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7. Old Russian Balalaika (786)  150 euros new
Larger photos are available on request.

Old Russian 6 string balalaika

This is an old, Russian balalaika probably from the early to mid 20th century. It is in good condition after restoration. There is a label but due to water damage it is indecipherable…


This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The laminated top is sound with NO repairs. It has an 8-piece maple and fruitwood back. It has the original fingerboard and frets. The tuners, tail pins and bridge are new. It has been refinished throughout. It has been restrung as a traditional balalaika, EE EE AA, and is now playing well with a bright ringing sound, and an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) replaced the original struts with new to correct a dip in the top which was detached; 2) refitted the top and replaced damaged edging; 3) levelled 16 original brass frets; 4) refinished throughout with shellac and Tru-oil; 5) made and fitted a new bone nut and bridge; 4) fitted new tail pins, and 5) strung and set up.


Balalaika Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of balalaika


Width of balalaika at widest point


Approx. Depth of balalaika

110mm at bridge.


Refinished with shellac and tru-oil varnish.

Belly wood

Book matched spruce with new domed struts fitted beneath.

Scratch plate

Built in, perhaps fruitwood. Perfect.

Sound hole

Round; diameter approx 25mm

Back and sides

8 piece maple and fruitwood back in good condition.

Neck and Head

Two-piece, painted neck and head, in good condition. Slight wear to the stain/paint near the head.


Original with 16 brass frets. New bone nut.

Machine heads

New single open tuners.


Strings are fitted to three string pins


New bridge with bone saddle fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 430mm

E string height at bridge


A string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom of E string (Action)


12th fret to bottom of A string (Action)


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point