#1
I bought this guitar off an old russian dude in Beijing today and it sounds amazing, i'm not a connoisseur but its the nicest sounding guitar i've ever played.

http://s32.photobucket.com/user/lethestan/library/

http://s32.photobucket.com/user/lethestan/library/

Seeing as i dont understand russian, i'm wondering if someone here can help me to identify it - when it was made etc? the russian guy said he bought it a few decades ago, thinks it was made in the 50s and that it originally had 7 strings - thats all he knew

Also there are a few cracks on the front, some have been filled with glue, others haven't and the laquer has worn off in several areas. The neck also seems to be misaligned and you can see in one of the pictures that someone has propped it up near the sound hole, but im worried this is starting to crack the front...should i attempt to remove the prop or take it to a luthier first?

One other thing, i wonder whether its a good idea to restore it to its original seven string form? However the extra tuning knob has been removed and holes filled in...what to do?
#2
Well, it's certainly an interesting old instrument, and one that has had a lot of improvised repair and modification.
I wonder if it started out life as a steel-string, with the two top strings doubled? This would be a not-uncommon setup for an Eastern European instrument... They do love their tremolo playing..

Looks like someone has attempted a primitive neck re-set, with that dowel under the fretboard.
I wonder if this is part of an attempt to convert to nylon strings... To get a bit more bridge clearance. The tuning machines don't look to be original either... One of the holes on the inside of the headstock is drilled too large.
You would likely spend a lot of money trying to bring this old guy up to specs..... I think I'd have a tech look at those cracks and then play it as is.
Lot of character there.
#3
The guitar brand is Diplom (Diploma) and was made by the Lunacharsky factory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). The price of the instrument is 250 rubles which would not be very much now but may have been a lot more in Soviet times. Here is some information on the factory and its instruments:

http://ceo.spb.ru/eng/business/antesov.z.g/about.shtml
http://www.encspb.ru/object/2804001301?lc=en
http://www.euroguitars.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2032
http://cheesyguitars.com/tonika_leningrad.html
#4
Quote by Bikewer
I wonder if it started out life as a steel-string, with the two top strings doubled? This would be a not-uncommon setup for an Eastern European instrument... They do love their tremolo playing..


I would imagine that it would have been tuned to the standard tuning of the seven string Russian guitar, which is Open G (DGBDGBD).
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