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Jun 17, 2024 - 5:26:16 PM
6 posts since 12/13/2023

Looking to buy a case for an early 70s RB-250. I’ve been really looking at the CrossRock cases but have been told by multiple people not to buy them. What do you suggest for a good, sturdy case for this old 5?

Jun 17, 2024 - 5:56:34 PM
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15440 posts since 6/2/2008

TKL.

Jun 17, 2024 - 7:05:11 PM

33 posts since 2/18/2024

Jun 18, 2024 - 4:18:22 AM

23 posts since 3/31/2009

Just wondering what the issue is with CrossRock cases?

Jun 18, 2024 - 4:32:23 AM
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204 posts since 10/5/2019

Personally, I prefer a fiberglass case like crossrock over the wooden cases. They hold up better and are lighter.

Jun 18, 2024 - 5:34:58 AM

HSmith

UK

575 posts since 12/30/2005

I've never used a Crossrock case, but I've read posts here on the Hangout expressing concern that the internal dimensions are a little tight for Mastertone-type banjos, and that undue pressure may be required to close the lid. I guess all you could do is try one and see if it's a fit for your banjo. I had a Stelling for many years, and was very happy with the TKL case in which it came, but I'm a firm believer in Calton fibreglass cases. I still have the case I bought direct from Keith Calton in 1976, and it's as good as new (apart from a few superficial scrapes) even after many years' tough semi-pro use. However, a Calton case is expensive and heavy. Unless you're a pro musician and travel a lot with your banjo, or the banjo is valuable or irreplaceable, a Calton may not be economically justified, in which case (no pun intended!) I'd go for TKL.

Jun 18, 2024 - 5:58:01 AM
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8369 posts since 9/21/2007

I've got two Crossrock cases. I got them because they were lower priced than others. Both are for "open back" banjos, 12" rim.

One case is the "tweed pattern" vinyl flat top. This is a very light weight case. The "tweed pattern" vinyl is really just striped and is weird. I only got it because it was not black. Now that I have it, I wished I got black.

The vinyl is VERY soft. Much softer than the Saga superior vinyl covering. It is so soft it rips and gouges easily. I'm not impressed. For home storage it is fine, travel, not so much.

The second case I have is the fabric tweed covered arch top. This is a much more substantial and well finished case. It has better lining fabric too. It is still lightweight and I expect it would not hold up to heavy use and travel. But it is more than adequate for two and from local performances or car/train travel to festivals/conferences.

For both cases I had to remove the neck support block and cut it down. As received, both cases were 100% unusable and would not close without very hard pressure on the neck. I tired several different banjos and it was the same for all.

Cutting down the block was not hard, I just unscrewed it and made a cardboard template for size. Once I figured out how much to cut down, I peeled back the fabric covering and cut it down on my chopsaw. Then I reinstalled and now the cases work fine.

A cannot speak to the fit of Gibson pattern resonator cases they offer. The examples I have work fine but are a little snug around the rim.

Would I recommend them? Meh. The one covered in fabric looks pretty and cool (it is a dark green color). Otherwise I'd say get a TKL or Saga Superior (although TKL cases tend to smell funny when new and require a lot of open time for the glue to outgas).

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:04:10 AM

1430 posts since 1/26/2011

I was considering buying a banjo that was in a Crossrock case, so I was able to take a close look at the case. To me it seemed like it was too flexible. It seemed like it would twist if enough torque was put on it. I have an archtop Superior case that I believe would give more protection. But I believe they are hard to come by right now. I’d go with the TKL over the Crossrock.

Jun 18, 2024 - 7:41:20 AM
Players Union Member

rminke

USA

37 posts since 10/7/2010

I have or have had one of almost all of the decent (and some not so decent) cases made. The Calton is obviously the top of the heap, but probably over kill if you aren't really needing the extra protection. The Ameritage case is also a very good choice for maximum protection - great fit & very strong / quality construction. My Nechville came in an "Access" Stage 3 case - very nice. I also have Guardian, Superior & TKL cases.  In their upper level "quality" models, all of them do what they need to do. I also have a new Crossrock fiberglass "Mastertone" case for my "32 conversion". It actually fits very nice, seems to be well made & short of being driven over or dropped from a 7 story building, I think it offers all the protection you would need. Plus they do have a zippered cover that fits the case & offers another layer of protection. I have to admit that I also use a leather Reunion Blues gig bag sometimes when I am teaching at jam camp. It's much lighter to haul around & has back-pack straps when all my hands are full of other gear. I wouldn't throw it around, but it is very well padded & secures my banjo nicely. (You could just buy one of each & a lot more banjos, win-win situation!)


Jun 18, 2024 - 7:48:13 AM

16153 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Timothy Lindblom

Personally, I prefer a fiberglass case like crossrock over the wooden cases. They hold up better and are lighter.


Every well-built fiberglass case weighs a LOT more than a plywood one.

Jun 18, 2024 - 7:51:34 AM

16153 posts since 12/2/2005

Best case? Depends on what you're using it for, and how valuable the banjo is to you.

If you have a deep attachment to the instrument and are going to travel vigorously with it (as in, air travel, touring, etc.) then a fiberglass or carbon-fiber case makes sense. The good ones cost upwards of a grand.

If you're just keeping the banjo in its case and going to occasional jams and/or local gigs, a good quality plywood case will both save you money and protect your instrument reasonably well. As has been noted above, TKL is good quality.

Jun 18, 2024 - 8:02:03 AM

204 posts since 10/5/2019

For around the house a wooden case might be the best. TKL and Access both make good cases. For traveling I prefer the lighter fiberglass like crossrock as they don’t scuff as easily. I also like having a nice gig bag like Reunion Blues for places with lots of walking to wear on your shoulders.
And yes a heavy duty fiberglass case such as Calton, Hoffee, or Price certainly weighs more but is well worth it if you’re gonna be traveling a bunch. It’s nice to have multiple cases that are all different depending on where you’re going that day.

Jun 18, 2024 - 1:41:24 PM

250 posts since 8/31/2015

TKL makes fantastic cases for a wide variety of instruments. My 12" Bart Reiter came with a really nice TKL. The only complaint I have is cosmetic- the inside is an ugly gray plush (green, blue, or red would have been better choices).

I later bought a Superior bump case for my Whyte Laydie, brown exterior/Green interior. This is a really nice case but once again the only complaint is cosmetic- the brown tolex is pretty cheesy in person and looks and feels suspiciously similar to a synthetic football!

I also have a couple TKL dreadnought cases that came with a pair of old Mossman Guitars- they are really nice older cases.

Overall thoughts: The fit and finish is better on the TKL, but the design/style is more attractive on the Superior.

I've never owned a mastertone but you can't go wrong with either of these options!

-TD

Jun 18, 2024 - 3:14:13 PM

15440 posts since 6/2/2008

I'm pretty sure the non-original "The Gibson" case my 70s RB-250 came with was made by TKL. It features a combination lock and the Gibson shroud. Other than those, I think it's similar to the TKL cases you can buy at various places online.

I saw a Gator case yesterday that looked good.

For jams and many gigs, I'd be OK with the $50 Musicians Gear case from MusiciansFriend.

Jun 18, 2024 - 7:34:15 PM

573 posts since 1/24/2004

@rminke Thanks for your mini-review. Is that the CRF2023MBJ, the one sized specifically for Mastertone banjos? Do you have a way to weigh the Crossrock case? Their listings on eBay say 9.9 lbs, but some of the dimensions listed seem a bit off so I don't know whether to trust that the weight given is correct. In their pictures the lining looks teal or greenish, in your pictures it looks more blue? Did you buy it directly from Crossrock in the LA area? Also, if one were to put the banjo in the case with an Elliott-style capo at the second fret, would the adjustment screw knob hit the hygrometer? Is the hygrometer removable?

A lot of questions, but I once tried one of Crossrock's carbon fiber cases and it was a real disappointment. Hopefully, they now have the dimensions corrected for a proper fit. Thanks!

Jun 18, 2024 - 8:08:47 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

17588 posts since 8/30/2006

Music Link/Recording King has great durable cases, up and down the price points
They have great customer services

The Gators I had disintegrated
RK

Jun 20, 2024 - 4:37:03 AM

38 posts since 4/14/2023

My two cents on one of the TKL cases: I was gifted a TKL Concept 2.9 8740-S (black) for father's day. $299 direct from TKL. It was a big disappointment. The fit is very good. It is very light. The lining is cheap, and was coming "untucked" from both upper and lower valences (I was able to correct this, but I believe it won't stay). The storage compartment is smaller than most I've seen or own. The "Secure-fit™, impact-absorbing, thermal-insulating AIC™ Interior" material around the sides of the bout is uneven/non-uniform, and the total thickness of protection in the area of the tailpiece (the thickness of the polymer exterior plus the "AIC" but excluding lining, is under 1/2" from about 5:00 to 7:00). I will avoid standing the loaded case up on its end. The "feet" on the back side (the side you would set on the floor to open/close the case) are simply molded bumps in the polymer material. The case will flop over onto the top if you open and release the top (if you can get it to stay open long enough). Only one key. Just my two cents.

Edited by - rbdavis2 on 06/20/2024 04:39:33

Jun 20, 2024 - 5:12:54 AM

47 posts since 6/9/2023

I'm really happy with this one I picked up from Gold Tone. It's the one that ships with the Bela Fleck model. I've seen Ned Luberecki posts on social media showing him flying with his banjos in them on the road. Really snug fit. Lots of firm padding. But still fairly light. Comfortable handle. Comes with backpack straps.

goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldton...es/hdfb16

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