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Kimosabe
04-29-2015, 06:22 PM
For someone who's comfortable with tenor and concert sizes, what's the difference in tone and volume between the Clara and the tenor? Is it the standard difference between a tenor and concert?

I have read that the Clara already has the volume of a tenor.

igorthebarbarian
04-29-2015, 06:43 PM
I would love to get a Blackbird someday - either one would be amazing I'm sure. I would get the Clara Concert because I like the way it looks compared to the black tenor.

Ukulele Eddie
04-29-2015, 07:01 PM
They are completely different animals. I had a Clara (loved it and will get another some day), have played several tenors and helped a buddy buy a used tenor. The Clara sounds closer to a wood instrument in tone. The tenor, in my opinion, has unbelievable clarity and sustain but does not move me like the Clara does. Again, I think it's the tone. I think the tenor sounds better plugged in, which is not something I would do personally (I generally only play for myself).

I would say the Clara is actually louder than the tenor.

Kimosabe
04-29-2015, 07:01 PM
And what would you think if you were only allowed to play it in the dark? The Clara does have an appealing look but then so does the tenor. But, Igor, perhaps you are right.

Kimosabe
04-29-2015, 07:04 PM
They are completely different animals. I had a Clara (loved it and will get another some day), have played several tenors and helped a buddy buy a used tenor. The Clara sounds closer to a wood instrument in tone. The tenor, in my opinion, has unbelievable clarity and sustain but does not move me like the Clara does. Again, I think it's the tone. I think the tenor sounds better plugged in, which is not something I would do personally (I generally only play for myself).

I would say the Clara is actually louder than the tenor.


Very interesting and to the point. I have a great Kanilea K-1 for acoustic and a Pono TE-C for electric. I could really use a nice concert for high g picking.

Anyone else out there have experience with the Clara and the Blackbird tenor?

Gillian
04-29-2015, 07:26 PM
I played both the Clara concert and BTU tenor so here's my two cents.

I opted for the tenor because for only $35.00 more (according to the Blackbird website), you get 14 frets to the body rather than 12, a cutaway, plus it's carbon fibre and IMO, is a cool-looking uke.

I think the Clara sounded more mellow, the BTU had more clear note definition. The Clara sounded very much like my other very nice wood ukes, but I could hear a different harmonic going on inside the tenor. I don't know if it is due to the incredibly thin soundboard or the carbon fibre itself, probably both.

So, the Clara is a lovely instrument, but I was looking for something that sounded really different from what I already have so I chose the BTU.

Andy Chen
04-29-2015, 08:00 PM
Everything Eddie said, plus the Blackbird tenor is indestructible, whereas the Clara is only hardy.

One more thing: Compare the sound sample of the Clara vs Hive Hornet on HMS. They both have that deep, warm tone.

Kimosabe
04-29-2015, 10:20 PM
"Everything Eddie said, plus the Blackbird tenor is indestructible, whereas the Clara is only hardy."

Seems like I'm opting for the Blackbird Tenor because indestructible is very appealing for a traveller, as is clarity for a finger picker using a high g for picking, and considering I have enjoyed and loved my low g Kanilea tenor now for five years and don't want to give it up.

I'm sure the Clara is great but I can handle a tenor fretboard. A concert is a little easier for the pinkie stretches but a little cramped for some chords, for me that is.

Thanks. Any other thoughts?

Andy Chen
04-29-2015, 10:44 PM
If you need access to the higher frets, then the tenor is definitely the way to go. Its unique neck-body joint (not really a joint, cos it's one piece) gives you access all the way up to the last and very comfortably too.

PhilUSAFRet
04-30-2015, 01:07 AM
Based on my limited exposure at the Tampa Bay Getaway in November, regarding overall tone only, nearly everyone preferred the Clara to the Blackbird, including me, despite the tenor's deeper tone. Deeper better for some, not for others. It is possible different strings may change that.

SailingUke
04-30-2015, 04:28 AM
It is all a personal choice. I bought a Clara for looks and tone. My significant other bought a tenor. She prefers the tenor scale. I restrung hers with Living Waters and the tone is very close to the Clara. I still like the looks of the e-koa, but would probably buy a tenor after hearing and playing hers.

SoloRule
04-30-2015, 05:01 AM
Blackbird is on my list of future purchase. I wonder do you still need a set up and how does it work? Can you still sand it down like wood?
I would buy both sizes.

mm stan
04-30-2015, 05:31 AM
Go for the blackbird tenor, much deeper tone..
Why does everyone refer the Clara e koa as a blackbird, I would call the tenor a blackbird to be correct?

Olarte
04-30-2015, 05:51 AM
Stan they are both blackbirds one is the Clara the other is now called BTU

PTOEguy
05-01-2015, 02:23 AM
MacNichol Guitars is the shop where I bought my Clara. They specialize in carbon fiber guitars and ukes and they said the Clara was definitely the loudest Blackbird uke (louder than the tenor) and some were voting for it being louder than any guitar Blackbird makes. I think that's right based on my 1 minute playing the BTU, and to my ear the Clara also has a lot more going on tone wise. My experience was playing a tenor for about a minute and I thought it sounded pretty good - a decent value if you had a spare $1,000. The Clara on the other hand - I played it and promptly sold about half of my ukes to buy it. But, I've also figured out that I'm a concert uke person and I like a loud uke.

Robin Harrison
05-02-2015, 11:26 AM
I'm still trying different makes of string but thus far I find my new tenor Blackbird a quiet 'uke.
I've got mine with a low g.

Ukulele Eddie
05-02-2015, 11:46 AM
I'm still trying different makes of string but thus far I find my new tenor Blackbird a quiet 'uke.
I've got mine with a low g.

Did you get it with the MiSi? If so, just plug it into a 5W amp. Won't be so quiet. ;-) And it actually sounds better plugged in.

hawaii 50
05-02-2015, 01:18 PM
For someone who's comfortable with tenor and concert sizes, what's the difference in tone and volume between the Clara and the tenor? Is it the standard difference between a tenor and concert?

I have read that the Clara already has the volume of a tenor.

hey don't you live on Oahu...not sure if they stock the blackbirds in the shops in Waikiki...but HMS has 3 Blackbirds and 3 Claras at the store.....

dkcrown
05-02-2015, 03:18 PM
What I would like is a travel uke that you don't have to worry about, has the sound like the Blackbirds or the flukes and fleas, but with a traditional shape. In a tenor!

SailingUke
05-02-2015, 08:52 PM
I'm still trying different makes of string but thus far I find my new tenor Blackbird a quiet 'uke.
I've got mine with a low g.

Try a set of Living Waters, they made both the BTU and Clara sing. Even the Blackbird folks were impressed this weekend in Reno.

caver3d
05-03-2015, 08:49 PM
Try a set of Living Waters, they made both the BTU and Clara sing. Even the Blackbird folks were impressed this weekend in Reno.

Do you think the Worth Clears would also be similar to the Living Waters on the BTU and Clara?

Robin Harrison
05-04-2015, 04:09 AM
The Living Water were the 1st ones I tried ( as one of the strings it came with separated immediately). Very restrained sound, I thought.
I did try it yesterday with an amp ( I had the Misi installed) and it sounded really nice on the C, E & A strings but the low g string did not seem to get picked up.
It was an amp/speaker unit for a bass so that might be the problem but I have zero experience of using an amp so I still have to figure if this is fault with the strings, amp, pick-up installation or me.
I don't belong to any 'uke groups so it's a little difficult to try out different instruments but my 10 cents worth is follow the common recommendation to absolutely play one of these 'ukes before buying one.
For a "traveller", you might consider buying a 'ukulele at an eighth or tenth the price of a Blackbird and just replace it if it gets wet, sandy, trodden on etc.

SailingUke
05-04-2015, 04:35 AM
Do you think the Worth Clears would also be similar to the Living Waters on the BTU and Clara?
I have not tried Worth on the Blackbirds, but have used some custom flouro carbons very similar. They are ok as are phd's, but the LW's are my string of choice.

SailingUke
05-05-2015, 04:24 AM
I am going to be at UWC. We will have both a BTU and a Clara for anyone to try.

sonomajazz
05-06-2015, 04:38 AM
Last conversation I had with Aaron at HMS he had some very good advice (opinions) about Blackbirds...maybe give him a call...

blowery
05-06-2015, 04:56 AM
Last conversation I had with Aaron at HMS he had some very good advice about Blackbirds...maybe give him a call...

What was the advice about blackbirds? Would be good information to post here.

warndt
05-07-2015, 08:25 AM
What was the advice about blackbirds? Would be good information to post here.

+1 on the BB advice!

soupking
07-11-2015, 03:48 PM
I have a newer tenor BTU and am baffled by the "quiet" remarks. Mine is loud as hell while at the same time sounding sweet as honey. I'm kinda blown away by it, in fact. Maybe they changed something along the way. I don't know, but for the price this thing is really, really hard to beat. I'm so shocked that I wonder why there isn't more talk of these here.

Andy Chen
07-11-2015, 04:11 PM
Count me a fan of the BTU and the Clara.