Antonio Carvalho 555 braguinha Acoustic Lisboa Cavaquinho

My Lisboa Cavaquinho
(or is it a Braguinha?)

portuguse braguinha at Ukulele Corner
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APC 555 cavaco cavaquinho
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This has Steel Strings on and I have tuned it D~G~B~E for Solo work (really so I can play Ukulele chords on it





Antonio Carvalho Model 555 Lisboa Cavaquinho

I got this as a Braguinha, and I also thought it wasn't a made by APC, but that's the joy of buying online. Though it said Excelsior in the advert, nothing on the actual Cavaquinho say this. It says its an Antonio Carvalho model 555, (which in the APC website in listed as a Braguinha; however since it was made in mainland Portugal and is steel strung I will say its a Lisboa style Cavaquinho unless I get a different definition of a Braguinha - I'll just have to go to Madeira to get a proper one!)

It is quite narrow and small for a Soprano Ukulele sized instrument, but the the Lisboa Cavaquinho is suppose to be. It has a Solid Spruce top and a Peruvian Walnut, (Nogal), back and sides. I think the Walnut is very pretty but then I think Walnut always looks a pretty wood. It doesn't have the lovely pine smell of the other one though, (well it wouldn't but it smells ok). Sadly though, like my other Antonio Carvalho Cavaquinho the intonation up the fretboard is a bit slapdash meaning you have to compromise a bit or it ends up sounding out of tune for certain chords

Also like the other Antonio Carvalho, the strings it came with were crap! The gauge of 3 of them was the same so to try and tune it you get uneven tension and it makes the intonation even worse. I have replaced them with some D'Addario Cavaquinho strings and this solves most of the problems (steel strings are still hard on my soft fingers though)