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EDW
01-01-2019, 04:52 PM
I am looking around for a standard wood shell hard case for a soprano. I see very similar cases from Kala, Ohana, Guardian, Gator, Oahu as well as a number of no-name varieties.

Is there any real difference in quality/fit and finish, or are they pretty similar? The Oahu looks a little nicer, but it is hard to tell in the pics. Many of these cases look as if they likely came from the same factory. Has anyone been able to compare any of these?

Brad Bordessa
01-01-2019, 06:37 PM
They're all pretty similar. But I'd put Oahu on top of the pile from all I've seen. Better yet is their fiberglass case line. Just as strong, lighter, smaller, good for stickers, etc...

EDW
01-02-2019, 12:43 AM
I was talking about cases, not instruments

Jerryc41
01-02-2019, 02:28 AM
Two clasps are better than one, and a strap or a pair of straps can come in handy. The canvass type with the zipper will usually be the least expensive, but it is still made out of wood, so it offers good protection. At the other end of the scale, you have the Crossrock fiberglass, which are beautiful, but cost close to $200. Different colors come with different prices, so that helps.
https://smile.amazon.com/Crossrock-CRF1000TUBK-Hardshell-Fiberglass-Ukulele/dp/B00973N9NQ/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1546431715&sr=8-6&keywords=crossrock+ukulele+cases

The standard Crossrock cases are very good, as are Stagg, Gator, and no-name.
https://smile.amazon.com/Student-Soprano-Pattern-Leather-Ukulele/dp/B0714CWP1P/ref=sr_1_6?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1546431792&sr=1-6&keywords=soprano+ukulele+hard+cases
https://smile.amazon.com/Soprano-Pattern-Leather-Ukulele-Classic/dp/B07DH6BWQ5/ref=sr_1_18?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1546431792&sr=1-18&keywords=soprano+ukulele+hard+cases

Ukecaster
01-02-2019, 02:36 AM
The two best cases I've had were the Guardian and the Oahu, both arch top. The Guardian was nicer inside IMO, love the cushy green lining. I like the Oahu best: looks most like an old vintage case, and has the 2 rings for using a strap, which the Guardian doesn't. I generally don't like the semi-hard foam cases, way too bulky.

The Oahu hardware looks more vintage, using duller brushed brass, the Guardian hardware is full gloss. The Oahu sop case is about 1/2" longer too, but both are very compact, only a small space above the headstock. The cheap sop cases on ebay have way too much extra room around the body, and at the top, allowing the uke to flop around alot. Below are pics of my nicely fitting Guardian case, compared to a cheap tweed case from ebay. See how the soprano is swimming in the cheap case's extra room. The cheap tweed case can easily fit a long neck soprano, or even some smaller concerts.

114438
114439

114441

DownUpDave
01-02-2019, 03:22 AM
The two best cases I've had were the Guardian and the Oahu, both arch top. The Guardian was nicer inside IMO, love the cushy green lining. I like the Oahu best: looks most like an old vintage case, and has the 2 rings for using a strap, which the Guardian doesn't. I generally don't like the semi-hard foam cases, way too bulky.

This exactly, arch top is the strongest design, prevents crushing. I really like the redesigned Oahu case that is black with gold stitching. The top padding contacts the perimeter of the top only, no downward force on the saddle/bridge.

RafterGirl
01-02-2019, 03:34 AM
The two best cases I've had were ones that came with Loprinzi & aNueNue ukes. Both appeared to be custom made for the uke because they fit like a glove. The aNueNue case is a tank.

I've purchased several lower priced cases from Amazon, and they've been pretty good. I have 2 that are American Music Pro brand, and they are well made & sturdy. My biggest disappointment was a lower end Crossrock. It wasn't nearly as strong or crush resistant as the Amercian Music Pro brand that cost less money.

Joe King
01-02-2019, 04:53 AM
I know this thread is a question about cases, (and aologies to the OP) but I need to comment on this recommendation:


...Mahalo is best suited for the beginners...

Mahalo has a well-earned reputation for being super low-end, and requiring a full setup due to uneven and sharp frets, high string action due to the nut slots and saddle being poorly set from the factory, and all of this resulting in an instrument that comes out of the box being hard to play and terrible intonation.

I am surprised to see someone recommend Mahalo as "best suited to beginners". Common wisdom here on UU would say the opposite.

The issues I mentioned are going to destroy any motivation for a beginner due to the instrument being both difficult to play when pressing the strings, and causing lots of frustration with open strings being in tune, but fretted strings being way off (on account of high string action at both the nut and saddle) which kills intonation.

Also, most beginners do not know about having a new instrument getting a setup, or buying one from a dedicated uke dealer that does a setup on each uke before it leaves their shop. If done after the fact, a setup is usually at an additional cost ($50+), so the money saved on the cheap instrument is lost and spent on the setup of an instrument with terrible quality control.

Sorry, but recommending Mahalo to anyone, especially beginners is just very bad advice.

In the same price range, or a few dollars more, the other brands Kala and Lanikai that you mentioned are much better options, as well as Ohana, and Islander brands.

ksiegel
01-02-2019, 02:46 PM
My best case is an Ameritage Silver, purchased used from WickedWahine11, and sent to Bradford Donaldson, who was making a uke for me; the two fit perfectly. Only negative is a loose screw on the case. I contacted Ameritage, they asked for the case's serial number, and never got back to me after that.

I have a Gator case for my Timms (And the original Gator case for the Fluke Tenor), an Oa'hu for the Sceptre, the older style Ohana for my newest Ohana, and mostly Kala's Uke Crazy line of hard cases for the rest. To me, the Uke Crazy, Ohana, and Guardian Cases are all pretty much the same, with very minor differences. That doesn't mean that others hav had the same experience.

mjh42
01-02-2019, 03:25 PM
Have three cases. The TKL of course is for my Fluke, I went with a spruce top and other extras so I went with the TKL case. The TKL and Fluke have the most travel out of the house. My tenor from Mim's came in a nice Kala archtop case, the best of the three in my mind. Also have a tenor case from KoAloha, thought I might get one for my KoAloha when they started selling them. Not sure who made the KoAloha case, but the inside of the Kala is nicer, thicker padding, more plush. I'm in the camp that If you spend a few bucks on a nice instrument a few more on a good case is worth the extra expense. When I my new Godin arrives I'll head out to the local good stores and find a suitable hardcase that can it can fit in well.

Landshark
01-03-2019, 08:31 AM
My best hard cases are the Ameritage Silvers , pretty heavy but nothing else protects my ukes better

MopMan
01-03-2019, 04:55 PM
The two best cases I've had were the Guardian and the Oahu, both arch top. The Guardian was nicer inside IMO, love the cushy green lining. I like the Oahu best: looks most like an old vintage case, and has the 2 rings for using a strap, which the Guardian doesn't. I generally don't like the semi-hard foam cases, way too bulky.


This exactly, arch top is the strongest design, prevents crushing. I really like the redesigned Oahu case that is black with gold stitching. The top padding contacts the perimeter of the top only, no downward force on the saddle/bridge.

I will throw in with this lot... I have one of the new Oahu arch top cases with the perimeter contact padding. It gets my vote for best case so far.

I also would have recommend the old style Oahu arch top or the Guardian arch top(even though I don't fancy the green lining, I can tell it is a high quality case.) However, now that I have the new perimeter contact model, I wonder if these would protect my babies as well in a crushing incident. In any case (:o heh, unintentional pun) I'm still using them.

Rakelele
01-05-2019, 12:28 AM
Just as the ukes inside the cases, many of these different case brands will come from the same Chinese factories and just have a different tag attached to them (as other have mentioned, the one brand to stand out with a distinguishable product is O'ahu).

Other than with the ukes inside, I'd just get a case that is affordable and easily available. Most of these cases do what they are supposed to. They should be protective, light, and a good fit for the respective instrument, not too tight and not to lose, supporting all parts, especially the neck, and not putting too much pressure on the bridge.

The one thing that really turns me off in a case is when the case itself is extremely heavy. The two cases I have which are way too heavy are both custom fitted, one from Cedar Creek and the other one from Ameritage (GWW).