The Gear I Use (and Other Recommendations)
Several people have requested that I list the equipment I own. Below you’ll see the items I use along with other gear I recommend.
Semyon Ivanovitch Nalimoff, No. 104, made in 1902
Andreas Gerth, No. 38, made in 2010
1st metal guitar string – 0.28mm/0.011”, 0.29mm/0.0115” – by Gospodin Muzykant Factory, Moscow, Russia.
2nd and 3rd – La Bella 3rd nylon guitar strings, High Tension
Good strings are very important! They are the nerves of your balalaika. Over the years I have experimented with many different sizes and brands. Recently I switched to the Russian made “Gospodin Muzykant” brand. I find Russian-made first strings to be excellent, they sound great in concerts and on the recordings but they are hard to get in this country! But fortunately now you can get them right here on this site!
The 2nd and 3rd strings are equally important! Sometimes, a mediocre balalaika can sound well if the strings are right. And the only way to find out what strings are good for you balalaika is to experiment with different kinds. It takes time and effort, but you will be very pleased with your instrument if you find the right stings.
Balalaika Case
You want to protect your very valuable instrument. There are many cases available. For example, you can find them on eBay. You can buy there a Romanian made balalaika with a case for around $150. Throw out the balalaika and keep the case. Romanian made balalaikas are awful but the cases are okay.
You can also buy a case from they are Chinese made (what is not nowadays?), but inexpensive and will do the job.
If you are serious about protecting your instrument I would suggest THIS CASE


which is made in Croatia by an artisan instrument case company and is what I would call the King Of All Balalaika Cases. Super durable composite material, flight reenforced, well padded, beautifully designed and superbly manufactured. You can get your own logo or a signature printed on a case. It comes in different colors, as well.  Contact me directly for ordering.
I have had this case for about three years now, and it has been through a lot of heavy duty traveling, rain and snow and still looks pretty much new.
Did I say it was waterproof? Well, at least 95 % waterproof. It survived several rains and snow falls. I have never had a heart to test it in the ocean for the sake of knowing if my balalaika will survive water landing.
Microphone: DPA 4061-BM