Eddy Finn has introduced a new product, and they are calling it the "Roadhouse CIGAR BOX Ukulele". It is, however, not made from a cigar box. I asked them how they can call this a"cigar box ukulele" when there is no cigar box involved, and this is the response I got:

(My question to them): I'm curious how you can call it a CIGAR BOX ukulele. Seems to me that's a bit misleading, and possibly deceiving as there is no cigar box used in your uke. Cigar Bix Ukuleles are a unique instruments that were constructed from genuine cigar boxes, and have earned the name.

Eddy Finn Ukes
"Eddy Finn Ukes We can certainly understand your point, and we in no way are trying to be misleading or deceptive. While these instruments are not constructed of actual vintage cigar boxes they are built in the same style and use period correct graphics. Rather than call them "Ukuleles inspired by vintage designs of hand made instruments constructed of actual cigar boxes" we felt it was easier to classify them as just "cigar box ukes". There are many private builders making fantastic hand made pieces in their shops, these however are produced on a larger scale where the sourcing of real cigar boxes would be cost prohibitive. So far they have been happily accepted by dealers, builders and players for their construction and tone. They are fun instruments. We hope you have a chance to play one soon and we would value your opinion and experience if that should happen. Thank you for your feedback."
What are your thoughts?

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 A fairly reasonable sounding response from a completely made up person about a completely made up ukulele made from made up cigar boxes.

As far as rebranders go SHS International seem to do things with a bit of flair. I think the Eddy Finn brandname evolved from the shark fin shaped soundhole. 


Besides ì thought there were no rules.

I disagree. If you look up the definition of a cigar box guitar, it is a guitar made from a cigar box. That's why they call it that, and it's been called that for roughly a couple of hundred years... as long as they have been making them from cigar boxes. A diamond ring is no longer a diamond ring when it has a rhinestone stone in it. Your favorite leather pants can not be called "leather" if they are vinyl (yeah, I know about those). It takes a lot of time and talent to build an instrument from a cigar box, especially a ukulele! There is no "through-neck" on the ukuleles I build. I make acoustic ukuleles from cigar boxes, hence "Cigar Box Ukulele". Its a specialized product made from a specific product, and once you remove the product it is named after, it should not be called that based on the product that is not present. A cigar box ukulele is a special instrument, and when you take out the "cigar box" you just have a square ukulele.

I agree with you, KM.

Incidentally, while not played on a cigar box uke (altho' he does have one hanging on his wall), but worth checking out, IMO, is this 8 year old kid's jazzy ukulele cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”:

I get the "no rules" and construction out of alternate materials. But we are individual artists and builders creating individual products and art from different materials, as opposed to a large manufacturer representing a product as something it is not... on a very large scale. They stated that is would be cost prohibitive to make from genuine cigar boxes... yeah, no stuff! That's what we as builders face EVERY DAY! However, we are not trying to cash in on a fad by just slopping together a box and slapping our graphics (created by our graphics department) to call it something that it is not. "It's not cost effective to do it..." so instead we will make up what we want and tell you that it is something that it is not. What would be the result if I called my uke an "Ed. E Phin" ukulele? Think they would just be ok with that? I'm guessing NO. I dig the builds here, but if you make a bed pan into a guitar, and call it a CBG, I will call you out on it. lol! It's a BPG dang it! No matter how awesome it is. I think the rules are different (concerning truth in advertising) when you are a big corporation presenting a product for sale on the open market.

Browsing our sponsor's site, I can make a guess as to Ben's position...

and I will put my token into the bag labeled "inclusive" where the label CBG refers to the taxonomy class of the art of making an instrument out of non-traditional origins, and includes species such as washtub basses, toilet seat harps, stomp-box percussion, and a wide variety of breeds of acoustic stringers, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, et al.

“I do feel that if it's not an authentic cigar box, the words "Cigar Box Guitar" should be in quotes, indicating it's promoting a genre rather than being made from an actual cigar box. Either that or Cigar Box Guitar*
“* Based on a manufactured "cigar box" designed specifically for this instrument.”

Just to beat the long-dead horse a bit more...

Above is a sample of some of my “cigar box guitars” (none of which use a cigar box). lol

Hmmm, you might be right, but I dunno. If I remember correctly, even the one or two that kinda' look like they could be cigar boxes, are actually pieces I banged together. Regardless, thanks for the kind words.

Now here are a few typical, run-of-the-mill cbgs made from actual cigar boxes.(Wait... wrong. One cobbled together box snuck in there. : /

that guy who sells Red Dog guitars...actually puts a stick up a dogs butt.....he then paints each and every poor old mutt  with a good stiff coat of red enamel.....I am not sure what he uses for a bridge...but at least he classified his products correctly!

You fellas are out of control LOL .......I was wondering why my dog was painted red! LOL

corpus equines assaultus repetitious

The beauty of Language and its ability to be various, duplicitous, and simultaneously evocative in its precision and ambiguity ...

We could get much more nit-picky and debate whether these 3 string chordophones with resonator chambers of repurposed items are proper to be called guitars when they lack the feature of 6 strings tuned in 4ths?

Can you truly call it a FAX if it was not sent over an AT&T Long Distance Xerography machine?

Can you truly call it Kleenex if it was not manufactured by Kimberly-Clarke?

Can you truly ask someone to Xerox a document for you if they have a Cannon brand photocopier?

Is it wrong to say you google something if you actually use bing?

Is it permissible to use a Crock Pot recipe in a slow cooker that was not manufactured by sunbeam?

Ben said it well in the Manifesto, The CBG holds a primary place but the movement is about the craft, the making of home made music instruments.

Interesting.   I saw those on ebay on the weekend and wondered about them.  They look good.   What country are they manufactured in and how is the quality?

I don't mind them being called cigar box ukes- the box thing is kind of generic-tins, cigar boxes, cutlery boxes, etc.   What I dislike seeing is mass produced CBGs and CBUs.   I don't like Gitty mass producing CBGs either, but I am confident that the people who buy from Gitty get a pretty good instrument. 

I think it's more to do with misleading a buyer.

I would call my guitars Cigar box guitars although most have been made from hobby boxes. 

However.. I don't dress my hobby boxes up to look like a real Cigar box. I think when you cross this line then you are taking something away from the buyer and misleading them not by the description of the guitar but by the originality of its source. It has been designed to look like something that it is not.  

This is something that large scale manufacturers should be held accountable for.


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