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Feb 24, 2021 - 4:12:29 PM
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139 posts since 6/12/2012

I have a Gibson RB-150 with a basic hard case. I’d like to get more protection for my prized possession.
My first choice would be American made, but am willing to entertain all options less than $600.
Currently I’m considering a Crossrock but it’s not made in America so I’m looking other options.

Feb 24, 2021 - 6:49 PM

KCJones

USA

1442 posts since 8/30/2012

You know I've had this same question and come to the conclusion that you could probably make your own case better than anyone and do it for less than $500. What's a case made of? A sheet of plywood, some glue and staples, a bit of fabric and some small hardware. It can't be that hard. They're basically just weird shaped boxes.

Coffin cases are cool and they avoid the issue of curved wood.

Feb 24, 2021 - 7:23:05 PM
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56964 posts since 12/14/2005
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Feb 25, 2021 - 5:20:34 AM

6593 posts since 9/5/2006

i worked with the cross rock people for several months designing the banjo case,, and i think they finally got it right,,,, it took a while to get across to them what to fix on their original design ,,but the new ones a pretty good for the price... i know they are not made in usa  but they are a 1/4 the price of a calton... and offer decent protection.

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 02/25/2021 05:21:31

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:27:07 AM

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

I conceived owned and operated finecases dot com (until I sold that site in 2009 to an owner who drove it into the ground in less than 3 years, may it RIP) and as such was a dealer for about 40 brands of cases and gig bags. To my knowledge, the only case brand actually made in the USA is Calton out of Texas. The next closest thing would be TKL, an American company out of Virginia, but all their hard wood shells are made in Canada. Even TKL's high end re-brand called "Cedar Creek" are simply TKL shells modified and customized in the USA. All TKL cases made from other materials are all made overseas.

Ameritage cases are also made overseas despite the name, but it's an excellent case by an American company, they're just not actually made here.

Everything else is basically made in China.

Edited by - banjoy on 02/25/2021 05:29:57

Feb 25, 2021 - 11:41:43 AM
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6593 posts since 9/5/2006

tkl had the concept case now that is pretty neat,baucom had the first one i saw a few years ago ,, the proto type at a banjo extravaganza we did. i don't know where its made though. they clain to be made in the USA ,,,, but not sure,,,, but not a bad price,, TKL has always had good cases in my opinion.

https://www.tkl.com/products/21292-tkl-concepttm-5-string-standard-13-75-dia-resonator-banjo-case-glacier-whitetm-exterior

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 02/25/2021 11:47:56

Feb 26, 2021 - 11:17:35 AM

2681 posts since 4/16/2003

If you have $600 to spend, either buy a Price fiberglass case or wait for a used Mark Leaf case to show up in the classifieds.

Either will provide "as much protection as you're ever gonna get" from a banjo case.

Feb 26, 2021 - 11:56:53 AM

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by J.Albert

If you have $600 to spend, either buy a Price fiberglass case or wait for a used Mark Leaf case to show up in the classifieds.

Either will provide "as much protection as you're ever gonna get" from a banjo case.


Man I totally spaced cases made by Gary Price, and I used to be a dealer for his stuff. I need a vacation LOL :) but yeah, add him to the list.

Price cases are closer to $900-$1000 new, and a used Mark Leaf banjo case in good condition will start at $600 and go up from there. Both are very solid American made cases.

Also I also spaced Hoffee Cases ... made in the USA and in the same price range as a Calton or Price. Both Calton and Hoffee cases are customizable to the inside and outside colors, and fit to your instrument.

All these level of cases could be considered heirloom quality...

Edited by - banjoy on 02/26/2021 11:58:06

Feb 26, 2021 - 1:54:19 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24582 posts since 6/25/2005

If you’re not going to travel by air with your banjo or put it similarly at risk, a lesser case is fine.

Feb 27, 2021 - 8:39:41 AM

809 posts since 1/21/2004

I have a Calton case (an early case made in Canada), a Crossrock case, a Superior fiberglass case, and a few plywood cases.

The plywood cases are used to store banjos while in my house; they never get go out.

I seldom take my Calton case out unless I suspect it may get bounced around, like at a BG Festival. The Calton case with a banjo in it weighs a ton. I wouldn't buy another Calton case unless the current case gets destroyed somehow.

The Superior case - I have had one since they first were available.  Many, many, years ago. The handle leaves a lot to be desired. I suggest replacing it before it fails when you are carrying your baby.

I haven't used the Cross rock case nearly as much as the Superior case but I have no issues or seen design flaws.

The weakness of all cases I have, sans the Calton, is the catches. After significant use they will get loose and come undone easily. To compensate for this, after ferquent bending and tweaking of the catches, I put a piece of Velcro around the outside of the case, should all the catches come undone at the same time.  I know this is unlikely, but if you are carrying a pre-WWII Mastertone you don't want to give Murphy a chance.

Summarizing, if I needed a new case for a good banjo, what would I buy today?  Probably a Cross rock.  Reasonabably priced, readily available, and tollerable protection.  However if it was my main case I would expect to have to replace it in a quarter century.  By then you can upgrade your banjo and get something like a Price/Calton/Hoffee case.

YMMV
Heavythumb

Feb 27, 2021 - 9:46:38 AM

6593 posts since 9/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by heavythumb

I have a Calton case (an early case made in Canada), a Crossrock case, a Superior fiberglass case, and a few plywood cases.

The plywood cases are used to store banjos while in my house; they never get go out.

I seldom take my Calton case out unless I suspect it may get bounced around, like at a BG Festival. The Calton case with a banjo in it weighs a ton. I wouldn't buy another Calton case unless the current case gets destroyed somehow.

The Superior case - I have had one since they first were available.  Many, many, years ago. The handle leaves a lot to be desired. I suggest replacing it before it fails when you are carrying your baby.

I haven't used the Cross rock case nearly as much as the Superior case but I have no issues or seen design flaws.

The weakness of all cases I have, sans the Calton, is the catches. After significant use they will get loose and come undone easily. To compensate for this, after ferquent bending and tweaking of the catches, I put a piece of Velcro around the outside of the case, should all the catches come undone at the same time.  I know this is unlikely, but if you are carrying a pre-WWII Mastertone you don't want to give Murphy a chance.

Summarizing, if I needed a new case for a good banjo, what would I buy today?  Probably a Cross rock.  Reasonabably priced, readily available, and tollerable protection.  However if it was my main case I would expect to have to replace it in a quarter century.  By then you can upgrade your banjo and get something like a Price/Calton/Hoffee case.

YMMV
Heavythumb


thats a good summary for the cases,,,  when i was approached by cross rock ,, we decided to make a case in the price range that most anu one could afford ,, while giving a stylish medium grade protection product,,, i told them 250 to 350 would be a good target range. 

Feb 27, 2021 - 10:16:15 AM

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

The OP's preference was for a case made in America. That limits the field quite a bit...

The image and link above to the TKL Concept series of cases is intriguing to me. They had introduced that new line as I was shedding my business so I never actually saw one in person. However, they promote that it's made in the USA which makes it a rare bird. The interior design of that case seems adequate and TKL has been around the block a time or two in the case business.

I see a few of them on Reverb and one on eBay for pretty decent prices ($200 - $300). I am considering getting one myself now that I've learned more about here because of this thread...

Feb 28, 2021 - 5:20:32 AM

116 posts since 2/22/2019

Kudos to OP for wanting to buy US made products.

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:01:25 PM

11192 posts since 10/27/2006

Although TKL sources worldwide, their Cedar Creek custom division is in the USA. If no one else has what you need…

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:25:35 PM

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

Although TKL sources worldwide, their Cedar Creek custom division is in the USA. If no one else has what you need…


Cedar Creek cases are hand modified in Virginia, using their shells made in Canada. They don't make the shells here at all. But they are finished in the USA, but from personal experience their fit and finish is not the best. I used to be a dealer for Cedar Creek (Internet Archive link or two from my website back then). Nice cases, overpriced for what you get IMHO. The prices shown in these links are now 15 years old.

That brand caused me more issues and resulted in more dissatisfied customers than any other brand I sold, by a million miles. And I let them know it. I still have all the photos of cases falling apart before even being received by the customer and was I finally forced to drop that line.

But they can do what you want. They made an alligator skin covered Les Paul case for Eric Clapton, but it cost him $14,000 for it (through another dealer). That's an extreme example, but pretty cool. I'm sure the fit and finish on that one was flawless though LOL.

Maybe they've since improved. but it appears not. Do you own google search for Cedar Creek Cases and unfortunately you will find way too many posts from pissed off customers (gearnetpage, Mandolin Cafe, etc.) I was going to post links here but decided it would be more fun to do your own research. Buyer beware but more accurately, buyer be lucky.

Edited by - banjoy on 03/01/2021 20:36:10

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