Cigarbox Guitar Practice Amp Q

A friend online just asked what my (and other’s) views were re. a good practice amp for the little gits we play. Here is my reply to him. Note he made mention that many of these guitars have the pickup wired directly to the 1/4 jack (input) so no volume nor tone control/s. Most all amps do… but even the Pignose I mentioned is designed to accent low-end (bassier) frequencies even though it’s small. This is why I began my reply as I did here:

“If you have a cbg w/o volume or tone, you are correct, it’s all about the amp. You will find as many opinions on this q as anything… I happen to favor (when going super cheap) the 20-25 dollar Danelectro Honeytone.

When talking louder, fuller in the low-end and such, the 90 dollar or so basic Pignose amp. The Pignose is nearly enough to busk in the street with. For me it’s not quite enough there but…I have on rare occasions even had it mic’ed via full p.a., with a great system, engineer and good mic and technique with a lot of e.q. boost it can pass in very small rooms beyond practice amp status.

Going further and for quite a bit more loot I’d say Fender Champ or something like it, Blues Jr. or whatever.

LOTS of folks in the cbg world give kudos to various editions of Roland MicroCube or Cube series amps.

Of course you can dog-leg a practice amp out of a set of old computer speakers, especially w. a.c. plug, even better when battery-powered and really better, with tone control on ’em, but they won’t hold up tonally to the others I’ve named here. Also remember piezo pickups (if that’s what you have in the git) are naturally Bright, often in the extreme… so need added low-end to really sound decent in my view. Sorry for the “book” here Tim, but there you go!”

So my new friend from Australia (Cameron James Henderson) who did a brilliant show at Everybody’s Coffee here in Chicago last night… well we spent a few days together. He wanted to hear some cigarbox and found-object gits. I brought about 6 of ’em to a large room, showed him some of the maaannnnyyyy variables and then pulled out my Honeytone amp and plugged a few in. He played some of ’em as well. Here’s a clip he took on his smartphone yesterday before his gig last night. Remember, this is a mega-cheap piezo pickup and a 20 buck plastic amp… bass cranked up but also like a B guitar string, very bright in a little metal (again, bright-sounding) instant coffee can… but anyhow:

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

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