Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

This group is for discussing the basics of CBG building for newer builders - where to start, what to do, common pitfalls, tips and techniques.

Keep in mind that new builders can find other great informative articles on CBG building, as well as most of the parts you'll need, over at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply!

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Discussion Forum

Tres Cubano Build

Started by Paul Craig. Last reply by Paul Craig Aug 28. 12 Replies

Hard metal bridges

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Taffy Evans Jul 29. 1 Reply

Getting the most sustain on a fretless CBG.

Started by Joe Plotts. Last reply by Taffy Evans Jun 30. 4 Replies

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Comment by Paul Craig on February 17, 2020 at 3:15am

Gary Mullens, we can't respond to those emails because the site doesn't work that way. Write on this comment wall instead.

$100 dollars for a tube sounds a bit expensive, but I don't know what tube your speaking of and who you were checking with.

Antique Electrical Supply and Tube Depot usually have whatever tube you need and at decent prices. Remember that some brand names cost a bunch while lesser named ones do just as good for less.

Comment by Kigar on February 15, 2020 at 3:54pm

Have to chime in on the computer speakers.  I took apart the speaker from the housings and they work fine in a low-fi low power amp. I am sure a real amp speaker would work better but like others said, I have a few steps of these lying around so why not try it.  If it sounds bad rework it. 

Comment by MadGomer on February 11, 2020 at 8:15pm
Thanks Mark, between the feedback from you and Paul I think I'll steer clear from the computer speakers. Main reason I got thinking about them was due to the shape of a box I had which looked like it matched the color and style of a bigger one I want to build into a Git. Thought they would have made a cool pair. Thanks again for your wisdom!
Comment by Mark Bliss on February 11, 2020 at 6:26pm

OK, I did misunderstand the intention, but others have provided good answers as well. I did think you meant using the computer speakers in situ.   

At this point I could only add that I have had the occasion to try and repair some computer speakers- wire broken or something, I dont recall. But I found that some are manufactured in a way that disassembly without total destruction is darned near impossible....

Anyway, as the consensus seems to indicate- probably not a good source to scavenge speakers. Maybe some exceptions in some higher end products. But generally- probably not worth the trouble.

And a note about car speakers- I wont name names, but some are so "cheaply manufactured" that salvaging for re-use may not be much better than the computer speakers, if that was the intention. New, as intended foe car stereo upgrades however, may be a better source.

Comment by MadGomer on February 11, 2020 at 5:48pm
Thanks for the advice Paul!
Comment by Paul Craig on February 11, 2020 at 1:32pm

Car speakers would work better than the computer speakers. Especially subwoofers would work great for acoustic piezo gits and of course Bass guitars, but you may want a 5watt or larger amp for bass.

Comment by Paul Craig on February 11, 2020 at 1:20pm

Hey MadGomer, Computer speakers for the most part are made to work on lower frequency levels than a guitar would operate. They will work, but they will degrade over a short time.

I have a similar set up that's powered by a small computer preamp for testing my guitar builds for a short period to ensure the guitar works, but wouldn't dream of trying to use it all the time. Stereo speakers don't last long either because again they aren't made to endure large and wide frequency rates. This is why musical speakers are needed and they are fairly priced these days. Think compressed digital music footprint compared to analog musical footprint.

You can get a new 6" to 8" musical speaker for $30 or less these days and they will sound great. Jensen or WGS are very good and affordable. Look for 20watt or less at 4 to 8 ohm musical(full range) speakers.

Comment by MadGomer on February 10, 2020 at 1:11pm
Mark, thanks for the detailed response! I got most of your explanation but not sure about the last two paragraphs. Let me add more details on my intent to see if that alleviates some of your concerns. My intention is to build a small practice amp and I intend to remove the speakers from their current enclosures, not keeping any of the circuitry, just the bare speakers. I would reinstall them into a wine box and wire them in parallel to a 2.5 or 5W prefab amp circuit (I think Gitty only sells 2.5W.)
The CGB or uke that I plug in to it will have a rod piezo or mag pickup, none have any sort of preamp. Since I won't be pushing an amplified signal into the amp, this should work just like my little Danelectro practice amp, correct?
Comment by Mark Bliss on February 9, 2020 at 10:42pm

Hi MadGomer

Lets see if I can pare down the technical answer to a minimum.

There are several things to consider. Lets start with input levels.

Technicly, there are four levels to consider, but for the sake of this discussion I am going to group them together as two. "Instrument/mic" and "Line" level.

Computer monitors arw designed to take a line level input, and amplify it to a usable level for multimedia entertainment via modest speakers. Little low frequency, close range monitoring setting for a relatively close range stereo field. Low power, and usually modest fidelity.I

Amplifier circuits such as the one mentioned from C.B.Gitty are designed more for lower powered instrument/mic level inputs, and the intent is to amplify to speaker output levels. Still relatively low power and modest fidelity.

The big difference is the intended input level. Sending an instrument level input into a circuit designed for line level input is likely to give less than desirable results. 

And taking it a step further- using an amplifier such as the described unit from C. B. Gitty as an input to the computer monitors input is an even worse signal level mis-match.

Mis-matches can sometimes work to a limited degree. But generally an amplified signal into another amplifiers input is a recipe for poor results. Not recommended.

Comment by Joe Caruso on February 9, 2020 at 4:30pm

Computer speakers - I researched this and came to the conclusion they will not work - they are specifically designed to work with the power levels proved by the computer. I have many myself just gathering dust.

 

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