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Local Craftsman Creates Amplifiers from Vintage Cigar Boxes

Roger Wiberg II, never intended on making amplifiers in his shop. But after watching Youtube, he stumbled upon a brilliant, practical, artistic creation.

Roger Wiberg II, a San Clemente resident, has always been handy.

 He’s built a complex fireplace mantle, many end tables and even restored his 1973 Volkswagen--you can see him riding around town in the unique, yellow contraption.

But it wasn’t until recently that Wiberg paired his talents as a craftsman with his own ingenuity to create intricately tooled cigar box amplifiers.

Wiberg’s vintage cigar box amplifiers have gained some popularity in San Clemente by word-of-mouth through the musicians who have used them. They also will be featured at Gypcee Trunk Show, a new boutique opening soon in Long Beach, which specializes in homemade and recycled items.

Every part of the cigar box is used in creation of the amplifiers.

Wiberg, who is a bass player himself, credits the great sound emulating from his amplifiers to his ultra sensitive ear.

“They all have great sound that calibrates for buzzes and static,” he said. "The sound rivals any of the top technology in amplifiers on the market today."

“I never explored Youtube before,” Wiberg said, “I was watching a video about jet fighters, when somehow through a related topic, I saw a video about making a guitar from a cigar box. I started making a cigar box bass, but stopped halfway through when I got the idea for the amplifier. I never finished the bass, and have been making the amplifiers ever since.” 

His shop has a unique mixture of wood and cigar smells, and often gets visitors from around his North Beach neighborhood who come to see and hear the latest project he is working on.

“People love to hang out in my shop,” Wiberg said.

Wiberg recently completed his 47th amplifier, and he hopes that selling the amplifiers as a part of Gypcee Trunk Show will mean that he won’t have to work as much as a painter anymore, a job that has started to take its toll on Wiberg after decades of hard work.

For more information on how you can check out the one-of-a-kind amplifiers, contact Wiberg at Leduke27@live.com, or see his items displayed at Gypcee Trunk Show at 440 E. 1st in downtown Long Beach, opening soon.

Abby Schimenek March 12, 2011 at 04:48 PM
yeah neighbor Roger!! Very cool photoset, his work is truly special.

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