I have always been fascinated with the amazing sustain that CBG's built by John McNair (RedDog Guitars) have.  If you are unaware, check the Three String Guitar Forum or do a YouTube search.  Over the many videos that he has posted, the common theme is sustain that seems to go on forever.

About a month ago I traded a few emails with John about the subject.  I asked what kind of effects he used and reverb settings on his amp.  John reported that he ran his CBG's "straight, without electronic enhancements".  And although I am a good builder, I wanted to get the inside dope.  About 3 weeks ago, I got a copy of his "Learn How to Build Handmade 3 and 4 String Slide and Fretted Guitars".  Over a couple of nights I viewed the video several times.  While much of what John teaches is pretty conventional, there are a few things that he does that I have never (seldom) done.

I decided to do a test build, closely following his instructions.  I can tell you that the results a right in line with the performance that John gets from his guitars featured on the videos.  I am so pleased with the results that I had ordered one of his "thin" pickups to install in this sustain monster to go with the dual piezo setup already installed.

Will I build all my CBG's totally John's way in the future?  No.  But John has opened the door to building an absolute sustain beast that should be one of my "go to" CBGs for years to come.  Thanks John!!!

(disclosure:  this is not a paid ad.  like many builders, while I like to do things "my way", I also like to learn for those that I respect.  After all these years, I'm glad I got around to checking out John's "How to" video.  I think whether your are a new builder or a seasoned (time worn) builder, there will be a lot that you can learn from John (RedDog) McNair)

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I can back you up 100% on what you're saying Wichita Sam, I've only built 3 CBG's to date but before I even started, I bought John's DVD. As a beginner to building cigar box guitars, I find his advice invaluable and re-watch his DVD before I start each build and I can tell you, you're going to love his pickups, I bought one a little over a month ago and this pup is so easy to install... I took my first CBG and by-passed the volume pot and wired it straight to the jack and it sounds amazing! I can't recommend them enough as well as his "How To Build" and "How To Play" DVD's.



thanks all for the cool write up!... the guitar is sweet............,and the two 1884 boxes you got there, super nice...that is gold, I love those, best looking boxes ever!

Yeah, I like the 1884 boxes too, all they need are a couple of Acme Pickups, I think I might just get the complete set!

Ha ha!............. Acme mail order does it!

Well said.

I can too sam Im glad you said it. I said basically the same thing the other day on the chat site and got flamed, no stoned for wanting to just say thanks.  Im glad someone with alot , tht is a ton more experience has posted this little diddy right here. maybe some of the "old guard" will quit being so arrogant and quit hassling some of the new guys for checking out the basic bulding how too's  when some of the " big fish " like your self  speak up with words of encouragement like this. thanks , for your humility, honesty and lack of general smoke up the ass blowing qualitys of some of the guys that have been on here a while.  Much love to you

oh and for fear of getting stoned twice in one week, im not gonna say weaqther i purchased the red dog building cd or not wink wink

i got stoned twice this week too

i dont know who flamed you for finding something in red dogs videos, but i doubt its someone who really has a clue, cos the guys with a clue respect him as one of their own 

I have one in the post

Nice write up Sam  John has been at it for awhile and one of the best  We sometimes forget to look at the other builders and just plow ahead on our own  Its good to look and learn 

In Valuable to newbies..I joined here to learn and listen to others on builds and suppliers albeit techniques or product...satisfied customer reports are OK with me

one of the reasons that I "collect" other builders is that I get to look at their craft and learn.  On the old yahoo forum, we used to do a lot of "build and trade" events.  We'd pick a theme, enter a contest, vote "best" on a poll and then swap by blind draw.  I have several CBGs as a result.  Some are real treasures.


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