and playability of their Fluke and Flea Ukuleles, the Firefly Banjo Ukulele is the latest addition the family!
The Firefly, like a luminescent lightning bug, is great to have around a campfire, and attracts lots of attention. This marvellous hybrid combines the ease of playing the uke with the distinctive twang of a traditional banjo. The Firefly is lightweight, travels well, and sounds delightful!
This is the Maple soprano version with polycarbonate moulded fretboard as found on the Fleas and Flukes.. It's also available in walnut with hardwood or poly-carbonate fretboard if preferred, and there's a concert scale version too!
It has an 8" Renaissance Mylar head and Acousticon pot, factory tuned and assembled by Remo in California, and it comes standard with Grover 2B tuners, maple and ebony bridge and Nyltech strings. The simple open back design is lightweight, requiring no tuning of the head. Action is easily adjustable with shim washers where the dowel stick meets the tailpiece.
The Firefly's design is inspirational. It's simple, elegant and it works!
If you're looking for an affordable lightweight banjolele with a very traditional sound that packs a punch, then look no further!
Lets get the reason for not recommending it for learners or less experienced players out of the way first. This is because the frets are the same black colour as the fret board, so are difficult to see. I am experienced so my fingers manage to hit the right frets without difficulty, but I have to keep checking. Even with the 3 white dots moving up and down the neck is much much harder than it would be if the frets were easier to see.
Apart from that I like it! The sound is clear and it's well made. I like the open back as it allows me to alter the sound by how tightly I hold it against my body. I don't think the tuning nuts, being direct types are as good as the usual geared ones, as they make much larger pitch changes with a much smaller amount of turn, but I have got used to them. As I've only had it for a couple of weeks I can't comment on how well they will keep working over time.