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jluttwak
06-19-2014, 06:37 AM
Hi UUers!

Our dealer MacNichol is sending a Clara Ukulele (pure acoustic - no pickup) on a Road Trip and I wanted to make sure you folks knew about it. Total cost is $35 and includes shipping to and from your house, as well as a new set of strings for once it arrives. Please note that this offer is valid only for shipping addresses to the continental US.

You will have the demo ukulele for one week. Please visit the below link and read the terms and pay the fee.

If you have not participated in a Road Trip before, you must use a PayPal account with a verified physical mailing address.

Blackbird Clara Ukulele Road Trip (http://macnichol.com/forum-post/7486)

After you sign up, we will put together a schedule and send to you via e-mail with an approximate arrival date. Soon after you receive the ukulele from FedEx, we'll send an email link to a FedEx label for you to print and ship to the next person.68048

Thanks for reading,
Joe

Ukejenny
06-19-2014, 06:41 AM
Wow, this is great. GREAT!!! I really want to try one. Actually, I really want to buy one, but I should try one first, right? Thank you so much for the good information!

jluttwak
06-19-2014, 07:16 AM
The roadtrip concept is a really great way to get to know an instrument for a week and make sure it is a good fit. I look forward to hearing what you think!

katysax
06-19-2014, 08:10 AM
I signed up. I actually ordered one to buy at one point and cancelled the order. This will be a chance to see it in person.

actadh
06-19-2014, 08:34 AM
I signed up as well. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it out. Thank you for the promotion.

peaceweaver3
06-19-2014, 08:44 AM
Oh dear... I wants to play one... But that's a lot of responsibility for what I consider an expensive instrument, there are other household members, pets and weird stuff to factor in there... A great concept for sure, and what an opportunity!

How could you insure the Clara safe in your keeping? Insurance of some kind? But for a week? No idea how that would be done.

DownUpDave
06-19-2014, 08:52 AM
Oh dear... I wants to play one... But that's a lot of responsibility for what I consider an expensive instrument, there are other household members, pets and weird stuff to factor in there... A great concept for sure, and what an opportunity!

How could you insure the Clara safe in your keeping? Insurance of some kind? But for a week? No idea how that would be done.

No one else is sweating those details, just do it Sounds like you really want to try it but might be a fraid you would fall in love with it ;)

actadh
06-19-2014, 09:56 AM
I have to admit that I had images of a crushed ukulele going through my mind before I clicked that Paypal button. But, if I am going to try out one, I would rather try one built of carbon fiber. And, my other ukuleles have withstood my care.

We do this on my kick scooter forum on occasion. I have tried out a couple of fairly expensive scooters and ended up with one I probably would never would have had I not tried it out first.

Doc_J
06-19-2014, 03:25 PM
Hi UUers!

Our dealer MacNichol is sending a Clara Ukulele (pure acoustic - no pickup) on a Road Trip and I wanted to make sure you folks knew about it. Total cost is $35 and includes shipping to and from your house, as well as a new set of strings for once it arrives. Please note that this offer is valid only for shipping addresses to the continental US.

You will have the demo ukulele for one week. Please visit the below link and read the terms and pay the fee.

If you have not participated in a Road Trip before, you must use a PayPal account with a verified physical mailing address.

Blackbird Clara Ukulele Road Trip (http://macnichol.com/forum-post/7486)

After you sign up, we will put together a schedule and send to you via e-mail with an approximate arrival date. Soon after you receive the ukulele from FedEx, we'll send an email link to a FedEx label for you to print and ship to the next person.68048

Thanks for reading,
Joe

Thanks. This is great opportunity to try out a Black Bird Clara. Excellent idea.

good_uke_boy
06-20-2014, 03:36 AM
Oh dear... I wants to play one... But that's a lot of responsibility for what I consider an expensive instrument, there are other household members, pets and weird stuff to factor in there... A great concept for sure, and what an opportunity!

How could you insure the Clara safe in your keeping? Insurance of some kind? But for a week? No idea how that would be done.

I've owned a Clara since last December. It's very sturdy. It's made entirely of synthetic materials. The fretboard is made of Richlite; the body is Ekoa. The neck and body are one piece. The finish is satin. Personally, I wouldn't worry about keeping a Clara safe from wear or scuff marks. And by the way, it plays and sounds great. Projection is unbelievable.

billten
06-20-2014, 04:03 PM
Would you be willing to ship to Canada or is this roadtrip a CONUS deal? Love to try it...
Bill

brUKEman
06-20-2014, 05:06 PM
Sounds like a fun deal. I'm willing to give it a shot and while I have the uke I hope to do a little presentation for my Ukulele meetup group.

M3Ukulele
06-20-2014, 06:39 PM
Second to the idea of shipping to Canada. I would gladly pay to be included and get to try a Clara. I sent Joe a PM suggesting same and asking if there was a dealer in Canada that could perhaps facilitate a Canadian Road show. Food for thought but I 'd be in……. if possible.

PereBourik
06-20-2014, 06:55 PM
Just a friendly warning from someone possessed by a Clara. If you play this ukulele you will not rest until you have one of your own.

localmana
06-20-2014, 07:08 PM
"almost indestructible" aside, I had a chance to play this is an open area during a ukulele festival...it sounded great!!
Oh, I mean...guitarish sounding.

Ukulele Eddie
06-20-2014, 07:11 PM
Second to the idea of shipping to Canada. I would gladly pay to be included and get to try a Clara. I sent Joe a PM suggesting same and asking if there was a dealer in Canada that could perhaps facilitate a Canadian Road show. Food for thought but I 'd be in……. if possible.

If Joe won't send it up north, most dealers have a 24 hour inspection period so you're only risk is shipping. True, it's a shorter test drive but as Peter suggests, you will most likely be smitten by the lovely Clara! She has many of us in her spell. Plus, you'll likely get to try it sooner.

bborzell
06-20-2014, 08:13 PM
I played the concert in Reno. Blackbird folks said a tenor is right around the corner. Is the road trip uke a concert or tenor? I signed up in either case.

Ukulele Eddie
06-21-2014, 06:19 AM
I played the concert in Reno. Blackbird folks said a tenor is right around the corner. Is the road trip uke a concert or tenor? I signed up in either case.

It's a Clara - which is a concert.

Ukejenny
06-21-2014, 06:25 AM
Just a friendly warning from someone possessed by a Clara. If you play this ukulele you will not rest until you have one of your own.

I already want one and think it will be my forever ukulele. I need something wonderful and indestructible... I am trying to talk my hubby into a road trip to Atlanta to try one at Uke Republic... and then after a little arm twisting, perhaps a purchase.

MacNichol
06-21-2014, 09:07 AM
Would you be willing to ship to Canada or is this roadtrip a CONUS deal? Love to try it...
Bill

Bill,

Sorry, but no. I've looked into it in the past, but getting the ukulele through Customs and back would be quite difficult and time-consuming, and the shipping costs would be higher. You may want to check with Blackbird to see whether they have any dealers in Canada.

MacNichol
06-21-2014, 09:10 AM
Would you be willing to ship to Canada or is this roadtrip a CONUS deal? Love to try it...
Bill


Are you near Calagary? Blackbird has a dealer there - www.bignotemusic.net

billten
06-21-2014, 11:28 AM
OK I do understand the problem, thought i'd ask anyways. Thanks for the reply.
Bill


Bill,

Sorry, but no. I've looked into it in the past, but getting the ukulele through Customs and back would be quite difficult and time-consuming, and the shipping costs would be higher. You may want to check with Blackbird to see whether they have any dealers in Canada.

Andy Chen
06-21-2014, 03:26 PM
Here's another Clara owner giving a shout out to a fine, fine concert ukulele. Its playability, richness of tone, volume and lightweight construction are second to none that I've played.

Very UAS-worthy.

peaceweaver3
06-21-2014, 04:40 PM
No one else is sweating those details, just do it Sounds like you really want to try it but might be a fraid you would fall in love with it ;)

Afraid indeed, very afraid! Still no one has answered the insurance question. I know that if it were my uke, I wouldn't worry about it. But it has to go all over the place and, I guess?, return to the dealer at some point.

And still the signup button looms before me... :D

Andy Chen
06-21-2014, 04:58 PM
Afraid indeed, very afraid! Still no one has answered the insurance question. I know that if it were my uke, I wouldn't worry about it. But it has to go all over the place and, I guess?, return to the dealer at some point.

And still the signup button looms before me... :D

Not to worry: MacNichol does this all the time with the carbon fibre models, which are very hardy. Unless you set out to destroy it or it meets with a major accident, the Clara should do just fine.

Joe of Blackbird says the one-piece neck and body component is "super strong". Only the top needs a little care.

PereBourik
06-21-2014, 05:32 PM
I like that I can hold it up to the sun and see light and shadow through it.

SailQwest
06-21-2014, 06:34 PM
I've long been lusting after a Clara. My biggest fear with test driving one is that I'll decide I have to have one.

Sly mongoose dem. ;)

Andy Chen
06-21-2014, 07:26 PM
I've long been lusting after a Clara. My biggest fear with test driving one is that I'll decide I have to have one.

Sly mongoose dem. ;)

Your fear is fully justified. Don't sign for this road trip :)

PereBourik
06-22-2014, 01:38 AM
I've long been lusting after a Clara. My biggest fear with test driving one is that I'll decide I have to have one.

Sly mongoose dem. ;)

You know you want it. Yes, if you try it you'll buy it, or live a life of desperate longing.

It is hard for me to say just how good I think Clara is. Tone, intonation, set up, volume, it's all the real deal, an ukulele for all seasons.

MacNichol
06-23-2014, 05:56 PM
Afraid indeed, very afraid! Still no one has answered the insurance question. I know that if it were my uke, I wouldn't worry about it. But it has to go all over the place and, I guess?, return to the dealer at some point.

Excellent question.

I don't know of any way that you could get insurance for just one week. Your homeowner's insurance might cover theft if it were stolen from your home. The same might be true of your car insurance.

As such, you're taking a risk in that the possibility of damage, loss, or theft does exist. However, here is some information on on our Road Trips. We've done many road trips with carbon fiber guitars, and one with Blackbird's Tenor ukulele as well. We've also done some with wooden instruments. To date, we've had about 400 weeklong demos at people's homes through the various road trips we've done. We've never had any problems with loss or theft. As far as damage goes, it's unlikely with a composite material ukulele, and a customer has yet had to pay an additional fee because of damage. The instruments come back to us in good condition with perhaps a few scratches. You can see the condition of the Blackbird Lucky 13 road trip model we did a short time ago at the following link: Blackbird Lucky 13 Demo Model (http://macnichol.com/forum-post/7246)

Our agreement wording seems a bit strict, but we recognize that small scratches and dings are likely to occur when people play instruments, although many of the instruments come back to us looking new.

The only time we've had damage beyond scratches and dings was with a carbon fiber guitar builder (not Blackbird) that had been using ebony fretboards, and the fretboards cracked. No customers were held liable for this. The guitars came back to our store and we repaired the fretboards. The builder no longer uses ebony, and now uses a material impervious to climate changes.

It's unlikely that anything would happen, but if you're not comfortable having the ukulele with you for a week at your home, that's understandable. We're located in Salt Lake City, so if you wanted to take a ski vacation this winter, then please stop by our store. You could also visit another Blackbird dealer's store, or visit Blackbird themselves to demo a Clara.

MacNichol
06-23-2014, 05:57 PM
Duplicate post.

MacNichol
06-24-2014, 01:46 AM
Also, heat and humidity (or lack of) are no problem for the Clara. I was in Zion National Park yesterday and brought the Road Trip demo model with me.

68159

MacNichol
06-25-2014, 07:20 AM
Registration ends today at 5 pm Mountain Time. We'll get the schedule sent via email, and will start the road trip in a few days.

Doc_J
07-01-2014, 04:38 PM
Looks like the Road Trip started today. I'd love to hear what you all think about the Clara. My slot on the schedule is late September.

SailQwest
07-01-2014, 04:51 PM
Looks like the Road Trip started today. I'd love to hear what you all think about the Clara. My slot on the schedule is late September.

I'm after you in the line-up. Very excited.

Andy Chen
07-01-2014, 04:59 PM
I would like very much to hear what all of you think of it.

PhilUSAFRet
07-06-2014, 11:33 AM
Hindsight is wonderful.....would'a, could'a, should'a!

Teek
07-06-2014, 12:18 PM
I hope to see it somewhere in December, which may be hectic but gives me time to save up funds because I am thinking I will want to have one. It could be what I have been looking for to replace and consolidate my concerts and sopranos.

PhilUSAFRet
07-06-2014, 03:06 PM
I'm hoping at least one of two dealers that carry them will have one at the Tampa Bay Uke Club Ukulele Getaway in November.

justinlcecil
07-06-2014, 04:49 PM
I believe I have a slot for August. Can't wait to give it a shot. I wish we had more good uke dealers in Kentucky.

bborzell
07-06-2014, 04:57 PM
Being on the left coast, I have a late slot. Doubtful that I would follow up the visit with a buy as I will hold out for a tenor version. Still looking forward to the week long house guest.

actadh
07-06-2014, 05:23 PM
I believe I have a slot for August. Can't wait to give it a shot. I wish we had more good uke dealers in Kentucky.

I should be just before you, as it goes to Kentucky after me. I am slated to receive it during my in-service week before school starts. That is good, because I will be out of town the previous week. But, it will be really hard to sit through all the required training and not give in to the temptation to sneak home and play.

actadh
07-23-2014, 08:50 AM
Here's another Clara owner giving a shout out to a fine, fine concert ukulele. Its playability, richness of tone, volume and lightweight construction are second to none that I've played.

Very UAS-worthy.

Andy Chen -Do you have your Clara set up with low G or high G?

And, does anyone know which set up the Roadtrip Clara will use?

PereBourik
07-23-2014, 08:57 AM
Clara ships low G unless the buyer specs otherwise.

There are other options which don't appear on the Blackbird site. I was able to have Gotoh UPT tuners installed.

hawaii 50
07-23-2014, 08:58 AM
Andy Chen -Do you have your Clara set up with low G or high G?

And, does anyone know which set up the Roadtrip Clara will use?

I have not seen a Clara with a high G yet...from the factory...
I saw maybe 6 since Feb.....

kvehe
07-23-2014, 09:00 AM
It's at my house right now. If no one has responded definitively by the time I get home, I'll let you know.

actadh
07-23-2014, 09:08 AM
Thanks - I knew high G was an option from some sites. I just wasn't sure which way the Roadtrip version would be sent out.

Low G will be new to me, so that is another nice thing to try out along with the ukulele itself.

kvehe
07-23-2014, 01:25 PM
Roadtrip Clara is a high G.

Andy Chen
07-23-2014, 02:51 PM
Yes, it's shipped from factory with wound low G. I changed mine to Fluoro low G.

actadh
07-23-2014, 04:52 PM
Roadtrip Clara is a high G.

Thanks, Kathryn & Andy.

good_uke_boy
07-24-2014, 01:43 AM
The Roadtrip Clara started its trek set up in low G. The first recipient changed it to high G.
http://macnichol.com/forum-post/7486

ukeeku
07-24-2014, 02:00 AM
Just a friendly warning from someone possessed by a Clara. If you play this ukulele you will not rest until you have one of your own.

I just reviewed one. I agree.

kvehe
07-24-2014, 02:23 AM
To each his own....I certainly respect the opinions of all the happy owners, but it just isn't my cup of tea, soundwise. Fortunately we have a wide variety of instruments available so we can all be happy ukers together.

Edit 4:15 pm CDT 07/26/14 - see post # 59.

hawaii 50
07-24-2014, 06:18 AM
To each his own....I certainly respect the opinions of all the happy owners, but it just isn't my cup of tea, soundwise. Fortunately we have a wide variety of instruments available so we can all be happy ukers together.

now that I read that it was changed to high G....I understand what you are saying...

I am pretty sure the Clara was designed to be played with a low G....as all the Clara's I have seen were strung up Low G....

hopefully someone will change it back....as the uke is best when you have a deep rich tone to it....IMO

kvehe
07-24-2014, 06:26 AM
I can most likely do that tonight, depending on what I find in my bag of miscellaneous strings - although I'm not sure I want to, hah hah, if it's going to change my mind. I thought about that yesterday, but it seemed to me that my issue was not just with one string. We'll see.

PereBourik
07-24-2014, 06:31 AM
Clara isn't for everybody. When mine came I swapped out the Oasis GPX strings for Fremont Blacklines and high G. The Oasis strings make Clara just too bright to my ear. Fremonts are better but I'd like to make her warmer still. Next set will probably be an all-flouro Low G set.

Thanks for giving the Clara a try.

hawaii 50
07-24-2014, 06:36 AM
I can most likely do that tonight, depending on what I find in my bag of miscellaneous strings - although I'm not sure I want to, hah hah, if it's going to change my mind. I thought about that yesterday, but it seemed to me that my issue was not just with one string. We'll see.

Hi Kathryn

all I know is the Clara is very popular...HMS sold three this weekend and all had a low G on it...
I like the tone but did buy one cause like you I have many ukes with same deep rich tone...which is quite rare..

but since the people buying them are usually travelers(tourist) etc....the idea that you can leave in your car when hot carry it in the rain take to the beach with no worries makes too much sense to them then, the great tone is what sells them on it...

but like you say it could not be your cup of tea...:)

my 2 cents

peaceweaver3
07-24-2014, 08:44 AM
Hindsight is wonderful.....would'a, could'a, should'a!

I'm with you, Phil. On the other hand, it would just be a demo for me, as I know I wouldn't buy a Clara. The regular Blackbird tenor? Maybe, but I just missed a good deal on one, so bye bye blackbird.

Hope those of you with slots are enjoying the house guest!

kvehe
07-26-2014, 11:14 AM
Hey, all - visit the Clara review that stevepetergal posted in the review section if you haven't already done so. Read the whole thread. I just put on a set of Oasis GPX low G strings and have completely reversed my position on this wonderful instrument. I am smitten.

Doc_J
08-26-2014, 06:53 PM
Any road trip updates?

Ukulele Eddie
08-26-2014, 07:37 PM
Clara isn't for everybody. When mine came I swapped out the Oasis GPX strings for Fremont Blacklines and high G. The Oasis strings make Clara just too bright to my ear. Fremonts are better but I'd like to make her warmer still. Next set will probably be an all-flouro Low G set.

Thanks for giving the Clara a try.

I'd be curious what you think of the Aquila Reds. They sound fantastic to me on the Clara. And Joe told me that several people at Blackbird commented the same when they heard one strung with Reds.

MacNichol
08-27-2014, 06:52 AM
Any road trip updates?

The road trip model was sent back to Blackbird to be restrung and checked out. It's now back on the road, but we're off schedule by several weeks. Sorry for the delay.

brUKEman
09-16-2014, 06:49 PM
Anyone know the approximate location of the Clara now. I have not seen any recent entries or reviews of it and I am scheduled to receive it in October.

Doc_J
09-17-2014, 01:43 AM
Anyone know the approximate location of the Clara now. I have not seen any recent entries or reviews of it and I am scheduled to receive it in October.

Last email update 8/27 indicates it should be in Kentucky, and soon to be in Illinois. Although the schedule has some error.

MacNichol
09-18-2014, 06:31 AM
Anyone know the approximate location of the Clara now. I have not seen any recent entries or reviews of it and I am scheduled to receive it in October.

Heading to New Jersey soon and currently a bit ahead of schedule according to the new schedule. Did you receive the updated schedule from about three weeks ago? If not, please contact me and I will send to you. Thank You.

WestPhillyUke
09-26-2014, 04:39 PM
Is it too late to get on board? Or is it making any stops near Philadelphia, PA? I would really love to check it out!

John

Doc_J
10-20-2014, 01:33 PM
The Road Trip Clara will be leaving Atlanta and heading to New Mexico tomorrow!

SailQwest
10-20-2014, 01:37 PM
The Road Trip Clara will be leaving Atlanta and heading to New Mexico tomorrow!

It should be interesting.

I'm very disappointed about the low G. I have absolutely no interest in playing a low G ukulele.

PereBourik
10-20-2014, 03:24 PM
It should be interesting.

I'm very disappointed about the low G. I have absolutely no interest in playing a low G ukulele.

No worries Kim. Slap a high G on it and enjoy. Just put the low G back on before you send it on. I keep mine strung high G.

SailQwest
10-20-2014, 04:42 PM
No worries Kim. Slap a high G on it and enjoy. Just put the low G back on before you send it on. I keep mine strung high G.

I've been told that we're not supposed to change the strings. I'm very unhappy about that.

PereBourik
10-20-2014, 05:04 PM
I've been told that we're not supposed to change the strings. I'm very unhappy about that.

Well then come over and play mine.

I play low G for my lessons with Sarah but prefer high G. When I demoed a Clara they had it low G and the balance was great. But I haven't found the right strings for that.

bborzell
12-07-2014, 05:47 AM
I guess I mixed up my Clara threads and posted a sound clip an initial impression of the Road Trip Clara in the Review forum.

Here is the sound clip

https://soundcloud.com/bborzell/blackbird-clara-sound-test

bborzell
12-07-2014, 05:54 AM
Trying to keep the integrity of the Road Trip comments thread so I copied this from the "Review" forum where I previously posted it. Sorry for my confusion.

Initial impressions after an hour or so of playing...

Not sure if my sound clip does the Clara justice. I decided to do a quick Garageband thing on my iPad and then realized that I had never opened Garageband on the iPad. Had to search to find a "clean" or acoustic amp model and was not satisfied that my choice was an accurate representation of the Clara's tone.

As for the instrument itself, I am very impressed on several counts. The basic sound production, with the combination of the composite layup and the hollow neck is brilliantly executed. In addition, the use of the Ekoa material clearly tames the carbon fiber tone that I have always perceived as a bit on the brittle side. The neck plays very friendly up to about the 10th fret where the real estate starts getting crowded for my large glove sized hands. Chords in that region that I can easily play on my tenors require a bit of a slow down and more deliberate finger placement. Obviously, this is a function of scale length vs. the tenors, but it does affect my overall playing experience.

Currently, the tone is more than acceptable and the volume is quite more than adequate. In fact, the volume is considerable bordering on the phrase usually reserved for loud mandolins; "this thing is a cannon". I don't know which strings came to me on the Clara, but the low G boominess that some have mentioned, while present to some degree, is not as much as an issue as I had begun to think it might be. I am thinking on cutting down my last set of Living Waters (low G) it order to experiment a bit with reducing the low G presence a bit more. At the moment, the "lower case" boom is only noticible with single notes and I can control that easily by concentrating on my thumb attack. Still, I am of the opinion that the right low G string will render the boom comments moot. Might have to sacrifice the tenor Living Waters to find out, though.

There is also an overall relaxing sense that accompanies playing this instrument. I don't know how many homes this thing has visited, but my guess is that despite the care exercised by those who came before me, a wood instrument having made this journey would show signs of wear, bumps or bruises. The Clara looks like it is brand spanking new. I really like the comfort of knowing that this thing is not likely to lose some of its esthetic appeal due to a collision caused by a galloping cat.

When I played a Clara for a few minutes during the last Reno Uke festival, I was somewhat mildly interested primarily because it was not of the scale length that I prefer. I still harbor some of that thought, but if it became clear to me that Blackbird had decided to keep this the Ekoa design limited to the Concert scale, I might well decide that the convenience and portability of the current size is OK with me. In my heart, I would still like to see an Ekoa tenor, though.

Overall, this uke is a clear winner.