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  #31  
Old 03-08-2018, 08:13 AM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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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.
I can confirm the new Caltons are as good as the old ones (though I haven't actually dropped a piano on mine yet).

Hiscox Pro-II cases are deceptively solid--very light for the kind of protection they advertise.

Visesnut cases are very light and supposedly very strong.

Unless you travel frequently in less than ideal conditions (i.e. plane or crowded truck), the average OEM case is usually plenty and there's no reason to get a pricier case.
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Last edited by rogthefrog; 03-08-2018 at 08:19 AM.
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  #32  
Old 03-09-2018, 11:00 PM
Mking Mking is offline
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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Calton cases were originally made by Kieth Calton (a local guitarists here in southern England.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.
What about the Main Stage cases? They look exactly like the Caltons that were made in Canada (the good ones), and Main Stage cases are made in Canada. I own four Calton cases. Three from Canada and one from the Austin plant. The new ones, while they still have the great quality protection of a Calton case, they are a bit more bulky. I was disappointed in that aspect. The Canadian Caltons and the new Main Stage cases have the same slim profile of previous Calton cases.
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  #33  
Old 03-10-2018, 01:31 AM
ollaimh ollaimh is offline
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calton cases are heavy but very safe for shipping or airplanes. they will take almost any abuse and your guitar or mandolin will be fine. i have had four over time. three guitar and one mandolin case. i prefer the early metal clad case .

i recently found a good calton case at the local pawn shop for $400 canadian dollars, a real find. i had to part with my old one to make a big guitar sale, so it was great to find.
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  #34  
Old 03-10-2018, 02:04 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Main Stage cases are just as good as the old calton cases - in fact they are well nigh identical to me.

I agree concerning the more slim profile of the mainstage vs the more bulbous Austin calton. They are also cheaper.

Ordering from mainstage however may require morr patience as they do not seem to reply immediately to queries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mking View Post
What about the Main Stage cases? They look exactly like the Caltons that were made in Canada (the good ones), and Main Stage cases are made in Canada. I own four Calton cases. Three from Canada and one from the Austin plant. The new ones, while they still have the great quality protection of a Calton case, they are a bit more bulky. I was disappointed in that aspect. The Canadian Caltons and the new Main Stage cases have the same slim profile of previous Calton cases.
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  #35  
Old 03-10-2018, 02:53 AM
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Main Stage cases are using the molds and equipment that the failed last incarnation of North American Calton used (post Al Williams). There must be some major question marks over legality.
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  #36  
Old 03-10-2018, 06:13 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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So what case is stronger than a Calton but weighs considerably less, with MORE room inside to store accessories? This is the one I picked.

http://www.karuracase.com/

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  #37  
Old 03-10-2018, 06:50 AM
jljohn jljohn is offline
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Originally Posted by Yrksman View Post
Hoffee are ok but lack storage space and are less well balanced than the Caltons.
Chris,

I really don't know how you come to this conclusion. Opinions and preferences are fine, but I don't think your facts are quite right. What Hoffee cases did you own? I have two, and they balance well (virtually identically to Calton cases), have lots of storage space (easily two to three times what a Hiscox has and only less than a Calton if you expect to use the space around the headstock for storage.) The upside is that the Hoffee is better padded (Hoffee actually pads against whiplash headstock breakage), and it is lighter.

Calton makes a great case, but if I were selecting a new flight case, I'd take a Hoffee any day of the week. If I stumbled onto a used Calton that fit my needs at a fair price, I'd be very happy with one. Hiscox is not really a flight case (at least the Pro-II isn't; maybe the Artist series cases could be considered flight cases, but that puts you into the used Canadian Calton price range.)
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  #38  
Old 03-10-2018, 07:03 AM
JMcL JMcL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
Main Stage cases are just as good as the old calton cases - in fact they are well nigh identical to me.



I agree concerning the more slim profile of the mainstage vs the more bulbous Austin calton. They are also cheaper.



Ordering from mainstage however may require morr patience as they do not seem to reply immediately to queries.


I had good service with quick response times. The phone worked great. They are a small shop but that’s a good thing in my view.
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  #39  
Old 03-10-2018, 07:10 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrksman View Post
Main Stage cases are using the mounds and equipment that the failed last incarnation of North American Calton used (post Al Williams). There must be some major question marks over legality.

The molds that Jim Laffoley stole from Keith Calton (and by way of him also stiffing Al Williams) did indeed end up with Mainstage.

Not legally, but Keith is an ocean away, and there were other mitigating factors.

I was a Calton dealer for years, out of my old shop, Local Music. The inside story here is awful. I was lucky that several cases I ordered from Laffoley were put on a credit card, and when he never delivered I was able to get a refund via American Express. I knew of builders (back then) that had paid in full for several cases (each) that were never delivered.

I do custom-case business with Karura for my personal use, and I also respect what Jeff Hoffee is doing, especially his new "Air" case.

The Texas-made Caltons look like good cases, but the Karura is much lighter (CF), and is also extremely stiff across the lower bout area...way important for airline travel.

YMMV.
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  #40  
Old 03-11-2018, 12:11 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Karura cases are the only flight cases that have actually published their crush resistance tests afaik. It is fair to say that they are most probably the best cases available in the market where it concerns crush resistance.
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  #41  
Old 03-11-2018, 03:36 PM
auggie242 auggie242 is offline
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Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
Karura cases are the only flight cases that have actually published their crush resistance tests afaik. It is fair to say that they are most probably the best cases available in the market where it concerns crush resistance.
At $1175 to $1300 they better be the best on the market.
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  #42  
Old 03-11-2018, 03:55 PM
MrDB MrDB is offline
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If I were making a living as a touring musician I'd have have expensive cases for my instruments.

No sense taking a chance on damage to an expensive guitar.
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  #43  
Old 03-11-2018, 05:04 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auggie242 View Post
At $1175 to $1300 they better be the best on the market.


They are.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDB View Post


(Snip)


No sense taking a chance on damage to an expensive guitar.


I don’t.
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  #44  
Old 03-11-2018, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jljohn View Post
Chris,

I really don't know how you come to this conclusion. Opinions and preferences are fine, but I don't think your facts are quite right. What Hoffee cases did you own? I have two, and they balance well (virtually identically to Calton cases), have lots of storage space (easily two to three times what a Hiscox has and only less than a Calton if you expect to use the space around the headstock for storage.) The upside is that the Hoffee is better padded (Hoffee actually pads against whiplash headstock breakage), and it is lighter.

Calton makes a great case, but if I were selecting a new flight case, I'd take a Hoffee any day of the week. If I stumbled onto a used Calton that fit my needs at a fair price, I'd be very happy with one. Hiscox is not really a flight case (at least the Pro-II isn't; maybe the Artist series cases could be considered flight cases, but that puts you into the used Canadian Calton price range.)
I take your point about headstock protection but versus a Calton there is no space for a strap or anything much other than a capo and a few picks. My Hoffee is relatively early and I had the handle moved to better balance it. In its favour, the Hoffee is lighter than my Caltons.
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Last edited by Yrksman; 01-29-2019 at 08:12 AM.
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  #45  
Old 03-11-2018, 05:51 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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The price tag is actually in line with less expensive cases.

Say you have a $1500-$2500 guitar like a Taylor 7xx or a D-18 or similar. A decent aftermarket case from TKL will run you $150-$200 or about 10% of the guitar's cost.

If your guitar cost $8000-$15000 then a $800-$1200 Calton or Karura also costs about 10% of the guitar's cost, and offers considerably better protection. And that % drops as your instrument's value goes up.

If you toss your TKL into a cargo hold, your guitar will die. If you toss your Calton into the same hold, at worst the case will get scuffed.

So for a valuable instrument a Calton or Karura is actually a better value.

That said, if all you do is local or traveling by car, a Calton or Karura is overkill.
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