having recently finished my first cbg with can lid resonator and rod piezzo pickup it does not resonate and there is no twang.it just sounds like a slightly muted acoustic guitar,any ideas anyone!

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Hey guys, try this from now on, or your comments will keep going to the abyss?

Thanks Brian!

Could be a number of things. But I'm not a fan of piezo pups without some kind of EQ or FX.

Maybe a few pics so we can see what’s going on?

I never remember that whole silly thing with the HTML tab. :)


Andrew, it's just about impossible for anybody to diagnose without a bit more information, sorry. I could guess that something is snubbing against the strings and muting them, but I could also guess that an elephant is sitting on it.

I think you will get much better feedback if you include a picture of your work, and perhaps a parts list including what your bridge and nut are made of, and how your bridge connects to that can lid.Is the can lid firmly anchored to the box, held in by tension, or is there something (please, not a rubber gasket!) between the can lid and the box?

I would check the bridge and the nut, look all along the neck and see if there's some place something is touching the strings. You say it sounds muted, not 'buzzing' or 'rattling'.

The strings and the lid are not automatically tuned to each other, not even close. The lid needs to fit a little loosely. Maybe that's obvious to you and there's other problems, I'm assuming you are a beginner. How much experience do you have with playing guitars?

You might be astonished, as I was, by doing an online search for "guitar bracing". Some get very involved in high level physics and materials science, determining what patterns work best; X-bracing, V-bracing ,ladder bracing, Chladni patterns, and you might find innovators like Ervin Somogyi.  Now how does this apply to you and this problem? Well, you want almost the exact opposite: unbracing. lol And, looking at these pro luthiers, you see the issues can get very complicated. Everyone needs to experiment. A lot. 

I also wonder if the front of your guitar, the soundboard, might be too thick. Generally the thinner the better. Cigar Box cardboard can be unexpectedly good because of how it vibrates, but then you often end up with a delicate CBG that won't survive too much use. In the past, I've "given up" with some guitars and just put electric pickups on it. Its a little extra money and effort, but that way failures can be rehabilitated. My suggestions here might not be helpful, sorry, but after researching and experimenting, I got a real appreciation for what goes into musical instrument making, that's for sure. Try, try again.

Hi Andrew, a couple ideas come mind, but not based on your build, because it can't be seen or heard, but.

Brindge should be in the centre of the cone,lid.

Did you drill a hole in the lid for pickup wire?May effect sound.

In a resonator guitar the top and back are restricted from vibrating, being thicker, posts between top and back, or a sound chamber or well, between the guitar top and back, so that energy is directed at the cone, lid.

Cone, lid works best if not secured to the top

The break angle of the strings over the bridge  should add sufficient down pressure onto the lid. Also check gauge of strings.

And there more but that should keep you busy. 


where did you put the piezo rod?  Between the bridge and paint can lid? You could always add a disc piezo and wire it in.  But the paint can lids I have done have a banjo sound, heavy twang.

thanks for all the advice guys its certainly given me something to think about.the cone lid is probably too tight ,the bridge is an old handmade nail i salvaged from a bonfire and the rod is glued to the underside of the cone lid.now the amplifier has stopped working,could be the eq of course.i might take it all apart and start from scratch,thanks again for all the advice..its much appreciated.

Hi, that bit of info may help. If you used a nail only without mounting it on a wooden base, so the nail was more of a saddle than a bridge, the bridge could be too low. Best if at least 3/8" to 1/2" high. Piezo pickups work by changing pressure into sound. Disc piezo work best surface mounted, and pick up vibrations from whatever surface they are mounted to. 

Strip piezo type are designed to go under the saddle of a bridge, and pick up string vibrations. So the better the pressure on them sandwiched between bridge and the strings the better the sound. 

If you raise the bridge you will need some neck refinement to get the action you prefere.

Good luck.



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