Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ


Today with the increased popularity of building CBGs, there has been a boom in online sales. Especially on Ebay. Here are a few suggestions that I hope will lead to a group discussion about how to insure a quality purchase.
 
1. View samples of past builds.
2. Look for audio samples or better yet video demonstrations.
3. Inquire about a builder in a discussion group or on a website like www.cigarboxnation.com or www.handmademusicclubhouse.com

I am not a builder, but a long time player who has been fortunate to have a friend who is a high end professional guitar builder. He has taught me many things to look for, that leads to an instrument that plays easy with superior action, intonation, volume, sustain, and tone. Furthermore, you want an instrument that last for years.

I have also been fortunate over the years, to have some fine builders supply me with instruments to play. To be perfectly honest, most of the instruments I have received have been of very good quality. I have always offered private commentary as how to improve some existing problems. I have no financial business arrangements with any of these builder. Nor do I endorse one builder over another. They are there simply for your comparison and consideration. Additionally, there are many other "good looking" builders, who I have not had the opportunity to play one of their builds. So, definitely shop around.

I am posting this, because on visual inspection I have seen many instruments for sale that are highly questionable. It my hope as a community we can help aspiring students to get good quality functional CBGs into their hands and help them avoid the sorrow of a bad buy.
 
Thank you for your time. I hope to hear your thoughts.

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Good thread. I build my own but, I'd like to improve on them. I haven't built that many yet. Hope some more builders chime in.

I see a lot of them on the bay. They have the fret board even with the top of the box. This puts the strings kind of close to the sound board.  Makes it hard to get clean picks of the strings.  At least for me.

Mark

 

 

Thanks Keni.  Some good points.  I see a lot of questionable builds.  Over the years I've seen many guys discover this hobby, and by the time they're done with their first build they already have a logo and a web page for their new luthier business.

Hopefully your tips to avoid buying a  substandard instrument help out some of the folks here.

I have one tip to guarantee that a buyer gets a great instrument at a fair price: buy a Crocker...

        :)

I see a lot of non-intonated bridges out there. The saddle should not be straight across...

Having a neck angle will also greatly improve playability.

So unless you're playing slide only, these two are essential for a great playing and sounding guitar. You should be able to see these things in photos.

That's funny. I often build cbgs with floating bridges, cocking the bridge/saddle on setup to get the right intonation. Then I move it back to straight when I photograph it, because MOST people don't understand that and think it looks wrong/crooked. Hmm.



Skeesix said:

I see a lot of non-intonated bridges out there. The saddle should not be straight across...

Having a neck angle will also greatly improve playability.

So unless you're playing slide only, these two are essential for a great playing and sounding guitar. You should be able to see these things in photos.

its a Cigar Box Guitar not a Taylor or Gibson or a Martin. I sometimes think people lose sight of what we're talking about here

if you are a guitar player [ i play blues- slide, so i,m at home playing a fretless CBG's]. But you can you want to go with a  fretted model. Coming from the 'blues', you'll be able to do that shuffle on the I or 5 or both, and to ocasionally throw a little fretted phrase in there to keep it interesting.

Sorry I haven't been around here lately. For those who are determined, CBGs can rise to a very high standard. It is certainly possible to build a simple highly functional CBG without all the bell and whistle aesthetics. Having a low action allows playing with the fingers. The intonation is correct and the CBG plays in tune. My point is, knowing the actual technical demand required, it is great to see this determination. I definitely appreciate a good CBG. Happy Holidays.     

great to hear from you keni,your input,s allways welcome,hope the season is kind to you and yours,take care

im not a pro luthier, by far. i just build them for fun. two i gave away, two i sold, and about 20 simple canjoś for my sons class (school for authistic kids) so not that much of builds on my name. i doubt they where perfect, nor will i claim they are. the customers knew they where getting a handbuild, quite primitive instrument that wont play as good as a martin or gibson, let alone sound as good.

some of the builders here make very good quality cbg's or guitars. i think if you sell/advertise them for what they are you and your customer never will be disapointed.

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