For some reason or other I decided to try my hand at fixing up an old Balalaika. The good news is that the neck is nice and straight and it appears to have all of its pieces (tuners, nut, bridge, and string pins). My problem is that I haven't got a clue as to how to set it up.

I learned online that the proper way to string them up is with one steel string and 2 nylon or nygut strings. It also seems that some people string them with 3 steel strings as well.

I was hoping that some forum members may be able to shed some light on string choices/gauges, string height, bridge height, etc.

Thanks in advance...

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I added a 4th string to my handmade McIntyre and tune it to CGDA and it plays great...not much of a Russki I guess..put a violin t/p and made a new bridge too......freaked 'em out in a rock&roll bar once upon a is'at?

My McIntyre as of 2day..........


Wow...never would have thought of that! Might just have to give this a try if I don't care for the sound of the 3 string. Thanks Tim.

btw...all steel strings...(C)42,(G)32, and figure out which trebs you like plus experiment w/in a step or so for different tunings......endless possibilities..just don't crank 'em up too high..wish they weren't so hard to handle! based on a 17.75" scale length


I know what you mean about being hard to handle. Its like trying to play a gibson flying v while sitting down. The thing just slides all over the place. 


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