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  #16  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:01 AM
rct rct is offline
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And all this time I just thought they were really good cases.

Thanks for all the stories folks.

rct
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  #17  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
It is important to note that the first north American franchisee operation under Al Williams gave exemplary service from all accounts for 20 years and made hundreds of calton cases most of which are probably still serving reliably to protect various guitars. My first experience owning a Calton was with two of their cases which set the gold standard at the time.
Absolutely! My Calton cases were all made under Al's tenure. Quality and service were top notch.

Another thing about these cases....if you have multiple guitars of the same size, you normally only need one or two for travel. It's not like I need a Calton for every guitar for storage at home.
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:29 AM
maplebaby maplebaby is offline
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great cases...really not that heavy. IMO that's overstated. Check out an Ameritage Case (very nice cases) first and then CC and compare. Calton offers so many custom choices as well.

https://imgur.com/xcT2gra

Last edited by maplebaby; 03-07-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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  #19  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:40 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
It is important to note that the first north American franchisee operation under Al Williams gave exemplary service from all accounts for 20 years and made hundreds of calton cases most of which are probably still serving reliably to protect various guitars. My first experience owning a Calton was with two of their cases which set the gold standard at the time.

It was only for a few years afrer 2008 that issues were encountered by the next franchisee who had taken over after Williams retired but happily it appears that Calton is reaching the former heights again with the new cases under its new Texan owner.

Even the former franchisee seems to have landed on their feet and are producing flight cases of high standard under the Main Stage brand name.

So the story has a good ending in a way and long may that continue.
Thank you for the clarification. I had forgotten that part of the history of this eminent brand.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2018, 11:02 AM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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I have two Canadian Caltons from the Williams era that I have had since the late 90s, when I picked them up as a part of a deal involving a truckload of nails, Mexican gold, and a working Alaskan Alligator ranch. Well made, durable and protective of whatever is inside. Still going strong.

Are they worth the money? Depends on your usage. If you are going to travel a lot with your guitar, I'd say absolutely. One of mine has been on plane and road trips a number of times, the other not so much. But it is nice that I can pile stuff on tip of the case in the back of the Sube and not worry about it. They are a tad bit heavy to carry for more than a few blocks compared to something like a TKL. I do use mine to carry a guitar when it is raining (You may have heard that Seattle is a bit of a wet climate) or cold, as the padding appears thick enough so slow hear transfer. Nice being able to simply wipe the water off after walking a few blocks, whereas with a TLK tolex it has begun to creep inside. But a Calton is not truly waterproof, or it would have a pressure-relief valve. (Although Wade Hampton Miller has an interesting story on that). When I don't need the protection, the same guitar fits into one of my TKLs. I have looked at the Austin Caltons, which seem well-made as mine, and have a great rep. I've never seen a Hoffee, except in passing. I do have a Ameritage, which weighs a ton but the comparison is hardly fair as it came with my Baritone and is basically an acoustic bass case.

So my opinion is that is is well made, durable and very protective if you have a use for it. Even better if you can use it for different instruments like I can, given my 00 fetish.

OMMV

Tony
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  #21  
Old 03-07-2018, 11:30 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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I didn't know Al Williams lost the money that was due to him for selling the company. I am sorry to hear that.

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Originally Posted by dberkowitz View Post
Thanks for chiming in and defending Al Williams. Al retired and sold the franchise to Jim Laffolee [sp?]. Jim screwed everything up, and Al who sold it to him under a financing arrangement, lost everything for which he worked a lifetime. The company was sold to another group who market them under the name of Mainstage, and from my experience are doing a good job. Due to certain provisions in Canadian law, Al wasn't able to pursue anything against Jim, including when Jim was granted a license to start a Marijuana business.
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  #22  
Old 03-07-2018, 12:09 PM
Spyvito Spyvito is offline
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I have a Case Extreme Fly-It-Safe outer case. Super inexpensive alternative. But I donít use it and am selling it. Regardless, you can put your current case inside, throw it off the roof with no damage. (Watch the Case Extreme video).
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  #23  
Old 03-07-2018, 12:47 PM
drive-south drive-south is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I have two Canadian Caltons from the Williams era that I have had since the late 90s, when I picked them up as a part of a deal involving a truckload of nails, Mexican gold, and a working Alaskan Alligator ranch. Well made, durable and protective of whatever is inside. Still going strong.


Tony
We're gonna need a lot more details about this deal especially the Mexican gold and the Alaskan alligator ranch.
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  #24  
Old 03-07-2018, 03:06 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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You a revenuer or something??

Alaskan alligators are, "........Kodiak looking fellas, about nineteen feet tall...." to paraphrase Jimmy Buffett. And panning for Mexican gold is a whole lot warmer than panning for Alaskan gold in those COLD streams.

Back on topic, I recently received Hiscox Life Flite II cases with my Emerald X20 carbon fiber guitars. These have a good reputation for being very tough, not excessively heavy, have very high quality latches, and are cheaper than Calton too. My CF guitars generally travel locally in gig bags, and the Hiscox cases will mostly be used to keep the few remaining wood guitars humidified.
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  #25  
Old 03-07-2018, 03:30 PM
EverettWilliams EverettWilliams is offline
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I have a few and like them a lot - one from Alís era and the others from Jonís. They arenít light (but the weight issue is often overstated) and they are expensive (but not that expensive in the context of expensive guitars). And when Delta did a number on one of my Caltons and I opened it up to find the pre-war Martin inhabitant to be in exactly the same condition in which I left it (tuning included), the upside to the added weight and cost were abundantly and unambiguously clear.

I depend on them while flying but if Iím just walking or driving will usually opt for one of my Collings cases (if itís an OM or D) or whatever fits.

But itís just a few extra pounds and a few extra bucks for the security of knowing that someone or something will need to try really, really hard to injure your instrument.
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  #26  
Old 03-07-2018, 03:57 PM
JMcL JMcL is offline
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I owned a Canadian Calton from 1989 to 2010 (when I sold it with a guitar to a friend - wished I hadn’t). Last fall I bought one of the Mainstage cases from New Brunswick in Canada. They are similar to the old Canadian ones. The service from them was great and the build quality is excellent.

I went that route because they are cheaper than the Calton cases from Texas plus, add the horrid Canadian dollar right now (I’m in Canada) and it was actually affordable for me. If you are in the U.S. you may want to look into them because your dollar goes a lot farther.


Last edited by TomB'sox; 09-29-2018 at 01:56 PM. Reason: removed political comment
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  #27  
Old 03-07-2018, 05:27 PM
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Yrksman Yrksman is offline
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The original North America franchise was with Al Williams (a great guy) in Calgary Alberta. I have several Calgary built cases and they are similar and as good quality as those built by Keith himself. It was when Al retired and production moved to eastern Canada that the problems began.

IMHO, having owned cases made by numerous companies, Calton, Ameritage, Hoffee, Hiscox, TKL, Harptone, etc Calton are the best despite being comparatively heavy. I have only one of the new Austin built cases, for a banjo, and it is good too and slightly lighter than the earlier versions. Second I’d place Hiscox but it’s a shame they don’t custom build. Hoffee are ok but lack storage space and are less well balanced than the Caltons. I do not like Ameritage, very heavy and not well fitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Calton cases were originally made by Kieth Calton (a local guitarists here in southern England.
He made them in a shed at the bottom of his small garden in Surrey, and they came n grey or grey.

A hobby turned int a career and all were pretty much hand made, but it seemed that every traveling pro wanted one or two.

As orders from North America increased he got tired of shipping them abroad id and looked for someone to take a franchise in Canada.

Noty being an internet sort of chap he was unaware of the bad reputation his cases /business was getting due to poor quality and delivery f the Canadian franchise, and it was me , reading of complaints on this and other forums that told him about the issues.
There were two consecutive franchise holders in Canada and only one was problematic, so Kieth who had wanted to retire, hos to tour the US looking for someone to take over the business entirely , with the US and Canada being the largest sales area.

Ho found Jon Green In Austin who took over the business which has sadly now closed down in the UK, meaning that these British developed cases are ridiculously expensive in the UK, as they incur shipping Excise and import taxes on top.

Your gain is our loss.

I knew Kieth and had intended to buy a couple when they were locally made ...and now it is too late, but if I intended to return to the US, Canada or elsewhere - it would have to be a Calton.
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Last edited by Yrksman; 01-27-2019 at 10:00 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:03 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Not cheap and kinda heavy.......... but almost completely bombproof in their strength. If you are a touring pro, that might be the way to go.

In my case, only traveling occasionally, I opted for an SKB i-Series case for ~$300. I'm NFL lineman sized and I can stand on mine without worry. It is heavy and bulky too, like the Caltons, but the wheels make it a breeze to drag around the airport. Plenty of cargo room for accessories too.
http://www.skbcases.com/music/produc...et=1&c=75&s=75
I have owned an SKB hardshell bow case for over ten years. Itís been opened and closed thousands and thousands of times. Itís been in and out of a truck thousands of times. Itís withstood multiple moves, natureís elements and is as solid as the day I bought it. The hinges work. The latches work. The handle is still on it. Itís taken abuse but you wouldnít know it by looking at it. And most importantly everything inside was superbly protected. Iím a big fan of SKB quality.
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  #29  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:54 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Calton was the market leader in the flight cases for a long time. In fact they filled the market need for a max strength flight case so well that they we're the default choice in a way. But the troubles in the late 2000s that afflicted the brand in north America was also the opportunity for a number of competitors to get a big boost as a result - Hoffee especially benefited as many luthiers were forced to look for another flight case supplier. But others like karura and accord mist have also obtained higher sales as well.

As an unintended consequence of that, we as consumers today have a wider range of choices for flight cases - the new calton cases and main stage cases for the proven fiberglass cases, hoffee, mature and accord for carbon fiber and visenut for AND.
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  #30  
Old 03-08-2018, 08:11 AM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidplum View Post
So I know that I have "Martin tunnel vision" and know nothing about Taylors, but a "poodle case" is intriguing. What is it, why poodles, and where can I find a pic?

Needing to know,
Reid
No poodles are involved, sadly.



The (pink) poodle cases are what Taylors shipped in during the 1990s. They fit perfectly and are extremely heavy duty. Made in El Cajon, just like the guitars.

I'm not sure how well they would fit non-Taylor guitars, since manufacturer shapes never exactly match up, and the interior fit is one of the reasons why they're so good.
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