Cigfiddle Specs / Tips

Specs and frequently asked questions about Cigfiddles, tunings, strings, etc:

Cigfiddle (general):
– “Cig” (cigar) and “fiddle” from the commonly used guitar nickname, “git-fiddle.”
– All of Baratto’s handmade cigar box instruments fall under the trademarked “Cigfiddle” moniker.
– The Cigfiddle is a tenor (19″) scale guitar.
– Think of a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret.


The “Original Cigfiddle”: $500.00 and up (8 string version: $700.00 and up):
– This is based on the original prototype and most popular.
– It’s tenor scale, acoustic, 4 strings, open tuned: D, A, D, F#

The “Cigukelele”: $400 and up:
– Based on the Ukelele.
– Nylon string with a wrap around bridge and standard open back Grover tuners.

The “Cigaquinho”: $425 and up:
– Based on the Brazilian Cavaquinho.
– 12″ scale, 4 steel strings.

The “Resofiddle”: $2000.00 and up:
– The unique sound comes from its resonator made from a steel paint can lid.
– Based on a traditional resonator, steel is used in place of aluminum to achieve its signature “zing”.
– It is strung and tuned the same as the “Original”.

The 8-string “Resofiddle”: $2250.00 and up:
– Tuned: dD, aA, dd, f#f#.
– With four double course strings.
– Nothing sounds quite like it.
– The octave strings drone to make the resonator come alive with sound and rich overtones from within fill the air.
– The world awaits what this new instrument has to offer. Sure to inspire those who play it!

Downright/Upright Bass: $1200.00 and up:
– Upright bass, made from a used wooden wine box.
– The shape of the neck resembles an upright bass.
– The low frets and the flat, nylon tape wound strings give this bass the sound and feel very similar to a double bass.
– Can be played acoustically or pugged in.


– Please use recommended string gages.
– Strings can be ordered directly from Baratto Guitars or you can buy a set of strings and remove the low and hi E strings from the package.

Cigfiddles (acoustic):
– Phosphorous Bronze wound, plain unwound.
– Electric strings can be used as well.

– Nickel wound, plain unwound.
– Avoid using acoustic strings.


The Original Cigfiddle and Resofiddle:
D (.038) / A (.028) / d (.018) / f# (.014)

Standard Ukelele strings.

Nickel or Phosphorous Bronze
.032 / .024 / .018 / .016

8-String Original and Resofiddle:
d (.018) / D (.038) / a (.014) / A (.028) / dd (.018) / f#f# (.014)

Downright / Upright bass:
Rotosound, nylon tape wound bass strings.


– Take care of your Cigfiddle as you would any fine instrument by keeping it from extreme temperatures and moisture.
– Avoid leaving your Cigfiddle in a hot car or trunk.
– Do NOT over tighten the strings! Your Cigfiddle can be tuned within a full step either up or down without changing the string gauge.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Each Cigfiddle is hand made by luthier Matty Baratto.
No two are exactly alike and they each are numbered, signed and dated on the label. Beware of imposter cigar box guitars that are being sold as an original Cigfiddle.

How long does it take to make a guitar?
It depends on how busy the shop is and what type of instrument and how fast you want it.
Typical time for most electrics 6-8 weeks. Acoustics take a bit longer. Most Cigfiddles can be delivered within 4 weeks of ordering.

How do I pay?
A down payment of 1/2 the agreed price is required before starting: Cash, check or bank transfer. No Credit Cards.
Balance of instrument cost must be paid within 2 weeks of invoicing, no exceptions.
(Shipping and sales tax are not included in the agreed price.)

What if I don’t like it?
There are no refunds on custom instruments or deposits. That’s the way it is…However, if there is any issue with your new custom instrument, Baratto Guitars will take every measure to see that it is taken care of. Also, you will receive free maintenance (2x/year) for life! (see details)

Can I change/modify my order?
Once the details have been agreed upon and the deposit has been received, changes are discouraged.

Do Baratto instruments come with a case or “cig-bag”? No, but these will be available for purchase from Baratto in the future.

Can I get an endorsement? Sorry, we do not do endorsements.

Can I get a better deal if I help? No.

Is it OK to stop by and check in? No. (Visits to the shop are by appointment only)

Can I pay for it all at once? No – Our policy is half up front and the balance prior to shipping.

The bridge moved and now it doesn’t play in tune.
What do I do?

Your Cigfiddle is out of intonation. Try this:

1. Tune the strings.

2. At the 12th (octave), fret the (D) lo string and play the note.

3. If the note is sharp, move the bridge slightly towards the tailpiece. If it’s flat, move the bridge slightly towards the neck.

4. Re-tune and check again

5. Repeat for the hi (f#) string.

6. If you are still having trouble, contact Baratto Guitars or call your local repair shop for help.

The names and designs for: Cigfiddle, Resofiddle, Cigukelele, Cigaquinho and Downright/Upright Bass are trademarks of Baratto guitars and cannot be used in conjunction with any other cigar box guitar by another maker, or company without permission.