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Welcome Guests of The Orion

The Only CBG Store In The World!

The Cigar Box Guitar Store is the exclusive brick-and-mortar location of cigar box guitars and other musical creations from Mad Sci Innovations, the brand created by juried artist and luthier Jeff Mello. Mello, who owns the store with his wife Tara, showcases his works of playable art, which include three- and four-string guitars made out of cigar boxes and other recycled materials, such as lunchboxes, tins and even baseball bats.

Every Saturday from 12-2 pm there are FREE cigar box guitar lessons in the studio. No experience is required and there are loaner guitars available. There's never an obligation to 

to make a purchase. Owners Jeff and Tara Mello just want everyone to experience how easy it is to make a joyful noise on a CBG.

About the Instruments

Unlike many cigar box guitars, Mello's creations are designed to be highly-playable, with low action, highly-polished necks and evenly balanced. Fret wire is fitted into stopped cuts on the fretboard so that sharp ends will not be exposed at the edges with seasonal wood contraction. Neck wood surfaces are sealed with 3 coats acrylic lacquer.


Mello's guitars stand up to heavy use and travel. To protect internal wiring from breakage from transit and usage shock and vibration, all soldering is performed to industrial workmanship (IPC for those familiar). All interconnections are made with shielded cable. Solder joints are covered with sleeving or silicone for strain relief. 

Longest-Running CBG Festival

Jeff and Tara are also the organizers of the longest-running cigar box guitar festival in the world. The 18th Annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival was held on June 4, 2022 at Lowe Mill A&E. This free festival featured seven music acts and raised $2,000 for music education. Click here to learn more and sign up for updates for the 2023 festival, which is slated for June 3.


Please contact us to schedule a private meeting with Jeff & Tara.

The Cigar Box Guitar Store is located in Studio 106 at historic Lowe Mill A&E, a collection of 161 artists studios in three buildings. 

2211 Seminole Dr. SW 

Huntsville, AL 35805

Drive south on Seminole Dr. to where Seminole Rd. curves sharply and turns into 9th Ave. At the curve, continue straight through the gate into the gravel drive labeled "Smokestack Lot." Be careful of oncoming traffic at the curve. Follow the gravel drive straight to the end of the parking lot. You'll see Door #17 immediately on your left next to the Smokestack. When you enter the building, walk straight. We are the studio next to the bright red railing.


Below are some examples of custom guitars. Download an e-book of custom designs or read reviews.

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