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Thread: Build Thread: Custom Blackbird Farallon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
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    Default Build Thread: Custom Blackbird Farallon

    Previously I owned and loved a Blackbird Clara, which was made with Pegheds per my request (the first they did) as I found the then stock side tuners quite unattractive. I re-homed the uke as I was rotating through ukes faster than kids eat pizza, but intended to get another one someday as I loved its tone and playability.

    I rate ukes across four dimensions: (1) tone, (2) playability, (3) aesthetics and (4) build execution. Maybe if I was a real player, I'd only care about 1 & 2. But I care quite a lot about 3 and 4. Second order to 1 and 2, but important nonetheless to my enjoyment. YMMV.

    I loved both the Clara and Farallon for 1, 2 and 4. But both left me lacking on #3. So, at NAMM I discussed with CEO Joe Luttwak some changes that I thought might make the Farallon more aesthetically pleasing. My wish list included:

    - Unigrain eKoa top like their eKoa guitars
    - Fancy rosette
    - Side soundport
    - Matt-finish fretboard with parellogram fretmarkers
    - Sunburst finish

    Joe took on the challenge and sent me a progress pic today. I'm really excited. It's probably 4-6 weeks away from completion, but here is a progress picture:



    Many of you may have seen the sunburst finish on the Farallon that HMS sold recently. It lasted about six hours on the site. I do think it compressed the sound a bit vs. the non-gloss finish, but it still sounded fantastic to my ears.

    Of course, when this baby arrives, I will do a full review and sound sample. Don't worry, it will include Time in a Bottle. LOL.
    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Looks great- really like your recommendations and the fact that Joe took you up on the challenge! Can't wait to see the finished product! I've been wanting one for awhile, might have to wait longer now...

  3. #3

    Default

    Very nice, and hats off to Blackbird for going outside of their regular builds. Maybe this will lead to more variations in trim designs? Can't wait to see your completed Custom Blackbird!
    Soprano: '60s Martin Soprano | '14 Kala Ukadelic Checker | '17 "Style 1 Centennial - Natural" 0X Bamboo (Factory Labeling Error), "The "Bamboo Centennial", Serial #15796) | '17 Style 1 Centennial |

    Super Soprano: | '17 (KPK) Koa Pili Koko Deluxe (Longneck) w/Maple binding & "Bone Conversion" |

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bowral NSW AUSTRALIA
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    Congratulations Eddie, I'll follow this with interest. I really like the design choices you've made, well done.
    All the best,
    Campbell

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    I like the grain orientation , sound port is a must so another great choice. That one on HMS.......well lets just say I got a bad case of "sunburst envy" as mine will be just plan. Yours should be a beauty
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 06-13-2017 at 12:41 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Wow, that really looks neat. Great ideas!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
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    Default

    I like the grain on the top Eddie. Looks great.
    How bad is your UAS?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,078

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    Very nice Eddie! You have great eye for beautiful instrument compositions. Hope Joe continues with more custom builds similar to yours.

    That sunburst finished Farallon @ HMS was gorgeous. But, won't the lacquer finish make it more susceptible to the outdoor elements, or is the type of lacquer more water/UV resistant than nitro?
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ma., Ga., Fl.
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    1,378

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    Looks beautiful Eddie.................and I'll bet the volume will crank up considerably.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    518

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    Based on my experience with the Farallon, this one should hit #'s 1-4 for you Eddie. Look forward to seeing the final product. Also, since you have played multiple versions, I will be curious to hear your perception of tonal comparison between the different tops.

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