A lot of people have asked me the same question: where to get a good quality inexpensive balalaika?
To me “a good quality inexpensive” is almost an oxymoron.
People do not mind buying cars. Fifteen grand on average for something that will be worth next to nothing in the next 5 years! But paying one or two thousand dollars for something that will only increase in value frightens them.
Go to any garage sale and you will see people almost giving away things for which they paid a lot of money just a few years earlier. Have you ever seen a good instrument there? Yes, we all heard stories, but have YOU actually ever seen anything of great value there? No, and I tell you why. No one wants to part with beauty.
I have only one material thing in life that I value and this is my instrument. When I bought it I paid my one year salary for it. What that Soviet money is worth now? Nothing, zero, zilch, nada!
Luthiers put a lot of their hearts in their instruments, their instruments have souls. Please be nice to them and buy their instruments, allow them to bring even more beauty to this world.
Having said that, you can try these links:
Andreas Gerth, a German luthier extraordinaire
Imperskaya.com a great place for balalaika goodies
The Balalaika and Domra Association of America, classifieds