How good can it sound unplugged?

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How good can it sound unplugged?

Share experience, tips & tricks that have produced the best acoustic unplugged sound in your cigar box instruments. This applies to commercial or self made boxes.

Members: 142
Latest Activity: May 15

Discussion Forum

Resonator Ukulele

Started by John Hopper Jan 9, 2011. 0 Replies

Innards - reinforcements, struts and bass bars?

Started by Diane in Chicago. Last reply by Dustin Smith Oct 25, 2010. 19 Replies

bridges - materials - setup etc.

Started by David Beede. Last reply by Dustin Smith Oct 25, 2010. 15 Replies

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Comment by Robert Killen on January 3, 2016 at 6:21pm

I just finished a quick build with an 8.5" x 7" x 2" Don Pepin Garcia and am blown away by the volume and tone.

It's a straight neck with a double notch. The fretboard sits 1/4" higher than the soundboard surface and the strings are 7/16" high at the bridge. The bridge is only 2" from the tail so there's a good break angle.

There's plenty of downward force - evidenced by a noticeable inward bowing of the soundboard.

But again...a simple build with a small box and yet sound far greater than it looks like it should put out.

Album here: Don Pepin Garcia

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on December 19, 2015 at 4:01pm

There are small corner blocks at the front of the box that the lid is screwed to, one small screw on each corner away from the paper hinge ad four screws hold the neck into the box, one from each side into the blocks under the neck and one at each side through the lid into the top side of the neck.  I built this one as my "beater" and named it the junkyard dog. When we go somewhere for a weekend I just throw it in the back seat of the truck and don't worry about it.  Built it in September of 2012 and haven't had to do anything to it other than tune it since I built it.

Comment by Robert Killen on December 19, 2015 at 11:14am

Thanks, Duck!

I presume those support blocks will be attached to the bottom and sides? My necks just hang. This has me wondering if I'd get more volume by beefing up my entry and exit points.

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on December 19, 2015 at 9:40am

You can click on the picture for a larger view.

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on December 19, 2015 at 9:38am

Looks like the inside of the box. The neck is relieved so the top is unsupported and there are no supports added. Here's a picture of the beast before assembly.

Comment by Robert Killen on December 18, 2015 at 9:37pm

Hey, Duck. I was thinking about a paperboard build and wondered if the top would need strengthening. When you get a moment, would you mind describing what the Partagas looks like inside?

Mainly...

  • Is there space between the neck and the top?
  • Do you have any supports on the underside of the top?
  • If so, where?

Thanks in advance!

Comment by Robert Killen on December 18, 2015 at 9:11pm

Great suggestions. Thanks!

When I get around to it, I'll try and remember to post my first paper-top build here. Cheers!

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on December 18, 2015 at 8:07pm

So far I have had great results with the paperboard boxes. I leave the Partagas tuned all the time and it stays in tune well and has a nice resonance.  I've found that just tapping on the top of a box with your finger can give a pretty good feel for how it will resonate.  It seems like a lot of the wood boxes have thick lids that tend to dampen the sound.  Also, the size of the box can make a big difference.  Experiment, if the box doesn't live up to your desires, keep everything else you have made and replace the box.

Comment by Robert Killen on December 18, 2015 at 7:55pm

That "Partagas" box sounds great (pun intended), Duck. Wonderful depth.

I am very interested in your opinion of paperboard boxes. I've ignored them, but maybe I'll add a couple to my mix. I have trouble seeing how the softness doesn't absorb vast amounts of the sound. But if you've had good results, I'm certainly game! :-)

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers!

Comment by Robert Killen on December 18, 2015 at 7:51pm

Thanks for the comment, Bug. I admit I haven't yet come to appreciate resonators. It - like electric amplification - is something I see in my future builds.

I certainly agree about the box size and am still exploring bridges. I started with bolts and only stepped it up with my last build.

 

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Discussion Forum

Resonator Ukulele

Started by John Hopper Jan 9, 2011. 0 Replies

Innards - reinforcements, struts and bass bars?

Started by Diane in Chicago. Last reply by Dustin Smith Oct 25, 2010. 19 Replies

bridges - materials - setup etc.

Started by David Beede. Last reply by Dustin Smith Oct 25, 2010. 15 Replies

Box construction materials

Started by MichaelS Country Boy Guitars Mar 10, 2010. 0 Replies

sound absortion inside box

Started by bucky. Last reply by David Beede Sep 8, 2009. 1 Reply

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