OK... a fella mentioned he was gonna put some old springs in his guitar... to "do whatever they may be inclined to do in there".

I decided I like this dude's style for sure, but I have no idea what might be produced.

.. so I tried it. It sounds like something is buzzing\loose in there is what I'd say, it's not pleasing... disconcerting if anything. So what is the objective here...Reverb? Old fashioned distortion? Should the spring be tight or loose? Should it touch the back or be stretched freely?

Here are some pics: Starting with mine which I'm probably taking out, unless someone can tell me how to make it do something desirable. In the last pic I can sure see someone went to great effort for this, so I would like to believe some good can come of it? 

Views: 1965

Replies to This Discussion

I thought those were there for bridge support? LOL!

Here's what you gotta' do, you have to tune the springs sympathetically to thirds and fifths of the root key, then play it for a minimum of 100 hours to break in the springs, and retune.

I fear you expected a straight answer........ :-)

Hahah sounds like I better put several more springs in there too!

A full box might do the trick. But then where would the shock absorbers go?

OK, heres my straight answer. (well as "straight" as I thnk I can muster.....)

I would expect the example to sound like a junk box. Which is fine if that's what you want. Its not for me.

But..... If I were inclined to experiment in that direction, which I might be one day, I would consider this:

If you placed one long spring, similar to what you did in example one, I would probably look for it to have moderate tension, not at all "floppy". Locate a mag pickup close to the spring somewhere mid-way. Set the distance close, but little or no chance of "rattling" together in "normal" use. Configure a circuit as such as to cut the bass, and have a volume knob that "blends" that signal with the main guitar signal..........

See where I am going with this? Could create something unusual but of useable interest. Unlike the junk box sound effect........ Just sayin'

Whoa... built in distortion...?

No, though it would probably have some. And yes, as Pick pointed out, my thoughts shifted toward electric pickups and away from acoustic effects.

My thought is basically something like a "reverb tank" in the box.

The spring would respond to the sounds vibrations within, and the pickup would allow a way to amplify that.

The big question to me is how the "blending" portion of the idea would work.

I'm sure its been done before, in fact I've probably seen an example and forgotten. "There's nothing new in this world" (Chuck Berry)

I would add a selector switch to switch between regular pickup only, and a blend position, and simply set a tone circuit up to cut out the  low end frequencies of the reverb pickup. (Low frequencies through a verb can cause a "muddy" resulting sound.) and attempt to blend a regular pickup and the verb pickup with a volume pot.

Seems like a fun experiment that should have a far better chance of an interesting or even useable end result than a box full of vibrating junk.......

Just came up in google - Ed Stilley apparently created "sonic loops" through the internal metal pieces in his guitars with different resonating bits of junk. Looks like Shane Speal at one time was playing with this but the links are dead. Just Wow.

understand that the objective is to add a little  acoustic reverb .  this  can sound very  nice  when installed  ideally  .  note that   in  your picture  you are  running it  behind the pickup  . which the pickup will still read  .  thus exaggerating the  the  sound of the spring  that was meant to  be subtle.  (and acoustic )

note also that the  other pictures  are   acoustic  guitars .

if you moved your spring   (pickup  end )  closer  to  the corner  so  it  misses the  pickup field ,  you   should get a more  desirable acoustic    sound , it may  even be  slightly detectable  when  amped .

I'd agree with Pick on all counts probably.

And I knew you were referring to the Stilley articles.  And would still express strong doubts as to the value or probable acoustic results.

Still, interesting experiments.

Hahah, yes. Thanks guys.. I found some home made reverb too. This one definitely looks like it works, using a Piezo... hmmmmmm


A piezo could probably work. But my thinking is that A: It would probably tend to color the reverbs tone in a less than ideal way, and B: Since piezos work best in contact with a vibration, while a mag pickup can be used in proximity, it would just be simpler to configure.

Try it!

Also, looking at some of this from an amplified electric perspective, and wanting to MINIMIZE added noise and ringing, and improve tuning accuracy..... anyway, its all different and some how somewhat relevant-

for your perusal, check this out from about 5:00, and take additional note at 6:00.

I imagine this video has split a lot of heads, and thanks because after screwing around with this spring a while more last night I can tell you it does kind of ring acoustically, really, you don't notice unless you knock the box, it's so subtle. Electric I can't say, again if you knock on the box it rings, not really reverb even though I moved it closer to the mag.

What I will say, interestingly given your video, is it buzzes when I pick the strings with any vigor. 

Which is horrible... I'm taking it out for good after my coffee. ;)


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Discussion Forum

Single coil Pup location

Started by HarleyTodd May 8. 0 Replies

Baritone Ukulele

Started by John Hopper. Last reply by Bob Johnston Mar 28, 2017. 5 Replies

hard to play

Started by Billy Heintz. Last reply by Mark Bliss Nov 16, 2016. 9 Replies

Condenser Guitar Microphones for CBG?

Started by Danny B.. Last reply by Fomhorach Nov 10, 2016. 4 Replies

Adjustable bridges?

Started by Danny B.. Last reply by Danny B. Nov 9, 2016. 3 Replies

Accurate Drill Tricks?

Started by Danny B.. Last reply by Fomhorach Nov 9, 2016. 6 Replies

Protecting old boxes

Started by Danny B.. Last reply by Paul Craig Sep 13, 2016. 4 Replies

Cohiba box, thick top

Started by Chuck Dubman. Last reply by Danny B. Sep 13, 2016. 19 Replies

Use for mahogany cigar box "spacers"

Started by PhilUSAFRet. Last reply by Order99 Feb 7, 2016. 6 Replies

Adhesive Removal

Started by Habanera Hal. Last reply by Mad Mike's CBG's Nov 4, 2015. 8 Replies

inlays fret markers

Started by Paul Cooper. Last reply by Paul Craig Sep 16, 2015. 22 Replies

Heel shaping ideas and process

Started by 14 buck bass (aka antonio). Last reply by The Phrygian Kid Apr 20, 2015. 21 Replies

CBG neck on router table

Started by Servaas (Der Groovemeister). Last reply by Brandon Barnard Nov 22, 2013. 6 Replies

Trimming a soundboard for my upright bass

Started by Wade. Last reply by jen harrison Nov 20, 2013. 6 Replies

How to shoulder rest for cigar box violin?

Started by Paul Cooper. Last reply by Paul Cooper Aug 28, 2013. 2 Replies

Beginner Neck Making, with fretting!

Started by Micky Kay. Last reply by Fat Stan May 26, 2013. 3 Replies

Correctly locating the bridge saddle

Started by Mark Bliss. Last reply by smilingdog1 Mar 15, 2013. 1 Reply

Blog Posts

Mama Pearson's Soaporium

Posted by Rick Tish on September 14, 2019 at 8:52pm 0 Comments

Fresh Diddley Bow- "Why Not?"

Posted by Glenn Kaiser on September 13, 2019 at 10:23pm 1 Comment

Good weekend selling

Posted by Rick Tish on September 11, 2019 at 10:13pm 0 Comments

Cigar Box Guitar Music - Old time Blues

Posted by John on September 9, 2019 at 6:00pm 2 Comments

The Accidental Canjo

Posted by Poorness Studios on September 8, 2019 at 10:30am 2 Comments

Latest Activity

Myron Joe Hickel commented on John's group Radios turned Guitar Amps
"Hi, My name is Joe and I just joined a couple of days ago. I'm retired so I have a bit of time…"
1 hour ago
BrianQ. commented on Dave Lynas's video

Ups & Downs

"Dave, you sure have been busy! I think you’ve got enough for an album already? Keep em’…"
2 hours ago
James Pobog replied to Bill Sheehy's discussion stringing up, my first build problem
"I have 2, a little clip-on with those different modes, and a Delta Lab chromatic (CT-40). When I…"
2 hours ago
John commented on John's group Three string guitars
2 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video

Third Hand Harmonica - Demo for that harp playing dude known as Buggy

"Thanks, BQ.  I could tell right away that is a pretty good harp.   AGP, yuck! …"
2 hours ago
Josh Thompson commented on High Bird Handcrafted Instuments's photo


"That is very slick, love it."
3 hours ago
Josh Thompson liked High Bird Handcrafted Instuments's photo
3 hours ago
Josh Thompson liked High Bird Handcrafted Instuments's photo
3 hours ago
Josh Thompson liked High Bird Handcrafted Instuments's photo
3 hours ago
John commented on Dave Lynas's video

Ups & Downs

"No downs here...only ups!  Lovely tone Dave"
3 hours ago
BrianQ. commented on Rick Tish's photo


"Put a string on it  :D"
3 hours ago



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->