Nineboys Cigar Box Guitar review

  • £99

A smokin' slide guitar

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Our Verdict

The Cigar Box Guitar is hardly essential, but it has an undeniable appeal, and it's fun.

For

  • Fun! Looks great and sounds authentic.

Against

  • Not much volume from the piezo.
Buying options

We've played some unusual instruments, but this CBG (that's Cigar Box Guitar) takes the cigar. Its roots date back to the late 1800s, and kindred instruments have been played recently by the likes of Seasick Steve.

"Nineboys has already brought us the one-string Delta Wedge diddley bow, and here, made in the UK, is the 'upmarket' three-string version"

Nineboys has already brought us the one-string Delta Wedge diddley bow, and here, made in the UK, is the 'upmarket' three-string version. The body is literally a cigar box, with a 40x15mm central spine, laminated for strength.

At the body end, it anchors the strings, while the long extension forms the neck and fingerboard. The neck's pretty square, crudely stained and barely sanded, and the fingerboard is what looks like cheap mahogany, with no frets or position markers - rudimentary, but true to the spirit.

Some CBGs use a threaded bolt for the nut and saddle; here, it's a little more sophisticated, but not by much. There are decent tuners for the three strings, and an onboard piezo pickup with volume control.

Tunings-wise, 1st, 5th, 1st (octave up) works well - so, DAD or EBE suffice for basic open D and open E tunings. Grab your slide, set up a dirty blues crunch tone and you'll find that piezo pickup is lively - while it also picks up any pick-hand slaps and percussion, it's not great at volume. Hardly essential, then, but it has an undeniable appeal, and it's fun.

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Tech Specs

Country of OriginUK
HardwareDie-cast enclosed tuners
Neck MaterialMulti-laminated wood, flat mahogany-like fingerboard
Pickup TypeOnboard piezo pickup
Body StyleCigar box!
Circuitry TypeVolume control
Available FinishLa Aroma De Cuba or Arturo Fuente boxes