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Thread: Just purchased Balalaika

  1. #1

    Default Just purchased Balalaika

    I purchased a Balalaika at an estate sale the other day. I didn't know what it was exactly but thought it looked pretty neat. I'm trying to find out who the maker is and what I have basically. it says 1976 on the inside and has a lot of Russian writing. It also has a emblem kind of like a octagon with 4 points inside of it and the letters CCCP. Any help in identifying what I have would be greatly appreciated. I have been listening to videos of people playing these and I am blown away. love this instrument. Thanks

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    It is probably made at the Lunacharsky factory in St. Petersburg/Leningrad. I have one from the 1960s, they made mandolins and other assorted instruments as well, and luckily usually stamped year of manufacture. Is your strung with all steel or a combo of steel and nylon? I used a Roosebeck string set with the steel/nylon combo, once the steel A string wore out though I bought an equivalent gauge single Elixir string from www.JustStrings.com

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Its a combo 1 steel and 2 nylon. I really didn't know anything about these and now that I have been researching I love the music played with them amazing

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  7. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    CCCP = SSSR (Soviet era). Can you post a photo of the label or any other branding. There are some of us here who can at least read the Russian alphabet.
    Jim

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  9. #5

    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Here is a history of the Lunacharsky factory that is interesting reading, scroll down halfway if you don't read Russian: http://www.bostonbalalaika.com/lunac...toriya_ru.html Boston Balalaika is a good general resource for balalaika playing as well.

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Let me see what I can do. Its tough because its on the inside of course. Thanks

  12. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Russian built instruments were built in government run factories to government specifications. One of the items on that label will be the specification number for the instrument. I'ts kind of hard for most of us to understand. I work with a young Russian lady that generally translates the labels for me when I run into them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  14. #8
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Seter View Post
    I used a Roosebeck string set with the steel/nylon combo, once the steel A string wore out though I bought an equivalent gauge single Elixir string from www.JustStrings.com
    Quote Originally Posted by grm View Post
    Its a combo 1 steel and 2 nylon. I really didn't know anything about these and now that I have been researching I love the music played with them amazing
    You can use a .010 inch plain loop end steel string for the high A, and for the 2 E's, use a classical guitar G.

    If you search the net there are a number of good free balalaika method books.

    I love the instrument.

    OP? does your have the full length fingerboard?

  15. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Domra adds that 4th string..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  17. #10
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just purchased Balalaika

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Domra adds that 4th string..
    And different tunings.

    Prima balalaika is tune EEA, a unison and a 4th.

    3 string domras are tuned in 4ths

    4 string domras are tuned in 5ths

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