Blackbird Guitars was formed in 2005 when founders and designers Joe Luttwak and Kyle Wolfe gave-up searching for a compact guitar worth bringing along for the ride. The only 'travel' models available were thin-sounding and fragile. Armed with experience in high tech products, the quest started innocently enough with the tried-and-true design mantra to generate as many concepts as possible and prototype the winners.


Automated steam bending for hardwood and millwork

With the introduction of the MagPi wood forming machine, SD Machinery says it has created an entirely new category of manufacturing equipment.

The two say it helped to have access to the latest advanced manufacturing early in the process, including three-dimensional CAD (computer-aided design), automated manufacturing including a Freedom Patriot CNC, as well as carbon-fiber composites. 
Blackbird builds guitars and ukuleles in its San Francisco facility using advanced composites and machining techniques blended with traditional instrument craft. All its instruments share unibody, hollow neck composite construction for enhanced tone and durability.
The team benefited greatly from the tutelage and encouragement of several Bay Area guitar-making luminaries. After two years of development, the resulting Rider model is a harmonious blend of technology and traditional craftsmanship. "Part mountain dulcimer, part F1 race car, Blackbird guitars are high performance instruments built for the road in our shop in San Francisco's Mission district," says the company.


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