Fine Instrument Cases

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Types of Guitar Cases

Guitar cases come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Often dictated but the end instrument it is designed for, it may be made to fit bass, acoustic or electric guitars. Acoustic guitar cases tend to be thicker to fit the bigger instrument. Electric guitar cases are usually much thinner and smaller in profile than acoustic or bass guitar cases. Same goes for smaller instruments like mandolins and ukuleles – those cases are usually quite small. Since the best guitar cases are those that hug your instrument perfectly inside, many guitar cases are designed for a specific instrument brand and model. For example, there are many cases that are designed specifically to fit only a Gibson Les Paul, or only a Fender Stratocaster.

Apart from the typical wood and plastic cases there are some “hybrids” out there. They are like soft fabric gig bags on the outside, but feature hard foam in the inside. They combine the added protection of hard foam with the lightweight, smaller size and lower cost of an outer fabric layer. They usually close shut via a combination of zippers and Velcro.

There is also breed of guitar cases that came out of necessity due to the increase in air travel security. These are called ATA cases. ATA stands for Air Transport Association. These are cases designed with air travel in mind. They must meet certain criteria in order to be ATA approved. They are designed for, and subjected to tests that simulate air travel and where certain impacts and specific continuous vibration patterns are common. They offer increased protection for your guitar. However, they are more expensive and are still not indestructible. Some ATA cases feature no locks while other have TSA (Transport Safety Administration) locks that allow TSA officers to easily open the locks in order to do routine inspections.

Brands, specialty cases and other issues related to value
Just about every major guitar brand out there has their own guitar case line to fit their guitars. These included Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Martin, Ovation and host of others. They add value to the guitars because apart from protecting the instrument, as the guitar ages and later becomes a classic or a vintage collectible, having the original case that came with the guitar is a very important appraisal consideration.

Many guitarists will save the original factory cases at home so they hold their value, in which case they will take an aftermarket case to gigs. Most of the ATA approved cases available on the market are actually manufactured by these aftermarket brands.

While there are many cases that fit Strats and Les Pauls, finding a case for Ibanez’s odd shaped guitars like the Ice Man and the Destroyer can be a little bit harder. And don’t forget the case for your pedalboard and your guitar amp. Many guitarists overlook those. But when you spend so much money on an amp or an effects pedal collection, it’s in your best interest to protect them as well.

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