Blackbird Clara Concert Electro Ukulele Ekoa MiSi pickup & side dots
Wow. Wow again, and again and again and again. This is a very clever instrument indeed. The body is made entirely of a material called Ekoa, which is compressed natural fibres and resin. Ekoa is very hard, and very stiff, and retains the tonal properties of wood, so you get a lovely warm chiming sound, which is extremely loud when required! Blackbird developed Ekoa to offer all the modern benefits of carbon fibre such as super reliability and resistance to moisture and temperature, whilst retaining a proper authentic ukulele sound. Boy, what a job they did.
It is not just the materials used that are clever: the design of this little pocket rocket is groundbreaking too. The soundhole is offset to the top, which allows a greater proportion of the soundboard to reverberate for longer, but probably the most revolutionary feature is the hollow neck and the soundhole at the headstock, which allows the neck to be a resonating chamber, adding more volume and tone shaping.
The back is arched, which along with the Pineapple style body shape fills the bass out even more, which works wonderfully well with the Low G string which is fitted. And in the hand, it feels so balanced, so capable, so well made and just soooo damnably clever. I guarantee that you will not have played or heard anything like it! We have been blown away.
All of this clever technology makes this the ultimate go anywhere ukulele: impervious to temperature and humidity variations as well as any of the wear and tear an instrument should expect to take. One word of caution: as this is a composite material, there is some variation in the look and feel on the top: there are some rougher parts, where some fibres are prominent near the top, and like wood there are different patterns in the top which make each instrument unique. If you look closely, you can see what look like scratches in the finish - these are in fact fibres in the pressed Ekoa, under the finish.,/p>
The Richlite fretboard is super smooth, and very hard and resonant as well, just stacking up the excellence. It also comes with a Blackbird branded Gator gigbag, which is about the best we have ever seen. An active rechargeable MiSi pickup is installed, which can be charged through the jack socket. The tone and volume controls are mounted in the soundhole, and an endpin jack socket is installed.
Ekoa composite body, and neck
Graphtech nut and saddle
Gotoh tuning machines
Hollow neck leading to headstock soundport
35.5mm nut width
Side markers at 5, 7, 10, 12
12 frets to body, 17 frets in total
Clear Fluorocarbon strings, with wound Low G
Aluminium side dots (cost upgrade, included)
Active rechargeable MiSi pickup with soundhole mounted tone & volume controls
Endpin jack socket