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Some musical products mfrs really don't know their markets

May 28, 2023 - 5:17:05 AM
3380 posts since 12/31/2005

Let's say you want to sell a $1,000 banjo case. Who is your market? Young 20-something Hipsters? Probably not. Generally speaking, it's probably middle-aged guys with disposable income or pros. If you want to demonstrate the utility of this $1,000 case to the market, what kind of banjo would you picture in it? A Goodtime? Probably not. But here we are:  Crossrock video

May 28, 2023 - 5:30 AM



11522 posts since 7/1/2006

LOL that's funny. Crossrock has always missed its mark in my opinion. Their shells look nice but the foam padding has been woefully inadequate, and I don't think they've fixed that issue.

I find it funny that someone asked in the YouTube comments how much the thing weighs and Crossrock's snide reply was it weighs 3kg or 6.6 lbs and that's in their web description. Look at the description on the website and it states the case weight is 4.2 kg or 9.3 lbs. Wow.

For $100 more someone can get that great deal on that Gibson branded Calton Case if they don't mind the logo and color schemes. Calton gets it right on interior padding. Crossrock does not.

May 28, 2023 - 5:44:09 AM
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3380 posts since 12/31/2005

Originally posted by banjoy

For $100 more someone can get that great deal on that Gibson branded Calton Case if they don't mind the logo and color schemes. Calton gets it right on interior padding. Crossrock does not.

Let's face it. When we're in a group and someone starts unlatching a Calton case, everyone kind peers over to see what's in there.  I've never seen a GoodTime emerge, but that would be funny. 

May 28, 2023 - 7:23:09 AM

5147 posts since 5/29/2011

I think it's funny that the advertisement is for a banjo case and the background music is played on the mandolin.
But, I agree that having a case that expensive for a Goodtime banjo is a little bit of overkill.

May 28, 2023 - 7:31:22 AM
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1791 posts since 4/12/2004

In late Seventies and early Eighties, I worked as a design engineer for the company that manufactured and marketed Hamilton music stands. I was the only employee in the company who had any kind of musical background. Our marketing and management people's attitude was that our only customers were our distributors. They knew very little about who the end customers were or how they used our products.

One day, our receptionist, who actually answered our phones, got a call from Barry Manlow's road manager. He was calling to see if he could buy a bunch of orchestra stands. The receptionist, who was a big Barry Manilow fan, went to the president of the company and told him about the call and the request to purchase the stands. He told her that we don't do direct customer sales; the guy needs to call one of our distributors. The receptionist said, "but it's Barry Manilow's road manager". The president, who was well beyond retirement age, said, "who the hell is Barry Manilow?"

Edited by - RB3 on 05/28/2023 07:40:31

May 28, 2023 - 7:44:41 AM
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3380 posts since 12/31/2005

Originally posted by RB3

"who the hell is Barry Manilow?"

Reminds me of the Wayne Henderson joke.  If I recall it right, Eric Clapton or one of his people had been calling Wayne to find out the status of Clapton's order.  Wayne reportedly remarked, "who does he think he is, Ralph Stanley?"

May 28, 2023 - 10:20:56 AM

3143 posts since 5/2/2012

You'd think they would hire a model that could actually fake picking along with the tune, but then I may not be a "modern banjo player" and don't see how the picking matched the audio. I like how she subtlely kicked the banjo to make sure it fell over. And finally, I'd like to have seen the case opened to see the banjo after it slid down the stairs. They'd have to sell a lot of these $1000 cases to cover the cost of this poorly done promotional video.

May 28, 2023 - 11:21:38 AM

659 posts since 2/8/2003

In all fairness, that video is for a Carbon fiber banjo case for $989, not a fiberglass case. It looks like Carlton cases are fiberglass and are starting at $1500 now. Maybe you can get for less somewhere? Carltons are not carbon fiber. I believe for good reason, as fiberglass will flex under pressure and carbon fiber will break.

Crossrock FIBERGLASS flight cases retail for $359. So $1141 less than the fiberglass Carlton. The Crossrock carbon fiber case is ~10lbs, and the Carlton is ~20lbs (hard to find and only found a reference to it on

Are they inferior to Carlton, yes, the padding and interior isn’t as nice, they are “imported”and not “custom” measured for instruments. Is that video hilarious. Yes.

I wanted a Carlton for an openback, but they are $1500 at Balsambanjoworks, and I am not a traveling musician. So I got a Crossrock fiberglass flight case in black for $185 delivered from Amazon to use with my openback Traynham banjo. I wanted a Carlton, but for that price, it was no contest and was about the same price as a wood and vinyl Superior.

May 28, 2023 - 11:57:50 AM



11522 posts since 7/1/2006


I guess to be nitpicky -- and lots of people do this -- but there is no "r" in the name. It's Calton, not Carlton.

You make good points, and I also went online trying to find the weight of a Calton and could not find it. I was a dealer for these when Al Williams (may he rest in peace) ran the Calton show up in Canada, but since sold mine years ago. But 20 lbs?? Yikes!!

May 28, 2023 - 12:23:45 PM
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659 posts since 2/8/2003

Originally posted by banjoy


I guess to be nitpicky -- and lots of people do this -- but there is no "r" in the name. It's Calton, not Carlton...

Yea, autospell got me again. Yes CALTON.

I looked all over for the weight, may have listed the shipping weight at 20lbs? I saw a review that said 10lbs for the Calton.  But I also saw a review here of the CF Crossrock that said it was 6.6.

The Calton is a superior case, no question. But as expensive as some of my banjos.

May 28, 2023 - 12:28:50 PM
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11522 posts since 7/1/2006

JollyRogers LOL I understand!! I think mine weighed about 13 lbs but I cannot remember for sure. The new breed of Caltons might be that much it would not surprise me. That information is noticeably absent from their website, maybe with good reason!

Sorry for the thread drift, but to me weight is important. I just thought it funny that Crossrock got it wrong on their own post.

May 28, 2023 - 8:13:36 PM

553 posts since 1/24/2004

I did a review of the Crossrock carbon fiber cases. They apparently don't know anyone who actually owns or plays a Mastertone-style banjo -- pretty much the only type expensive enough to warrant a case that pricy.

Also, a Calton representative told me their banjo cases weigh 13 pounds, the only reason I don't own one.

May 29, 2023 - 8:02:34 AM



2290 posts since 8/9/2019

I think $1k flight cases are for anyone with a valuable enough (monetary or otherwise) instrument that the owner feels that the price is warranted.

I'm not a pro, I'm not a hipster. I'm also not rich. But why would I carry my $5k+ banjo in a $100 press wood case??

Jun 2, 2023 - 4:02:17 PM
Players Union Member



17157 posts since 8/30/2006

Any competitor has specifications for each product. 

I spec the Guardian 6" Styrofoam black canvas zippered banjo cases with carrying handle & backpack straps.  Yes, they are not the very best and need normal care rather than rattling around in the back of a pickup. With Scotchguard, they are waterproof.  I even have a buy back program but I don't find any takers once they see how beneficial they can be. 
Yes, they are styrofoam and imported, but they weigh only 5 pounds.
They ship perfectly and cheaper.  I haven't had any breakage @ 240 months.

I have had Calton and their great canvas covers spec'd by national artists. Dust covers of nautical/industrial grade are a very good idea and guard a Helix just fine from weather encountered everywhere, whether pollen, rain, sleet or dark of night.....

When you can observe from an airport  flight waiting area window how the baggage train makes a left turn and the fiberglass case makes a right off the cart without the knowledge of the driver and just lays there innocently, then that's why you would never want to let your good instrument leave your sight.

Many people I know locally are choosing the Guardians for guitars, banjos and even their double mandolin cases because they are tired of lugging  swimming noodle hardshell cases back and forth from hither and yonder. Yonder is one of my favorite places to play music.

Edited by - Helix on 06/02/2023 16:11:36

Aug 8, 2023 - 5:45:19 AM

409 posts since 7/11/2014

The carbon fibre crossrock are now in sake at 450

Aug 8, 2023 - 11:53:15 AM

4462 posts since 6/15/2005

My 20 year-old Calton weighs in at 12.8 pounds.

Aug 8, 2023 - 2:41:34 PM

Alex Z


5512 posts since 12/7/2006
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Yes.  Calton at about 13 pounds.  ("Carlton" is also the spell check on my cell phone.)

Had a Mark Leaf for my top tension, for over 30 years.  19 pounds for the case and about 14 for the banjo -- 33 pounds.  Finally reached the point where carrying it up and down stairs was not only a chore, but a risk.  Sold it and purchased a relatively "lightweight" Calton.  smiley

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