Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

It might be a surprising fact for you but in Russia there are still a few factories producing guitars. During Soviet times, Russian people had to buy mostly all locally made products, so guitar manufacturers were blooming. Then, Russia opened its markets to foreign merchandise and many ex-Soviet factories went bankrupt. Many think that Russian guitar makers went bankrupt too and aren’t producing anything now, Chinese stuff is cheaper and often better made. However this is not true, and this is one example of an old Soviet guitar maker that is still making acoustic guitars. Thanks to Russian photo blogger Andrei who went there and took photos we can see what the Russian guitar maker looks like from inside.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

This factory has been working since 1974. At first it was Soviet state property, now it’s a private venture.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

There is a factory outlet on its grounds selling all of their products at half the price of them in music instruments stores. In total, this factory makes over twenty different guitar models.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Some of the guitar decks are hand painted. They participate in state supported artisan crafts program so they have to hand paint old school motifs and designs, and not just use any they like. On one hand it’s great – it stays conservative and belongs to Russian tradition from other handmade guitars with such artwork, often evoking jokes targeted at such guitar owners.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

And here are the factories workshops. Not much has changed since Soviet times.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Each guitar is made from different types of wood: spruce, birch, beech.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Here a man is cutting pieces of plywood which will become the upper and lower decks of a future guitar.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

And here is a curve pattern for one of the guitars. It probably remains unchanged from Soviet times, too.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

This lady sorts out good pieces of plywood from bad. The ones having knots, swirls or cracks are not accepted.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

A few sheets of wood are pressed and glued together to make guitar necks.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

The workshop where pieces are being assembled into guitars.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Here a lady is creating those curved guitar shells – the side parts of the guitar.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

These presses are used to glue the guitars together.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

A worker makes holes in the guitar bodies to insert the guitar necks.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Then all joints are concealed.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

And the guitars are set aside to dry out.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Then they are polished.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

The next workshop.  This stand alone building is where the guitars are being varnished. Andrei couldn’t get in there because the factory people told him it is a highly flammable place and it even has a high risk of explosion, so he only took a photo from outside.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Then after varnishing, the guitars are dried in these driers that look like garages.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

And then the guitars go to the final workshop where all the finishing operations and assembly is done.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Here are newly varnished and dried guitar bodies.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

And newly varnished guitar necks.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Strings are not tightened by hand – a special machine is used to do this.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Here is the master who tunes up the guitars. His name is Maxim. He emigrated to Russian from Ukraine last year when the war began there. He is from Donetsk. He was a musician back there but now he works in this factory. He earns 12,000 roubles each month, which equals to less than $200.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Some Russian celebrities have ordered their personal custom built guitars from here.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

The guitars are ready, they only need to be packed in cardboard boxes.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

This is Andrei, the author of this story and photos. Thanks Andrei for sharing it with the world!

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

This factory also makes wicker chairs. During the 1990s when guitar making couldn’t sustain the factory they started this business and as they say it’s pretty much blooming now.

Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia

Here are some samples of their wicker furniture.

Thanks again to Andrei for the photos!

His website is below:

via

8 thoughts on “Russian Acoustic Guitar Makers from Bobrovo Russia”

  1. Is there any logical reason as to why these 29 images couldn’t be posted on one single page? Having to click through a couple of images at a time is extremely annoying. I just can’t be bothered. Sorry.

  2. Very low tech.probably very bad quality sound. Makes Chinese guitars look good. Plywood body, plywood neck, made in primitive conditions, no humidity controls, probably no neck adjustment. You would have to be desperate for one of these guitars. Or have no money for a better quality guitar. low price…low quality. Not impressed , but surprised they are still in business. Yes, I am a guitar player. I also collect Russian electric guitars from the 1960s – 1980s. I have 7 of them. They are very low quality also…but they are very FUNKY and interesting.

  3. Interested in going to guitar factory, does anyone know or have the address or contact information for the guitar factory ?

Leave a Comment