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Maria Solo electric guitar.

This guitar was made in Leningrad somewhere in the seventies.

The name of the factory (according to the label) is Factory of Folk Musical (picking) Instruments named after Lunacharsky, Leningrad. The whole body is made of plastic. Approximately at the same time Leningrad factory produced acoustic guitars with a plastic body but wooden top. Inspired by this successfull model Leningrad designers continued the experiment and produced this absurd electric guitar with a whole body made of plastic. The guitar was a part of the series which also included 12-string and bass guitars. They all featured symmetric plastic body (335-style) and factory own pickups.

The plastic top has two weak glued wooden (spruce) braces. With the strings on, the top heavily curves. The neck is three-piece beech, with beech fingerboard. The neck joint features five bolts.

The truss rod cannot straighten the neck not on the 12-string nor on bass. The pickups are single coils, with the middle pickup out of phase to the neck and bridge pu's. The controls include three volumes - one for each pickup - and master tone.

All three Leningrad plastic guitars sound very bad, badly assembled, and the worst of all - cannot be improved in any way. They were the last choise for Soviet musicians, used only when there was virtually nothing else to play. They constantly switchen hands, passing from those who was stupid enough to buy them to those who were ready to play anything. These are probably the worst of all Soviet guitars.

Owner's story:
I purchased my instrument in the winter of 2000 for 25 EEKs (about 2.01 USD). The previous owner had removed the floating bridge and the nut, he had also used the guitar as a sled (I'm serious, he went down hills with it...the plastic body really picks up speeds...) so the body had a little crack in it (visible in the pictures - near the upper f-hole). I made the bridge and the nut from plywood and the guitar played well acoustically and also with an amp (EVEN WITH NYLON STRINGS...go figure...). The only problems were with the tuning pegs, the guitar would not stay in tune...not a new problem with older soviet guitars... A few months ago I removed the pickups and changed the tuning pegs, the old pickups and all of the other electronics are going on a differernt guitar (an Orfeus Solo), so the Lenny is going to be a full acoustic or maybe I'll fit a single-coil on it...time will tell.


Credits:
Michael Koltuhov,
Joonas - Tartu, Estonia (the guitar owner).

A couple of better pictures from ebay. For some unknown reason it's a pretty rare (ebay) sight, maybe because it does not look as radical as many other Russian electrics and also plays very bad.

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