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good_uke_boy
04-30-2016, 07:34 AM
Yesterday I received one of Blackbird's new Ekoa tenors, Farallon. I've been a huge fan of Blackbird's concert-scale Clara and was excited to order their new tenor to enable worry-free use in various settings (like playing outdoors, at the beach, while traveling, etc.). I hoped Farallon would have playability and tone at least as nice as Clara's.

So far, Farallon does not disappoint. To me, Farallon's tone has Clara's warmth but is deeper, more resonant, and more precise sounding, probably because of Farallon's longer scale, larger/deeper body, and greater string tension.

One note -- in this post:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?119376-Reno-UkeFest-2016-anybody-taking-Amtrak&p=1838973#post1838973
UU member oregonuke mentioned s/he saw a production Farallon with a "protective finish [that] appears to be a bit rough - sort of an orange peel look/feel". The finish on my Farallon is the same as Clara's -- smooth satin.

I'll add more comments later as time permits, but in the meantime below are links to a sound sample and photos. Both compare Clara and Farallon side by side, which I thought might be of interest to current Clara owners.

Pictures:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6cwfjeqx06affu5/AACNAcBwxfCKK9v65MAGhooka?dl=0

Sound sample:
https://soundcloud.com/user-706114832/blackbirds
Sound sample is unedited and was recorded straight through -- sorry for the background noise and goofs...

vcs700s
04-30-2016, 08:30 AM
Great pics and playing.

Thanks!

DownUpDave
04-30-2016, 08:37 AM
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Your sound sample is going to sell a lot of Farallons. That was "Seriously" beautiful sounding, great job playing as well. If I closed my eyes I could envision a very high priced custom koa ukulele.

Very very bad raging UAS at the moment. Thank you so much and congratulations. First kid on the block is massive fun

Mattyukaholic
04-30-2016, 08:43 AM
They both sound great but I do think the Farallon has a bit more resonance and clarity.

Uke man
04-30-2016, 10:17 AM
Yes the tenor has more warmth and a mellower tone.
The Clara sounds great too. Just a slightly fuller deeper tone on the Farallon to me.

Nice to have both.

Camsuke
04-30-2016, 12:38 PM
Congratulations GUB, there's a beautiful bell like quality to the sound, simply wonderful. Excellent job with the sound samples too, thanks for sharing.

igorthebarbarian
04-30-2016, 01:24 PM
Oh man, now I neeeeeeeeeed one :)
Beautiful- congrats!

oregonuke
04-30-2016, 01:56 PM
Congrats on the new Farallon. Your sound sample does a good job of showcasing the beautiful voice of this ukulele. I was the one that commented on them from the Reno show so glad to hear that Joe opted to go for the same finish as the Clara, which makes sense. I loved everything about the Farallon and hope to have one to be a companion to my Blackbird BTU.

Gillian
04-30-2016, 02:05 PM
Thanks for posting this thread. I own a Blackbird BTU and was curious how the new Farallon and BTU compared. As expected, the Farallon is more mellow to the BTU's being more crisp, at least to my ears. In the world of wood ukes, I guess it would be like comparing mahogany (eKoa) to koa or spruce (carbon fibre).

Congrats on your new Blackbird!

natchez
04-30-2016, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the thread- enjoy your new tenor; it sounds great with your fine playing!

Sharpshin
04-30-2016, 06:21 PM
Impressive! I played a Clara at a shop in Minn. a year a year ago and it did not make me want to buy it, but I keep thinking about them. After listening to your ekoa uses, now I want one! Thanks for pleasure of listening.

mds725
04-30-2016, 10:12 PM
Congratulations on your Blackbird family! I own a Clara and I got to play a Farallon at the Reno Ukulele Festival. They're both sweet instruments.

LarryS
05-01-2016, 12:33 AM
Oh very nice!

Littlegman
05-01-2016, 04:43 AM
Both sound incredible! What types of strings are on the Farallon and what recording device are you using?

good_uke_boy
05-01-2016, 05:16 AM
Both sound incredible! What types of strings are on the Farallon and what recording device are you using?

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I believe Farallon's strings are Oasis warms, which Blackbird lists on its website as the "Recommended" set. The recording device was an Apogee MiC connected to an Apple MacBook Pro; the recording software was Apple QuickTime Player.

PS: Go Leicester!

PTOEguy
05-01-2016, 06:18 AM
What kind of strings do you have on the Clara?

To my ear, the Farallon had an edge in the picked portion, but the Clara blended a little better in the strumming. Playing both do you find one a little more suited to the strumming?

good_uke_boy
05-01-2016, 06:34 AM
What kind of strings do you have on the Clara?

To my ear, the Farallon had an edge in the picked portion, but the Clara blended a little better in the strumming. Playing both do you find one a little more suited to the strumming?

Good questions. The Clara also has Oasis warms for C, E, and A strings, but it has Fremont soloist for the low-G. So far, I favor Farallon both for finger picking and for strumming. When I made the recording, I had the Farallon for less than 24 hours, and I'm much more used to playing the Clara (and concert scale ukes in general). The more I play the Farallon the more I'm able to get out of the instrument.

RichM
05-01-2016, 08:11 AM
I appreciate this update! I had a Clara and loved the tone, but found the shape awkward and ultimately kind of uncomfortable to play. The Farallon's more traditional shape is much more inviting.

Ukejenny
05-01-2016, 09:02 AM
Oh goodness - how wonderful!!!! I would love to get a Farallon for my husband, who plays tenor scale. I love my Clara to the moon and back!

Ukejenny
05-01-2016, 09:10 AM
Your sound samples are wonderful as well!!! Can't go wrong with Blackbird, in my opinion!!!

Ukulele Eddie
05-01-2016, 04:04 PM
Nice playing in the sound samples! Sounds really good. Enjoyed the back-to-back comparisons. As a former Clara owner, I've been planning to get another in due time. The Farallon sounds really great and may edge the Clara on sound alone, but then there is portability, and. Doh! Eenie, meanie, minie, moh! ;-)

Nickie
05-01-2016, 07:03 PM
Congratulations! What a great uke.
3 things:
1. Almost indestructible
2. Sustainable materials
3. Superior sound
These things are going to make more and more people want them. I know I do! Now, when the price comes down to affordable.....

M3Ukulele
05-02-2016, 08:15 AM
I want one. Thank you for post. I'd love to hear a BTU vrs Farallon due to another posted comments about sound. I like spruce tops but also really liked the sound of the Farallon. I pay High g so........... would love to hear more of that. I agree with Nickie.......... those three things are going to push a lot of people to Blackbird plus the design and the sound. I have three solid tops Tenors I now baby with humidifiers and think one of these might just be the ticket. Congratulation on the Ukulele and thanks for posting.

EmmaQ
05-02-2016, 02:31 PM
Heyyyy, I've gotten my Farallon as well and I love it!! Bought my Clara last year and this year the new Farallon. I'm done- 2 perfect ukuleles as far as I'm concerned. Since I have my Clara in low g, I've strung my Farallon in high g with Ken Middleton's Living Water strings. The Farallon has wonderful sustain and tonal quality- it projects well and the tone is rich and beautiful, playability great. I am very very glad I bought one!

good_uke_boy
05-03-2016, 01:49 AM
Heyyyy, I've gotten my Farallon as well and I love it!! Bought my Clara last year and this year the new Farallon. I'm done- 2 perfect ukuleles as far as I'm concerned. Since I have my Clara in low g, I've strung my Farallon in high g with Ken Middleton's Living Water strings. The Farallon has wonderful sustain and tonal quality- it projects well and the tone is rich and beautiful, playability great. I am very very glad I bought one!

Congratulations! I'm enjoying mine more every day. The solid feel of a one-piece neck+body seems much more noticeable on Farallon than on Clara, and I also like Farallon's tiny neck heel, which makes the upper frets a lot more accessible. I'm looking forward to others' reactions to this fun new instrument.

DownUpDave
05-03-2016, 02:02 AM
Heyyyy, I've gotten my Farallon as well and I love it!! Bought my Clara last year and this year the new Farallon. I'm done- 2 perfect ukuleles as far as I'm concerned. Since I have my Clara in low g, I've strung my Farallon in high g with Ken Middleton's Living Water strings. The Farallon has wonderful sustain and tonal quality- it projects well and the tone is rich and beautiful, playability great. I am very very glad I bought one!

You really must do a NUD, they are such wonderful instruments and they are so new. The fact you have yours in high G a sound sample would be a real treat for all of us. Congratulations to both of you for being the first with these unique tenors

Telperion
05-04-2016, 04:52 AM
I appreciate this update! I had a Clara and loved the tone, but found the shape awkward and ultimately kind of uncomfortable to play. The Farallon's more traditional shape is much more inviting.

Completely agree. I liked the Clara for it's tone and playability (great action and easy neck), but the body was awkward and slippery to hold. The new shape looks great.

-Steve

Telperion
05-04-2016, 04:56 AM
Assume this comes with a padded gig bag... if so, does anyone know if this will fit into a standard tenor hard shell case, like an Oahu?

Thanks,

Steve

mm stan
05-04-2016, 10:14 AM
Congratulations and happy strummings :)

good_uke_boy
05-04-2016, 10:24 AM
Assume this comes with a padded gig bag... if so, does anyone know if this will fit into a standard tenor hard shell case, like an Oahu?

Thanks,

Steve

Yes, my Farallon came with a padded (Access) gig bag, and it fits nicely in the Oahu hard shell case that came with another recent tenor purchase.

good_uke_boy
05-04-2016, 10:28 AM
Congratulations and happy strummings :)

On my behalf only, thank you!

EmmaQ
05-04-2016, 11:06 AM
Thanks Good Boy Uke and DownUpDave for welcoming my post about MY Farallon. Sorry I'm a bit late in responding. I've been thinking about the suggested sound sample so I'll try to get one up eventually. Unfortunately, I have a sprained left thumb so I can't play very easily right now. Maybe I'll have a friend play some for you guys and post that. In the meantime, I am still playing a little and falling more in love with this ukulele every day.

Littlegman
05-04-2016, 01:23 PM
In addition to the Apogee MiC connected to an Apple MacBook Pro, in what environment did you record? The tone of both ukes are very clean and articulate; the Farallon with more, "shimmer." Sweet...!

M3Ukulele
05-04-2016, 01:55 PM
EmmaQ would love to hear sound sample. I got am email from Joe showing a Farallon sitting in a Kamaka HSC they had at Blackbird so also nice to know Oahu cases also fit. For me, I got to have a HSC on a instrument of this price and quality even though it's almost indestructible ! (g). I'd also like to hear a BBT back to back with a Farallon. Maybe HMS will do one. This is exciting stuff

good_uke_boy
05-04-2016, 02:32 PM
In addition to the Apogee MiC connected to an Apple MacBook Pro, in what environment did you record? The tone of both ukes are very clean and articulate; the Farallon with more, "shimmer." Sweet...!

The environment was nothing notable. Just a room in a house near Washington, DC.

PS: Leicester won!

skipmiller
05-07-2016, 08:25 AM
I'm getting ready to place an order for a Farallon and wondered how you felt about some of the options

- the soft case that it comes with, any need for the extra Mono case or another hard case option?

- the aluminum fret board markers?

- high vs low G?

Any insight would be appreciated.

EmmaQ
05-07-2016, 10:10 AM
The Farallon is a ukulele that sounds fabulous in BOTH low g and high g. I have mine currently strung in high g for several reasons- I play in a uke group where more of the players use low g and I need a uke that stands out, not just blends in. I also play a lot of Fingerstyle in which much of the music is written for high g. That being said, I have played the Farallon in low g and I LOVE how it sounds- it's full and rich. Same with it in high g too, of course. I do have the Clara and I have it in low g so I'm covered with both tunings with 2 terrific ukes.
The case mine came with is one made by Access. Though it's a soft case, it is well padded and I can't imagine any damage happening to the ukulele when it's in there. However, it's not my favorite soft case. About aluminum dots- I personally love the fretboard without fretboard dots and find the dots on the side perfect to use. No problem whatsoever.Congratulations, by the way, for deciding to order one- you won't be disappointed. It's a great ukulele!

EmmaQ
05-09-2016, 04:42 PM
I have a sound sample below and I wasn't sure if I should add it to this particular post or start another NUD. I ended up doing another NUD but I'm thinking now I should've just done it all on this post- that way folks can read all the comments for low and high g. Anyway, I'm recovering from a sprained left thumb AND, at best, I'm an intermediate player so I decided to ask my stepson/music teacher do make the sound sample instead of me. I apologize for the glare on the fretboard- it's really a beautiful looking as well as beautiful sounding uke.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0HrPNSpj1A

RichM
06-25-2017, 05:42 AM
Nice playing on the sound sample, and I think you've captured the Farallon tone very well: lively, present, and full. I love mine!