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igorthebarbarian
04-09-2016, 01:32 PM
Thanks to a little tax refund help, I got a new Blackbird Clara from HMS. They were great to deal with and are one of the true purveyors of the ukulele. Their set-up is wort any extra little wait.

First impressions are this is an amazing instrument. It's probably more than I should ever spend, myself being a very average player, but oh well what the heck! I think after a couple years into this, I won't be giving up this hobby and the Clara should be with me for life... But I may need to unload some of my other ukes since it's getting a little over-crowded at home now.

The Clara is lovely. It is LOUD as all get-out. I had read reviews and got to hold one briefly at the Kimo class at ASU a few weeks ago. But wow, very loud. It's probably as loud as my banjo ukes.

The notes/ strings are so crisp and clear. It really is a startling difference in tone.

I think I have the UPT tuners, which are really nice and smooth. I have the Misi pickup but haven't plugged it in yet and probably won't use much to be honest. I just bought the only Clara they had in stock since I know they frequently sell out fast.

It's very lightweight. It's amazing that this is made from a resin/linen ekoa material is crazy. Not messing around with humidification requirements was actually a big thing for me, being in Phoenix.

I can see why it gets such glowing reviews here. Definitely recommended.

It is a little slippery to hold though. Has anyone put the grip strips on the back of theirs yet? And if so, did that help? I have them on some of my lesser-$ ones, but just curious before slapping it on the Clara.

Also, I'm going to have to get a strap for it too. Probably Sherrin's Threads. Do those come with the leather tie-on shoelace attachment for the top since the Clara does not have a top button? Is that what most Clara ukers are using?

Thanks!9008890089

Camsuke
04-09-2016, 01:44 PM
Congratulations mate, it looks like part of the family already!

Snargle
04-09-2016, 01:52 PM
Also, I'm going to have to get a strap for it too. Probably Sherrin's Threads. Do those come with the leather tie-on shoelace attachment for the top since the Clara does not have a top button? Is that what most Clara ukers are using?

Congrats! I hope to be able to at least sample one of those some day.

I've got a strap from Sherrin's Threads and yes, they do come with a tie-on attachment. Personally, the strap that I really like now is made by "New Eights." Wonderful soft, smooth cotton, very flexible, attractive, and reasonably priced. I think I got mine from Amazon.

Jim Hanks
04-09-2016, 01:54 PM
Also, I'm going to have to get a strap for it too. Probably Sherrin's Threads. Do those come with the leather tie-on shoelace attachment for the top since the Clara does not have a top button?
Nice! Congrats! Sherrin's does come with a tie on but wouldn't hurt to mention that you want one when you order. I really like the UkeLeash for this application too. You can get it with a button connector for the bottom end.

billten
04-09-2016, 02:05 PM
Yes, i added grip strips onto the back of mine and it helps a lot. I actually used the black no-slip tape from the hardware store you are supposed to put onto porches and decks in the winter and it was great.


It is a little slippery to hold though. Has anyone put the grip strips on the back of theirs yet? And if so, did that help? I have them on some of my lesser-$ ones, but just curious before slapping it on the Clara.

EmmaQ
04-09-2016, 02:18 PM
Congrats on your new Clara; I got mine last year also from HMS. (Not one with a pickup though) I love mine!!! I had a second strap button installed on the neck because that's what I do with all my ukes. I did check with Joe at Blackbird first and he said it would be safe and easy to do.

good_uke_boy
04-09-2016, 02:44 PM
Congratulation! I play mine stripless and strapless, resting on my lap with the neck angled up at 45 degrees. I've only found her hard to hold while playing outside on a pool-side lounge chair or at the beach, or where sitting upright on a chair can't be done. Love mine...

EssexRiver
04-09-2016, 02:54 PM
Congrats! I love the way it looks. Glad to hear all the positive things I've heard about the Clara reaffirmed. I'm excited for you. I think Clara's the perfect uke for Phoenix.

PhilUSAFRet
04-09-2016, 03:32 PM
Congrats. Avoid "slippery" fabrics, especially all synthetics when playing. They can facilitate any uke slipping. Good luck. A Clara has been near the top of my wish list since they came out and I first heard/played one at the Tampa Bay Uke Getaway.

Down Up Dick
04-09-2016, 03:47 PM
Hey, Congrats! I'm sure Claras are a good choice for the Arizona weather.

I like the Uke leash too. I also like and use para-cord for Uke strapes. It works very well and looks good. :old:

Ukulele Eddie
04-09-2016, 03:51 PM
Congrats, Igorthebarbarian. Miss my Clara and hope to replace it someday. I strung it with Aquila Reds and it sounded fantastic. Had tried a lot of other string but those were my favorite on that uke.

Peace Train
04-09-2016, 08:23 PM
Right on, you got one! What a great looking uke! But where's the sound sample? ;) I also fell in love with the Clara at Kimo's event. Congratulations Igor, and happy strummings!!

DownUpDave
04-10-2016, 12:28 AM
Well done and a good choice for your Arizona climate no doubt. Everybody that has owned one always speaks very highly of them and no doubt you will enjoy yours just as much. Have fun with your new baby.

LarryS
04-10-2016, 12:55 AM
Wow nice one. Ive heard about these. I like the fact that the soundhole doubles as a handle!

hollisdwyer
04-10-2016, 05:18 AM
Very intriguing instrument there. I'd love to play one. Congratulations on the new acquisition.

Lori
04-10-2016, 05:51 AM
I agree with you on the great sound of the Clara. I got mine used, and it has a regular strap button. I wouldn't want to install another button on it anywhere, because of it's unique construction. It has a hollow neck and headstock. So a tie-on or strap at the headstock is the way to go. Even though I have a regular button, I use my Uke Leash half strap because it just holds the neck at just the right angle for me. The Uke Leash Button Adapters are available in both normal size button keyhole, and amp sized keyhole.
There are Uke Leash Guitar Style Straps as well, with the option to have a MiSi sized keyhole connection.
Congrats on the great uke!
–Lori

Gillian
04-10-2016, 09:51 AM
I agree with Lori's reason, above, about why not to install a strap button on the neck. I had the pickup accidentally pulled out of my Blackbird when someone tripped on the amp cable. The sound of the little screws zipping out of the carbon fibre is a sound I don't want to hear again. (Blackbird fixed it in no time, much my relief.)

So because of that experience and the thinness of the Ekoa, I wouldn't recommend drilling any more holes in your Clara.

I can recommend the Neotech Ukulele/Mandolin strap. I have them on all my ukes.

Ukejenny
04-10-2016, 10:00 AM
Congratulations! You picked a wonderful instrument - WONDERFUL!!! I love mine and will never part with it. It is my "forever" ukulele. I only need another one strung low G to never have to shop again, but since they are not cheap, that may never happen.

I have the strings that Blackbird put on it and love the sound. It is very strong, intense, and resonant. I love the sustain, the feel of it. I love everything about it!!!! I have a small little strap on mine with a tie on at the headstock. I opted for a passive pickup, so I ordered mine straight from San Francisco. I've loved it ever since!!!

We need a sound sample!!!!

EmmaQ
04-10-2016, 10:59 AM
While I an in no way advocating for others to put in a side strap button on their Clara's, I stand by my earlier post that the hole is completely safe to make and the button to install. I CHECKED FIRST WITH JOE LUTTWAK of Blackbird and I'm pretty darn sure he would've said no if it thought it was a bad idea. I've had my Clara for over a year now and probably played it most days, including a number of public performances where I was standing and using the strap. No hard feelings, just sharing my experience.
I also LOVE my Clara so congrats on getting yours. Currently I have mine strung low g but for a while I played it in high; both tunings sound beautiful on this uke. Like UkeJenny, I'd love to have a 2nd one.

Nickie
04-10-2016, 02:05 PM
Congratulations on your new Clara!

StacyAZ
04-11-2016, 05:18 AM
Congratulations on your Clara! It sounds like you are really impressed and happy with it!

As a fellow Arizonan, I also choose ukuleles that can withstand our dry climate. I have a tenor Fluke that I enjoy (though I find the tenor fretboard a bit awkward at times), but I can't seem to squelch my desire for a Clara. I've never had the opportunity to hold one or hear them played in person, but I am intrigued by their reputation for wonderful sound none-the-less.

If I recall correctly, you have also owned/played a Fluke? Can you describe how the Fluke and Clara compare sound-wise?

Stacy

igorthebarbarian
04-11-2016, 02:21 PM
Hi StacyAZ, Like you, I aim for stable laminates-only now. I had a vintage soprano crack on me. Also I'm too lazy to keep up on my humidifying duties. I think you probably need to do it at least twice-per-week in AZ.

I've never held a Fluke but would like to sometime. The Flea's (2 - one plastic fretboard, one hardwood fretboard) that I had were a little slippery too. I think the Clara might be slippery-er. But I never cared for the neck on the Flea's; I like the Clara's a lot neck better. But other than that, I think they're great instruments and the people who make them are very great too and a pleasure to deal with.

I did order a strap from Sherrin's Threads on Etsy for the Clara. I will do the tie-on leather-piece/shoe-string attachment at the headstock. I am very unhandy with tools and would not trust myself to put in an extra strap button.

As for sound-wise, Clara is definitely louder and fuller/ more distinction on the strings/notes. It really booms and the C resonates a lot. It's definitely pricey but I am now trying to convince myself to go quality over quantity now (haha, as I eyeball their Farallon online). Also, I would like to check out a Famous/Kiwaya Concert laminate but those are impossible to find like a unicorn. I think that might be amazing especially for the price given the concert size.



Congratulations on your Clara! It sounds like you are really impressed and happy with it!

As a fellow Arizonan, I also choose ukuleles that can withstand our dry climate. I have a tenor Fluke that I enjoy (though I find the tenor fretboard a bit awkward at times), but I can't seem to squelch my desire for a Clara. I've never had the opportunity to hold one or hear them played in person, but I am intrigued by their reputation for wonderful sound none-the-less.

If I recall correctly, you have also owned/played a Fluke? Can you describe how the Fluke and Clara compare sound-wise?

Stacy