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View Full Version : Blackbird Clara on its way! wOOT!



deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 05:33 AM
Well, I suffered a weak UAS moment yesterday when I saw a Clara appear in the Marketplace. I pulled the trigger and may even have it by the end of the week. I'm a tad excited as I've heard so much positive about this instrument. waHOO!

Photojosh
03-10-2015, 05:36 AM
I saw that was sold and wondered if you picked it up. Should sound mighty pretty on the river.

spookelele
03-10-2015, 05:37 AM
grats! is it waterproof? I know the CF one is, but the ekoa one I'm not sure.

deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 05:54 AM
grats! is it waterproof? I know the CF one is, but the ekoa one I'm not sure.

I spoke with HMS a couple weeks ago, and when I asked about the Clara, he said "shoot, you can boil those!" ... so, I'm assuming they are. But, I will double check...even though I don't expect I'll ever let it sit in rain, and if it's on the river, it will be properly stowed.

katysax
03-10-2015, 06:01 AM
Congrats. You are going to love it. Few ukes are as resonant in a Concert size (or any size).

chuck in ny
03-10-2015, 06:24 AM
please don't boil the clara. it's on my list. i find its sound remarkable, to my ear, mahogany on steroids.
would someone please advise as to the neck, it looks like a moderately full C shape, and i recall the nut specs were greater than 1 3/8".

DownUpDave
03-10-2015, 06:33 AM
Look at you........an Ohana CK 10 yesterday and now a Clara. It is just raining down ukes in your world isn't it, congratulations.

deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 06:46 AM
Look at you........an Ohana CK 10 yesterday and now a Clara. It is just raining down ukes in your world isn't it, congratulations.

AND! Two used Islanders are waiting at the Post Office :-) . I'll hang on to the "pick of the litter" of the laminates, the other two are spoken for. Yes, one could say "UAS"

spookelele
03-10-2015, 07:56 AM
I spoke with HMS a couple weeks ago, and when I asked about the Clara, he said "shoot, you can boil those!" ... so, I'm assuming they are. But, I will double check...even though I don't expect I'll ever let it sit in rain, and if it's on the river, it will be properly stowed.

I'm more concerned about condensation over night. Grass is wet in the morning for a reason, even on clear nights.

Down Up Dick
03-10-2015, 08:05 AM
I was mulling, mulling, mulling . . . You were quick--congrats! I'm sure you'll enjoy it. :old:

spookelele
03-10-2015, 09:22 AM
I was mulling, mulling, mulling . . .

Me too... they seem to have better than average resale.. and I was thinking.. maybe I should try.
And then it was gone.

peterbright
03-10-2015, 09:32 AM
Congratulations!

fongie
03-10-2015, 10:02 AM
Big congrats desch

I have yet to learn more about these and other uku's that are not the K brand or Martin.

So where is the Blackbird Clara made? Tah

stevepetergal
03-10-2015, 10:33 AM
You'll love it. The Clara is amazing.
It is in fact pretty much waterproof. The tuners are susceptible to moisture, but they can be serviced and even replaced if they get damaged.

rappsy
03-10-2015, 10:35 AM
YAY! Another UAS victim. Soon, USS. (Ukulele String Syndrome). Congrats.

deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 10:38 AM
YAY! Another UAS victim. Soon, USS. (Ukulele String Syndrome). Congrats.
Oh Lenny, I'm already a USS victim. Have successfully dialed in on several ukes. REALLY liking Oasis Warms (haven't tried the brights ... yet). I was/am a huge Worth fan, but I think the Oasis strings outshine them on certain ukes. Can't wait to get the Clara!

Ukulele Eddie
03-10-2015, 10:41 AM
You'll love it. The Clara is amazing.
It is in fact pretty much waterproof. The tuners are susceptible to moisture, but they can be serviced and even replaced if they get damaged.

They surely are durable but should not be submerged in water. In fact, I discussed this with Joe Luttwak (Blackbird's CEO) last week. So, don't go scuba diving with it and you should be fine. ;-)

BTW, if you'll be playing it re-entrant. Check out Aquila Reds on it. Sounds amazing!

rappsy
03-10-2015, 10:45 AM
Just the opposite. I have the Oasis Brights on 2 of mine and love the sound. About to put a set of Southcoast Medium Lights on one, and will eventually get some Worth Clears, probably the CT, but may go with the CM or CL's as I like a crisp high end.

We're waiting on the Clara review. Taking off work on the day it's supposed to come in????????????????????????:drool:

deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 10:50 AM
Will definitely be re-entrant tuned. I believe it's coming with Oasis brights ... but will definitely throw some other strings on at some point to compare. ...... Rappsy, two of yours?? How many Clara's do you have????

rappsy
03-10-2015, 10:54 AM
No Claras. Two Pono's so I can tell the difference between the two using the same strings. One is a Spruce top and the other is a Cedar Top.

turtledrum
03-10-2015, 12:16 PM
My new Clara arrived last Thursday. We were in the midst of a snowstorm...another 9 inches falling fast. TWO Fed ex trucks came down my street and as I stood on the steps watching, brought packages to the two houses next to my house. I thought I'd die! I was so worried that my Clara would be spending the night on a truck somewhere with temp reaching the zero that was anticipated.

Then at 4:30 p.m. the last truck of the day appeared. Yes, I had cleared my walk 5 times in anticipation of this moment. Yes, I once again stood on the steps waiting. Third time was the charm.

When the Fed ex man put that box in my hand...that very special box with the HMS little uke on it -I knew my time has come.

Quite simply, I'm in love. This uke is even better than all the great things I'd heard. Best of all? She is calling me to experiment stylistically in ways I never have before. And that sound! It's all big sky and open water.

When I saw that posting I thought, "Wow! Someone is going to be very very happy.....even indoors.....even with all the other ukes watching.."

Wishing you all good things no matter what strings you choose!

deschutestrout
03-10-2015, 12:28 PM
My new Clara arrived last Thursday. We were in the midst of a snowstorm...another 9 inches falling fast. TWO Fed ex trucks came down my street and as I stood on the steps watching, brought packages to the two houses next to my house. I thought I'd die! I was so worried that my Clara would be spending the night on a truck somewhere with temp reaching the zero that was anticipated.

Then at 4:30 p.m. the last truck of the day appeared. Yes, I had cleared my walk 5 times in anticipation of this moment. Yes, I once again stood on the steps waiting. Third time was the charm.

When the Fed ex man put that box in my hand...that very special box with the HMS little uke on it -I knew my time has come.

Quite simply, I'm in love. This uke is even better than all the great things I'd heard. Best of all? She is calling me to experiment stylistically in ways I never have before. And that sound! It's all big sky and open water.

When I saw that posting I thought, "Wow! Someone is going to be very very happy.....even indoors.....even with all the other ukes watching.."

Wishing you all good things no matter what strings you choose!

Yea! I keep hearing all these great things! Now, I'm even more anxious, thanks.... tick tock, tick tock. :cool:

Andy Chen
03-10-2015, 03:11 PM
Actually, Blackbird says Clara is water resistant, not waterproof like the CF tenor.

Enjoy the Clara! It's a "forever" ukulele, meaning it will outlast lifetimes, I believe.

AJ Hill
03-10-2015, 08:24 PM
Yes the Clara is as good if not better than I expected down here in the land of the Kangaroo it's a great uke , I put some Martin 600 strings on it and it sounds great very good for fingerpicking ,,good for my jam nights !

Ukejenny
03-11-2015, 07:51 AM
Congratulations! I happened to talk to Joe, from Blackbird, and he was so kind, so nice. Answered all my questions. Explained everything I needed explained about the finish change and different pickup choices. He probably talked to me for over 30 minutes - so patient and helpful.

I can't wait until you get it, try it, and get on here gushing about it and posting a ton of photos!!

Newportlocal
03-11-2015, 08:22 AM
Congratulations on your upcoming NUD! Nice choice!

igorthebarbarian
03-11-2015, 05:50 PM
They are gorgeous; I want one!

deschutestrout
03-16-2015, 02:05 PM
Should arrive tomorrow! One could say that I'm a bit excited for the mail to arrive :drool:

cptdean
03-16-2015, 02:27 PM
I wish I could say, "Mine says hi!", but I don't have one, and I'm very jealous about it. :mad:

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! ! ! ! :D

PTOEguy
03-16-2015, 04:20 PM
My Clara is amazing - it came with Oasis warm low G strings on it. I just put bright high G strings on - which sound good, but not as good as the warm low G to my ear. With the high G brights, its has a great ukulele "chime", but the warm low Gs are such a rich sound, I will likely have to switch back soon.

deschutestrout
03-17-2015, 09:19 AM
Well, IT'S HERE! Initial reaction is that I'm impressed with the sound, volume and playability. I'll post some photos and give a more complete review after I've become better acquainted with her. A very cool concept in uke building for sure. Had a good chat with Joe at Blackbird after receiving ... he said temps between zero and 100+F are not to be worried about. Keep it out of the rain (not an issue as all my instruments get stowed when it's raining) and she's tough as nails. Well, back to playing with my new Clara!

vcs700s
03-17-2015, 09:29 AM
Well, IT'S HERE! Initial reaction is that I'm impressed with the sound, volume and playability. I'll post some photos and give a more complete review after I've become better acquainted with her. A very cool concept in uke building for sure. Had a good chat with Joe at Blackbird after receiving ... he said temps between zero and 100+F are not to be worried about. Keep it out of the rain (not an issue as all my instruments get stowed when it's raining) and she's tough as nails. Well, back to playing with my new Clara!

I am glad it arrived safely Mark. Enjoy!

Brenda Wong
03-17-2015, 10:48 AM
Very envy.
Whenever I see one I like, first thought is how much will the Canadian Custom cost? :-(
Congratulation. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new addition and the rest of your collections too.

spookelele
03-17-2015, 11:18 AM
Congrats again! First thing you should do is boil it.
jk. :)

warndt
03-17-2015, 11:27 AM
... he said temps between zero and 100+F are not to be worried about. Keep it out of the rain (not an issue as all my instruments get stowed when it's raining) and she's tough as nails.

Keep it out of the rain... and apparently out of your car in the summer... when those temps can easily get up to 120 Degrees or more.

I thought the Clara could handle higher temps...that is why I bought it. Oh well... mine may be returned or up for sale in the near future.

rappsy
03-17-2015, 03:35 PM
Excellent. I am glad you are happy with it. When you move up the chain to that next level, expectations increase and it's great when the expectations are met.

Use it well.

Ukejenny
03-17-2015, 04:08 PM
Well, IT'S HERE! Initial reaction is that I'm impressed with the sound, volume and playability. I'll post some photos and give a more complete review after I've become better acquainted with her. A very cool concept in uke building for sure. Had a good chat with Joe at Blackbird after receiving ... he said temps between zero and 100+F are not to be worried about. Keep it out of the rain (not an issue as all my instruments get stowed when it's raining) and she's tough as nails. Well, back to playing with my new Clara!

Woot!!! I'm so very happy for you. Cannot wait to see pics!!! Enjoy the playing!

deschutestrout
03-17-2015, 04:19 PM
Keep it out of the rain... and apparently out of your car in the summer... when those temps can easily get up to 120 Degrees or more.

I thought the Clara could handle higher temps...that is why I bought it. Oh well... mine may be returned or up for sale in the near future.

Yeah, I was sort of surprised when he cautioned about leaving it in a closed car in the summer. Oh well, I guess I will try not to do that, or make sure I remember to throw it in a cooler on top of the beer :-). Does seem a tad "over marketed" though.

Ukejenny
03-17-2015, 04:41 PM
Though I'm not planning on leaving it in my car, it only takes minutes in an Alabama summer for the inside of a car to get downright steamy. What exactly did Joe tell you about warm car interiors?

deschutestrout
03-17-2015, 05:26 PM
Though I'm not planning on leaving it in my car, it only takes minutes in an Alabama summer for the inside of a car to get downright steamy. What exactly did Joe tell you about warm car interiors? Basically (if I recall everything) was, outdoor temps no problem no matter how hot, avoid laying it out in the direct sun for extended periods on hot days, and when it's REAL hot, it's best not to leave it in a closed, hot car where temps can quickly get 150 plus. His basic message was, it's sturdy and pretty much bullet proof, but use common sense. That being said, I've had various guitars in my vehicle on hot days and never had an issue...maybe I've just been lucky. I told him the temps I sometimes camp in (0 to 110 ... yea, I'm pretty much nuts) and he said that is no issue at all. It was below zero, and hot cars he seemed to have concern.

hawaii 50
03-17-2015, 05:49 PM
Yeah, I was sort of surprised when he cautioned about leaving it in a closed car in the summer. Oh well, I guess I will try not to do that, or make sure I remember to throw it in a cooler on top of the beer :-). Does seem a tad "over marketed" though.


the glue probably melts at a certain temp....nothing will crack but 100 degrees is pretty hot...IMO...:)

deschutestrout
03-17-2015, 06:02 PM
the glue probably melts at a certain temp....nothing will crack but 100 degrees is pretty hot...IMO...:)

100 degrees is hot ... but a typical temp in many parts of the Continental US :-)

bobe
03-17-2015, 07:13 PM
... Had a good chat with Joe at Blackbird after receiving ... he said temps between zero and 100+F are not to be worried about.
I have a Clara on order and this was a concern for me too. Joe told me that leaving it in the car in summer was ok as long as the Clara was not in direct sun (i.e. stowed in it's case away from the windows). Also, Blackbird's website FAQ states: "Ekoa is super durable with high impact strength like carbon fiber. It is also stable from -5F (-20C) to 150F(66C). Finally, it is humidity proof in regular operating circumstances though we do not recommend submerging our Ekoa instruments"

deschutestrout
03-17-2015, 07:41 PM
I have a Clara on order and this was a concern for me too. Joe told me that leaving it in the car in summer was ok as long as the Clara was not in direct sun (i.e. stowed in it's case away from the windows). Also, Blackbird's website FAQ states: "Ekoa is super durable with high impact strength like carbon fiber. It is also stable from -5F (-20C) to 150F(66C). Finally, it is humidity proof in regular operating circumstances though we do not recommend submerging our Ekoa instruments"

He seemed to caution more strongly about high temps in cars, stressed keeping it in the case when stored in a hot vehicle, and said to avoid getting (primarily the back of) the uke wet. I was describing the extreme temps we sometimes get in the Oregon desert, so he was likely just making sure I didn't take unneccessary risks. Which I wasn't planning on doing anyway. No worries folks, this uke is made for travel and relatively extreme temps! I am more impressed with the sound everytime I play her!

soupking
03-17-2015, 07:43 PM
100 degrees is hot ... but a typical temp in many parts of the Continental US :-)


I have a Clara on order and this was a concern for me too. Joe told me that leaving it in the car in summer was ok as long as the Clara was not in direct sun (i.e. stowed in it's case away from the windows). Also, Blackbird's website FAQ states: "Ekoa is super durable with high impact strength like carbon fiber. It is also stable from -5F (-20C) to 150F(66C). Finally, it is humidity proof in regular operating circumstances though we do not recommend submerging our Ekoa instruments"

Seems pretty logical to me. Why anyone would want to submerge an instrument is beyond my comprehension. Play us another one- underwater nothing!- Especially a one thousand dollar one. As far as the car thing? Well, if it's imperative for you to leave your uke inside a blazing, death trap inferno oven, than just buy a Mahalo and grow up and live a little.

Seatbelts? When the deadly belt buckle burns your abdomen as you drape it across your torso upon entry to a vehicle exhibiting such heat, it serves one functional purpose: to let you know you're still alive, in a rather violent fashion.

Sorry you got burned, the inferno car offers. Well, at least you didn't kill me, after all.

Ukejenny
03-18-2015, 05:58 AM
Basically (if I recall everything) was, outdoor temps no problem no matter how hot, avoid laying it out in the direct sun for extended periods on hot days, and when it's REAL hot, it's best not to leave it in a closed, hot car where temps can quickly get 150 plus. His basic message was, it's sturdy and pretty much bullet proof, but use common sense. That being said, I've had various guitars in my vehicle on hot days and never had an issue...maybe I've just been lucky. I told him the temps I sometimes camp in (0 to 110 ... yea, I'm pretty much nuts) and he said that is no issue at all. It was below zero, and hot cars he seemed to have concern.

Thank you for the information. I think I'll be okay as long as I don't leave it in a locked car with the windows up on an Alabama August afternoon. And I don't think you are crazy, just passionate about camping, which I can respect.

warndt
03-18-2015, 07:51 AM
No worries folks, this uke is made for travel and relatively extreme temps! I am more impressed with the sound everytime I play her!

I'm really impressed with the way mine plays and sounds too.

I'll more that likely keep it, and buy a much cheaper, used Fluke for my in-car travel uke. A freezer gel-pak in the outside pocket would also help while in it's case and in the car.

Enjoy your new uke!!

deschutestrout
03-18-2015, 11:34 AM
Yeah, don't all get alarmed, Joe was in no way discounting the durability of the Clara. Quite the opposite in fact. I pressed on extremes, and his info supported my existing notion of "don't be an idiot" :cool: Super extreme conditions, my $100 laminate is getting packed ... Clara will likely go everywhere else, as Clara likes travel and fine wine. She sings like a bird ... photos and review soon, I promise.

Ukejenny
03-18-2015, 01:48 PM
She sings like a bird ... photos and review soon, I promise.

Yay!!! Looking forward to it!

warndt
03-18-2015, 03:04 PM
Yeah, don't all get alarmed, Joe was in no way discounting the durability of the Clara. Quite the opposite in fact. I pressed on extremes

I'll still be waiting for Emerald Guitar to build a true bullet proof ukulele. No glue...even the bridge is molded onto their guitars. Until then, the Clara will have to do. After buying an X-7 Carbon fiber Emerald guitar...my wooden guitars will soon be up for sale...and I have some VERY nice wooden guitars!

However, to beat the Clara, Emerald Guitar would REALLY have to step it up and hit it out of the park!!

Either way, this is a great time to be involved with the newest technology offerings from some best forward thinking manufacturers. I applaud you all in your innovation, and hope for more innovators coming into the game!

Andy Chen
03-18-2015, 11:16 PM
I've asked Alistair of Emerald about a uke before. He doesn't seem keen on building one.

StacyAZ
03-19-2015, 12:26 AM
Congratulations on your new Clara! I also look forward to your review and pictures. The Clara looks very attractive to me because of its durability (and may someday by on my purchase radar), but I would really like to know what you think of the sound compared to the other ukuleles you own.

Are all your river trips on the Deschutes? What kind of raft/boat do you use? How many days are your typical trips? Are there any rapids on the Deschutes? I ask all this because my husband and I are new to whitewater rafting and pretty much hooked on it now! We took a rowing clinic through OARS on the Rogue river last spring because we scored our own permit for the Grand Canyon for last June. Our Grand Canyon trip last June was amazing! Not our first time rafting the Canyon (we did a commercial trip 10 years before), but being able to do it on our own was fantastic. We've been invited for another Canyon trip this summer, as well as a trip through Desolation/Gray canyons, and a trip on the Green in Dinosaur. I want to take a ukulele on these river trips and I just recently found a good deal on a used dry bag that should fit a hard case for a ukulele. I know a good dry bag is essential because on our Canyon trip we flipped our raft in Crystal and everything on our raft was submerged for at least a half an hour until we could manage to flip the raft back over!

deschutestrout
03-19-2015, 06:13 AM
Detailed review and photos can be found here http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105821-NUD-Blackbird-Clara-review-and-photos

Ukejenny
03-20-2015, 08:35 AM
Wonderful! Thank you!