Eddy Finn has introduced a new product, and they are calling it the "Roadhouse CIGAR BOX Ukulele". It is, however, not made from a cigar box. I asked them how they can call this a"cigar box ukulele" when there is no cigar box involved, and this is the response I got:

(My question to them): I'm curious how you can call it a CIGAR BOX ukulele. Seems to me that's a bit misleading, and possibly deceiving as there is no cigar box used in your uke. Cigar Bix Ukuleles are a unique instruments that were constructed from genuine cigar boxes, and have earned the name.

Eddy Finn Ukes
"Eddy Finn Ukes We can certainly understand your point, and we in no way are trying to be misleading or deceptive. While these instruments are not constructed of actual vintage cigar boxes they are built in the same style and use period correct graphics. Rather than call them "Ukuleles inspired by vintage designs of hand made instruments constructed of actual cigar boxes" we felt it was easier to classify them as just "cigar box ukes". There are many private builders making fantastic hand made pieces in their shops, these however are produced on a larger scale where the sourcing of real cigar boxes would be cost prohibitive. So far they have been happily accepted by dealers, builders and players for their construction and tone. They are fun instruments. We hope you have a chance to play one soon and we would value your opinion and experience if that should happen. Thank you for your feedback."
What are your thoughts?

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I think it's more to do with misleading a buyer.

I would call my guitars Cigar box guitars although most have been made from hobby boxes. 

However.. I don't dress my hobby boxes up to look like a real Cigar box. I think when you cross this line then you are taking something away from the buyer and misleading them not by the description of the guitar but by the originality of its source. It has been designed to look like something that it is not.  

This is something that large scale manufacturers should be held accountable for.

Remember a while back that Chicken Bone John reviewed a mass produced 'cigar cox' guitar?  Those were all the same 'cigar boxes'.   I think Gitty has had a box made up for the ones he and his staff make.

I welcome everyone to CBGs and CBUs, regardless of how they came to us.  But I prefer they got a decent instrument from someone building for the love of building and not a factory or near factory.

OK, after a year of posting this, I finally had the 'pleasure' of playing one of these Eddie Finn CBUs and... "they sound like crap"! LOL. That's the 1st thing my wife said when I played it. She said she also didn't like the "public domain" graphics (that are the same on both sides) and the box itself "really doesn't resemble an actual Cigar Box". Now she may be a little partial, but when it comes to the sound quality of an ukulele, she is usually spot on, and my guess is that it's because she has heard so many in the past several years that she actually knows what a good tone is. She has no problems being honest enough to hurt my feelings, so I have to assume that she is being straight with me about this. So whats the bottom line? It's all about the bottom line for E.F.! They wanted to cash in on "the latest craze", even though they knew it wasn't cost effective to actually build a real CBU on a large scale. So this is what they put out. Let's just call it an "entry level"" CBU".

Just went on their website and told them basically the same thing you did. Maybe it will get their attention if more than one person says something.

At least there aren't any gits on CIGAR BOX NATION that weren't made from genuine cigar boxes! ; ))

Jim (and others)-

The way I see it, there's a huge difference in a hobbyist building a box and creating a "cigar box guitar" (when it only resembles a cigar box in shape and size) as opposed to a large international company mass producing a wood box to look deceptively exactly like a cigar box, and calling it a cigar box instrument. As a hobbyist, or even a dedicated builder/seller, we have more personal contact with our end users/customers, and are able to explain the build. These are manufactured to look like and then marketed as a cigar box. Like I said before, if I buy a ring that is labeled as a "gold ring" from Zales, it damn well better be gold. That's just the rules of advertising and product misrepresentation. And for the record, CIGAR BOX NATION is not a manufacturer misrepresenting a product to it's customers.Yes, I realize people make "cigar box guitars" out of bed pans. It's usually the guy who has made CBGs in the past.  If Ben Baker sells a do it yourself box like the one someone posted above, I have never seen it advertised as a cigar box. He knows its not, you know its not... we all know its not a cigar box. 

I recently made a "cigar box guitar" using a book instead of a box. But it wasn't a real book it was a faux hollow book made to hide stuff in. Oh, and it was fretted like a dulcimer so it wasn't even a guitar actually. When people ask what it is I tell it's kinda like a cigar box guitar, as if they'd know what that is. I honestly don't know what to call some of the stuff I make but it certainly isn't mass produced like Eddy Finn instruments which I've played before and they're not terrible, just mass produced. Some of us get up in arms when a large company begins horning in but most of my customers are sharp enough to know a factory attempt to look homemade as easily as they can tell when a book is hollow.

I'm just adding this here. Definitely not a cigar box..


cigar(ette) box guitar?

Inspired by the cigar box uke is what they should have billed it? I seem to notice a trend in mass produced wanna be cbg's? Goes to show u, nothing's safe from knock offs?

On the same note, I've made a couple 3 and 4 strings, called them cigar box gits, but make the boxes myself, but....when I sold one and entertaining the thought of selling the other, I never claimed they were actual cigar boxes, but explained each box was custom and hand built, without any duplicate cigar box decals or try to deceive anyone they were original either.

Richard, I like what you did with the bottle opener. You have a multi-purpose party instrument there!


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