This may be a dumb question, but are licence plates suitable soundboards for an acoustic CBG? Any tips would be gratefully accepted.

Views: 326

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Yes made a few, tried to upload photo from my new computer but failed miserably. Have a look at photos on my page

resorted to my old steam Dell

and still failed

License plate guitars look really great and allow for a individual look. With a proper pickup and amp they sound fine and play well. However, as an acoustic only instrument, you might be disappointed. There is little volume inside most license plate guitars unlike a traditional acoustic guitar. The license plate itself is quite irregular with the raised numbers. This doesn't help with good acoustic sound reproduction. Further, due to the thinness and flexibility of the license plate, it is necessary to support the underside of the license plate at the bridge. This, of course, deadens sound, which is the opposite of what you are looking for in an acoustic.

There may be make a license plate guitar produce clean sound of reasonable volume, but it will likely be a challenge.

All that being said, why not give it a go. It if lacks the volume and clarity you are looking for you can always add a pickup and be off and running.

Thanks Tom, some very valid points.

Pictures/Comments Never fails…

Flatpup pickups are ideal for license plate git’s? I would suggest a lid off a paint can, the thickness & rigidity will give you more volume? Actually, some of the thicker food cans work quite well for acoustic resonators, especially Tuna & Corned beef cans? And they don’t cost much either? Good luck with your build  :)

It did fail more than once

I was noticing that C.B. Gitty’s “Rodeo king” has a license plate on top of the box, rather than the plate being the soundboard? You may want to try that instead? I believe there’s a video of Shane Speal playing one acoustic on their YouTube channel? 

Hi guy's, some time back I pondered the same ideas put forward here. a tin top as described here would sound bad, to my ears. Also, a tin licence plate fitted to a wood top could be a bit better but acoustically challenged as well.

Notice I opened up the soundholes for better volume and tone.

So, what I did was to mount the licence plate off of the top with spacers so the wood top is free to vibrate. I cut a hole in the plate for the bridge to sit on the top itself. play well acoustically but the sound/tone was still influenced by the plate on top. 


Found it! Actually sounds pretty good for what it is, or maybe it’s just who’s playing it that makes it sound good?


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



Started by Raymond Grimmitt in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Korrigan yesterday. 4 Replies


Started by Raymond Grimmitt in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts on Saturday. 0 Replies

6 pole PU

Started by Tim Pannabecker in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Carl Floyd Jan 10. 9 Replies


Started by Taffy Evans in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Nayeb Gofs Dec 28, 2021. 1 Reply

Three New Builds

Started by David Plekkenpol in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Lonman Dec 25, 2021. 1 Reply

Water Song...

Started by Jim Saraceno in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Cigar Man Mike Dec 20, 2021. 3 Replies

Blog Posts

How to add photos?

Posted by Stephen Sell on January 13, 2022 at 1:19pm 2 Comments

My first 3 string cigar box guitar

Posted by Stephen Sell on January 13, 2022 at 1:16pm 1 Comment

Shedding a Tear for Dave Lynas

Posted by Poorness Studios on December 20, 2021 at 8:30pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Rob Uker posted a photo

Waylon Ukulele

Almost done. Maybe next weekend.
51 minutes ago
Darryl Tuttle left a comment for Wayne
"Shane’s book Building Poor Mans guitars is an excellent source of info"
2 hours ago
Darryl Tuttle left a comment for Philly Dupree
"Welcome to cbn! Your neighbor to the south here in Minnesota"
2 hours ago
Tom T replied to ILL GREEN's discussion Truss Rods. Needed?
"Popular isn't necessarily a bad wood for necks, but is more apt to bow than the harder woods I…"
3 hours ago
Glenn Kaiser posted a status
"Link to that amazing Mag. is here: -Glenn"
4 hours ago
Glenn Kaiser posted a status
"Well, I can video my findings when I've time... and have been LOVING Shane's earlier post re. this, working my way through... -Glenn"
4 hours ago
Wade commented on 3 String Blues's photo
4 hours ago
Wade commented on 3 String Blues's photo
4 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Silent Jim's video
5 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Pontius's video
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Randy S. Bretz's photo
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Jim Tomsovic's photo
6 hours ago


© 2022   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("") 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 -->