Nineboys Cigar Box Guitar review

A smokin' slide guitar

  • £99
The body is literally a cigar box, with a 40x15mm central spine, laminated for strength

MusicRadar Verdict

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

Pros

  • +

    Fun! Looks great and sounds authentic.

Cons

  • -

    Not much volume from the piezo.

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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.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.