San Francisco- Blackbird, acoustic instrument manufacturer launches ‘El Capitan’ made of new, high performance Ekoa and tuned for vintage tone. Along with its little sibling, Clara ukulele, these ecological, wood-free instruments are the first made with the revolutionary construction.
From a distance El Capitan looks like a 100 year old instrument, but upon closer inspection it's actually made out of a plant fiber material Blackbird developed called Ekoa. It is a truly eco-friendly construction that offers the stability of carbon fiber only with a vintage sound, look and feel. "Blackbird has spent the better part of a decade developing small, travel-friendly, carbon-fiber instruments with world class tone," said Joe Luttwak, Blackbird's chief musical officer. "With the El Capitan guitar and Clara ukulele, musicians get what was previously unobtainable -- the experience of a premium vintage old-growth wood instrument in a lightweight, durable, and sustainable package."
From its patented hollow-neck design to its high-tech Ekoa eco-fabric and resin construction, El Capitan's every detail is engineered to generate the acoustic quality and volume of an even larger instrument.
El Capitan is a game-changing instrument, delivering unmatched performance and sustainability, while transcending our reliance of ever-diminishing old growth wood stocks. El Capitan will be available April/May 2014 (Blackbird Clara ukulele is already shipping).
Founded in 2005, Blackbird has built a loyal global following crafting uncommonly resonant and resilient Ekoa and carbon fiber composite acoustic guitars and ukuleles. Designed for the most demanding musicians, these performance-grade, travel-ready instruments have weathered everything from packed concert halls to the brutal Antarctic winter. Building on this success, Blackbird dedicated several years of research and development to incorporating resonant eco-materials into advanced composite construction. The result of this effort is Ekoa -- a unique, plant-based tone material. Sustainable and renewable, lighter than carbon fiber, and extraordinarily strong, Ekoa combines the tone of vintage wood with superior responsiveness, stability and strength.
Ekoa is produced in partnership with Lingrove, a distributor of natural high performance materials. It offers high performance with exceptional strength, dampening, resilience and even lighter weight than carbon fiber. Like all composite materials, Ekoa is made up of fiber reinforcement fabric in resin matrix, but one that is worker and planet-friendly. The plant-based fabrics and biobased resins have a beautiful designer material quality, which does not always require finishing along with distinct performance advantages over other composites. The Clara ukulele, is the debut application of Ekoa which is suitable for numerous other applications from sports equipment to furniture.