I am the proud new owner of an old charango, for which I was the high bidder in a Silent Auction - I got it for $20. It's one of the nicest armadillo-back charangos I've ever seen (and I've seen at least 3...); the armadillo who gave his all for music was one of the smallish hairy South American kind. His little nose points up the back of the neck, and this one has reasonably good quality geared tuners for the 10 nylon stings. Unfortunately, the little fellow's bridge is broken, and so is one of his ears.
While losing one of the ears shouldn't affect the tonal quality much, I DO need to replace the bridge and re-string the thing before I try to teach myself how to play it. I've found a couple charango sites on the Web that give tunings and chord charts and such - does anyone know where I might get a new bridge for what is essentially a 10 stringed armadillo-bodied mandolin?
For the curious, look here or
here(back view) or
here(front view) or
Mine is definitely NOT a "professional quality" charango, but I'd still like to try to play it sometime.