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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Russian guitars

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Has anyone played or owned a Russian guitar? They made some wild looking guitars.

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/24921-russian-guitars-beasts-from-the-east?page=3

http://www.mixdownmag.com.au/brief-history-soviet-guitars

I have an Aelita like the one in the first link. It didn't play well well I got it and I immediately took it apart. The action was super high for some reason. They really aren't very good. The neck on mine has a crack in it that could probably be repaired but I decided I'm going to put a different neck on it when I rebuild it because of something else: the tuners aren't in line with the strings. The low E has a pronounced change in direction right after the nut (it's just a guide, as there is a zero fret.)

I'd really like to retain the sparkle gold headstock mine has, since it matches the pick guard, but I don't know if it will be possible. I'll probably get some paddle headstock and try to make it as close in shape as possible while retaining straight string shots.

The fretboard is not rosewood as it appears; it's some lighter wood with stain on it. The body is kind of junky with a huge swimming pool route and has a super thick coating of some epoxy-like paint, which I removed with a heat gun to a nasty smell. I think the bottom of the swimming pool is only about 1/4" thick.

The bridge is a decent design executed terribly. Unusable. It has stamped rollers but they're super loose and just terrible. It does have a mute, though, which I can hopefully retain.

The one good thing about it is the pickups and accompanying electronics. They sound quite good and there is a wide variety of tones available, though I don't think all my switching is working properly. I bought it really because of the pickups. I didn't play it first but I naively assumed they'd be like Teisco pickups. They are but that's not because they're genetically related; I believe the Russians did make them themselves.

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Last edited: Dec 02, 2019 22:54:06

A delightful catastrophe?

Those pickups look like the ones in my Sekova (Teisco) and they sounded great.

I had the same Aelita, the blue one, in the end of 80th
These Aelitas and Stellas from Rostov-na-donu were the only electric guitars we could find in USSR together with Musima from Eastern Germany and some other from social republics that were much more expensive and rare.
Aelita was awful as Redfeather described) I remember that bridge often got away and flew to the bass player’ head next to me and we made it a kind of part of our show))) I played some rock on it in a band till I got Epiphone in the end of 90th. Good times these were...

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Last edited: Dec 11, 2019 12:05:37

I just realized that mine is missing its bridge in that picture. I guess it runs in the family!

Gotta say, though, I am looking forward to putting it back together with some upgraded parts because it did sound really cool!

Redfeather wrote:

I just realized that mine is missing its bridge in that picture. I guess it runs in the family!

Gotta say, though, I am looking forward to putting it back together with some upgraded parts because it did sound really cool!

yep, mine had a kind of weird tunomatic bridge)
Also the cable was not a jack-jack bit some strange connector that suited only my grandpa tube radiola form 50th)

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

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