Small Manufacturers from North America click for more

Blackbird Carbon Fibre Tenor Ukulele Corner
My Blackbird Tenor
Throughout the world there are small manufacturing firms, maybe a luthier who has expanded the operation and taken on some staff, maybe a number of craftsmen who have got together in some form of co-operative. However it started these manufacturers usually make very high quality instruments even if the Ukulele is not the firms main output

Blackbird Guitars

This is a Californian manufacturer founded in 2005, that make carbon fibre instruments. Carbon fibre as a material for making chordophones is very good because it is light, strong and not affected by temperature or humidity; you even end up with a waterproof instrument - (except for the metalwork). The process itself is interesting too, because the whole thing including both sides of the body and the neck are made as one piece in a single process, but on the downside if you order from the factory there is an 8 week wait while they grow it or something? As part of their catalogue they make a carbon fiber Tenor Ukulele which can have a couple of pick-up options fitted if you specify when ordering, and in 2013 a Concert Ukulele they called Clara. This though is made from a plant fibre based material that Blackbird invented and called ekoa. They claim it has all of the strength and weatherproof qualities of carbon fibre but is lighter and give a better, more wood like tone.

Taylor Guitars

Taylor Guitars, a top US Guitar maker that doesn't include Ukuleles in the regular catalogue. However in 2011 they built a limited number, (40), of Koa Tenor Ukuleles that they marketed as a set with a matched Guitar in the limited edition premium "Builders Reserve Series IV" range. They did this again in 2012 with the "Builders Reserve Series VII" range, only this time with 50 Mahogany Tenors. It is possible they will do it again on future "Builders Reserve" sets and their website also suggests they have made some one off custom Ukuleles for people too?

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