Kazakh dombra

A bit of history. Dombra – Kazakh (Kazakhstan) folk stringed musical instrument has its roots to the ancient eastern Tambur.  Dombra is pear-shaped body, a long, thin neck, with gut or nylon frets, a small head with two wooden pegs and two low-tuned strings

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev                                is good dombra player ….



    dombra 6 kz_dombyra_004

Dombra has some distinctive parameters and design features from its closest relatives – such as dumbyra (Bashkiria),  dutar (Tajikistan), saz (Persia), tar (Azerbaijan), kumuz (Dagestan), etc. is mentioned in the 10th century, the famous Arab scholar Ibn – Fadlan,
when he traveled on the Volga river.

The modern standard of Kazakh dombra was developed by Emanuel Romanenko in the early 30s of the 20th century. More information about the great and legendary master can be read HERE. (while in Russian, but will soon add the English version of the article)

My practice the production of dombra is based on experience early masters.
It is fundamental to many other generations of manufacturers of early instruments, including and modern.
Use high-quality material. The design is calculated for the most best tonal flexibility and responsive, with compulsory elements of tonal adjustment , for soundboard. Special attention is paid to seal coat – it could be shellac, some special types of oils and some other finishes. As well as their combination.
Strings can be gut (traditional dombra his time) and nylon (including silver wound) or carbon – from manufacturers such as Savarez, Piramid, Kurshner etc. In addition, the possible introduction of modern electronic devices and components.
Such as piezo, sensors pickups, and other types of known manufacturers.

pickup_dombra_01 pickup_dombra_02 ren_lute_9 


Below are some unique models of Kazakh dombra that I developed and built at different times.

“Dark Princess” Dombra .

“Dark (swarthy) Princess” – was developed not very long ago, but quickly gained a certain popularity among many players and fans of dombra. First of all for its warm, velvety, rich timbre and balanced sound for the entire soundrange.
This tool is very responsive and sensitive, rich in overtones.
Its capabilities and sound palette allow us to reveal the most complex musical themes.

dark_princess_01 dark_princess_02 dark_princess_03 dark_princess_04

For this dombra the basis is Red Canadian Cedar soundboard (top, kakpak).
The necessary thicknesses and special tonal adjustment of the soundboard for the three main (and a few additional) tones is the key value for this model. Also some new design solutions have been made to this dombra, necessary to achieve the correct operation of the cedar soundboard.
Dombra “Dark Princess” is a find for concert performers and not only.

At the moment this dombra is available for order.


Silver Dombra. (Elite model)

Bright, rich, powerful sound. But at the same time, freshness and lightness are felt. The sound simply instantly flies from the string … will reach the farthest corners of your soul … or not your ..

silver-01 silver-02 silver-03 silver-04 silver-05 silver-06 silver-07 silver-08

Body (Shanak) – Curly Maple.
Soundboard, top (kakpak) – Mountain Spruce.
Shellac finish. Intarsia – precious woods.
Dombra equipped with great noiseless sensor pickup that accurately transmit the sound.

At the moment this dombra is available for order.


Red Dombra.  (Elite model)

Very beautiful pouring sound, charming timbre, trance timbre  – you can play for hours, this do not get bored. Some people told me that the sound of this dombra has a therapeutic effect.

dombyra_1 dombyra_2 dombyra_3 dombyra_4

Body (Shanak) is made of Mahogany wood family , with curly texture.
Soundboard, top (kakpak) – a very rare redwood, which has an age of about 2000 years ….
Shellac finish. Intarsia – precious woods.
Dombra equipped with great noiseless sensor pickup that accurately transmit the sound.

At the moment this dombra is available for order.


Concert dombra .

Below are some concert-level instruments. All of them have a good balanced sound, a traditional timbre in which there is something that many are looking for in sound. This all perfectly suits concert performers and also those people who appreciate and understand what a real good sound … “… having an ear – hears.”

Blue_spruce_dombyra1 Blue_spruce_dombyra2 Blue_spruce_dombyra3 Blue_spruce_dombyra4

Soundboard, top (kakpak) – Tien-Shan Spruce. The Body (shanak) is a beautiful very resonant wood of local breeds.

kazakh dombra 001 kazakh dombra 002 kazakh dombra 003 kazakh dombra 004

At the moment this dombra is available for order.


Assorted (mixed) dombra.

dombra10 dombra11 dombra12 dombra13

Specification:                                                                                                                                     Ribs – Figured Sycamore + Indian Rosewood. Soundboard –  Sitka Spruse.                               Neck – Spanish Cedar. Fingerboard –   Black Ebony.   Pickup – US made                                     Finish – shellac, tung oil, Fingerboard oil.


To order dombra  contact me

Comments are closed.