Blackbird Guitars was formed in 2005 when founders and designers Joe Luttwak and Kyle Wolfe gave-up searching for a compact guitar worth bringing along for the ride. The only 'travel' models available were thin-sounding and fragile. Armed with experience in high tech products, the quest started innocently enough with the tried-and-true design mantra to generate as many concepts as possible and prototype the winners. It helped to have access to the latest advanced manufacturing early in the process, including three-dimensional CAD (computer-aided design), automated manufacturing as well as carbon-fiber composites. The team benefited greatly from the tutelage and encouragement of several Bay Area guitar-making luminaries. After two years of development, the resulting Rider model was developed as a harmonious blend of technology and traditional craftsmanship.
As time went on, Blackbird endeavored to create a material with the strength of carbon fiber, while preserving the visual aesthetic and tonal qualities of the finest tonewood. In 2013, we built our first instruments from Ekoa®, a beautiful, sustainable biocomposite made from the natural linen fibers of the flax plant. Through extensive research and rigorous testing, we developed the Clara and Farallon ukuleles, as well as the Savoy and El Capitan guitars.
As climate change related events increased in frequency and intensity, the need for innovative products and forward-thinking solutions became evident. Blackbird realized the significance and potential for Ekoa® to be used for applications in the construction, sporting goods, automotive, and design industries and in November 2014, Blackbird's sister company, Lingrove, was launched to explore these opportunities.
Today, Blackbird Guitar enjoys a reputation as a builder of the world's finest wood-free, worry free instruments. Part mountain dulcimer and part F1 race car, Blackbird guitars are high performance instruments built for the road in our shop in San Francisco's Mission district.