I have been experimenting with simple resonators but did not want to sacrifice the straight through neck that most cigar box guitars have.

So far I have experimented with simple tin can lid under the bridge, I have been quite pleased with the results but wounded if other people have had success with other methods ?

There is a link to my blog below which covers some stuff on resonators, plus some pics

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Haven't built mine yet, but plan on using 3/4" bracing inside box for screw on neck, then along the bottom under the cone, then up the bottom. good luck

How does your can in a box work?  I mean, is it an improvement over the bridge setting on the face of your CBG?

I have built my first Dbo, simple as possible, so I can learn from the ground, up.

then I complicated it... to pump up the volume!  lol

Built on a 1 x 2 strip trimmed off an old concrete form-board, I'm using a tabasco bottle for the nut. It's sits on a sled, which is a notched wedge, for sliding to adjust the pitch of the string.

I began with a tuna can and a rib-bone cutoff for the bridge.  It is cut for the inner-most circle which also shows on your can.

The bone did not work well.

I replaced it with a rectangle scrap cut from an old piece of parquet flooring. abt 5/8 x 1", standing upright.

It sounds much better.  More projection.....

Still, not enough presence.

...You have your steel rod sitting on the rim of the can...

Have you tried it with the rod sitting down in the center part of the can?




Sorry only just noticed this post some how ?

The rod is actually aluminium but it does not make much difference.

All it is really is a tin lid under the bridge I guess it resonates in sympathy when the string is struck and makes a noise, it s not as loud as a real resonator but it adds a metallic element to the sound.

I had a bit more luck with a golden syrup tin lid on another build.

They seam to have a sweet spot and I had to fiddle about with it, getting it  into a position where it seamed to ring out. If I take the lid of the guitar sound changes so it must add something 

When I first made one I made a recording of a guitar with it on and than one with it off, I will see if I can find it or maybe make another

Anyway sorry about the delay I hope your build turned out ok, maybe put a pic up ?

Buy my guitars on line



With your desire to stay with a simple neck through design, a paint can lid (or other can lid) is a good choice.  I have build several can lid CBG and they work great.   Although it can be a little hard to get CBs large enough to use lids from gallon cans, lids from quart cans are almost as loud.


Your build does something that I wouldn't do.  It sets the bridge on the rim of the lid and not out in the middle of the lid.  On such a small lid it's probably more difficult to do.  Setting the bridge in the middle of the lid makes it louder and if you are looking for a banjo'y sound it is the ticket on a gallon lid.


the best,



Thanks sam some good info there

looking out for a tin can lid now !

Down towards the bottom of this page are my 3 coffee can resonators


The 1st 2 are a little rough but I i'm happy with the way #3 came out

The single coils are under the can, i'm guessing 3/8" away, they pick up the can vibrations.

The first 2 have slightly different cans, with a marked difference in sound

Most people don't recommend using poplar,but a few of my early builds are several years old and the necks are still straight, and thats without the addition of a fret board which i now use.

Thanks a lot for posting Jeff

Having a good look a them now

Nice blog page Jeff. I enjoyed your quality pictures


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