|This instrument is unmistakably made in (what used to be known as) Eastern Germany, and the style is close to that of the "Musikalia" brand from that region. It's age is a (yet) undetermined. It looks pretty beat-up, but a closer look will tell that that's only superficial - only the finish is damaged.|
|The most striking detail is the a-symmetrical headstock - 5 tuners left,
4 right giving a total of 9 strings: 1 single bass-string and 4 pairs.|
The instrument is traditionally tuned C GG CC EE GG (low to high), which is "open C" tuning. But since that is rather unpractical for Irish/Celtic music, I keep it tuned (at the moment - I'm still playing around with alternatives) G DD GG DD GG. The neck is not reinforced, which makes it impractical to retune often.
|The inlaid pickguard is, as is usual for instruments made in Eastern Germany,
worked in the top rather than glued onto the top. This means the top of the
pickguard is flush with the wood of the top. The top itself is good quality
spruce, with dense grain and "silk" figuring. The neck and body are solid
wood, but I'm not sure what sort.|
The tailpiece is a rather cheap mandolin/mandola type, with 8 little hooks. The bass string is attached to the same hook as the left-most string of the lowest pair, which may indicate that the instrument is built for low string tension.