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  #1  
Old 06-03-2016, 02:30 AM
oneleaf oneleaf is offline
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Default Questions for Blackbird Rider owners

Hello,
I have been reading a lot of threads on CF guitars and really interested in picking one up, particularly the Blackbird Rider (Steel String version).

However, my reasons for picking it might be a little different than most. I currently play a Dreadnought and, over time, the size has been an issue with arm pain in my right (strumming) hand. I feel better with smaller guitars, such as OM or 00, and I particularly enjoy playing the Jim Dandy parlor guitar I have as well as a Larrivee P-03 Parlor guitar that my friend has.

However, the most comfortable guitar I own is the Go Grande travel guitar (made by Sam Radding), because I can really keep my arm relaxed.

I am looking for a guitar with that kind of form factor, and have a fuller sound than my Go guitar, and hopefully better sound than even the Parlor guitars.

I am wondering, for those who compared the Rider with a parlor guitar like the Larrivee:
- Is the Rider more comfortable in regards to letting the strumming arm relax without protruding too much?
- Is the Rider more strummable (does it have better headroom) than most parlor guitars in the $1k price range?

So far, the specs and form factor of the Rider seems to be a pretty ideal guitar for me, but since I cannot try it, I am hoping to get more insight on the comfort as well as the sound, especially compared to wood parlor guitars, as my next choice might be to simply get a nice parlor guitar as my main guitar.

Thanks a lot!
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2016, 10:47 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I don't own one, but recently got to play one for an extended period at a festival vendor booth, and got to compare Rider to the others in the Blackbird line. The Rider is a surprisingly bold instrument - sounds bigger and nicer than it really should given the small box, and plays very nicely. I played it using the Neck-Up device they had, which put it into a better position. Without that, you probably need a strap. Not having played the Larrivee or other parlors much, I cannot give you a reliable tonal comparison. But the Rider was far more intriguing than I was expecting.

Blackbird has a fairly liberal trial period, and you can send it back if you don't ultimately like it. But be forewarned: Joe says that they get back less than 1% of the trial guitars they send out. Also, Ted at LA Guitars has a 72 hour return policy. In each case, you will pay for the shipping both ways, but you can try the guitar out for a few days without much risk. Just be financially prepared to keep it, because you probably will.

I get the body size thing. Most of my dreadnoughts are gone now, and I have a Taylor T5 for when my shoulder or left hand is really bothering me. That electric style neck is good for the hand sometimes, and the thin body is easy on my shoulder.

And welcome.......
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2016, 11:06 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Hi

If you'd like to know about the kneckup device, I use it with my Luck 13 and love it. I won't be without it, now that I've tried it.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2016, 11:41 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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I second Sirwhale's comments on the neck up,,,I am facing surgery the middle of this month due to a herniated disc in my back and have sold all of my dreadnought off as well as my OOO's and play nothing larger than a OO guitar for the very reasons you have stated.
I played nothing but dreads for over 30 years and now am paying the dues for it, I spoke with Scott Fore earlier this year at a concert and he said" it's not a matter of if , but when you will suffer right shoulder and back issues with large guitars".
I play Blue grass and fiddle tunes so I love the dreadnought sound, but since I went to smaller a great deal of the pain and suffering has ended. I play 4 to 6 hrs. a day so ergonomics are essential.
The "NeckUP" puts a OO or O size guitar at a nice 45 degree angle when sitting with Both Feet flat on the floor when seated in a std. chair. No strap needed and your right arm will rest comfortably on the upper face of the lower bout with the wrist elevated off the guitar. It is a simple device that only costs around 50 bucks, but in my opinion is a life saver if you have right arm or shoulder issues.
Eric Skye here in Portland is another advocate for the "Neck Up" and without it he says he would be lost at a show. He also went from large guitars to his OO Santa Cruz 8 yrs ago and as Eric says, " I never looked back".
Consider if you will the Lucky 13 by BB I can from personal experience vouch for the comfort and playability of this instrument and as far as tone and volume...my wife says it is as loud and sounds as good as any of the wood guitars I have. The traditional shape and size, same as a std OO is great and as stated with the support works out perfect. For what it's worth...JMO, Jerry in Oregon
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2016, 11:46 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Also I forgot to mention look up Ericskye.com and you will see him using it, and if you look at his 30 day guitar challenge he talks about the device and why he uses it. By the way I have no affiliation with the co. just like to spread the word when something is worthwhile.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2016, 01:20 PM
Mike Mandel Mike Mandel is offline
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Default I love mine

I had been looking for the perfect travel guitar for over 15 years. When I first saw the Rider, I thought "no way", its more lute than guitar. Then I picked it up and played it.

Now I've had the Rider for about 6 months now, own many other guitars, yet cannot put this thing down.

It is the most comfortable guitar I have ever used. Sink into your couch, cuddle up with it and have a blast.

the Neck Up accessory works great as well.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2016, 02:02 PM
oneleaf oneleaf is offline
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Thanks so much for the info, everyone! Great info.

So if I am mainly interested in playing it unplugged, would I be missing out in not getting the electronics installed? Do most of you enjoy the Rider unplugged? Would I be able to install a pickup later if I change my mind? I have heard it sounds great plugged in, but if I am not planning on using it much, I would rather save the money.

Also, how does the Rider handle medium strumming? My biggest issues with using the parlors I have tried is they just do not handle strumming too well.

Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2016, 04:00 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Hi oneleaf, and welcome to the forum.

I collect travel guitars, so when I heard about the Rider about ten years ago, I had to have one. Called Joe, but his backorder was quite long, (still is) so instead waiting months, I started searching for a used one. As it turns out, I found a pre owned one at full list, and bought it. At the time I had a a Go Grand, a Vagabond, an original McNally Backpacker, and a Washburn rover as my "sub-compact" travel guitars, nd the Rider blew them all out of the water. The tone compares nicely with smaller parlors, and it has way more headroom than any wood guitar in it's size. If your like the feel and tone of your Go Grand, (I love all three of mine ) than you will love the Rider.

Although I have not stopped collecting travel guitars, the Rider, followed closely by the Rainsong Parlor, are the only guitars I travel with, and although the newer versions are a bit lighter, and a bit more resonant, I am quite happy with my first year model. At 1685 they are not cheap, but in reality, it's all the travel guitar you will ever need.

Oh, and if you are not planning to plug in, than forget the electronics, you can always add it later.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2016, 08:55 PM
oneleaf oneleaf is offline
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Hi Ted,
Thanks a lot for the reply. How do you feel about strumming on a Rider if compared to a parlor like the Larrivee or one of Sam Radding's parlors?
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2016, 02:09 PM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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For your interest, this popped up on my facebook feed:

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Music I tend to play/am learning currently: Acoustic blues and folk, Bert Jansch, John Fahey, Joseph Spence, Skip James, Gary Davis

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  #11  
Old 06-08-2016, 03:59 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Sir;

Very nice. Thank you for bringing this to the forum.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2016, 12:51 PM
mkatz mkatz is offline
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At one time or another I have owned almost all of the various travel guitars and I agree with Ted, the Blackbird Rider blows all the other travel guitars out of the water. It is surprisingly full sounding for its size without the boxy sound often heard in travel/parlor guitars.

Mitch
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