This is the answer to question 2.
These carefully conceived and built instruments are easy playing, with better tone and reassuring resiliency- great attributes regardless of experience level. They feature master luthier quality fretwork, set-up and ergonomic design for easy playability. The sustain, clarity and evenness of our engineered composite tone materials and hollow uni-body design translates to superior plugged in experience. All of our models, are suitable for performance and studio work.
This is the answer to question 2.
This is the answer to question 3.
Standard action is comfortable and easy-playing for most players, in most styles including fingerpicking and strumming. The string action as low enough make you want to play, but not so low as to lessen the full sound from chords or create buzz when you dig in and strum a bit harder. We can accommodate specific action requests when practical. Low action is usually well suited for lighter touch playing.
The Nylon model was designed for use specifically with nylon strings, with the bracing and hardware specifically tailored to nylon stringing. And the steel string is set up and designed for steel strings and the bracing and tuners are designed to accommodate the higher tension of steel strings.
We have a limited lifetime warranty. To read our warranty statement, click here. If you buy direct, you can try out the instrument for three weeks and return it if you are not satisfied for a full refund.
We all hate the notion of putting our precious guitars under the plane so we designed the Rider to get on as a carry-on. While no one has ever had a reported problem traveling with a Blackbird Rider on a plane, these are some useful best practices we’ve gathered to keep it that way. They are just precautions that will help you be safe rather than sorry, and likely useful for anyone who travels by air with a guitar even a wood one*.
*Other guitar airline travel considerations
Email us with any other tips at info[@]blackbirdguitar.com
Because the carbon fiber hollow neck is super stable and stiff none is needed. In addition to the already stiff and stable neck, there is a static truss 'tube' running the length of the fretboard that tie into the top bracing. Finally, the composite fretboard is a very stiff and stable. This layered construction provides redundant stability.
Humidity changes wreck nice wooden guitars. This is a non-issue with a Blackbird. If you could play in a tropical rain storm and be instantly teleported to a desert, the instrument would be fine (you'll need new strings and maybe tuners). These guitars do not need to be babied because carbon fiber has several times the impact strength of wood. The finish is more durable and scratch resistant than a conventional guitar finish so keep it out of the case and around the house care-free. You will want your instrument in its gig bag when bush-whacking as it is not scratch-proof. Blackbirds endure heat better than wood guitars, but it is best that you treat your instrument more-or-less as you would yourself. So sustained temps of 150f (65c) and above are not ideal- a temp that can be reached in a hot car in very hot conditions. In these cases, keep the guitar out of direct sun, in its case and detuned. Wait until the instrument cools down until you tune it back up. These are precautions and if the temp does not exceed 120f (50c) there will be no problem. Cold temps are never a problem afterall our guitars have been ice-diving in Antarctica!
Hollow neck/uni-body carbon fiber construction is the highest performance way to make instruments for the greatest responsiveness. Some models may be rather compact but feature uncommonly beautiful and rich sound-quality that is exceptional for its size, and thus a category all its own. We use the highest quality composite materials because premium cost translates into better sound and greater resiliency. The handcraft process is as laborious as it is expensive and our San Francisco-made instruments are built at the highest level of precision.
Folks buy high performance laptops, bikes, and cameras to enhance their lives so players should have the same option available to them. Exceptional durability means freedom from the tyranny of worry that comes with travelling with a wooden countertop and so many customers play their Blackbirds more as a result. The bomb-proof and beautiful instrument ready to ride with you anywhere.
The short answer is the high bar we set for tone and playability. Our models all share a rich and deeply satisfying acoustic tone with remarkable frequency range, response and dynamics. Blackbird guitars and ukueleles are instruments for all occasions including the road.
Here is the long list of how we get a big sound from a small body:
The main benefit of Blackbird's hollow body, neck and head design is the entire guitar becomes the sound box contributing to its loud and full-bodied tone, greater sustain and wonderful eveness througout the fretboard. Secondary benefits are less weight and physical balance (not neck-heavy)- a problem with conventional guitars.
It is standard practise for players to have their instrument 'set-up' post-purchase so it better suits their playing style, techinique, string height preferences and in some cases tone. In some cases, a bit of fretwork may be required as well as tweaking the nut, saddle, strings, and bridge pins. Of course hollow neck, unibody carbon fiber construction is a different sort of construction from conventional fare but most quality instrument repair shops can accomodate many of your set-up needs even though we don't have a truss rod in most of our models. Blackbird also offers set-up and repair services for clients.
We can ship via FedEx, United States Postal Service and other carriers. Wherever the instrument needs to be, we'll get it there-including Antarctica (seriously). We suggest going through your local dealer where applicable.
A 20% deposit is required to start a build with the remainder due upon completion. Instruments that require a great deal of custom work require a 50% deposit.
We accept deposits directly on our site via most major credits cards as well as PayPal.
Blackbird guitars are primarily made of carbon fiber along with a bit of kevlar. This type of construction is similar to the structural skin of advanced planes, bikes, race cars and even fishing rods. We use carbon fiber because it sounds great, is bomb-proof and allows us to break out of the two-dimensional constraints of designing out of wood as well as being the only material stiff enough for the hollow neck construction.
We have also introduced a new material called Ekoa® which is being used in Clara, our newest concert Ukulele. It offers high performance with exceptional strength, dampening, resilience and even lighter weight than carbon fiber. Ekoa® is made with renewable plant fibers that reduce greenhouse gases and are produced using very little energy and no irrigation. With Ekoa®, musicians get what was previously unobtainable -- the experience of a vintage old-growth wood instrument in a lightweight, durable, and sustainable package.
All Blackbird models are louder and richer than their size would suggest. Carbon fiber has a clear and distinct tone with uncanny note-to-note separation. Ekoa® has a warm and clear tone. If you were to record a quality wood instrument along side a Blackbird, few folks would hear the difference. The hollow neck/carbon fiber construction is simply, a lighter and therefore more resonant way to build instruments. Every string on the fretboard is balanced and the uni-body construction means longer note sustain. Check out our video and audio on each model page or visit a dealer and hear for yourself. Our smaller instruments evoke that fancy wood guitar you leave at home except you can easily bring it everywhere and worry-free.
• Simple Jack active Battery-Free pre-amplifier
• Fishman Matrix undersaddle pickup
• Power Charger
The Mi-Si Acoustic Trio system features an active, battery-free preamp designed specifically to work with an undersaddle acoustic guitar pickup. The preamp for this system uses MiSi’s custom piezo linearization scheme - allowing for the most truthful and accurate sound from the pickup. All you have to do is power up for 60 seconds using the Mi-Si Power Charger, providing you with up to 16 hours of performance time.
We recommend professional installation of this system. Installation instructions should be studied carefully before proceeding. Mi-Si Electronics Design, Inc. will not be responsible for any damage to the instrument or personal injury resulting from installation, improper installation or any misuse of the product.
USE ONLY THE POWER CHARGER PROVIDED IN THIS PACKAGE TO POWER UP THIS PRODUCT! UTILIZATION OF ANY OTHER POWER SUPPLY OR MODIFICATION TO EXISTING ONE MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE SYSTEM AND WILL NOT BE COVERED BY WARRANTY!
CHARGING AND PLUGGING IN
To charge the Acoustic Trio pickup, plug the power charger into a 120 VAC outlet. Then plug in the Power Charger 1/4” stereo plug into the pickup’s endpin jack and wait 60 seconds. Now you’re pickup is ready for 16 hours of performance time (actual playing time may vary depending on playing style). For best performance increase the charging time up to 120 seconds for the initial 2-3 charging cycles.
You can plug your instrument into ANY input of ANY system or amplifier regardless of
input impedance. In the same manner, you can use ANY type of shielded MONO cable
- regardless of its capacitance. Your sound will not be altered. You can enjoy the benefits of an active amplified system without worrying about batteries.
Using the Power Charger to power up your preamp is truly remarkable. But what if you forgot or lost your Power Charger? Don’t worry! Although we don’t promote the use of batteries, in this case all you need to power up your system is any stereo cord and a common 9V battery. Plug the stereo cord into your instrument. Hold the 9V battery so that the positive terminal is touching the Ring of the stereo plug and the negative terminal is touching the Ground. Hold it like this for 60 seconds and you are ready to play for 16 hours. The system will not be damaged by accidentally connecting the battery in wrong direction.