In 2002, songwriter Joe Luttwak was in Italy. Having just come off with a job in the design offices at Ferrari, he went sailing aboard Nina, a 43-foot ketch from Naples to Palermo, and he thought of creating a small seaworthy guitar took hold in a imagination honed by coursework in product-design theory in graduate school. What ultimately transpired was a new job title for Joe -chief musical officer- and the creation of the Blackbird Rider Acoustic, a compact steel-string guitar made of carbon fiber. the bord landed at Cruising World of fices last year with Joe's simple request: Play it.
In short order, the instrument passed from one to another sailing musician whom we knew. They were thrilled with the carbon-fiber construction, and thought all pointed out there are cheaper options then Blackbird (it costs $ 1.600), they agree that it produced far better sound than the alternatives. We wouldn't normally offer this much space to a musical instrument, but in the comments that follow, there's as much to be learned about sailing musician as about the Blackbird.
"After hearing good things about the Blackbird's tone" writes Tim Murfy, a CW editor at large, "I'll admit that when I laid eyes on it, my expectations dropped, I owned a taylor 712ce acoustic guitar, and the Blackbird is a instrument perfectly lucking in the shapely bouts of a traditional acoustic guitar.
"Then I strummed a first-position G major chord. It was like an old Pink Panther cartoon, where he's in the Arabian desert and steps inside a tent hardly bigger then himself to find an immense gilded palace full of dancing girls. It didn't seem possible that the body I was looking at could produce that sound I heard. Compared with other so-colled travel guitars -the Martin Backpacker, the Baby Taylor- this is the hand-down the better-sounding guitar."