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ghostrdr
08-06-2019, 05:57 AM
I'm not the best about NUDs. But, I pulled the trigger on a slightly used Blackbird Clara from HMS. Of course FedEx kept it over the weekend in their warehouse, but since it is E-Koa and supposedly impervious to humidity problems and moderate temperature changes, I wasn't too concerned.

I only spent a little time with her yesterday. She is LOUD. I would say, she is louder than my Blackbird Farallon. Almost as if there is a built-in amplifier. It really fills the room. Sound is very similar to the Farallon which surprised me.

I do notice that the scale is shorter and the lack of fretboard dots on the fretboard will take some getting used to. Also played with the Anuenue Air Air pickup. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do as this is my first instrument with a pickup. Looks like two knobs. one is for volume? I don't know what the other is for. I also have no idea how to change the battery when that time comes. I'm going to take her to work today and see if I can find some time to play with her a bit.

I know - pictures or it didn't happen. Cheers!

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Jerryc41
08-06-2019, 07:46 AM
Two beauties! It looks like the Clara is low-G.

Kibes37
08-06-2019, 08:30 AM
Congrats! The Clara is a lil beast!

ghostrdr
08-06-2019, 09:04 AM
Two beauties! It looks like the Clara is low-G.

Thanks Jerryc41 and Kibes 37!

Yes, she came strung with what looks like a Fremont Soloist Low G and Worth Browns. I am still surprised how loud and clear she is.

Nickie
08-06-2019, 10:23 AM
Very nice!
Congrats!

stevejfc
08-06-2019, 10:43 AM
Congrats......I know you will enjoy it.

etudes
08-06-2019, 03:07 PM
I'm not the best about NUDs. But, I pulled the trigger on a slightly used Blackbird Clara from HMS. Of course FedEx kept it over the weekend in their warehouse, but since it is E-Koa and supposedly impervious to humidity problems and moderate temperature changes, I wasn't too concerned.

I only spent a little time with her yesterday. She is LOUD. I would say, she is louder than my Blackbird Farallon. Almost as if there is a built-in amplifier. It really fills the room. Sound is very similar to the Farallon which surprised me.

I do notice that the scale is shorter and the lack of fretboard dots on the fretboard will take some getting used to. Also played with the Anuenue Air Air pickup. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do as this is my first instrument with a pickup. Looks like two knobs. one is for volume? I don't know what the other is for. I also have no idea how to change the battery when that time comes. I'm going to take her to work today and see if I can find some time to play with her a bit.

I know - pictures or it didn't happen. Cheers!

120274120275120276

Congrats on the beautiful Blackbirds. Interesting to hear your impressions of the Clara compared to the Farallon. Just makes me want to try a Clara all the more. I have an aNueNue air pick up and yes one of the knobs is volume and the other controls the mix of mic and pickup. At 0- it's all pickup. Turned up all the way is 50/50 pickup and microphone. I find I prefer the 50/50 setting on my Moonbird.

Bill Sheehan
08-06-2019, 03:54 PM
Hi Ghost, that's a great-looking (and I'm sure great-sounding) instrument! As for the "no dots on the fretboard" factor, I think you can look at that as a "liberating" feature rather than a "limiting" feature, as you'll soon find that your "feel" for where you are on the fretboard will be keener and more confident. Just bear with it and I think you'll agree. Plus, it's nice not to have those dots appearing in "odd" locations when you utilize a capo on either the first or third fret! So, I'd say, embrace that no-dot feature! Congrats and have fun with it!

ghostrdr
08-07-2019, 05:31 AM
Congrats on the beautiful Blackbirds. Interesting to hear your impressions of the Clara compared to the Farallon. Just makes me want to try a Clara all the more. I have an aNueNue air pick up and yes one of the knobs is volume and the other controls the mix of mic and pickup. At 0- it's all pickup. Turned up all the way is 50/50 pickup and microphone. I find I prefer the 50/50 setting on my Moonbird.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. So, I do have a question, what is the difference between pickup and microphone? Is the pickup the part that is under the saddle that is capturing the vibrations from the strings to the saddle? What is the microphone then? Any idea how to change the battery when the time comes?

ghostrdr
08-07-2019, 05:33 AM
Hi Ghost, that's a great-looking (and I'm sure great-sounding) instrument! As for the "no dots on the fretboard" factor, I think you can look at that as a "liberating" feature rather than a "limiting" feature, as you'll soon find that your "feel" for where you are on the fretboard will be keener and more confident. Just bear with it and I think you'll agree. Plus, it's nice not to have those dots appearing in "odd" locations when you utilize a capo on either the first or third fret! So, I'd say, embrace that no-dot feature! Congrats and have fun with it!


I think it will be liberating once I learn to ride without the "training wheels" so to speak. The feel part is a little tricky as I'm alternating between concerts and tenors and I sometimes find myself missing notes because I stretch too far or not far enough depending on if I'm going from tenor to concert or vice versa. Excellent observation about the capo. It certainly has the potential to open up additional possibilities. Thanks for the encouragement.

RafterGirl
08-07-2019, 06:58 AM
My Clara also has side dots only. It didnít take as long to get used to as I thought it would. Mine doesnít have a pickup, but I think I can answer your mic question. There is an under saddle piezo as well as a sound board mic. Some folks like one more the other. The aNueNue pickup gives you both, and allows you to blend them as you like. No idea on the battery.....sorry.

John boy
08-07-2019, 12:57 PM
Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. So, I do have a question, what is the difference between pickup and microphone? Is the pickup the part that is under the saddle that is capturing the vibrations from the strings to the saddle? What is the microphone then? Any idea how to change the battery when the time comes?

The pickup and microphone work in different ways, but both have the same goal, to capture the sound of your uke and send it to a speaker (either in an amp or a sound system). Speaking generally (not specific to ukuleles), microphones have a more natural sound, but can be prone to feedback (screeching) if you turn them up too high or have them near some other loud source of sound. Pickups tend to sound more electronic, not as natural, but are less prone to feedback so generally you can turn them up louder.

Again, that is a general description. I have used both, but not for ukuleles, so hopefully someone else here on UU can provide you with a more ukulele-specific response.

And nice uke! Congrats!

DownUpDave
08-07-2019, 02:06 PM
Congratulations on the Clara and that Farallon is a beauty queen.

“Solorule” has both a Clara and Farallon and I agree the tone is similar and Clara has surprising volume. Enjoy them both for a long time to come.

Bill Sheehan
08-07-2019, 03:02 PM
Hey Rafter, do I understand correctly that the "mic" we're talking about here is actually a disc-like soundboard transducer which adheres to the underside of the top of the uke (inside the soundhole), rather than, say, a little "goose-neck-mounted" mini-mic which suspends inside the body of the instrument?

John boy
08-07-2019, 04:03 PM
According to their website, the under-the-soundboard-thing is a pickup (the MiSi pickup). But perhaps the used model that ghostrdr picked up is configured differently.

DownUpDave
08-08-2019, 01:06 AM
According to their website, the under-the-soundboard-thing is a pickup (the MiSi pickup). But perhaps the used model that ghostrdr picked up is configured differently.

The anuenue air air pick up the OP stated he has installed is a dual source pick up. It has an under saddle piezo element and an internal mic.

ghostrdr
08-08-2019, 08:18 AM
The pickup and microphone work in different ways, but both have the same goal, to capture the sound of your uke and send it to a speaker (either in an amp or a sound system). Speaking generally (not specific to ukuleles), microphones have a more natural sound, but can be prone to feedback (screeching) if you turn them up too high or have them near some other loud source of sound. Pickups tend to sound more electronic, not as natural, but are less prone to feedback so generally you can turn them up louder.

Again, that is a general description. I have used both, but not for ukuleles, so hopefully someone else here on UU can provide you with a more ukulele-specific response.

And nice uke! Congrats!

Thank you! That is very helpful. I'll have to try and look in the sound hole (it's a little off-center and narrow), to see if I can see the microphone. I remember seeing a bunch of wires, but I thought they were all attached to the underside of the saddle.

ghostrdr
08-08-2019, 08:20 AM
The anuenue air air pick up the OP stated he has installed is a dual source pick up. It has an under saddle piezo element and an internal mic.

Guess, I should have read a little further down before responding to John Boy.

Thank you DownUpDave for the compliment. I've never had a pickup before, so it is interesting to figure out how things work.

John boy
08-08-2019, 08:45 AM
Good luck with it! If you have a chance, after you've explored it, post a sound sample for us!

RafterGirl
08-09-2019, 03:57 AM
Copied from the aNueNue website ......

On the Control unit, a high performance Omni-Directional Air Microphone is sitting on the PCB Board. The "purest" microphones in terms of low coloration; they add very little to the original sound. Being pressure-sensitive they can also have a very flat low-frequency response down to 20 Hz or below. The Air Mic adds harmonically rich tone, and pick up the air reflex. Mic level can be adjusted to the fingerstyle percussion on the instrument body.

aNueNue undersaddle (AU) acoustic pickup is design to pick up the top motion of the soundboard. AU pickup use earthquake grade sensor film only 0.6mm thick picks up the most delicate vibration. Plucking of String release energy into Soundboard and the top motion air reflex generates beautiful sound. The dynamic frequency/wave is capture by AU Pickups.

Bill Sheehan
08-09-2019, 04:19 AM
Thanks, Rafter! Sounds like the mic component is actually integrated into the Printed Circuit Board of the control unit; pretty cool!

ghostrdr
08-09-2019, 04:47 AM
That’s pretty cool!

I was looking inside and it looks like the battery compartment is attached to a small Velcro square. I tried to pull it off but then the Velcro attached to the instrument started to pull off so I left it. The back side adhesive to Velcro probably does not adhere too well to the ekoa. I guess i’ll Cross that bridge when i come to it

Those HMS guys did a really nice job keeping everything tidy in there.

John boy
08-09-2019, 05:18 AM
I'd love to hear a sound sample of that, if you ever have a chance, ghostrdr. Sounds like an impressive piece of technology on an impressive uke!

ghostrdr
08-11-2019, 09:05 AM
I'd love to hear a sound sample of that, if you ever have a chance, ghostrdr. Sounds like an impressive piece of technology on an impressive uke!

Ask and ye shall receive!

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?140826-Blackbird-Fight!-Clara-v-Farallon

John boy
08-11-2019, 09:58 AM
Thanks for that. I'm not sure which is the Clara, but they both sounded good (and very similar, to my ear). When you played the single notes I heard more of a difference, with the second one having a slightly fuller sound than the first. But they were both great sounding instruments.