I had found on my grandfather basement this old acoustic guitar (6-string) which has no brand, no attached paper to show specifications or manufacture source I mean but a tiny sticker on behind says "made in USSR" where I conclude it belongs to Soviet period! but I got hours and hours digging in the web to find something similar and no result.
So I am asking here if any of you would help me to decide what to do with this guitar, does it worth to save it or just throw it away ?
UPDATE: for more photos click here
another question if possible how can I figure out which wood it made from ? enter image description here

  • 4
    I'd be hard pressed to throw any wood that is 20 years or older away.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 14:23
  • Looking at the additional pics it appears that there is very little fret wear. This indicates that nylon strings were probably used primarily - although someone could have put steel strings on it most recently. Also, the pics clearly show that this guitar has a bolt on neck. The bolt visible inside the guitar where the neck joins the body is NOT a truss rod. If you add strings in the future after replacing the tuners, I recommend nylon strings. If you take it to someone who makes custom cabinets, they could probably tell you what the wood is. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:42
  • It's probably not worth much, but it's quaint and I think that if you put it on ebay, you may very well find someone who'd like to get it for one reason or another -- I'd do that rather than throwing it away.
    – MMazzon
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 16:25

7 Answers 7


You are missing the tuners. I can not speak to the value of the guitar but it is not playable until at least that is replaced. It is unclear from the picture whether the tuners were friction or gear. I am betting on friction. If they were friction some slight adaption may be desired to fit modern gear tuners on the instrument. At the same time, if the instrument is valuable for it's history, then you may not want to add the tuners.

Still more detailed pictures could help to evaluate it further.

  • (done) A side view of the headstock (top of the picture).
  • An angle shot near the sound hole.
  • A picture of the bracing on the inside of the guitar.
  • (done) A close up of the nut (The black part in the current pick near the headstock).
  • A close up of the frets, which look worn in this picture, but may be passable.
  • A couple different angles of the neck.

Value is subjective and subject to change over time. From the one picture the guitar looks serviceable, in other-words it probably could be made to work properly. Also note that it appears to be a classical/flamingo style guitar which would require nylon strings. Steel stings would likely ruin the guitar.

Update: looking at the added headstock picture, it looks like it had gears at some point. Finding the right gears to fit the head stock may take some doing (There are many different sizes from different manufacturers especially with older models), but it should be possible.

If I was shopping for it, perhaps I would pay $50 (american) as is. Perhaps $100 if it was fixed. and these numbers are on the high end. But there is sure to be something special about having a guitar that has a history and a look, and a story. The rosette is interesting. It may be possible to identify it further from that.

  • thanks for replying, the tuners actually I did disassembled them as I am looking to replace them because one of them is damaged ! and the strings I think it was steel I don't know but all got cut here some extra pictures may clarify the situation imgur.com/a/NBrfu : the others pictures I am working on but I am facing a problem with the internet connection sorry
    – wisdom
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 16:28
  • You are correct that the strings you took off are steel. I wonder if it has a truss rod... You would see a bolt on the inside of the body where the neck is, since it's not on the headstock. It could also have a permanent support. Or the last person to string it did not know what they were doing, because it still looks like it was designed for nylon.
    – amalgamate
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 16:37
  • Sometimes you can fix the old tuners rather than replace them. It is probably not worth too much fuss, but it is good for the kitsch value (the story). and it's probably better not to put too much (money) into it.
    – amalgamate
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 16:40
  • here is the damaged tuner and the truss rod I suppose you mentioned imgur.com/a/NBrfu
    – wisdom
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 16:54
  • I faced a similar issue with a guitar tuner of mine and I was able to replace just that part of the tuner by experimenting with different tuners available on the market (which are not standardized so good luck, I was lucky.).
    – amalgamate
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 17:04

I certainly wouldn't throw this away; if I didn't want to keep it as a curiosity piece, I would try to sell it. It may not be a great musical instrument, but it's suitable for a museum or a collector of Soviet memorabilia.

I would expect to find:

  • It is playable, but doesn't sound or feel great.
  • Nobody would buy it for musical reasons
  • Someone would want to buy it as a historical artefact (although it won't make you rich!)
  • You may find that a luthier would buy if just for the wood.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 9:56

Your best bet is to take it to a luthier. They would be happy to have a look at it and quickly identify whether or not it's a good instrument, or if it will require a lot of expensive work, or if it has any irreparable structural defects (though everything in the photos looks good!). Anything that looks busted or worn out can generally be fixed, the tuners, the nut, the bridge, even the frets are all easy to replace.

Another benefit of going to a luthier is that most usually keep a device on hand, which I believe is called a ToneRite, that attaches directly to the bridge of an instrument and uses the instrument itself as a speaker. They can even reproduce recordings by famous performers directly through your instrument! Getting your hands on one of these devices temporarily could be imperative, partly because you'll get an idea about how your guitar sounds, but mainly because stringed instruments like guitars are meant to be a little loose at the joints. When a guitar sits too long, even a very expensive guitar, it might sounds like a 10 dollar toy until it's been played for a little while. But it all depends on the construction. So before you decide to have any work done on this instrument, try and talk a luthier into at least running a ToneRite on your guitar overnight so you can get a good idea of its sound quality!


It's a hard question to answer, but I started to play guitar when I found an old spanish guitar which belonged to my father when he was young (more o less, a 20 year old guitar as well). At that time, it was not clear whether I would keep playing guitar or not, so I didn't buy another one until I decided myself to go on. If the wood is not eaten by woodworm and it sounds (more or less) good, for me it would be a pity to throw away an instrument.

  • great to hear that, absolutely I admire music especially classic ones and I have the willingness to start playing guitar these next few weeks.
    – wisdom
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 15:05

Instrument-making did not play a much renowned role in the USSR. So you could have instrument makers who disposed of their factory duties by working insane shifts for a week, then working on instruments for two weeks at a time privately.

"Traditional" instruments like Balalaikas or Bayans might have had some degree of an official blessing: in that case, there might have been really good instruments produced during regular work hours in state factories.

A guitar is not likely to be among those, however. If it has been produced by a capable hobbyist or freelancer, it is quite well possible that its sound quite exceeds its looks. Or not.

You really need to get it into playing condition and let someone capable try it out for figuring out whether it is worth playing on or rather something nice to hang from a wall.


Probably worth nothing to a collector but don't throw it away. I suggest you give it to a beginner who is too poor to buy a guitar. It will be worth a great deal to them.

If you feel especially generous you might even add some strings and tuners. However, before doing this get someone who knows, to assess the guitar for playability. If it has been in storage for a long time the neck may be warped or there may be other expensive problems. I highly doubt it will be worth having expensive professional repairs.


This is not a 6 string. It is a 7 string. Circa 1988 Soviet.

  • From the additional pictures, it seems fairly clear that it was fitted with 6 strings initially.
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 14:45

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