I have an older Calton banjo case where the interior lining has come loose and needs repairing. I had reached out to Calton last fall to see if they would be willing to repair my banjo case and was told that they do not offer a repair service, even for a fee, as it is too expensive and time consuming for them to perform.
I found their response surprising in not wanting to provide quality post-sale customer service (repair/refurbish for a fee) based on the initial high cost investment in purchasing one of their cases ($1,000.00+) along with their known brand quality.
My question is, is there anyone out there that specializes in instrument case repair, if so, can you point me in that direction?
Thanks in advance....
Edited by - Texasbanjo on 08/13/2020 04:40:23
In fairness, the current Calton owner did not build or in any way profit from older Calton cases. From Mandolin Cafe thread: "There were some real issues with the Maritime Calton cases, with the glue letting loose on the lining and other shoddy workmanship."
Someone here though can help you with the right adhesive to use. It depends on how porous the backing is. You can search for prior threads on re-gluing lining. I know there have been some.
There is quite a colorful history behind Calton Cases. I was a dealer for them when Al Williams owned the Canadian company which was licensed by Keith Calton from the U.K.
When Al Williams sold the Canadian company, the new *Canadian* owner quickly revealed his incompetence and idiocy, a grifter who drove the the quality and reliability into the dirt. This resulted in quite a few inferior cases being produced for a few years. Finally, Keith Calton filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the new owner up in Canada, which he won, but not before the Canadian owner simply produced Calton Cases under another name. Keith shut all that down, finally, at no small cost to himself.
So I guess part of the question is if you have a pre- or post- Al Williams Canadian Calton.
For a while after that kerfuffle, there were no Calton Cases made in North America, until a new buyer from Texas stepped up to the plate. Regardless, I'm a little surprised that the new owner in Texas won't help out, even at a cost. Al Williams would refurbish any Calton Case for a modest fee (as I recall is was about 1/4 or less the cost of a new case), and there is no reason this can't be done now except the new owner doesn't care to. Al William's refurbishment included all new foam and liner, new valance, new handle, replaced hinges and latches as necessary, and any repairs to the shell.
To be honest, in my opinion the Texas owner has improved on the design of the cases, but doesn't do so well in areas of customer service, apparently.
Having said all that, I would suggest approaching Hoffee Cases for ideas, Jeff Hoffee is very approachable and I believe his customer service is the best around, so he may be able to help directly or refer you to a competent person who actually cares to help.
It would be interesting if you could post some follow-up on this.
Edited by - banjoy on 08/13/2020 06:13:09
Thanks for the history and recommendations.....
I've had a similar experience with another brand of guitar case, also a fairly high dollar case >$500. I got the guitar back for some minor service and was disappointed to see the lining had come loose in a few places and in only 3 year.
Also disappointing was the lack of customer support. When they finally did return an email all they did was make excuses for not returning earlier contact efforts with no help otherwise. My wife glued the lining back in with some permanent fabric cement and it came out very well.
If you want the lining replaced I'd consider taking it to an upholstery shop. They typically do way more complicated fabric work than involved in case linings. It would probably help if you did the research to find a source for lining fabric you like.
It appears to be quite common for linings to come adrift. When ever that happens I usually repair it with contact adhesive. It does depend however on exactly what has come off and where.
I used contact cement on a old 60's Lifton banjo case where the interior fabric had come loose. I don't know if it would stick to fiberglass or not.
Good Luck, Brian
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