changes for cigar box guitar

Submitted by boop_a_doop on Sun, 12/18/2011 - 07:45

Hi, just curious, what changes are necessary to make this work with a cigar box guitar? What types of pickups do they use?

Member for

11 years 5 months


Sun, 12/18/2011 - 09:56

It depends. Does your CBG have a magnetic pickup? Like one of these:……

If it does, no changes need to be made.

If your CBG has a piezo pickup you should use a preamp. Piezo pickups look like this:

This is my favorite preamp:

Just a couple bucks worth of parts from Digikey. Easy to use and if you build it directly into the stella amp itself you never have to worry about it because it will work with regular guitars too. The preamp will change how a guitar will distort, especially if you run the amp and the preamp at less than 9 volts. It doesn't sound worse, just different. My main amp runs at 6 volts with a Tillman hard wired into the amp.

Possibly a better option would be to build the preamp into the CBG, or build it in an altoids tin so you can move it from guitar to guitar. In that case you don't need to make any changes to the Stella Amp at all.

If Digikey is not an option for you, try this version of the same circuit with parts you can easily find at Radio Shack:

Compare the two circuits side by side and you'll see that quite a bit changes, you can't just drop the radio shack j-fet into the tillman.

Good luck! Do you already have a CBG, or were you planning on buying or making one yourself? I made one and it is awesome. Here's mine:

Idjit (not verified)

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:32

OK that's three subjects.

I think I'd like to order but you're out of stock. Are you re-stocking?

Do you ship to Canada?

I'm confuse about piezo. A post on 18th of December, 2011 explains it needs a pre-amp, but on your design page you state "I wanted to allow cigar box guitars equipped with piezo pickups to be played directly into the amplifier with no preamp. "

Is the pre-amp now part of it?

I'd love to hear a clip using a cigar box with piezo output.