An acoustic guitar needs old tonewood soundboard, body and neck to really make the unplugged party pop, right? Well no, not really. Guitar makers have experimented with a host of other materials over the years, including aluminum and carbon fiber. Blackbird Guitars has now followed the 2013 launch of its Clara concert-level ukulele, which is made from something called Ekoa, with a NAMM debut for an acoustic guitar called El Capitan that's constructed from the same sustainable material.
El Capitan is the first guitar to be made from Ekoa, a high performance composite made mostly of low-density linen and developed by Lingrove. Blackbird premiered the concept prototype at last year's NAMM Show and has since been tweaking and refining the instrument to ready it for production.
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Like the Clara before it, the small jumbo acoustic is claimed to offer players the same tone and vibe of instruments made from vintage wood, with the added advantage that the natural fiber composite from which it's made offers a stiffness in two directions instead of one. Blackbird points out that this means players can look forward to an "unmatched dynamic response, old-school feel and a worry-free playing experience."
The acoustic has been treated to a double-top soundboard on a unibody back, 20-fret neck and head stock and plate – all made from Ekoa. The hollow 25.5-inch scale neck is reinforced with a carbon/steel trussrod and topped with a HPL (high pressure laminate) fingerboard. There's a Graphtech Tusq nut and HPL bridge and Graphtech saddle. An optional Mi-Si pickup is available if required.
Blackbird's El Capitan will be available from March this year for a street price of US$2,995. In the meantime, enjoy some cool slide guitar played by David Siegler in the video below.
Update August 10, 2015: The El Capitan Ekoa acoustic guitar, which comes in standard and deluxe models, went on sale earlier this month for $3,030.
Source: Blackbird Guitars