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Old 05-25-2016, 11:13 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Default My new blackbird "lucky13"

FIRST MY APOLOGIES, for no pictures yet but posting photos on AGF has proved itself beyond my ability.
On to my new guitar, and my very first Carbon guitar.
I should also mention I purchased from LA Guitar and Ted was a pleasure to do business with.
This was not a inexpensive purchase for me but I had a specific reason for venturing into Carbon after 40 yrs of wood guitars. Mainly the ability to travel in my RV and play outside without constant worry about the weather and humidity etc. So any brand would have covered this aspect as you all know.
My other concern was playability, my main guitar is a OO Santa Cruz Skye and it takes a back row to none, my all time favorite. One main reason other than tone is the wide neck with 1 13/16" nut and the V neck which I love. The 1 3/4" nut has always been a little shy in width for me causing a dead 1st string when playing C on the second because of my wide fingertips. So this is one thing I was concerned about as all the CF guitars I saw where the 3/4" nut.
To my surprise the neck on the Blackbird is one of the nicest playing necks both in width, and profile I have played. In a matter of a few hours it felt like an old friend. It's rather IMO unusual in that it is wider than most, I noticed this when I used my Capo from my Martin which was a 1 3/4" nut and it won't slide past the fourth fret on the Blackbird! Also I actually got out my calipers to measure the nut because I was not having any problem muting the first string. It is indeed a 1 3/4" nut but for some reason feels wider to me almost like my SC when playing.
I think it may be the fret board radius with the neck profile changing my fretting a bit I am not sure, but I sure like it.
The neck is a C shape but very comfortable and I find a effortless transition from my SC. The same as for the body size and shape, almost the same size lower bout and with the neck up I use the same playing position. I play off my right leg but with a 45 degree angle across my body with the headstock at eye level, it allows me to keep my wrist straight.
Scale is 24 3/4" my SC is 24.9 so again no adjustment needed when switching. Having a guitar similar to my main was important to me as i didn't want adjustment periods when changing instruments. The string spacing at the bridge is 2 3/16" so a little difference because my SC is 2 1/4" but have noticed no issue with this. All in all a great experience in the playability department.
The next pleasant surprise was the tone of the guitar, one unique onto itself, not a true wood tone but very earthy with a large measure of bass overtones to be sure. I guess I was expecting a more brittle or brassy sound without wood in the soundboard. It is a very pleasant and balanced sound and I find it very flattering with my vocals. While playing and demoing for my wife today she said, "that sounds as good as any of your other wood guitars" to my surprise.
I also notice it has a very good sustain to the notes.
The only modification I have done to the guitar is bringing the action down by a couple thousand of an inch to be more comparable to my other guitar as far as action as I play fiddle tunes and reels and I need a fairly low action. Was easy to do. I also changed the stock strings and put on 12/53 Coated strings.
One thing about this guitar that is really nice IMO is the lack of a heel and the 13th fret being clear of the body. Sure is nice playing up the neck and not hitting the heel. Very nice indeed.
The guitar has the Misi system in it and after plugging into the wall socket for 60 sec. ready to go, I really like the no battery thing and thru my Marshall Acoustic it sings sweet.
In closing. I am more than satisfied with the guitar, very impressed with the quality and playability and the great tone is icing on the cake!
Buying it was a leap of faith sight unseen, but it worked out for me. I had spent many hours on the computer reading reviews and listening but until you actually have it in your hands it's a gamble. Not a total risk as Ted gives 72 hrs to try, but no need I loved it the first couple of hours out.
Thanks all,,,,Jerry
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2016, 11:40 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Congrats, Jerry! I hope you find away to post pics. In case you didn't know, there are instructions on how to do it here > http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=231872

Have lots of fun with your Lucky 13!
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Wood: '02 Taylor 814c | '18 Taylor 214ceDLX (Rosewood) | '18 Taylor 150e-12 String (Walnut) | '79 Ibanez Dread (First acoustic) | '02 Fender Strat - American '57 RI
Carbon Fiber: '18 Emerald X20 Custom | '08 Composite Acoustics Cargo RT
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2016, 12:13 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Congratulations Jerry! You have officially joined the fold here in the CF world. Sometimes the world of the unconventional has pleasant surprises as you are finding out. As a former Ovation owner, I've always been attracted to stuff that is unique without ever completely losing my druthers about all that's classic and traditional (like wood guitars). And while wood remains cool in every facet of guitar lutherie, carbon fiber is really coming into it's own. Furthermore, it seems the boundaries are without limits with carbon fiber- just look at what Emerald is doing!

...and, these CF guitars are sounding more incredible all the time.
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:43 AM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is offline
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thanks for posting Jerry, i had forgotten about this model.

dug into some videos and wow, that sounds really nice. i like the looks also.



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Old 05-26-2016, 06:43 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Congrats, Jerry! Sounds like you and the L13 are a good match. Many of us here understand that concern with the "leap of faith." And the big sigh of relief when you strum that first CF guitar... and it sounds like a guitar!

Enjoy the traveling and the new L13!

Jim
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:15 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Jerry;

Congratulations. Joe makes superb instruments. His guitars are creative, based on sound engineering, and beautiful. Enjoy.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2016, 10:41 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Thanks a bunch, I don't think it will be my last somehow...I still love the look of the Emeralds with the wood overlays, very creative.
I am really into the CF and impressed with the concept! Takes the worry out of traveling with a 6K guitar. I just hope they don't go the way of wood and become too expensive.
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:49 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Had a full practice session with this guitar today and had a chance to put it thru the full spectrum of fiddle tunes, some reels, some Irish flat picking, some songs as backup etc. One thing that really stands out is Intonation is Spot On! and the Harmonics on this instrument are unbelievable, they ring like a bell. Much better than on my Santa Cruz I hate to admit.....
This is a Keeper for sure. Brought the action down to .90 over the 12th on the top and it has no buzzes or weird tendencies like some wood guitars get when the action is this low. No truss rod but none needed.
Gotta say this is turning out to be a real players guitar, very fast neck. I wonder if the stainless steel frets may have an impact on harmonics?? don't know but never heard them ring like this.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:22 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
...wonder if the stainless steel frets may have an impact on harmonics?? don't know but never heard them ring like this.
Hey Jerry, I suspect that the "wonder-full" and chiming harmonics you hear are from the carbon fiber- Rainsongs do that to
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2016, 09:50 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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I notice in the AG video it shows tuners like a Gibson mine came with Gotoh's on it very nice smooth and don't know the ratio but feel like at least 18:1.
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:27 AM
Fixedgear60 Fixedgear60 is offline
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Congrats!!!1 Gotta love how Joe combines the best of vintage tradition with high tech..... enjoy!!!! He also does something that I wish more CF makers would do... satin necks but gloss bodies.. I personally prefer a satin neck for playability.
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  #12  
Old 05-27-2016, 05:24 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Yes the neck finish is nice, I agree, gloss neck finish tends to get sticky feeling sometimes.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:27 PM
mot mot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Hey Jerry, I suspect that the "wonder-full" and chiming harmonics you hear are from the carbon fiber- Rainsongs do that to
I thought the haunting harmonics I hear in my L13 were from having a sound hole in the head. I don't think the L13 chimes as brightly as the Rainsongs I have played either. Congrats on your new guitar Jerry! It's an easy guitar to love. I know I love how mine plays and feels.

Cheers,
Tom
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:33 PM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
FIRST MY APOLOGIES, for no pictures yet but posting photos on AGF has proved itself beyond my ability.
On to my new guitar, and my very first Carbon guitar.
I should also mention I purchased from LA Guitar and Ted was a pleasure to do business with.
This was not a inexpensive purchase for me but I had a specific reason for venturing into Carbon after 40 yrs of wood guitars. Mainly the ability to travel in my RV and play outside without constant worry about the weather and humidity etc. So any brand would have covered this aspect as you all know.
My other concern was playability, my main guitar is a OO Santa Cruz Skye and it takes a back row to none, my all time favorite. One main reason other than tone is the wide neck with 1 13/16" nut and the V neck which I love. The 1 3/4" nut has always been a little shy in width for me causing a dead 1st string when playing C on the second because of my wide fingertips. So this is one thing I was concerned about as all the CF guitars I saw where the 3/4" nut.
To my surprise the neck on the Blackbird is one of the nicest playing necks both in width, and profile I have played. In a matter of a few hours it felt like an old friend. It's rather IMO unusual in that it is wider than most, I noticed this when I used my Capo from my Martin which was a 1 3/4" nut and it won't slide past the fourth fret on the Blackbird! Also I actually got out my calipers to measure the nut because I was not having any problem muting the first string. It is indeed a 1 3/4" nut but for some reason feels wider to me almost like my SC when playing.
I think it may be the fret board radius with the neck profile changing my fretting a bit I am not sure, but I sure like it.
The neck is a C shape but very comfortable and I find a effortless transition from my SC. The same as for the body size and shape, almost the same size lower bout and with the neck up I use the same playing position. I play off my right leg but with a 45 degree angle across my body with the headstock at eye level, it allows me to keep my wrist straight.
Scale is 24 3/4" my SC is 24.9 so again no adjustment needed when switching. Having a guitar similar to my main was important to me as i didn't want adjustment periods when changing instruments. The string spacing at the bridge is 2 3/16" so a little difference because my SC is 2 1/4" but have noticed no issue with this. All in all a great experience in the playability department.
The next pleasant surprise was the tone of the guitar, one unique onto itself, not a true wood tone but very earthy with a large measure of bass overtones to be sure. I guess I was expecting a more brittle or brassy sound without wood in the soundboard. It is a very pleasant and balanced sound and I find it very flattering with my vocals. While playing and demoing for my wife today she said, "that sounds as good as any of your other wood guitars" to my surprise.
I also notice it has a very good sustain to the notes.
The only modification I have done to the guitar is bringing the action down by a couple thousand of an inch to be more comparable to my other guitar as far as action as I play fiddle tunes and reels and I need a fairly low action. Was easy to do. I also changed the stock strings and put on 12/53 Coated strings.
One thing about this guitar that is really nice IMO is the lack of a heel and the 13th fret being clear of the body. Sure is nice playing up the neck and not hitting the heel. Very nice indeed.
The guitar has the Misi system in it and after plugging into the wall socket for 60 sec. ready to go, I really like the no battery thing and thru my Marshall Acoustic it sings sweet.
In closing. I am more than satisfied with the guitar, very impressed with the quality and playability and the great tone is icing on the cake!
Buying it was a leap of faith sight unseen, but it worked out for me. I had spent many hours on the computer reading reviews and listening but until you actually have it in your hands it's a gamble. Not a total risk as Ted gives 72 hrs to try, but no need I loved it the first couple of hours out.
Thanks all,,,,Jerry
Jerry...

Congrats on your Lucky 13! I too have purchased a Blackbird sight unseen, but from everything I'm hearing from everyone, I'm not worried at all.

I think I have found the easiest way to post pictures to this forum and many others...I access this forum through a forum app on my Android phone called "Tapatalk". This allows me to post a picture straight from my phone without having to post to Photo bucket or Flickr first, very simple, I just click on the picture icon (little photo of a mountain) and browse to the picture I want to add..and that's what!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2016, 11:39 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
Tommy CanAm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChicagoTodd View Post
Jerry...

Congrats on your Lucky 13! I too have purchased a Blackbird sight unseen, but from everything I'm hearing from everyone, I'm not worried at all.

I think I have found the easiest way to post pictures to this forum and many others...I access this forum through a forum app on my Android phone called "Tapatalk". This allows me to post a picture straight from my phone without having to post to Photo bucket or Flickr first, very simple, I just click on the picture icon (little photo of a mountain) and browse to the picture I want to add..and that's what!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk
Not so long ago, the only way to post photos to this forum was through a photos hosting site or tapatalk. Now you can upload direct from your computer. When you're preparing a post, just scroll a little further down the screen to the heading "manage attachments" and go for it.
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Wood: '02 Taylor 814c | '18 Taylor 214ceDLX (Rosewood) | '18 Taylor 150e-12 String (Walnut) | '79 Ibanez Dread (First acoustic) | '02 Fender Strat - American '57 RI
Carbon Fiber: '18 Emerald X20 Custom | '08 Composite Acoustics Cargo RT
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