Schatten HFN-C Series Pickups for Nylon String Classical and Flamenco Guitars


           Studio Microphone Quality Sound

HFN-C (passive)

HFN-C Active and HFN-C Artist

     "The sound of this new guitar pickup is as close to that of a good quality mic as you've ever heard from a guitar pickup..."

     The HFN-C models give you a sound that is much more realistic and acoustic than anything that you have ever experienced before. More realism in attack, more realism in overall response, these pickups actually allow your instrument to sound just as good plugged in as it does unplugged.The only thing missing from the HFN-C in a classical is the 'quack' that everyone has come to expect and accept in classical acoustic pickups.


     The HFN-C series for nylon string classicals and flamenco guitars is available in three basic model ranges: As the HFN-C Player (passive) which does not come with a preamp, as the HFN-C Active which comes with a single channel endpin jack preamp, and as the HFN-C Artist which comes with a two channel endpin jack preamp that can be run on phantom power.

     We offer the passive model of the pickup for use in instruments that already have a preamp onboard or for those customers that wish to use an outboard preamp.

All HFN-C's are designed to be used with a preamp - for best results, the HFN-C passive should be paired up with one of our outboard preamps.


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                                            HFN-C Models for Nylon String Guitars

HFN-C Passive In Stock Price Quantity
HFN-C (passive) Yes $139.95
Gold Button for endpin jack or endpin jack preamp (replaces the original) Yes $6.95
Outboard Preamp      
Schatten Mini Pre Acoustic Instrument Preamp (1 channel) more Yes $69.95
HFN-C Active (with single channel endpin jack preamp)
HFN-C Active (HFN with Player endpin jack preamp) Yes $164.95
HFN-C Active VT (HFN with Player endpin jack preamp and volume & tone thumbwheel controls) Yes $189.95
Gold Button for endpin jack or endpin jack preamp (replaces the original) Yes $6.95
HFN-C Artist (with two channel endpin jack preamp that is phantom power capable)
HFN-C Artist (with Artist II endpin jack preamp) Yes $199.95
HFN-C Artist Plus 1 (with Artist II preamp and single thumbwheel volume control) Yes $214.95
Gold Button for endpin jack or endpin jack preamp (replaces the original) Yes $6.95
CAB-1 cable  6 feet (required for using phantom or remote power)  more Yes $16.95
RP-1 remote power module (provides 18 volts d.c. from batteries)   more Yes $69.95

Canadian Customers
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Prices shown are in US funds


What Model Should I Get?


Here's a flow chart to help you determine which model of HFN-C suits your needs the best






      HFN-C sensor shown mounted to the soundboard of a classical. Note that the center arch of the pickup base is designed to provide clearance for the instrument's center brace.




HFN-C Series

     The HFN-C Series is designed to give you a full, rich sound and will reproduce exactly what your guitar sounds like.

     The HFN-C series of pickups utilizes an elegant combination of materials: rosewood for its main structure and arching with a light weight brass shell for its noise shielded piezo unit. Total weight of the pickup is a very light 0.2 ounces (7 grams). It will not affect the acoustic sound of the instrument when not in use.

     The HFN-C's will fit virtually any classical or flamenco guitar. The only hole that needs to be drilled is for the endpin jack or endpin jack preamp. The HFN-C's have been tested on and installed in 7 and 8 string instruments and work well on those as well.


     The HFN-C Active comes with our single channel Player endpin jack preamp. The HFN -C Active VT comes with the same Player endpin jack preamp and adds a set of volume and tone thumbwheel controls.

     HFN Artist models feature our two channel Artist II endpin jack preamp which can be run from an onboard 9 volt battery or from phantom power. The HFN Artists are available with either one or two thumbwheel volume controls. These thumbwheel controls simply stick to the underside of the lip of the sound hole. A single thumbwheel control would be used to control the volume of our HFN pickup. The second thumbwheel control would be used if you wish to add a secondary pickup (like a magnetic sound hole pickup). Having two thumbwheel volume controls allows you to mix and blend both pickups as you like.

     Installation is quick and simple and takes about 15 minutes. All HFN's come fully wired, complete and ready to install. The Active and Artist models also include a self adhesive velcro mount cordura nylon battery bag. Neat and tidy.


About The Preamp That Comes With The HFN-C Artist

     The HFN-C Artist models now comes with our latest generation of Artist II endpin jack preamp featuring multiple power capability. This means that the preamp can be run from an onboard 9 volt battery, or from Phantom Power (up to 48 volts dc as supplied by a PA system or amplifier), or from an outboard battery box. The Artist II preamp has a trim pot on the circuit board for setting maximum gain.
                    So, the choice is yours: "Do I put a battery in there.....or don't I?"

     The HFN-C Artist is available with a thumbwheel volume control.  This provides the player with fingertip control over the output volume. The thumbwheel control simply sticks to the underside of the lip of the sound hole.

     Installation is quick and simple and takes about 15 minutes. All HFN-C's come fully wired, complete and ready to install. The Artist models also include a self adhesive velcro mount cordura nylon battery bag. Neat and tidy.

The Design Of The HFN-C Series

     Due to its' design, the HFN-C's for nylon string guitars sounds like and behaves more like a good quality studio microphone; something that you would never expect from a pickup. Noticeably absent is the usual 'quack' that you get from under the saddle pickups because what you're getting is the sound of the instrument itself, not just the percussive response that you get from placing a pickup in contact with the underside of a guitar saddle. Since the pickup really does respond and sound like a mic, adding any sort of microphone in conjunction with the HFN-C is unnecessary.

     The pickup is designed to allow it to flex and move along with the soundboard of the instrument. There is a certain amount of flex built into the arching of the rosewood pickup base and as well there is both some flex allowed and some isolation from the soundboard provided by the 3M VHB foam mounting tape.

     Utilizing a single piezo sensing element that comes into contact with the soundboard of the guitar through the 'feet' of the pickup base allows for several things. First, the HFN-C is able to sample from more than one spot and to sample those spots across a span of time. Second, since we are able to do all this with just the one element, the chances of creating mechanical phasing issues caused by having to use more than one sensing element is eliminated.

About HFN-C's With Our Endpin Jack Preamps

     HFN-C Active: A single HFN is all you really need. So, we've now made our HFN-C pickups available with our Player endpin jack preamp. One pickup, a single channel preamp.....and volume and tone thumbwheel controls are avaiable if you'd like them.  

     HFN-C Artist: When you get the HFN-C with our Artist II endpin jack preamp you're getting something very unique. This premap has the ability to be run from either an onboard 9 volt battery, or from Phantom Power (up to 48 volts dc) supplied by a mixer or amp, or from our RP-1 outboard battery box. For added convenience the Artist II endpin jack preamp can come with a thumbwheel volume control.


A Word About Classical Bracing Patterns

     The HFN-C's are designed to fit virtually all classical and flamenco guitars. The only exceptions are those instruments built with the very rare Fleta bracing pattern which has the braces much closer together than is found in a normal classical. We do make a specially designed pickup base for these Fleta braced instruments and that is available at no additional charge but must be ordered directly.

Installation Instructions and Fitting Template

Installation Instructions:   HFN-C (passive) pdf     HFN-C Active series     HFN-C Artist series pdf      

    Should you have any concerns about whether an HFN-C will fit properly within your guitar, you may download the following pdf which contains full size drawings of all HFN bases. Do not scale this page when you print it after downloading: HFN Pickup Template - pdf




      Jason Fowler playing a 1978 Sergei DeJonge:  Midwestern Lament



HFN-C Artitst  sample by Kris Wolinski



     With a stroke of luck, we happened to get two of the same exact classical guitars together at the same time for back to back sampling of our HFN-C Artist Classical pickup versus another well known brand. The classicals used for these four samples were identical La Patrie Presentation model instruments with cedar tops.

     Samples were recorded straight into the computer with no EQ'ing. Here you go......

Competitor's pickup playing tune 1     vs     HFN-C Artist playing tune 1

Competitor's pickup playing tune 2     vs     HFN-C Artist playing tune 2

HFN-C Artist playing tune 3 (La Patrie, cedar top, no eq)






Just wanted to tell you that I recently bought the Schatten HFN-C pickup and endpin preamp. I installed them into my 26 year old Cuenca guitar and I'm very pleased with the sound I'm getting. Big improvement on a 'regular' piezo pickup !
Pete Kelly
York, England




August 16, 2010
I had recently ordered a Schatten HFN-C (passive) and was blown away by the sound on my classical guitar using a K&K preamp! You guys have a good thing going for sure.
I quickly ordered a second pickup for steel string (see below), and I was hoping it could arrive in Iowa by this Friday...
is that possible?

August 17, 2010
Hello Jonathan, and thank you for your order.
We shipped it on Monday August 16 with UPS and it is scheduled to arrive at your destination on Thursday August 19. Here is the tracking number so you may follow its progress. 1xxxxxx 68 4467 xxxx.
Please let me know your thoughts on the pickup or if you have any other questions.
Rod Rose
Sales Manager
Schatten Design Acoustic Pickups

August 20 2010
Thanks, arrived, installed and sounds great. Best amplified sound I've had yet on steel string. Warmer than K&K and less sensitive to hand pressure on the bridge (I do a lot of damped string strumming)





I have just returned from a very successful UK tour including shows with Jethro Tull, Donovan, The Animals, Martin Simpson, Andy Fairweather Low, and many others performing at various festivals and venues. Was a great trip.

I just wanted to let you know that I have installed the pickup in my classical guitar and am very happy with the results. There is a nice bit of depth and clarity to the Schatten unit that I really like. It also allows for great percussion sounds on the body of the guitar which I use extensively. All in all, a great sounding pickup.

The newly amplified guitar will be doing four international guitar festivals over four countries this year, including numerous other festivals and concerts. I look forward to hearing it on the road.
Guy Buttery



Hi Les,
     I recently installed the HFN C passive pickup into my classical guitar.....The installation process was very easy ..... I found the thicker tape had the best tonal response and output for my guitar.
I have to say this is by far the most natural sounding pickup that I have ever tried in any of my acoustic guitars. It's extremely well balanced with sufficient output for use with my Raven preamp. 

     It really does sound like I'm playing through a good quality microphone. I have been searching many years for a pickup that does not alter the sound of my guitars.  
You've nailed it! Thanks so much.

Bill Sova, St. Pete., Florida. 


     HFN-C Artist: "The HFN-C soundboard pickup sounds much better than my previous under-saddle pickup. It's very open and natural sounding without the piezo quack."

Jason Fowler









     "When I first saw The Schatten pickup I didn't expect it to sound very good. Boy was I surprised! Rich, warm, fat and completely natural. The promo read 'Studio Microphone Quality Sound' I said to myself yea, right, sure..... After I installed it YEA, RIGHT! It sounded great. I am now using it for all of my performances and recordings. Keep up the good work guys!"

Anthony Arizaga (La Quinta, California)




Dear Schatten,
I would like to say that the Schatten pick up for classical  guitar is the Best in the World...:-)
I am, after short test. The sound is very natural.
I looked for a pick up like Schatten for a very long time. Congratulations.
Best Regards
Kris Wolinski (Poland)



About Pickups & Amps


Passive Pickup - A piezo pickup.

Impedance - To simplify things as much as posssible we'll say that impedance refers to the range in which an amplifying device can 'hear' a pickup plugged into it.

Preamp - A device specifically designed for use with piezo pickups that increases the signal strength and lowers the impedance of a passive pickup.

Active Pickup - A piezo pickup with an attached preamp.

Microphone Preamp - a device that may be built into and mixers that is designed to work with microphones. These units will not generally work with passive pickups.

'Normal' Electric Guitar Amps: A passive pickup has an impedance of approximately 2 mega ohms (2 million ohms) which virtually all 'normal' electric guitar amps can generally handle without issue.

 'Acoustic' Amps: may or may not require the use of a preamp with a pickup and that will depend upon whether or not there is a special built in preamp section to that amp that specifically allows for the choice in plugging in either a passive (non-preamped) or active (preamped) pickup. This choice is quite often in the form of pushbutton on the amp's control panel. Many acoustic amps show a selection that may indicate the choice of 'high impedance' and 'low impedance'.

Low impedance in these instances usually indicates that in this range the amp will handle an impedance of 1000 ohms or less - which will allow active pickups with preamps to be used.

High impedance in these instances may indicate an allowable impedance into the 2 or 3 mega ohm range - which will allow passive pickups to be used. Or it may indicate a maximum input impedance allowed of  20,000 ohms or less - which will handle magnetic electric guitar pickups but not passive pickups. You should carefully read the technical specifications of your acoustic amp in order to see what it will do.

P.A. Systems, Mixers: all of these units will require the use of a preamp between themselves and a passive pickup. Microphone preamps built into P.A.'s and mixers are not designed for use with passive pickups and will not work properly.

Computers: Due to the vagaries and variables inherent in the sound cards found in computers, the only thing that we can advise is that a preamp will almost certainly be necessary.