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Thread: Blackbird Farallon vs. Wood Uke (Moonbird UT200)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    17

    Default Blackbird Farallon vs. Wood Uke (Moonbird UT200)

    Hi Guys,

    i want to safe some money to buy my "dreamukulele".

    Im undecided between the "Blackbird Farallon" and the "Moonbird UT200.

    There are pros and cons of both ukuleles and i hope some owners of this ukuleles (mainly of the Blackbird) can share some wisdom with me.

    I like the tone of both instruments, but the moonbird a bit more.

    The advantage of the farallon is, that i can take it to other places, because of its sturdyness. I also wouldnt have to take care of humidity as much as with the moonbird.

    An often occuring problem on all (at least all wood ukuleles) are "deadspots". As far as i know the theory, they are caused by the vibration of the headstock , maybe caused by inhomogenities in the wood.

    "Blackbirds" are built of "EKOA", have they also deadspots?

    How many heat can a "Backbird" withstand without taking damage?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
    Posts
    565

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    I have a sunburst Fallon with pick up and would not leave it in excessive heat or direct sun for an excessive amount of time. I also have a Blackbird tenor with pick up made of carbon fiber which I believe would do better in direct sun and elements. The Fallon is clear and even unplugged louder than any of my wooden ukes, even the KoAlohas. The carbon fiber has unbelievable clarity and stays in pitch. I also have the Savoy ekoa guitar and it stays true and sounds wonderful - I don’t but it does. I take it camping (before COVID), sit around a campfire with,a group jamming and have never had a problem. All your choices sound good. Good luck with your choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Honoka'a, HI
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    1,766

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    I have a Farallon. Full review here: https://liveukulele.com/reviews/blackbird-farallon/.

    IMO, these are not very comparable ukes and you'd buy them for different purposes.

    If you want a better sound, you're probably better off with the Anuenue. If you want a more sturdy uke, you're probably better off with the Blackbird.

    I love my Farallon, but for $1500 - unless you are crazy rich - it's not something you're going to beat around. I have an Outdoor uke for that.

    I use it as a specific performance quality instrument that's moderately more stable than a wood uke. If I play at a bar, I take the Blackbird. If I play a gig outside, I take the Blackbird. But I'm not taking it to the beach or on a hike because it cost $1450+ WITH an artist discount.

    It's also not my best-sounding uke. I probably won't record with it (though it might be useful for certain textures - time will tell). It's not really that nice to look at. It DOES play absolutely amazing because it's straight as a rail. But does it play that much better than my other ukes? No.

    If not for outside gigs, I wouldn't have gotten mine because I already have a great uke. I think you really need to decide what you want. The Blackbird is a world-class instrument, no question. You will like it. But you also will like the Anuenue. The question is which you'll like more.

    If you can, try them in person.

    EDIT: I have never noticed a deadspot on any of my ukes. The Farallon is no different. I think this is probably very instrument-specific, if it's a problem at all. Again, try it in person.

    EDIT 2: I would never leave my Farallon anywhere I wouldn't leave a wood uke. It costs $1500.
    Last edited by Brad Bordessa; 02-08-2021 at 03:52 PM.
    Brad Bordessa

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
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    2,726

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    I too have wood and ekoa ukuleles. The Farallon is a great instrument, great tone and volume.
    Like Brad, I take mine to outdoor events as well as RV trips where it is exposed to different climates.
    Wood Ukes have a warmth that is missing in the Farallon.
    Keep Strummin'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    6,155

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    Quote Originally Posted by SailingUke View Post
    I too have wood and ekoa ukuleles. The Farallon is a great instrument, great tone and volume.
    Like Brad, I take mine to outdoor events as well as RV trips where it is exposed to different climates.
    Wood Ukes have a warmth that is missing in the Farallon.
    I owned one for about one year then sold it. The sound was bright and sterile, no real warmth, complexity or overtones compared to a similarly priced wooden instrument
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    20

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    I have a Farallon and a KoAloha KTM-25. I love them both, but they're different animals.
    The Blackbird is the one I take when I leave the house. It cuts through really well in an acoustic group setting. It also plays better than any other Uke I've ever tried and is very consistent all over the entire fingerboard. Yes, it's bright and loud, but I disagree with the use of the term, "sterile;" I find it quite musical, albeit not the same as an all-wood Uke. I don't humidify it, but I still treat it with care.
    The KoAloha is the one I play most at home. It's just so sweet sounding and light as a feather.
    I also have a Godin MultiUke that I use for performing. I mainly play guitar in various groups, but throw in a few songs featuring the Uke - audiences seem to be intrigued by it, and I have a lot of fun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Germany
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    2,484

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    I had the concert version of the Moonbird and a Farallon. If the tenor sounds anything like concert, I'd get the Moonbird every time. It was a really fine instrument, with an amazing sound and feel. The Farallon was a disappointment to me, and I sent it back within the 14-day return period. Dave summed up how I felt about the sound too. It didn't sound remarkable to me and I'd still have sent it back if it had cost half the price. Craftsmanship wasn't convincing either - there were glue leftovers as well as flaws in the finish. The Moonbird was excellent, both the craftsmanship and the sound.

    If humidity is an issue, I'd see if Kiwaya offers their laminated model in tenor size. I bought the soprano version of it and loved it. Probably my best soprano, certainly the loudest. It wasn't cheap, but cheaper than the "e-koa" instruments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
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    I have a great sounding Farallon, with a side port. I also had an Anuenue Light Bird Tenor. The Farallon has a BIG voice and I dont worry about humidity. While it sounds good, I agree with most of other folks. I might choose an Anuenue Moonbird over the Farallon for a clear chime like treble tone. The Farallon is a big warm tone, great in lower tunings. I would choose the Farallon for fat warm bluesy sound. Neither had dead spots or intonation problems. So your choice may depend on tuning and music preferences.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

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