I'm thinking it is more mandolin than guitar, and that it was built as a functional theater prop.

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Hi, I would say it is not a guitar or a mandolin but a Balalaika. A traditional Russian stringed instrument.

Taff is correct.  I went to a Ukrainian dance performance back in April.  I was able to speak to this lady about her 3 string CBG.  ;)Somewhere I have  Ukrainian 

Hi again, just a bit more info about the Balalaika. They are commercially available in different sizes, Prima, Alto, bass, and Double Bass. Tuned to E4-E4-A4, E3-E3-A3, and E2-A2-D3, E1-A1-D2 for the basses.

A Piccolo size is harder to find, it is an octave above the prima and tuned E5-E5-A5.

I got this information from the last issue of the American Lutherie journal that I was reading last night. What a coincidence.

Might be worth trying those tunings on your CBG, then pull on your boots and get kicking, or maybe just picking.
Cheers Taff

I was thinking, buy it, add two necks, tune one each EBE, DAD, and DGD. This is Soviet era, so not an antique masterpiece. If I found one at a thrift store or pawn shop I might do that. not interested in paying for the shipping on this one.

Hi, a three-neck instrument sounds interesting. I think it would be a better deal to build an instrument to take three necks from scratch than to modify a body that tapers up to accept only one neck.

Plenty of room for three tailpieces and three bridges, but three necks? would be an interesting project. I can visualize ways to do it but there's too much surgery involved for my liking.

I would be interested in how you go about it, keep us posted.
Cheers taff

3 necker is doable?

Hi, yes I've seen them before Brian. With a box made for three necks, it's no big deal, just a bit more work. I have a picture somewhere of a guitar with 5 necks, there are a few about.
Cheers Taff

"I have a picture somewhere of a guitar with 5 necks"

Years ago (1981), Cheap Trick's guitarist, Rick Nielson, had Hamer make one for him.


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