Page 5 of 7 FirstFirst ... 34567 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 69

Thread: Blackbird Clara re-review... Now I get it

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Colfax, CA
    Posts
    702

    Default

    Not sure if my sound clip does the Clara justice. I decided to do a quick Garageband thing on my iPad and then realized that I had never opened Garageband on the iPad. Had to search to find a "clean" or acoustic amp model and was not satisfied that my choice was an accurate representation of the Clara's tone.

    As for the instrument itself, I am very impressed on several counts. The basic sound production, with the combination of the composite layup and the hollow neck is brilliantly executed. In addition, the use of the Ekoa material clearly tames the carbon fiber tone that I have always perceived as a bit on the brittle side. The neck plays very friendly up to about the 10th fret where the real estate starts getting crowded for my large glove sized hands. Chords in that region that I can easily play on my tenors require a bit of a slow down and more deliberate finger placement. Obviously, this is a function of scale length vs. the tenors, but it does affect my overall playing experience.

    Currently, the tone is more than acceptable and the volume is quite more than adequate. In fact, the volume is considerable bordering on the phrase usually reserved for loud mandolins; "this thing is a cannon". I don't know which strings came to me on the Clara, but the low G boominess that some have mentioned, while present to some degree, is not as much as an issue as I had begun to think it might be. I am thinking on cutting down my last set of Living Waters (low G) it order to experiment a bit with reducing the low G presence a bit more. At the moment, the "lower case" boom is only noticible with single notes and I can control that easily by concentrating on my thumb attack. Still, I am of the opinion that the right low G string will render the boom comments moot. Might have to sacrifice the tenor Living Waters to find out, though.

    There is also an overall relaxing sense that accompanies playing this instrument. I don't know how many homes this thing has visited, but my guess is that despite the care exercised by those who came before me, a wood instrument having made this journey would show signs of wear, bumps or bruises. The Clara looks like it is brand spanking new. I really like the comfort of knowing that this thing is not likely to lose some of its esthetic appeal due to a collision caused by a galloping cat.

    When I played a Clara for a few minutes during the last Reno Uke festival, I was somewhat mildly interested primarily because it was not of the scale length that I prefer. I still harbor some of that thought, but if it became clear to me that Blackbird had decided to keep this the Ekoa design limited to the Concert scale, I might well decide that the convenience and portability of the current size is OK with me. In my heart, I would still like to see an Ekoa tenor, though.

    Overall, this uke is a clear winner.
    MP Mango Cedar Tenor
    Pono ATDC Acacia Cutaway Tenor
    Pono TE-2 Chambered Acacia Spruce Tenor
    Dupont D Hole Koa Spruce Cutaway Tenor

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    557

    Default

    The idea of a ukulele being passed around for people to try out is completely new to me.(I assume that is what is going on here) Where would somebody sign up for a service like this.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Colfax, CA
    Posts
    702

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian1 View Post
    The idea of a ukulele being passed around for people to try out is completely new to me.(I assume that is what is going on here) Where would somebody sign up for a service like this.

    This came out of MacNichol Guitars in Salt Lake City. Michael Stone set up the road show in a UU thread. Do a search over in Uke Talk. That is where the original Road Show thread started. I posted my impressions here because I got the threads mixed up.
    Last edited by bborzell; 12-07-2014 at 10:24 AM.
    MP Mango Cedar Tenor
    Pono ATDC Acacia Cutaway Tenor
    Pono TE-2 Chambered Acacia Spruce Tenor
    Dupont D Hole Koa Spruce Cutaway Tenor

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kansastan
    Posts
    13,473

    Default

    I tried a couple of Low G all fluorocarbon sets on Clara. All were too boomy. I've a set of Kala Pearl strings now, all wound. Good balance and tone, no "flub-da-dub" of floppy strings. I'll be trying a Southcoast "Acoustic" set next.
    Dig Infinity!

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Restringing My Beltona made a huge positive difference. It sounds terrible and goes out of tune unless I use the Martin

  6. #46

    Default

    My thoughts on the Clara, if I might. I have been playing about 2 years now and have had a bad case of UAS for high-quality ukuleles. I love the Blackbird Clara. I tried out a tenor Farallon to compare it to my other tenors and to the Clara, which I’ve had for a year now. The Clara is a very versatile instrument. It’s strung with low g and tends to complement a group of re-entrant ukuleles. At every group I go to, and a couple uke fests I’ve attended, the Clara gets a lot of attention—not only because of its looks but often on the first strum, heads will turn. The sound is pretty amazing for a small instrument. I think it projects more than the Farallon. People like the Clara and want it. However, some don’t care for it because it does sound “different” from a traditional ukulele. And the non wood material bugs them. It’s clean sounding, you can play delicate finger picked songs or play gritty blues.
    The rounded body tends to be slippery. I use a guitar strap I resized so it loops above the nut. I noticed recently that the 2 frets near the nut have a bit of wear on them from a low-quality wound low g. I am a bit disappointed about this but Blackbird says their frets can be replaced if need be.
    I play this ukulele a lot because I leave it sitting on the couch. I travel with it whenever I leave town because I don’t have to worry if it sits in a car for while. And really if it were destroyed or stolen, God forbid, it could be replaced and probably sound the same as the original, unlike many other ukuleles.
    And while I often think the Clara, with its low g, sounds like a tenor it doesn’t really when you hear it next to an actual tenor. But it gives you that feel a bit.
    The Clara can cut across the din of a bunch of ukuleles. My vintage Martin Soprano has a loud bark that can cut thru, too. But that’s another sound completely. I am very happy with the Clara.
    Pre-UAS: “1 uku is all I need.” Early-on-set UAS: “1 of each size is necessary.” Chronic UAS: Constant trolling of ukulele marketplaces, increasing number of “necessary” ukuleles as collection grows. Full blown UAS: Coworkers believe you have a problem, individual considers divorce over parting with any ukuleles, individual seriously considers dipping into retirement account to see what those Moore Bettahs and Beau Hannams are all about.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    199

    Default

    Is this the Clara played with re-entrant tuning?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRDmfCmmClY

    Sounds really beautiful to my ears.

    Wees Montgomery style
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 12-26-2017 at 03:55 AM.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    Is this the Clara played with re-entrant tuning?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRDmfCmmClY

    Sounds really beautiful to my ears.

    Wees Montgomery style
    Yes, that is re-entrant. That's also not a dry recording, so keep that in mind.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    over yonder...
    Posts
    6,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulele Eddie View Post
    Yes, that is re-entrant. That's also not a dry recording, so keep that in mind.
    FYI: Fellow UU brother BazMaz posted a video review (which is recorded dry) along with detailed text review on his blog from Oct 3, 2016:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wN7gjq0NgU

    and http://www.gotaukulele.com/2016/10/b...le-review.html
    Please click here ->Just the FAQs<- to be taken to the FAQ index so you can learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    199

    Default

    Yes Booli that is a nice review. I read it and listened too before. If I remember right BazMaz also mentioned his wish that it had been re-entrant version for him to test ... and go back to shop. That is why I searched and posted the video link, curious as I am. Myself I can never afford a such one. I too don't like the plastic look of the fingerboard.

    Eddie what you mean by not dry? It had been manipulated for sound or what? I do notice it being quite echo like and if it is not the room or uke I'd like clearance of what you mean.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 12-28-2017 at 02:05 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •