Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

Well it was bound to happen, a mainstream instrument seller now carries Cigar Box Guitars. Elderly instruments has 5 different CBG designs in their catalog.

Art Duality $325




Art Stash $200




Kristoff $175




Hoyo de Monterrey $175




ITC 10th Anniversary $175



Click the links of each name to see more pics and descriptions, or click CIGAR BOX GUITAR - 21ST CENTURY EDITION to see the main CBG page. It says they are made in Michigan, does anyone know who the luthier is?

What do you think???

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Yea, my friend told me he saw a CB mando on there too. They look pretty nice to me. Anyone know who is building them?
would yall be pissed to see a daddy mojo in an elderly catalog?
Let's face it. Some people are never, ever gonna build CBG's. They lack the skills, or the imagination, or are just a hazard with tools. Elderly (and others) see that the CBG revolution is on the upswing, and are willing to separate the odd doctor, lawyer, or stockbroker who fancies themselves a closet blues player from their coinage. More power to 'em.

Me, I love walking in to Elderly. It is a great, big, stringed instrument toy store. As has been stated previously, they have all kinds of stuff for all kinds of budgets, and they carry parts of reasonable quality at reasonable prices. The folks who work there love music. I doubt there are many who work there that don't play at least one type of instrument competently. And their recorded music selection is not likely to be duplicated elsewhere.

So, I guess, if you gotta, riff on 'em if it makes you feel better. But if you're ever in the Lansing, MI area, do yourself a favor and drop in to see the place. Two words: Candy Store.
What I'm trying to figure out is how the builder is making any money with those things he's hawking.He's building fretted necked instruments,which takes time,plus Elderly is taking their cut,add in his costs and he isnt even breaking even if he counts all that time spent building.
I build and sell fretless sliders averaging $80, but I sell them out of my own shop in the MALL where I also work for the MALL itself.
I doubt if I spend an hour per instrument and I only build acoustic to keep the cost down and make the instrument affordable to the impulse buyer. At this price and what little time I have in each instrument , I do ok, but this guy, well, maybe he knows something I dont know,,,,,,,,,,
BINGO!!!

gary martin said:
Try not to think about BUSINESSES or PROFITS..... FROM HERE ON GO FOR GOLD....... ,GO FOR FEELING GOOD,DOING GOOD AND BEING GOOD ,forget ECONOMY its over!!we are just moving deckchairs on a sinking ship ...live life NOW !
Doesn't Jack White of the White Stripes have a Daddy Mojo, I've seen a video of him playing one. This will only increase the exposure of CBG's and inevitably big companies will want to grab a piece of the market, but attitudes are definitely shifting towards the little guy.
I wonder what things will be like when I can no longer get boxes at my local cigar shop for a buck 'cause they can get more for them by selling to Elderly or even Daddy Mojo when he gets as big as Fender or Gibson?
Just a thought....
big K said:
would yall be pissed to see a daddy mojo in an elderly catalog?
Actually, Elderly has been selling these things USED for years. I've seen USED cbg instruments of all types there as long as I have been looking there.
I guess they must have moved well enuff they decided to stock them new.
I would be interested to know if they went looking to buy or if the builder came looking to sell.


Matt
WOW...so many thoughts to wrap my head around!!! My name is Will Sleutel and I guess I'm the bad guy here...I build the cigar box instruments for the awesome folks at Elderly. It almost seems like I owe someone an apology for this, but let me explain a few things first. I've been building experimental instruments for quite a few years and fell in love with the history of cigar box instruments a few years ago when a musician friend asked me to build him a four stringer. After some research, I decided that that the fact that they have endured so many years of new technology and are still loved by so many free thinking musicians, I might try to play and see what happens. I was showing a couple of totally way out instruments to the folks at Elderly, and casually mentioned the I had a couple smoke box guitars fresh off the workbench. They asked me to bring a couple along and it started from there. I couldn't think of a more fitting place to have the honor of selling a few of these babies, and since then it's been nothing but a gas. If you've never been to their store, do yourself a favor and plan to spend a day there to check it out. I've been all over the country in my time in the Coast Guard and have never found a music shop to be so cool and accomodating...and I've been in a whole lot of them.Building CB "whatevers" is a labor of love for me....any profits that I make Iall goes to charity (VA hospitals, VA centers, direct shipments to Iraq and overseas, and to my local schools). I also play, but being a mechanic by trade, my hands are pretty fucked up do do anything too fancy. I'll admit, though, that after a rack of cheap beer, I feel I sound pretty good.But I digress....sorry.
Anyway..I guess I'd be sorry if I was peddling my instruments at Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, etc. , but that isn't the case. It's Elderly Instruments, man!!!! These people ARE part of the spirit of cigar box guitars..And if anyone still has hurt feelings about the fact that I'm selling these instruments there, well I guess I could give half a shit. Much Love, Will (The key is my logo 'cause my name means "key" in the Dutch language. That's Dutch as in great smoke shops....)
Will, its nice to meet you here. I would not at all consider you the bad guy. I would if I thought your CBGs did not have the integrity to be at Elderly's. I think that most of us here are builders and its hard not to comment about this thread without a builder's criticism. Heck, I don't think there is much unfavorable criticism to say about your CBGs.

I think you captured the real description of Elderly's. Its not your usual music shop were the help is using the job as a stepping stone to 'used car sales'. I feel fulfilled after a trip to Elderly's. Many times I am not even looking for anything and many times I window shop only. I have always felt that the help was better than to be expected and the instruments were 'set up' to play well. When I have purchased, they were willing to adjust the instrument anyway I wanted as part of the price.

Elderlys is special to all levels of musicians. I think most people get a sense of that. I think as a CBG builder, to be able to sell CBGs at Elderlys is something to be very envious of.

On a side note, I know of guy that produced an instrument that competed with other instruments that Elderlys sold. I was pleased to purchase a few of these at Elderlys and they are a much finer instrument than its competitors. Over a couple of years, many customers bought and back ordered many of these instruments. The producer just could not supply Elderlys with his product and eventually angered the customers and Elderlys with this problem. Elderlys discontinued selling his products and as of five years, will not reconsider.

The point is that there are many variables to producing a product and selling it through a third party. The ultimate goal is to give the customer a product that the customer feels is worth their money, time , effort and devotion to their skill. All this for the price and experience of the purchase.

Will, I am honored that you replied here and I hope that you feel honored to have your CBGs sold at Elderlys. I know I would.

Will Sleutel said:
WOW...so many thoughts to wrap my head around!!! My name is Will Sleutel and I guess I'm the bad guy here...I build the cigar box instruments for the awesome folks at Elderly. It almost seems like I owe someone an apology for this, but let me explain a few things first. I've been building experimental instruments for quite a few years and fell in love with the history of cigar box instruments a few years ago when a musician friend asked me to build him a four stringer. After some research, I decided that that the fact that they have endured so many years of new technology and are still loved by so many free thinking musicians, I might try to play and see what happens. I was showing a couple of totally way out instruments to the folks at Elderly, and casually mentioned the I had a couple smoke box guitars fresh off the workbench. They asked me to bring a couple along and it started from there. I couldn't think of a more fitting place to have the honor of selling a few of these babies, and since then it's been nothing but a gas. If you've never been to their store, do yourself a favor and plan to spend a day there to check it out. I've been all over the country in my time in the Coast Guard and have never found a music shop to be so cool and accomodating...and I've been in a whole lot of them.Building CB "whatevers" is a labor of love for me....any profits that I make Iall goes to charity (VA hospitals, VA centers, direct shipments to Iraq and overseas, and to my local schools). I also play, but being a mechanic by trade, my hands are pretty fucked up do do anything too fancy. I'll admit, though, that after a rack of cheap beer, I feel I sound pretty good.But I digress....sorry.
Anyway..I guess I'd be sorry if I was peddling my instruments at Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, etc. , but that isn't the case. It's Elderly Instruments, man!!!! These people ARE part of the spirit of cigar box guitars..And if anyone still has hurt feelings about the fact that I'm selling these instruments there, well I guess I could give half a shit. Much Love, Will (The key is my logo 'cause my name means "key" in the Dutch language. That's Dutch as in great smoke shops....)
Hi Will, welcome to the Clubhouse! No apologies necessary, like you said, "it's Elderly, man!!!!" They've got a great rep and some folks here have been to the store and described it as a Disneyland for folks like us. Lots of us would love to be in your position. Many members here sell their instruments in local Mom & Pop music shops and it's great when an opportunity like that comes along. When we start seeing Taiwan mass produced cookie cutter CBGs hanging in every Guitar Center across the land then we'll realize CBGs have jumped the shark.

What''s been the topic of discussion here is how Elderly can sell what is apparently a well made, full featured instrument at the price they do. The conclusion is that the builder is practically giving them away if Elderly is going to make any profit at all. Many of the members here are craftsmen who make their living selling their creations and there's no way we can compete with a respected store like Elderly at a bargain price like that. To see a well crafted fretted neck, a magnetic pickup with full electronics and a finished box with brass corners go for 175 bucks with an Elderly name tag kinda takes the wind out of our sails (and sales). Of course we're all used to being undercut by some of the thrown together crap on eBay. All too often we run into someone who's setting up a guitar business halfway through their first build.

Like I said at the top of this page, it was bound to happen. We'll keep plugging along working in our little shops creating awesome instruments hoping we can cover the rent next month. A lot of us would love to be in a position to make them for free giving any proceeds to charity. The biggest joy is in creating something that someone can make music with. This post came about because we've been joking for years that one of these days there'll be a major name that introduces a CBG at a bargain price that would devalue the time and expense we put into crafting our creations.

Will, you mentioned building CB "whatevers", please post some pics and any videos of your creations on your page. Jump into any forum discussions or groups with any tips & tricks you'd like to share or questions you may have. Catch up with us in the chat room any evening and introduce yourself. Everyone's welcome at the Clubhouse and it seems like you'd be a good fit with the rest of the misfits here who sound great after a few beers...)

Ted

(check out the pics and vids here to get an idea of some of the awesome talent in the Clubhouse)



Will Sleutel said:
WOW...so many thoughts to wrap my head around!!! My name is Will Sleutel and I guess I'm the bad guy here...I build the cigar box instruments for the awesome folks at Elderly. It almost seems like I owe someone an apology for this, but let me explain a few things first. I've been building experimental instruments for quite a few years and fell in love with the history of cigar box instruments a few years ago when a musician friend asked me to build him a four stringer. After some research, I decided that that the fact that they have endured so many years of new technology and are still loved by so many free thinking musicians, I might try to play and see what happens. I was showing a couple of totally way out instruments to the folks at Elderly, and casually mentioned the I had a couple smoke box guitars fresh off the workbench. They asked me to bring a couple along and it started from there. I couldn't think of a more fitting place to have the honor of selling a few of these babies, and since then it's been nothing but a gas. If you've never been to their store, do yourself a favor and plan to spend a day there to check it out. I've been all over the country in my time in the Coast Guard and have never found a music shop to be so cool and accomodating...and I've been in a whole lot of them.Building CB "whatevers" is a labor of love for me....any profits that I make Iall goes to charity (VA hospitals, VA centers, direct shipments to Iraq and overseas, and to my local schools). I also play, but being a mechanic by trade, my hands are pretty fucked up do do anything too fancy. I'll admit, though, that after a rack of cheap beer, I feel I sound pretty good.But I digress....sorry.
Anyway..I guess I'd be sorry if I was peddling my instruments at Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, etc. , but that isn't the case. It's Elderly Instruments, man!!!! These people ARE part of the spirit of cigar box guitars..And if anyone still has hurt feelings about the fact that I'm selling these instruments there, well I guess I could give half a shit. Much Love, Will (The key is my logo 'cause my name means "key" in the Dutch language. That's Dutch as in great smoke shops....)
Will,

Well, thanks for "man-ing up" to the crime.... ;-) seriously, I don't know Elderly and don't really care. There's not just a little hyprocracy to a "movement" with a motto of "No Rules" getting on someone for doing anything at all. I think that anyone that opens the CBG to any new market helps anyone who loves that darn things. If you like playing, then there's more people to jam with. If you like building, then anything that expands the market helps everyone.

Keep doing what you're doing. I doubt that you'll dent my "custom only" market in Wichita/worldwide....hehehehe. And, if you ever pass thru Wichita look me up... I'll buy the first round.

BTW, thanks for supporting our servicemen and women. I have two sons-in-law that have served in the Middle East and will probably do so again.... Also shipped several CBGs to troops in Iraq.

Keep on Keepin' on,
the best,

Wichita Sam

Will Sleutel said:
WOW...so many thoughts to wrap my head around!!! My name is Will Sleutel and I guess I'm the bad guy here...I build the cigar box instruments for the awesome folks at Elderly. It almost seems like I owe someone an apology for this, but let me explain a few things first. I've been building experimental instruments for quite a few years and fell in love with the history of cigar box instruments a few years ago when a musician friend asked me to build him a four stringer. After some research, I decided that that the fact that they have endured so many years of new technology and are still loved by so many free thinking musicians, I might try to play and see what happens. I was showing a couple of totally way out instruments to the folks at Elderly, and casually mentioned the I had a couple smoke box guitars fresh off the workbench. They asked me to bring a couple along and it started from there. I couldn't think of a more fitting place to have the honor of selling a few of these babies, and since then it's been nothing but a gas. If you've never been to their store, do yourself a favor and plan to spend a day there to check it out. I've been all over the country in my time in the Coast Guard and have never found a music shop to be so cool and accomodating...and I've been in a whole lot of them.Building CB "whatevers" is a labor of love for me....any profits that I make Iall goes to charity (VA hospitals, VA centers, direct shipments to Iraq and overseas, and to my local schools). I also play, but being a mechanic by trade, my hands are pretty fucked up do do anything too fancy. I'll admit, though, that after a rack of cheap beer, I feel I sound pretty good.But I digress....sorry.
Anyway..I guess I'd be sorry if I was peddling my instruments at Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, etc. , but that isn't the case. It's Elderly Instruments, man!!!! These people ARE part of the spirit of cigar box guitars..And if anyone still has hurt feelings about the fact that I'm selling these instruments there, well I guess I could give half a shit. Much Love, Will (The key is my logo 'cause my name means "key" in the Dutch language. That's Dutch as in great smoke shops....)
Yep, I 2nd what Ted said, or 3rd lol
Welcome to the club.
Your post explained a lot about the costs etc , which we all know full well was none of our business anyway LOL
I think what your doing with any profits is so cool.Thank you for helping all you can.
We sometimes forget what some of our sons ( and daughters) are doing half way around the world.
Yesterday I had a solder and his family come into my shop to look around.He had come back from Iraq and is soon shipping off to Afghanistan and wanted a 3 string to take with him.
After I had rung him up as they were leaving he mentioned that next time he'd like to buy a DB so he could play songs with his kids.
I stopped him as they got to the door, reached over to the wall , pulled a DB off the wall and dropped it in his bag.
I hope they have some good fun with his new instruments before he has to leave.
Your doing a good thing and though we dont know you well yet, we're proud of you anyway.

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