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  #31  
Old 11-21-2016, 10:58 PM
Steve Christens Steve Christens is offline
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Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Hi Todd,

It seems the saddle (at least at the high e) is about as low as it will go. Is Joe at Blackbird confident that it will never shift in the future since a neck reset is out of the question?[/IMG][/URL]
I wouldn't worry about it. I have a CA GX on which I've had to lower the saddle down to almost 1/16" under the high E to get the action where I want it. But it's been absolutely stable for over six years now. The only thing I've felt the need to do was add string ramps to increase the break angle over the first two strings.
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  #32  
Old 11-22-2016, 12:02 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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ChicagoTodd, good review. I knew that you would really like the EC once you played it. There is no other composite guitar (or ukulele) with such woody tone or woody visual character. Nice choice with the abalone inlay too. Since I used to dive for abalone off the northern California coast, I want some on most of my guitars.

In photos the convoluted headstock looks a little weird, but in person it makes much more sense. From a manufacturing point of view I can see why Blackbird might simplfy and use a paddle head at some point.

I am an equally happy owner of a new Lucky 13, although the EC greatly tempted me too. It really was tough choosing. If I buy another composite guitar it will likely be EC, maybe version 2.0 - whatever that turns out to be. I also have some interest in their Farallon eKoa ukulele too.

Joe and company certainly make a fine product that deserves way more exposure, and working with him was a pleasure. We spoke at length at a trade show as I haunted his booth most of the day, and on the phone and email on several occasions to get the order just right. I could not be happier. A buddy stopped by today. He has a classic Rainsong WS-1000 like mine, and was mightily impressed playing Lucky. It was also fun to be out front to hear someone else play them side by side.

Enjoy!!
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2016, 09:31 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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CF guitars don't move or settle. The way they come out of the mold is it - period. If it is right, it will be right forever. If the neck angle or relief are wrong, then it probably cannot be fixed. But every carbon fiber guitar that I know of comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner. If they cannot fix it, they will replace it in kind.

My 2001 built Rainsong WS-1000 still plays wonderfully after 15 years on the factory set-up, and has never been tweaked in any way. Just yesterday a visiting fellow WS-1000 owner commented that mine played wonderfully. We both use medium gauge strings, and cannot see any perceptible difference in the neck relief versus light gauge.

My Lucky 13 is also set up just right for me (75% finger picker with natural finger nails). If I strum it hard with a flat pick, it can buzz a little on the bass strings. But that can be easily fixed by a slightly higher saddle. My visitor also really liked the L13 - a lot. And I liked hearing it from out front compared to the WS. They sounded more alike than different out front, although they do sound different from the player's perspective.
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  #34  
Old 11-22-2016, 11:33 AM
Steve Christens Steve Christens is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
CF guitars don't move or settle. The way they come out of the mold is it - period. If it is right, it will be right forever. If the neck angle or relief are wrong, then it probably cannot be fixed. But every carbon fiber guitar that I know of comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner. If they cannot fix it, they will replace it in kind.

My 2001 built Rainsong WS-1000 still plays wonderfully after 15 years on the factory set-up, and has never been tweaked in any way. Just yesterday a visiting fellow WS-1000 owner commented that mine played wonderfully. We both use medium gauge strings, and cannot see any perceptible difference in the neck relief versus light gauge.

My Lucky 13 is also set up just right for me (75% finger picker with natural finger nails). If I strum it hard with a flat pick, it can buzz a little on the bass strings. But that can be easily fixed by a slightly higher saddle. My visitor also really liked the L13 - a lot. And I liked hearing it from out front compared to the WS. They sounded more alike than different out front, although they do sound different from the player's perspective.

Well many of them do respond to a change in string gauge, which can be problematic if your model doesn't have a truss rod. And those of us with older CA guitars are out of luck if need warranty repairs.
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  #35  
Old 11-22-2016, 01:37 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Christens View Post
Well many of them do respond to a change in string gauge, which can be problematic if your model doesn't have a truss rod. And those of us with older CA guitars are out of luck if need warranty repairs.
I won't dispute that the relief can change with string gauge, but for me, it has not been noticeable. Maybe the relief changed by .001" or so, but I could not see nor feel a difference. The difference in string gauge and tension from alternate tunings was a far more pronounced change. YMMV.

As for warranty coverage, point taken. Original CA's are not covered by Peavey, as I understand it. So be careful before buying. As I said before, if the neck angle and relief are correct now, they are correct pretty much forever. The remaining active CF builders seem to all stand fully behind their guitars with lifetime warrantees.
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2016, 02:51 PM
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Congratulations on picking up a wonderful instrument. That is a great review and I appreciate you sharing your recordings. It sounds the most "woody" of any composite guitar I've heard (in your recordings, anyway). I'm a big fan of the dry, woody thump of Gibson guitars, so the crystalline quality of composites I've played so far hasn't appealed to me. This one might be able to bridge that gap. Like Chicago, Toronto has huge swings in both temperature and humidity, so having a guitar that "just don't care" about those things would be nice.

In the meantime, I'll continue to fill up my Oasis humidifiers on a weekly basis and pine for warmer days
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  #37  
Old 11-26-2016, 09:49 AM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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Great post and pics! It looks beautiful!

I've drooled over the El Cap since it came out...I can't believe it's taken this long for someone on AGF to say they bought one! That's worried me, because when I saw the early pics, I thought Blackbird had developed a composite guitar that would be like an earthquake in the CF/composite market. (Then, when the price tag came in almost 1k higher than Blackbird's early prediction, I realised it might remain boutique...but it needs to cost what it needs to cost.) Probably worth it, as they've pioneered the first composite that genuinely looks like wood. I hope they're selling well, so we see Ekoa's use expanded.

I've come close to buying one, but the 2 1/8" string spacing is sadly way too narrow for my tastes.
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  #38  
Old 11-26-2016, 12:53 PM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
ChicagoTodd, good review. I knew that you would really like the EC once you played it. There is no other composite guitar (or ukulele) with such woody tone or woody visual character. Nice choice with the abalone inlay too. Since I used to dive for abalone off the northern California coast, I want some on most of my guitars.

In photos the convoluted headstock looks a little weird, but in person it makes much more sense. From a manufacturing point of view I can see why Blackbird might simplfy and use a paddle head at some point.

I am an equally happy owner of a new Lucky 13, although the EC greatly tempted me too. It really was tough choosing. If I buy another composite guitar it will likely be EC, maybe version 2.0 - whatever that turns out to be. I also have some interest in their Farallon eKoa ukulele too.

Joe and company certainly make a fine product that deserves way more exposure, and working with him was a pleasure. We spoke at length at a trade show as I haunted his booth most of the day, and on the phone and email on several occasions to get the order just right. I could not be happier. A buddy stopped by today. He has a classic Rainsong WS-1000 like mine, and was mightily impressed playing Lucky. It was also fun to be out front to hear someone else play them side by side.

Enjoy!!
Earl....

Thx sir! I'm sure it's clear that I absolutely love it. In my review I probably didn't expound enough on how much of a wood tone this has.... you got to try one in person so you already know. I haven't had a wood guitar in the house for about 6 months, so I can't do a real true comparison. If there is anybody in the Chicago area who might like to see or try this El Capitan I may be open to a meeting for that purpose, and to compare against a wood guitar. I'm currently working on the intro to Pearl Jams "Just Breathe" to learn a little bit about fingerstyle and hope that I could record a sample of that on the EC and post it to SoundCloud. But being new to fingerstyle I appear to be a few weeks away from posting something that doesn't hurt people's ears...lol.

I'm also very curious to hear how a tone wood amp would sound on the EC.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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  #39  
Old 11-26-2016, 12:58 PM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Originally Posted by jdto View Post
Congratulations on picking up a wonderful instrument. That is a great review and I appreciate you sharing your recordings. It sounds the most "woody" of any composite guitar I've heard (in your recordings, anyway). I'm a big fan of the dry, woody thump of Gibson guitars, so the crystalline quality of composites I've played so far hasn't appealed to me. This one might be able to bridge that gap. Like Chicago, Toronto has huge swings in both temperature and humidity, so having a guitar that "just don't care" about those things would be nice.

In the meantime, I'll continue to fill up my Oasis humidifiers on a weekly basis and pine for warmer days
Jdto...

Thx! I'm glad you enjoyed the review and my limited ability of playing...lol.

As in my reply to Earl just a few moments ago, I didn't really expand on how woody of a tone this guitar has and I truly think it does...and I look forward to being able to compare it directly sometime in the future with someone who has a wood guitar (maybe next time I see my brother-in-law I'll be able to do an a/b comparison as he has a pretty nice Breedlove).

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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  #40  
Old 12-26-2016, 03:42 PM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Folks...

I tried posting on Instagram a small video of the beautiful fret markers on my Blackbird El Capitan. It's so very difficult to photograph this guitar and even more so to show the beauty of the really great Abalone fret marker work. Pictures or video don't seem to do it justice.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOftnL0D5-_/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOft3hKj-BE/

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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  #41  
Old 12-27-2016, 12:41 AM
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steelvibe steelvibe is online now
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Such a sweet looking guitar Todd. The video does help some, seems to capture slight changes in the light showing of those inlays more.

Blackbird is making some great looking instruments!
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  #42  
Old 12-27-2016, 12:46 AM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Such a sweet looking guitar Todd. The video does help some, seems to capture slight changes in the light showing of those inlays more.

Blackbird is making some great looking instruments!
Thx Sean...

So hard to capture the beauty in video or pics....but I truly love this guitar!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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  #43  
Old 12-27-2016, 06:27 AM
Hambone Hambone is offline
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Really a great review and cool looking guitar, but how do you keep the wrinkles out of the linen?
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  #44  
Old 01-02-2017, 10:22 AM
Orfeas Orfeas is offline
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Hey Todd.

I just saw this.

Congrats!!! Thank you for the well done review! I had no idea about this brand, and when I checked out the first pics, I thought it was made out of some sort of new/rare wood. I am glad you are happy. Its a cool looking and sounding guitar.
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  #45  
Old 01-02-2017, 11:26 AM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Hey Todd.

I just saw this.

Congrats!!! Thank you for the well done review! I had no idea about this brand, and when I checked out the first pics, I thought it was made out of some sort of new/rare wood. I am glad you are happy. Its a cool looking and sounding guitar.
Thx buddy! LOVE this guitar!

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