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  • Charango pickup

    I'm interesting in amplifying my charango--the South American instrument originally made from armadillo shells.

    Since the charango is similar to the ukulele in both timbre and size, I'm considering the Five.O pickup.

    Two questions for anyone who is familiar with the Five.O:

    1) What is the frequency response of the Five.O?

    Baggs says the pickup is engineered for the ukulele's unique voice which ranges from C4 (261Hz) to A5 (880Hz) on a tenor ukulele. The charango's voice ranges from E4 (330Hz) to A6 (1760Hz), a full octave higher than tenor ukes.

    2) What size saddle works with the Five.O?

    Most ukulele's have a saddle measuring 1.67" while the charango's saddle measures 2.875". I want to make certain the pickup has good balance across all ten strings.

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Hi 125Hz,

    Thanks for your question and thanks for stating how long the charango's saddle is. That is quite a bit longer than the Five.O's sensor.

    You may need to consider the Element Active System for classical guitar(EAS-C), though it could be tricky to neatly fit the longer wires of that system into the charango's small body.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice

      Originally posted by Bryan McManus View Post
      Hi 125Hz,

      You may need to consider the Element Active System for classical guitar(EAS-C), though it could be tricky to neatly fit the longer wires of that system into the charango's small body.
      Bryan,

      Thanks for your expertise!

      After consulting with my luthier Elaine Fillion in Austin, she recommends a passive solution due to the limited space inside my charango. I'm going to try to K&K Twin Aloha ukulele setup through my JHS Colour Box (everything I run through the Colour Box sounds incredible--hopefully this will be no exception).

      If there was more space I would go with the EAS-C. Maybe next time I'm in South America, I'll bring the EAS-C with me to have installed in a charango before the soundboard is glued into place. It sounds like this would be the best solution of all!

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