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View Full Version : The case on cases - Calton, Kamoa, Ameritage, Kamaka



wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 03:34 PM
Back in January I heard about a new fiberglass ukulele case that was coming onto the market. After doing a little research, I discovered Kamoa fiberglass cases. http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/line/cases/ They looked like a lightweight, attractive option for those who do a lot of traveling with their ukes, so back in March I made the decision to purchase one. Initially I intended to get a red one, but when I went to place my order, Sam (the owner) told me that I could opt for a custom color.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the color teal, so the opportunity to get a case in that color seemed like a dream come true. So I went ahead and placed my order. After months of worrying over whether I made the right color choice, and tons of emails that I sent pestering Sam about the status of my order, I finally received the magic email from him, my case had arrived.

Fortunately, I planned on being in Kauai the next week anyway so I made the decision to pick up my new case in person - with the caveat that if I didn't like the color in person, I could opt for a red one. I finally got there and saw it in person, and I really liked it a lot. I wish I could capture the color in a photo better than I did (and I spent a ton of time trying with three different cameras and still couldn't adequately show it accurately).

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g3ic9FWukRs/ThZSk0c9jpI/AAAAAAAAAHw/cD3Yn_hQwQU/s320/blueclosed.JPG

It is, as best I can describe it, a bright teal under direct sunlight or in bright lighting. Which I absolutely love! In other light, it can appear periwinkle or powder blue -- less attractive to me but still not bad. I guess I would say when the lighting is right, I love the color. When it is not (as in my photos), I might prefer the red. Was it worth the wait for the custom color? I can't say for sure, I think in the end it was, as I do really like it in the right lighting. But would I do it again? Probably not. I'm planning on ordering a red one for my Kanile'a rather than trying another custom option.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E0G0v6i41cs/ThZOW14AmFI/AAAAAAAAAHY/VEy5ktqL46Y/s320/blueside.JPG

For starters, this is an extremely lightweight case. I weighed it with the ukulele inside and it barely registered at four pounds. It has four latches, which make it quite secure. I should note, you have to take care to latch it properly. You need to push on the top of the latch before adhering the bottom portion or else it won't latch securely. I made that mistake the first time I put my uke in it, and noticed the bottom latch wasn't closed properly and was hanging open. Now that I know it takes no time at all to close it, but I do take care to ensure it is done properly.

In addition to the black latches and trim, there is a black lightly padded handle. It is made out of leather (or pleather) and is very comfortable to hold onto -- by far the most comfortable of the three tested in this review.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1XD5ZiwZx9I/ThZPMXtv1CI/AAAAAAAAAHc/5tTyPBB0pjQ/s320/bluehandle.JPG

In addition to the hand carry option, you can choose to wear it on your back -- backpack style, or slung over one shoulder. This is another advantage over the other cases reviewed below. Neither of those have any option but the hand carry -- tough when you are traveling or loaded down with a lot of stuff. (In both cases I added d rings to add a leather strap so I could sling those over my shoulder, but neither was as comfortable as the Kamoa -- which you literally could forget is on your back it is so comfortable).

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nTFOQZTRroE/ThZPrWQIf5I/AAAAAAAAAHg/ry1TwehrxHQ/s320/blueback.jpg

To be continued...

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 03:36 PM
The case itself is extremely compact as well. It measures 29" long, 10.5" at its widest point, and only 4" tall. My Kamaka ukulele fits very snugly into the case, with only 0.5" clearance at the top. I do have an input jack on my ukulele, and the case accommodates that fine. Another nice feature to the body design is the rubber feet (four of them) on the bottom of the case, allowing it to stand upright -- a feature that is a sure plus.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OklEUf7gDbA/ThZQYQOt7aI/AAAAAAAAAHk/tdgh3Jkoc_c/s320/blueinside.JPG

An additional nice feature is the small hygrometer that comes with the case. While it may not be 100% reliable, it doesn't hurt to have an idea of the temperature and humidity readings. The hygrometer initially was placed on the interior top of the case, but Sam decided that it was likely to scratch the headstock in that position, so it has now been moved to the bottom, under the neck portion of the ukulele. In mine, it had not been glued in yet, allowing me to choose any position I wished, and I opted for that location.

The padding in this case is not very plush, but it is well padded. Unlike other cases I have owned, this one does not use a faux fur lining. Instead, it has a velvet like interior on all the surfaces, including on the little pillow cushion the neck rests upon.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u9IJHhS8edc/ThZVH_EXYMI/AAAAAAAAAH4/H_FQfuRGmLM/s320/blueopen.JPG

Now, it should be noted, this case is not perfect. Unlike the minimal storage in the Kamaka case, and the maximum storage offered in the Ameritage, there is literally NO storage compartment in this case. None. So if you want a case that will allow you to bring along your string winder, extra strings, tuner, etc., this may not be the case for you. It is not a big factor for me as I usually carry a backpack to my lessons, and a carryon bag on trips. But for those times when I do want to get away with just my case, I sewed a small, removable pouch to place inside the case, under the headstock. It fits perfectly and snugly, and allows me to go with just the case. You can see it here, with the hygrometer that is included with purchase.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NESbRMtuVoI/ThZRgxtCizI/AAAAAAAAAHo/BiW-XYAy6H8/s320/blueinterior.JPG

The other potential downside on this case is connected to its upside -- the shiny, pretty fiberglass. Like a car, it is bound to get some scratches. Now I understand that normal wear and tear will result in scratches and nicks -- I have had the case about a week and it already has some of both. But since this case was bought primarily so that I could take it traveling, I didn't relish the idea of putting it in the overhead compartment unprotected -- for someone's wheel bag to dent or scratch it. So I decided to make a coverbag just for those times when it is in an overhead compartment. I got a towel of matching color, cut it down to size, sewed it shut vertically and horizontally, then added a leather cord for a drawstring. It isn't perfect, but it gives a bit of padding and protection. Yes, I realize it is crazy to get a case for a case, and that is OCD, and I have already been told once I need medication for that, but after waiting six months for a custom color, and spending nearly $300 bucks on it, I'm not going to just toss it up there to get damaged.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wOqFNJRnxlY/ThZSaApEQII/AAAAAAAAAHs/_Dd3axT3WbA/s320/bluepouch.JPG

All in all, this case is extremely lightweight, easy to carry (by a very comfortable handle, or the included shoulder straps), and it is a very snug, protective fit for my ukulele. It is also a fashion statement, in a variety of beautiful colors (red, yellow, navy, silver, black or a custom option). It is not, however, for everyone. If you want lots of storage capacity, a low maintenance case, or you don't want to blow your budget on a case it might not be right for you. The MSRP on these is $258 (mine cost $279 after taxes and since it was custom) but you can get them for as low as $206 on Elderly Instruments. http://secure.elderly.com/accessories/items/KFGC4-RED.htm

For me, though, it is a great case and the only one I plan to use. I am going to get a red one for my Kanile'a, and if my Pineapple Sunday had fit one of them (tenor or concert), I would have bought a yellow one for it as well. Sam says they are like Corvettes - and they are, flashy, expensive, and not a lick of storage to speak of. But they are also beautiful, unique and well worth every penny I spent.

Next up, Ameritage...

ukestah
07-07-2011, 03:37 PM
Wow that color is beautiful! It definitely looks like it'll keep your Kamaka safe that's for sure! I am assuming that since its lightweight, it doesn't bother you much when you wear it backpack style and it bounces against your back a bit? How much did it cost for a custom color?

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 03:38 PM
If the Kamoa is a Corvette, then the Ameritage Silver Series is a Hummer. This is the sturdiest, most protective, heartiest case out there. It has a ton of storage capacity, and it is extremely practical -- with a couple of caveats, it is very heavy, and it is not easy to carry.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Vx-yF6c0S8c/ThZUf445UwI/AAAAAAAAAH0/6oxDvgHHeKw/s320/ameritageclosed.JPG

The Ameritage comes only with the padded leather handle, and no strap option to speak of. Because I do a lot of traveling, I had to come up with a solution. So we drilled into the case and added d rings. The screws were then covered on the inside with rubber screw cap protectors, to ensure I would not damage the uke. I then was able to wear the case over my shoulder with a leather strap I purchased. But if you aren't willing to do a little DIY, then be prepared to carry over 9 pounds (the weight of the case with the ukulele inside) by hand.

Edit: just saw that Ameritage now sells a shoulder strap assembly for $31 - well their way is official, my way cost about $30 less but still, I probably would go with theirs on the thought that it would be sure to hold the 9 pound weight. http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-SHD&cat=Accessories&line=Case_Accessory_Items&pname=Shoulder_Strap_Assembly

Second edit: For $103 you can get a case cover for your Ameritage, whew, to each their own, but no way would I spring for that. The Ameritage is sturdy enough not to show a lot of wear and tear the way the Kamoa one does, and even then, over $100 seems too rich for my blood for a case for my case. http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-102CB&cat=Accessories&line=Protective_Case_Covers&pname=Tenor_Ukulele_Case_Cover

It is a large case, to be sure. The length is 31", the width at its widest point is 12", and its height is 5". This makes this case more than twice as heavy and almost five inches larger than the Kamoa case. It will go onto airlines in the overhead compartment, but to be honest, on each trip, unless I'm flying Hawaiian Airlines, I have been nervous about its measurements.

The Kamaka fits well within this case. There is about 1" of room at the top of the headstock, and the bottom of the case completely allows for an input jack or strap button. The case has three latches, all heavy duty easy to latch (easier than the Kamoa to ensure closure).

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WOSzx71i9-Y/ThZWC-y29hI/AAAAAAAAAIA/hBuU2ou_-hs/s320/ameritageinside.JPG

The large storage compartment (5.5" long by 5.5" wide, by 3" deep) not only supports the neck of the ukulele, but also allows for a TON of stuff to fit inside. I have fit tuners, humidifiers, strings, winders, cords, straps, you name it in that compartment. This is one of the biggest pluses for this case to me, as it allows you to bring anything you might need all in that compartment.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n2YEgJ2vfpc/ThZV81y_KaI/AAAAAAAAAH8/8y1BzGjyQzs/s320/ameritageopen.JPG

The lining is very soft and plush, and provides very good protection for the ukulele as it snuggles it inside your case. One thing to point out, when you go to close one of these cases, I recall being initially concerned as it looks as though it isn't going to close properly. Just gently push on the top of the lid and the padding will give, allowing your ukulele case to close without damaging the uke.

The exterior is a canvas like feel, over solid wood -- while it is protective, it certainly isn't flashy or sexy like the Kamoa case. It is, however, classy looking in the Silver Series with the charcoal canvas and silver latches and black handle. I'm less fond of the Gold Series tan exterior with the burgundy handle and gold latches, but that is just a matter of personal preference. It should be noted, you can order these custom as well -- in whatever colors you prefer, but it isn't cheap.

The Silver Series retails at an MSRP of $251, but you can get them a bit cheaper than that if you look around. So essentially, it costs the same as the Kamoa. I have both but for my purposes (taking it to class, flying with it), I much prefer the Kamoa for the same price. I know without a doubt, there will be many who feel the exact opposite.

If, however, I ever have to mail my uke anywhere this is the only case I would consider using for shipping. If you want extreme protection, and lots of storage, go for the Ameritage. It should be noted that the Jake Shimabukuro Kamaka special edition ukes come in Ameritage cases, and that Ko'olau has used them as well. Whether it is better or worse than the Kamoa just comes down to whether you would prefer your uke drive a Corvette or a Hummer.

Next up, Kamaka case and conclusions...

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 03:39 PM
Last, and actually least, is the "Kamaka" hard case that often comes with Kamaka ukuleles. It is almost as light as the Kamoa and almost as functional as the Ameritage but not as good as either. The exterior is covered with a pleather like black substance that I found peels and scratches easily. So unless you want your case to be covered in stickers, it is going to look worse for the wear.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J_McziSU6Gs/ThZYO6KwcRI/AAAAAAAAAII/NaDxN4UzFrA/s320/kamakaclosed.JPG

It has three latches, which function fine, but lack the style of the Kamoa ones or the heartiness of the Ameritage ones. The handle is plastic, and not nearly as comfortable to hold as the ones found on the other cases. It is the middle size of the three, with a length of 31", a width at the widest point of 11", and a height of 5". With the uke inside, it weights 4.5 pounds, and it also lacks a strap option. As I did on the Ameritage, I drilled the d rings with the strap attached so I could carry it on trips.

It does have a compartment, albeit a skinny one. The compartment is as long as the Ameritage one, at 5" long, but it is only 2" high and 2" across. You can fit a tuner and string winder in there, or a humidifier, but that is about it. When I used this case, I used a pouch similar to that I made for the Kamoa, so I could carry extra strings and accessories.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dSVqGLASeYs/ThZZWzn-kmI/AAAAAAAAAIM/8sjUXWFPaJQ/s320/kamakacompartment.JPG

My Kamaka ukulele fit well within the case and its plush, faux fur lining (as I suppose it should since it is the "Kamaka" case). It did, however, have the most excess room at the headstock of the three options (2"), but the velcro strap across the fretboard was a nice way to secure the uke into its case. (Oops not in use in this photo).

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bFZkjdNpOek/ThZbL8MecUI/AAAAAAAAAIQ/vF66nEjZxoc/s320/kamakainside.JPG

These cases can be had for about $75 but to be honest, I would skip them. I have never owned a Kala case, but lots of people swear by those cases and they just seem to hold up better than these Kamaka ones do. I had one metal staple in this case that kept cutting into me, and the pleather was peeling in a lot of spots. I ended up getting rid of mine when I bought the Kamoa case. I told them to donate it to the next person who couldn't afford a case for their new ukulele -- someone ended up buying it from them for $30 used, which isn't a bad price but it isn't worth much more than that.

In conclusion, I think it is a toss up between the Ameritage and the Kamoa and it all depends on what you want. If you want a sturdy, hearty case with lots of storage, you can't go wrong with an Ameritage -- and if I ever had to ship my ukulele I would do so only in that case. If, on the other hand, you want a lightweight, good looking, fashionable case, I love the Kamoa. That is going to be my go-to case to use on a daily basis, and also when traveling. For me, it is the best option due to its light weight, comfortable handle and backpack option -- it is like carrying a gig bag but with a lot more protection and style. As I mentioned above, I hope to get a red one for my Kanilea (or whenever my Kamaka feels like wearing red).

I hope this helps people that might be in the market for a high end case -- unless you can get a Calton, I think you can't go wrong with the Kamoa or the Ameritage, it just depends on whether you like a sexy, flashy option (Kamoa) or whether you prefer sturdiness and protection (Ameritage) as to which is the case for you.

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 03:44 PM
As of October 2014, I just got a new case and wanted to supplement my review by adding it to this thread.

So I had been using Kamoa fiberglass cases for my ukes for some time now -- they are super lightweight, waterproof and have handy backpack straps. But what they are not is protective. Every time I would put it in the overhead compartment of a plane, I would nervously watch that compartment to make sure nobody slung their bag up there to crack it.

Sure enough, the case did crack at one point from an incident like that. It is still totally usable, but may not be a waterproof as it once was. I still plan on using it around town (for kanikapila or lessons) and on cruises (where I am driving to the pier, not flying) as it is still super light and I love the turquoise color.

But I needed to get something more sturdy for my new Moore Bettah uke. So I splurged and ordered a custom made Calton case for it. I have now completed my first trip with this case and I'm very happy with its performance.

When you order a Calton, you go through a dealer (mine was Acoustic Music Works) -- you send them a tracing of the instrument, as well as measurements of everything from the width of the headstock to the length of the neck. All in all, there are fifteen separate things to measure. http://static.squarespace.com/static/525d6385e4b0be2ae634fdc6/t/535fa621e4b032825e5682c6/1398777377823/Mandolin%20template%20-%20form.pdf

Since math is not my forte, I had my spouse double check all of my measurements and my tracing. Then we sent it off and about a month later my case arrived.

I chose the black exterior with silver interior -- but to jazz it up a bit, I added a custom decal in turquoise and green of my tattoo (a honu with the Hawaiian island chain inside of it).

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PbSlv_ER3FU/VEaR3JCmeUI/AAAAAAAAAMc/c4dIwCrvkFk/s1600/caltoncaseexterior.jpg

The case is heavy (at least compared to the Kamoa fiberglass ones), but very sturdy. The padding is a super thick plush velvet. The measurements were perfect and it fits like a glove. It cradles the neck perfectly, and even takes into account leaving space for the input jack.

I also really like having the storage compartment -- something my Kamoa lacks. It is quite roomy, with plenty of space for five sets of extra strings (three different brands), a tuner, a hygrometer, a string winder/cutter, extra batteries, a strap and a humidifier.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V6U-8FwNo2U/VEaUOr6cyII/AAAAAAAAAMw/BwEvr2Uvqmo/s1600/caltoncasestoragestuff.jpg

I could not be happier with this case, and plan to use it on every flight I take from now on. I would never use it locally (as it is quite heavy in comparison to my Kamoa) but I now rest with ease knowing my beloved ukulele is well protected in the overhead compartment -- safe from errant wheelie bags.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9O2Ghhl2mSY/VEaSANVH9NI/AAAAAAAAAMk/-8PuqbXn7_s/s1600/caltoncaseinterior.jpg

I also got a Colorado Case Company cover for it -- in turquoise. That arrived yesterday. I tried taking a picture of it but it keeps photographing as baby blue, so I'm not bothering to upload it. It is a very snug fit, made of canvas style material which zips around the entire case. It supposedly provides some temperature regulation and also prevents scuffs. To be honest, I really don't know it is worth it to me, and may try to sell that on a mandolin case website in case (no pun intended) someone there would want it.

But I can't speak highly enough about the Calton. It is the best overall case I have ever owned -- custom made for the best ukulele I have ever owned. It was expensive, and probably not "worth it" but it does provide peace of mind for a one of a kind instrument that is irreplaceable.

Also, even though it is a heavier case, it does have backpack straps, which makes it easy to travel with, as I can't manage with the shoulder strap ones (the only reason the otherwise excellent Crossrock case was not for me).

Sorry for the crazy big photos! I need to resize them but have no idea how to do it on the Mac. It was easy on Windows (probably the only thing in my computer life easier for me on Windows). If I can figure it out I'll resize them and edit this.

ukestah
07-07-2011, 03:49 PM
The color looks to be a pretty darn good match of the sarong for sure. I should look into getting a Kamoa case, but I just have to get over the lack of storage space first.

As far as the shoulder strap for Ameritage cases, I'm wondering how well the assembly they are selling on their site actually works since the case weighs so much. If they have a way of making custom colors for these straps and they work well, I would lean towards Ameritage.

http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-SHD&cat=Accessories&line=Case_Accessory_Items&pname=Shoulder_Strap_Assembly

Thank you for your thorough review of the cases!

Ronnie Aloha
07-07-2011, 04:05 PM
Ameritage also sells a whole case cover with straps. I think the JS model from Kamaka also came with the protective case.

http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-102CB&cat=Accessories&line=Protective_Case_Covers&pname=Tenor_Ukulele_Case_Cover

janeray1940
07-07-2011, 04:06 PM
That teal is gorgeous. And nice to hear that you liked the red too - I've been clicking over to this page (http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/KFGC2-RED.htm) every other day or so, then talking myself out of ordering it for my pineapple. One of these days I'm sure I'll lose all restraint and click that "Buy" button...

erivel
07-07-2011, 04:10 PM
This was very helpful, thanks for the great review!

NatalieS
07-07-2011, 04:14 PM
Great reviews, thanks!

ukestah
07-07-2011, 04:16 PM
Ameritage also sells a whole case cover with straps. I think the JS model from Kamaka also came with the protective case.

http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-102CB&cat=Accessories&line=Protective_Case_Covers&pname=Tenor_Ukulele_Case_Cover

Do you have any pics of what the case covers look like, Ronnie? I have a Ko`olau Ameritage that I wouldn't mind getting a cover for if it looks good.

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 04:20 PM
The color looks to be a pretty darn good match of the sarong for sure. I should look into getting a Kamoa case, but I just have to get over the lack of storage space first.

As far as the shoulder strap for Ameritage cases, I'm wondering how well the assembly they are selling on their site actually works since the case weighs so much. If they have a way of making custom colors for these straps and they work well, I would lean towards Ameritage.

http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-SHD&cat=Accessories&line=Case_Accessory_Items&pname=Shoulder_Strap_Assembly

Thank you for your thorough review of the cases!


Ameritage also sells a whole case cover with straps. I think the JS model from Kamaka also came with the protective case.

http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-102CB&cat=Accessories&line=Protective_Case_Covers&pname=Tenor_Ukulele_Case_Cover

Thanks guys, I updated the Ameritage portion to add these links. I have to say, I think the $31 is a lot more money than what I did for the shoulder strap assembly (about $30 more), but at least it would probably be very sturdy. $100 for a case for a case is way too rich for my blood though, particularly since the Ameritage doesn't show much wear and tear the way the Kamoa does.

I do like the ones Kamaka did for the JS Signature though, since they said Kamaka on them. But otherwise I think I'd go without a case cover on the Ameritage -- just my opinion though. If you have the dough, why not?

wickedwahine11
07-07-2011, 04:23 PM
Do you have any pics of what the case covers look like, Ronnie? I have a Ko`olau Ameritage that I wouldn't mind getting a cover for if it looks good.

Their website isn't showing the one for the tenor uke yet. http://www.ameritagecases.com/details.php?sku=AME-102CB&cat=Accessories&line=Protective_Case_Covers&pname=Tenor_Ukulele_Case_Cover

But this is what the guitar ones look like:
http://www.ameritage.com/ecomimages/AME-10CB.jpg

And courtesy of an old post by UU member danged on his Jake uke (hope you don't mind me borrowing your image), the Kamaka ones look like this: (would love to get one of these!)
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17310&d=1289074037

itsme
07-07-2011, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the reviews! Enjoyed reading them.

The Kamoa is gorgeous and very sexy looking, although I've always thought teal was more greenish (or maybe it's just my monitor).

The Ameritage looks really sturdy, but seriously, over 9 lbs. with the uke? I just went and weighed one of my guitars in a hardshell. It was 14 lbs. for a full-sized classical in what I consider a very heavy case. 9 lbs. for a tenor uke seems ridiculously heavy.

For those of us on more of a budget, I gave a review here last night of the tenor Lanikai polyfoam case I bought off Amazon for $33. It's not in the same league as the ones you reviewed, but I'm quite happy with it and it's a big step up from your typical gig bag. With uke, it checks in at ~3 lbs. Cheap, lightweight, sturdy, what more could you ask for? :p

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49085-Polyfoam-cases-Kala-vs.-Lanikai

BTW, both Mim and Chuck Moore said it's the same case as the Kala polyfoam, but I got a better deal on the Lanikai. It has no branding ID anywhere on it at all, so it might as well be generic. I actually like that since I'm not into rocking brand names. :)

Landshark
07-07-2011, 08:01 PM
One other point on the Ameritage cases is that it just not just thicker padding, they have a suspension system so the uke is suspended in the padding isolated from the exterior case. I am fairly confident that if you dropped the case the uke would have a very high survivability rate. A lot of other cases the uke is in close contact with the exterior case, if something hits the exterior hard more than likely the uke could sustain damage. I like light cases for when I take my uke or guitars somewhere locally to play but like the Ameritage for storage and traveling for the heavy-duty protection they provide. It may not be the lightest, but they still weigh a lot less than my camera bag or briefcase. I like the secure feeling the Ameritage case gives me with my more irreplaceable ukes.
On the other the Komoas do look cool, maybe a red onewould be nice, if someone can figure out which one a Pineapple Sunday would fit into

mm stan
07-07-2011, 08:46 PM
Aloha Wicked Wahine..
Nice score... was well worth the wait...just love the color...whew I better save now...thank you for you review too...Happy Strummings.. Now you can go around in style....MM Stan

Ronnie Aloha
07-07-2011, 08:55 PM
One other point on the Ameritage cases is that it just not just thicker padding, they have a suspension system so the uke is suspended in the padding isolated from the exterior case. I am fairly confident that if you dropped the case the uke would have a very high survivability rate. A lot of other cases the uke is in close contact with the exterior case, if something hits the exterior hard more than likely the uke could sustain damage. I like light cases for when I take my uke or guitars somewhere locally to play but like the Ameritage for storage and traveling for the heavy-duty protection they provide. It may not be the lightest, but they still weigh a lot less than my camera bag or briefcase. I like the secure feeling the Ameritage case gives me with my more irreplaceable ukes.
On the other the Komoas do look cool, maybe a red onewould be nice, if someone can figure out which one a Pineapple Sunday would fit into

The suspension system is why it feels like you're smashing the uke when you close the case. Its being wedged into the suspension system.

Staci, I won't be walking by you at the airport without noticing you with that Kamoa case that's for sure!

joeybug
07-07-2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks for the great reviews! Love that custom teal...oh the fun I could have finding a purple...no must restrain myself!

Pippin
07-07-2011, 10:11 PM
Nice review, WW. That is great information. The teal color is vivid. I also liked your comments about the "color" in pictures. As a professional photographer, among other things, I have taken painstaking efforts to make sure that the color of my images are accurate. Everything is calibrated for accuracy. I use a digital SLR, a laptop balanced for color and luminosity, a Canon wide-carriage professional printer with professional archival paper and actually had to revert to Windows XP from Windows 7 on this laptop because Microsoft's crappy OS would not allow me to load all the proper color profiles to keep things right. The WINDOWS 7 profiles kept over-saturating everything. So... after fighting with it for a while, everything is back to color perfection.

alanjang
07-08-2011, 01:10 AM
Thanks for the great reviews. Been looking forward to it since your post about picking up your case. Love the "race car" look and feel of the Kamoa case. What's the best way to contact Sam to place a custom order?

fumanshu
07-08-2011, 01:51 AM
Hi Wicked...! Your case is very nice, the color is just amazing!!! I just received yesterday my fiberglass case that I bought from China. It's not exactly like the one that Chuck Moore bought, but quite similar. I didn't open it yet to see how does it look like but will surely do today.

I'll post pictures of it to show it if you want.

Nice case once again!

Mandarb
07-08-2011, 03:35 AM
Thanks for the in depth review.

I use the ProTec case for my Kamaka tenor. It is a little on the heavy side but it offers great protection and there is a ton of storage space - there is a large compartment on the inside and there is an outside zippered section where I keep my songbook binder. My one concern would be the size of the case when flying - I forget the dimensions but I think they are pretty close to the Ameritage.

PedalFreak
07-08-2011, 06:03 AM
I'm still on the fence about the Kamoa case. When I saw it in person I had some worries. Like WW said, there isn't a lot of padding, it's pretty thin. Fiberglass is strong, but still need some more substance inside. Just look at the Calton cases, they are more than just a fiberglass shell with some padding. Calton cases also are not really on the light side. The lack of a compartment inside, I understand that is how Sam wanted it, but it doesn't make a lot of practical sense to me. I'll be interested to see how these hold up in the long run. With not much padding I would guess a drop would be just a little better than if it didn't have a case. I'm just a little skeptical at this point. Time will tell :)

Uncle Rod Higuchi
07-08-2011, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the wonderfully full reviews. Makes one feel that one understand the options involved in choosing one
of these cases!

I'm all for OCD (ie, a case for the case, or cover for the case, etc). I'm a bit over the top myself. I just got a
backpacker-design ukulele from a private party (not the Martin or the Captain models) and I saw another backpacker,
home-made in a plastic tube 'case' (like one for rolled-up documents). Looked cool, but I could envision too much
extra space inside.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading the reviews. Keep up the good work. What a wonderful UU community!

Keep uke'in', everybody,

bbycrts
07-08-2011, 06:53 AM
Thanks for the reviews, Staci!

I have a custom uke that is just getting underway - I live 60 miles from the builder and will be going over there Sunday to pick out my wood and talk details - so excited!

I haven't quite decided on the case yet. Right now I'm hoping it will fit into my old Ko'olau case, because I don't want to move my stickers :). If it doesn't fit I'm toying with Armitage, but I don't know if I'll have the budget for it. I like the look of the Kamoas, but the lack of an interior compartment of any sort is a deal breaker for me. I still don't quite understand that decision - I read Sam's explanation...but it still makes me scratch my head a bit.

Anyway, this new uke is going to be my absolute baby and I'm still on the fence a bit about the best way to protect it. Staci's review at least was enough to know that Kamoa isn't in contention...

GX9901
07-08-2011, 07:02 AM
Nice reviews! I was curious about the Kamoa case, and might someday go for a yellow one.

I love Ameritage cases as much as the next guy (I have five of them), but I basically only use them for home storage (the humidifying vents inside is great). They're too damn heavy to take anywhere else. I've taken ukes to place as far as Taiwan, and I use a Kiwaya canvas/foam case during those trips and it's worked great.

dkcrown
07-08-2011, 08:01 AM
Great reviews, Staci. Personally I prefer the more classic look and storage capacity of the Ameritage cases. I have two of the gold series. They are heavy, but they definately have an air of invincibility about them. They are fortresses. I am going to look into getting the shoulder strap package for them.

I also have or have had at one time; Pro Tec, Kiwaya, Oahu (both new and old stile), Collings, Chuck Moore's as well as the hard foam cases. But both of my MB's live in the Ameritage gold series.

mds725
07-08-2011, 08:37 AM
Thanks for the great and informative reviews, Staci. Your Kamoa case looks great and your review may have pushed me over the edge for buying one for my new Kamaka tenor. If I do get a Kamoa case, I don't suppose I could persuade you to sell me a Kamoa case cover? :)

Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto sells Kamakas but not with Kamaka cases, in part because they noticed the same problem you did with the skin peeling off. When I bought a Kamaka concert at Gryphon, it came with a Ko'olau case.

I've been using an Uke Crazy case to take my Kamaka tenor to my ukulele classes, partly because it has more room for an Oasis hymidifier than the Kamaka case does. (The Ko'olau case also accommodates my Oasis humidifiers. I can clip it to the storage door in the neck area, as the neck of the Ko'olau cases is wider than the neck of the Kamaka cases. I have no trouble putting an Oasis humidifier in the Ko'olau case for my concert.) Do you think one of those Oasis humidifiers would fit in the Kamoa case in the area behind the headstock?

Thanks again for taking the time to compare and write about your cases. I'm glad your Kamoa case saga is finally over and you're happy with the case you got. it looks beautiful, even in the wrong light.

wickedwahine11
07-08-2011, 12:39 PM
Thanks everybody for reading the reviews, I'm glad they were helpful (even for those who decided to go against the Kamoa and choose an Ameritage or something else). I have no stake in the outcome, I firmly believe they are both wonderful cases but for very different reasons. And chances are anyone who loves one of them will not like the other (if you like the light Kamoa the Ameritage is too heavy, if you like the protective Ameritage, the Kamoa is lacking in storage and protection). I love both of them and will use my Ameritage if I ever need to ship my uke anywhere. But for day to day travel the Kamoa is right for me. I completely understand why others feel otherwise though (even I wish it had a bit of a storage compartment but I make do).


On the other the Komoas do look cool, maybe a red onewould be nice, if someone can figure out which one a Pineapple Sunday would fit into

Don't I wish? I asked Sam's mom (a wonderful lady who works out of their Koloa store) as I wanted a yellow one for my Pineapple Sunday. Unfortunately, she said that the tenor neck makes a concert case too short and the small concert size body makes the tenor case too wide. I had a ton of problems finding a case that fit that uke well. I store mine in an Ameritage concert size silver series case. It fits perfectly in there.


Thanks for the great reviews. Been looking forward to it since your post about picking up your case. Love the "race car" look and feel of the Kamoa case. What's the best way to contact Sam to place a custom order?

You can contact him on the webpage -- but be aware, his dad told me he gets hundreds of emails a day, so it is sometimes slow going. You might have better luck if you call one of the stores. Sam and his dad Joe work out of the Kapa'a store (808) 822-4181 and his mom Geraldine is at the Koloa store (808) 742-1500. If you call, tell them Staci sent you! Or hey, after what a pain in the okole I was sending tons of emails to him, you may not want to after all! :) I know they will need a color sample of what you want. He said I could do a photo, but just as it shows in my photos, you can never tell what someone's camera or monitor will show -- these photos I took still don't show the color properly. So a color swatch is a better bet. I had to use a string I found at a local craft store in Kauai since I wanted to drop off a color sample. I would mail them a fabric swatch or something they can match it too. Just be prepared to wait...it took about three months from the time I officially placed my order.


Do you think one of those Oasis humidifiers would fit in the Kamoa case in the area behind the headstock?

Since I'm in the process of re-humidifying my Kamaka tenor prior to her repairs this September, I have an Oasis humidifier hanging from the strings, and a Herco one behind the neck cushion -- though if you don't put the hygromter in the part immediately behind the headstock you could fit a humidifier in front of the cushion. I'm not sure about the Oasis case humidifiers since I don't have one and I don't know how big that clip they use is. But a Herco will definitely fit in the case and an Oasis string hanging humidifier will definitely fit inside as well.

blab
07-08-2011, 01:21 PM
Great reviews, thank you. :)

Just a minor point but I think the pics were a bit too small. I love pics and wouldn't mind a little more scrolling.

WRT the Kamaka case: is it the one with the palmtree on the lid?

wickedwahine11
07-08-2011, 01:34 PM
Great reviews, thank you. :)

Just a minor point but I think the pics were a bit too small. I love pics and wouldn't mind a little more scrolling.

WRT the Kamaka case: is it the one with the palmtree on the lid?

I see your point on the images, if you want to see them larger, you can see them on my blogsite larger -- just click on the image and it will appear in a larger format. I just didn't want to overload the posts here since there were so many pictures in the posts.
http://kamaainaatheart.blogspot.com/2011/07/case-on-cases-kamoa-ameritage-and.html

As for the Kamaka case, no it isn't the one with the palm tree on the top lid (though I used to have one of those for my Pineapple Sunday). It is about the same level as that one though -- maybe slightly better but not by much. They are roughly similar in appearance and weight though.

Ronnie Aloha
07-08-2011, 05:56 PM
Staci,

What happened to your prior blog entries of the factory tours?

wickedwahine11
07-08-2011, 06:03 PM
Staci,

What happened to your prior blog entries of the factory tours?

They are still there -- just on the second page with the older posts.

Direct links to them are here:

Kamaka: http://kamaainaatheart.blogspot.com/2010/03/christmas-at-kamaka-ukulele-factory.html
KoAloha:http://kamaainaatheart.blogspot.com/2010/04/koaloha-factory-tour.html
Kanile'a: http://kamaainaatheart.blogspot.com/2010/03/kanilea-ukulele-factory-tour.html

blab
07-09-2011, 03:17 AM
if you want to see them larger, you can see them on my blogsite larger -- just click on the image and it will appear in a larger format. I just didn't want to overload the posts here since there were so many pictures in the posts.
http://kamaainaatheart.blogspot.com/2011/07/case-on-cases-kamoa-ameritage-and.html
Thank you. :)

diego
07-09-2011, 07:24 AM
I am saving up for an upgrade uke, and after that will start the real save up for a luthier built uke. I think these top of the line cases are a good fit for a custom built uke (I am thinking Moore Bettah...)

wickedwahine11
07-09-2011, 07:38 AM
I am saving up for an upgrade uke, and after that will start the real save up for a luthier built uke. I think these top of the line cases are a good fit for a custom built uke (I am thinking Moore Bettah...)

You may want to opt for the Ameritage one. Ronnie Aloha has a Moore Bettah and tried it in a Kamoa case and thought it was a bit too roomy for it. Congrats on your upcoming ukes. :)

Rick Turner
07-09-2011, 07:50 AM
I happen to favor the Reunion Blues leather mandolin gig bag. It easily fits in an airline overhead compartment, and it offers very good protection for reasonable handling. Of course you can't drive over it with a car or sit on it or put it at the bottom of a stack of luggage, but it's of moderate weight, is well padded, and is probably good for more than my own lifetime. I think hardshell cases are perhaps overkill unless you really want to mistreat the uke in the case. Yeah, they're cute, but they're klunky.

consitter
08-24-2011, 01:13 AM
Just to let everyone know, when I bought my Ameritage case, I had them install the d rings at the factory. I had to wait a couple of weeks longer, but they didn't charge any extra either, only for the parts. Another good thing about Ameritage is they are great to work with you if their is ANY problems. They are expensive, but you get what you pay for. And to answer the question about the D rings holding up, I have been lugging my case around with the strap slung over my shoulder with most of the weight on one D ring, and it shows no sign of loosening. I talked to Nancy, who does the custom orders (technically adding the D rings made it a "custom" although there was no labor charge) and she said since they added the rings, they would repair them if anything went wrong. I know they're a heavy case, but I'm tellin ya, it just don't get no bettah than that! It is the only case that I will ever house my custom KoAloha tenor hand-built by Paul Okami.

consitter
08-24-2011, 01:20 AM
To Rick: I know this reply is a long time in coming, but the problem with flying and a gig bag is, sometimes no matter how much you beg and plead, on the smaller planes, the flight attendants will NOT allow it on the plane and will make you check it at the plane door to be given back to you as soon as you get back off. You just gotta hope that the handlers put it on top of the other luggage or *crunch* will go your uke.

samuelbonanno
08-28-2011, 10:47 PM
Aloha!

Just a note to say we have changed our clear coat and it is now hammer strike resistant to damage!

Thanks for your feedback and business. We always strive to give you the best value and service.

SB

wickedwahine11
08-30-2011, 09:12 AM
Aloha!

Just a note to say we have changed our clear coat and it is now hammer strike resistant to damage!

Thanks for your feedback and business. We always strive to give you the best value and service.

SB

Cool, I'm glad to hear it. That is my only (tiny) reservation about an otherwise wonderful case -- it is very susceptible to scratches and dings. I now have three of the Kamoa cases (my custom blue tenor, a yellow soprano, and a red tenor) so maybe one day I'll order one of the new hammer resistant ones! :) I have to say, I'm currently out of town and lugging around my Ameritage on this trip and the difference in weight is really noticeable. I'm spoiled by my Kamoa cases -- between the backpack straps and the light weight, they really are better (for me anyway) on vacation.

mds725
08-30-2011, 09:50 AM
Aloha!

Just a note to say we have changed our clear coat and it is now hammer strike resistant to damage!

Thanks for your feedback and business. We always strive to give you the best value and service.

SB

Hi Samuel,

I'd love to get one of the new hammer-resistant cases for the wonderful Kamaka tenor I bought from you in April. What's the best way to order one? Thanks!

Mark

blab
08-30-2011, 10:51 PM
What are the standard colors for fiberglass cases?

On the Kamoa cases page (http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/line/cases/) there's only blue, red and yellow. On the home page is another pic (http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/wp-content/themes/kamoa/images/fgcasebanner.jpg) that shows black and white. And I've seen silver in a youtube review.

wickedwahine11
09-01-2011, 10:40 AM
What are the standard colors for fiberglass cases?

On the Kamoa cases page (http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/line/cases/) there's only blue, red and yellow. On the home page is another pic (http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/wp-content/themes/kamoa/images/fgcasebanner.jpg) that shows black and white. And I've seen silver in a youtube review.

27608
Standard colors are black, silver, red, yellow and navy blue. What appears to be white in that photo is actually the silver. I have a custom case in a teal blue (though every picture I take of it makes it looks more like a deep powder blue, it actually is more turqouise in color in the correct lighting). And I believe they did a couple of customs in purple also.

dawhealer
09-01-2011, 11:29 AM
I love Ameritage cases as much as the next guy (I have five of them), but I basically only use them for home storage (the humidifying vents inside is great). They're too damn heavy to take anywhere else.

If you think an Ameritage uke case is heavy, you should try an Ameritage guitar case. My Sakurai classical guitar lives in an Ameritage case and that pup is HEAVY. Worth it, though, for the protection it affords. It'd cost me nearly 9K to replace my Sakurai (which I could never afford today) and a new one wouldn't have the personality that a fine instrument develops over 35 years of being played and opening up. I also love the tweed with brown trim combination. I recently ordered an Ameritage look-alike tweed case for my soprano uke and, although not an Ameritage, it's sturdy and well built, so it should offer more than adequate protection.

After over fifty years of playing guitar and hauling plywood hardshell guitar cases (mostly for jumbos and dreadnaughts) around, any uke case feels like featherweight by comparison. Everything's relative.

If I could afford Ameritage cases for ALL my instruments, that's probably the way I'd go, but I have to say that the other cases reviewed in this thread have gotten my attention as well.

ksiegel
09-01-2011, 01:04 PM
I've been interested in the Kamoa Tenor ukulele case (either carbon fiber, or Fiberglas), but no one could tell me if my KoAloha Sceptre Tenor would fit in one.So I just ordered a Ko'olau Oahu hardshell case from Hawaii Music Supply., based on Ronnie Aloha's experience.

-Kurt

marymac
09-01-2011, 02:06 PM
I love Ameritage cases as much as the next guy (I have five of them), but I basically only use them for home storage (the humidifying vents inside is great). They're too damn heavy to take anywhere else.

+1 for this. My custom baritone came with an Ameritage case and I swear I will never take that thing anywhere - too heavy! I love a gig bag for going to uke lessons and I would use a Kala or other brand hardsided case (not the foam kind) if I wanted to take it on a plane for carry on. I won't be getting any more Ameritages. Now the Kamoa - that's tempting.

specialk13
09-08-2011, 04:08 PM
I just received a red Kamoa tenor case today and I am very happy with it. I don't know if it has the new "hammer resistant" finish (probably not since this seems like a very new feature), but it suits my needs for traveling quite well. The backpack straps are a major plus and will make for easy carrying. It's not the strongest case I have seen but I love the compact shape and the weight. I would highly recommend this case for traveling if you don't need lots of space for accessories.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-08-2011, 04:44 PM
I am saving up for an upgrade uke, and after that will start the real save up for a luthier built uke. I think these top of the line cases are a good fit for a custom built uke (I am thinking Moore Bettah...)

I know i'll probably get jumped on for saying this but personally I'd like to see it with better interior padding and stiffer construction.

specialk13
09-09-2011, 01:32 PM
I know i'll probably get jumped on for saying this but personally I'd like to see it with better interior padding and stiffer construction.

I would agree with you on that point, it does seem like it could use a little extra padding and maybe some added rigidity as well. All-in-all I think it performs nicely as a light and streamlined case though.....

garywj
09-09-2011, 01:41 PM
Chuck,

I'll let you know how the frog does in the CF case. I am out of town for another week. I've not put the MB in the case yet because of the strong smell of the lining glue. In our dry climate, it will be well cured when I get home. I am going to use the tweed case for another uke and part with my cheapest case.

GKK
09-09-2011, 01:42 PM
That case is Beautiful!

You always get the good stuff wickedwahine11!!!...

MauiWowie
09-30-2011, 06:43 AM
I would agree with you on that point, it does seem like it could use a little extra padding and maybe some added rigidity as well. All-in-all I think it performs nicely as a light and streamlined case though.....


I just got this case for my Tenor and if they wanna make improvements to the case this would be the thing they need to do, I can twist the case and its seems a little thin. The size of the case is wayyy smaller then my 2 other hard cases that I thought I recieved a concert case insted. If they added the stiffer contruction and the padding size can be a lil bit thicker and make it plush it'll do greater.

I can still fit my extra set of strings under the headstock area with my pillow of microfiber cloth too under there.
Love the design,color and concept....it just needs to be stronger in the protection.

mds725
09-30-2011, 09:53 AM
I just got this case for my Tenor and if they wanna make improvements to the case this would be the thing they need to do, I can twist the case and its seems a little thin. The size of the case is wayyy smaller then my 2 other hard cases that I thought I recieved a concert case insted. If they added the stiffer contruction and the padding size can be a lil bit thicker and make it plush it'll do greater.

I can still fit my extra set of strings under the headstock area with my pillow of microfiber cloth too under there.
Love the design,color and concept....it just needs to be stronger in the protection.

Somehow in all the pronouns, which case is actually being discussed as needing to be stronger has been lost on me. Can you specify whether you're discussing the Kamoa fiberclass or carbon fiber case or some other case altogether? Thanks!

MauiWowie
09-30-2011, 04:34 PM
Somehow in all the pronouns, which case is actually being discussed as needing to be stronger has been lost on me. Can you specify whether you're discussing the Kamoa fiberclass or carbon fiber case or some other case altogether? Thanks!

sorry I ment the Kamoa fiberglass case.

mds725
09-30-2011, 04:40 PM
sorry I ment the Kamoa fiberglass case.

Thanks! I'm considering buying one to travel with later this year, and I was wondering if people who have them like them.

wickedwahine11
09-30-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks! I'm considering buying one to travel with later this year, and I was wondering if people who have them like them.

It is good to travel with. I used my Ameritage on a trip recently and really missed the light weight and backpack straps of the Kamoa. Bear in mind though, I know I have heard the new ones are supposed to be stronger, but I have used my red tenor case twice (once to uke class and on one trip) and it already has chips missing, one big gouge and tons of scratches. So it started off pretty, but after only one trip my red one no longer is, and is destined to be covered with stickers.

mds725
09-30-2011, 05:16 PM
It is good to travel with. I used my Ameritage on a trip recently and really missed the light weight and backpack straps of the Kamoa. Bear in mind though, I know I have heard the new ones are supposed to be stronger, but I have used my red tenor case twice (once to uke class and on one trip) and it already has chips missing, one big gouge and tons of scratches. So it started off pretty, but after only one trip my red one no longer is, and is destined to be covered with stickers.

Thanks for the input, Staci! I don't remember ... is your red case one of the new cases or one of the pre-chip resistant cases? I may end up traveling with an Oahu hard case.

MauiWowie
09-30-2011, 06:00 PM
Also to note, I dont know if I have one of the new ones or not....

heres the pic I got from Larry's music supply/Kamoa before they shipped it out to me.

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/8597/img0204wo.jpg

mds725
09-30-2011, 06:47 PM
Also to note, I dont know if I have one of the new ones or not....

heres the pic I got from Larry's music supply/Kamoa before they shipped it out to me.

Thanks for the photo. I got to see pre-production prototypes of these Kamoa cases when I was at Larry's Music this past April. At the time, the cases were being redesigned to, among other things, add a latch. They were pretty nice looking, and the Kamaka tenor I bought that day fit snugly in the Kamoa tenor prototype case, but the cases hadn't been tested yet for wear and tear and the propensity to chip and scratch with ordinary use.

wickedwahine11
10-01-2011, 12:12 PM
Thanks for the input, Staci! I don't remember ... is your red case one of the new cases or one of the pre-chip resistant cases? I may end up traveling with an Oahu hard case.


They were pretty nice looking, and the Kamaka tenor I bought that day fit snugly in the Kamoa tenor prototype case, but the cases hadn't been tested yet for wear and tear and the propensity to chip and scratch with ordinary use.

My red one was bought at Elderly back in August, and has racked up a ton of scratches and chips in only two uses I think it is definitely NOT a wear resistant one. Plus, not only did I only use it twice but I am pretty gentle wih my stuff. I'm not willing to pay for another though so I will live with the scratches. But I'm definitely disappointed at how easily it got messed up.

It is still a nice snug fit and easy to carry, plus super light. But if you are concerned about wear and tear and scratches, I'd say either make sure you get one of the resistant ones (order direct from Sam and make sure it is) or maybe only consider silver - probably less likely to show damage. My red was a birthday present to I don't regret getting it, but if I had paid I'd be pretty disappointed in it's condition. I'm extra careful now with my blue as a result.

itsme
10-01-2011, 02:01 PM
My red one was bought at Elderly back in August, and has racked up a ton of scratches and chips in only two uses I think it is definitely NOT a wear resistant one. Plus, not only did I only use it twice but I am pretty gentle wih my stuff. I'm not willing to pay for another though so I will live with the scratches. But I'm definitely disappointed at how easily it got messed up.
That's really a shame. I know you baby your stuff. Two uses and it's scratched and chipped? That's pretty much unacceptable in my book.

It's a beautiful case, but given your experience, I think I'd pass and go for something a bit more durable.

wickedwahine11
10-01-2011, 04:47 PM
That's really a shame. I know you baby your stuff. Two uses and it's scratched and chipped? That's pretty much unacceptable in my book.

It's a beautiful case, but given your experience, I think I'd pass and go for something a bit more durable.

Yeah, hopefully the new ones are better -- as Sam from Kamoa stated. It is still a good case for traveling due to the light weight and backpack straps, and I still prefer it over the other ones in the initial post (the Kamaka and Ameritage ones). But yep, I agree with you, the scratches are disappointing. I would reckon the carbon fiber are more durable (but super expensive). I know Aldrine had a red one and the last time I saw him he was using a different one -- I don't know if it was a black one or the carbon fiber. And he had some scratches on his red pretty quick too.

I'd be very interested to see if anyone does end up getting one of the new "improved" more durable ones. That is the one major flaw to me in this case. I still recommend it, but not for anyone who is concerned about scratches, and so forth. And not for anyone who wants a lot of storage room. For me though, it is the only one type that I will travel with anymore -- the red is now so dinged up I won't bother babying it anymore. And for the blue, I'll definitely be very careful with it when I use it.

kamaka_4_life
11-03-2011, 08:49 PM
The Kamoa cases are ok, however it is quite prone to nicks and scratches. Also, it is sometimes a pain to snap the locks down, and you have to get it just right to fit... It is however light weight and a nice fitting case ^_^

Stealth
04-15-2012, 09:52 AM
Hi, just got back from Kauai and my very first Uke delivered. I have a Kamoa Tenor and thinking of getting an Ameritage Gold Series case (I live in Phoenix so the summers are very dry and thinking the temperture system is needed). Anyways, does anyone know if the Kamoa tenor fits good in the Ameritage? Also, anyone get the shoulder strap and does it work good? Thanks for all the informative posts on this thread!!

mo9090x
05-20-2012, 12:49 PM
Hi Staci!
With all the talk of airlines making us check in ukes instead of carry on, I was wondering if you trust your Kamoa case for check in? The light weight and portability definitely sound appealing and ok for daily use, but I was wondering if it's good enough for the level of airlines check in?

Thanks to everyone on this post. Very helpful indeed!

Monica


Yeah, hopefully the new ones are better -- as Sam from Kamoa stated. It is still a good case for traveling due to the light weight and backpack straps, and I still prefer it over the other ones in the initial post (the Kamaka and Ameritage ones). But yep, I agree with you, the scratches are disappointing. I would reckon the carbon fiber are more durable (but super expensive). I know Aldrine had a red one and the last time I saw him he was using a different one -- I don't know if it was a black one or the carbon fiber. And he had some scratches on his red pretty quick too.

I'd be very interested to see if anyone does end up getting one of the new "improved" more durable ones. That is the one major flaw to me in this case. I still recommend it, but not for anyone who is concerned about scratches, and so forth. And not for anyone who wants a lot of storage room. For me though, it is the only one type that I will travel with anymore -- the red is now so dinged up I won't bother babying it anymore. And for the blue, I'll definitely be very careful with it when I use it.

wickedwahine11
05-21-2012, 02:52 AM
Hi Staci!
With all the talk of airlines making us check in ukes instead of carry on, I was wondering if you trust your Kamoa case for check in? The light weight and portability definitely sound appealing and ok for daily use, but I was wondering if it's good enough for the level of airlines check in?

Thanks to everyone on this post. Very helpful indeed!

Monica

Hey Monica...not in a million years. The Kamoa cases are pretty and super light but I would never check them in, there is no way. Your best bet if you HAD to check it is the Ameritage.

snunez
05-21-2012, 04:19 AM
How do you think the Oahu hardcases compare to the 3 mentioned in this thread?

experimentjon
04-06-2013, 01:56 PM
Bumping this one up for great reviews by Staci. And wondering if anyone got those new Kamoa cases.

Edit: Curse you, UU! Just picked up an Ameritage Silver Tenor on Elderly for $215 + ~$50 shipping.
I weighed the Gold on FineCases.com for $320+$25 shipping against the Silver, and figured that the humidifier feature wasn't worth $80. We don't really have humidity problems in HI. And I thought the grey/black color combo was more attractive anyway.

wickedwahine11
10-21-2014, 07:21 AM
Just a bump to this old thread as I just added a review and photos of my new Calton case. The photos and review can be seen on the first page of the thread in post #6. It was expensive but I am quite happy with it. Sorry in advance for the big photos -- I still am not used to the Mac and have no idea how to resize them on this computer. :(

Steveperrywriter
10-21-2014, 07:34 AM
Gorgeous uke, gorgeous case. I've got a Hoffee, which is probably in the same realm as the Calton, both in terms of cost and effectiveness. I've had people look at me as if I'm crazy when I tell them how much it cost, but for a one-off instrument that is irreplaceable, it seems like cheap insurance to me. 72048

sukie
10-21-2014, 08:24 AM
Are you telling the price, WickedW?

wickedwahine11
10-21-2014, 08:28 AM
Are you telling the price, WickedW?

As long as nobody tells my spouse…it was about $700 with tax. Totally extravagant but totally worth it (to me). I would never advocate it for a run of the mill uke but the Moore Bettah is anything but that. And after what I paid for the uke, it isn't so bad as an insurance policy -- in addition to the rider on my homeowner's policy that I added. ;)

sukie
10-21-2014, 08:38 AM
As long as nobody tells my spouse…it was about $700 with tax. Totally extravagant but totally worth it (to me). I would never advocate it for a run of the mill uke but the Moore Bettah is anything but that. And after what I paid for the uke, it isn't so bad as an insurance policy -- in addition to the rider on my homeowner's policy that I added. ;)
My insurance for my MB is $30 a year. I consider that a bargain.


PS -- my lips are sealed.

dkcrown
10-21-2014, 09:26 AM
Hey Staci. Glad everyone made it back safely from the left coast. Your departure timing was good as the cold, wet weather has settled in for a stretch. I should have spent more time checking out your case, but as you know I was too busy checking out your MB! You'll have to let me know how the new strings work out.

Excellent review and it was great meeting you. Looking forward to your return trip next year!

wickedwahine11
10-21-2014, 09:46 AM
Hey Staci. Glad everyone made it back safely from the left coast. Your departure timing was good as the cold, wet weather has settled in for a stretch. I should have spent more time checking out your case, but as you know I was too busy checking out your MB! You'll have to let me know how the new strings work out.

Excellent review and it was great meeting you. Looking forward to your return trip next year!

Thanks D! We had a great time -- Cape Cod was really lovely. We are really looking forward to going back again next year. Hopefully next year the Sox will be in the playoffs. A large part of my enjoyment came from meeting you. Thanks for a lovely afternoon at your gorgeous house! :)

brimmer
10-22-2014, 03:02 AM
Great review. Personally I like my cases with some dings and scratches. As long as they aren't on the uke!

DannyPham
11-21-2014, 09:29 AM
Hey Wicked I bought a calton too and I have to ask. I can't tell by the angle of the picture but is does the top of the ukulele sit flush with the top of the interior? If that makes sense haha. I noticed on some caltons that the padding rises as high as the ukulele exactly, but mine doesn't. I have a good inch or so of the ukulele protruding above the padding. It still fits perfectly, but one of the reasons why I wanted the case was to make it sit perfectly like Jake's and Aldrines.

This might depend on who makes it at the Calton company because I've noticed some do, and some don't but I would assume that they're all taught the same method...

EDIT: Here's a picture of mine. It seems like yours hugs the neck of the ukulele more than mine...But mine is also more similar to Jake's. And you can see how much higher my ukulele rests as opposed to the padding. The neck might be because it's made custom to a specific ukulele but still the body is too high for me...I mean I love the case and like I said it fits great but still haha. Also it seems like your storage compartment is bigger..Haha I have the same winder and I can only fit it vertically as opposed to horizontally like in your picture. I'm sad.

73124

wickedwahine11
11-21-2014, 10:41 AM
Hey Wicked I bought a calton too and I have to ask. I can't tell by the angle of the picture but is does the top of the ukulele sit flush with the top of the interior? If that makes sense haha. I noticed on some caltons that the padding rises as high as the ukulele exactly, but mine doesn't. I have a good inch or so of the ukulele protruding above the padding. It still fits perfectly, but one of the reasons why I wanted the case was to make it sit perfectly like Jake's and Aldrines.

This might depend on who makes it at the Calton company because I've noticed some do, and some don't but I would assume that they're all taught the same method...

EDIT: Here's a picture of mine. It seems like yours hugs the neck of the ukulele more than mine...But mine is also more similar to Jake's. And you can see how much higher my ukulele rests as opposed to the padding. The neck might be because it's made custom to a specific ukulele but still the body is too high for me...I mean I love the case and like I said it fits great but still haha. Also it seems like your storage compartment is bigger..Haha I have the same winder and I can only fit it vertically as opposed to horizontally like in your picture. I'm sad.

73124

Hmm, yours does seem to have the uke sit a lot higher than mine does. See photo...
73136

I know they had me measure at like 15 points, perhaps the measurement of the depth of the uke was off somehow? So they thought it was thinner than it actually is? You know - like one of those slim Kala travel ukes or something?

As for the storage compartment, I measured mine and it was about 6.5" x 9.5" at the widest points. I'm not sure why that would be different though.

Hmm who did you order it through? Perhaps you could contact them to see why there is such a big disparity. :(

DannyPham
11-21-2014, 08:45 PM
Yeah yours sits really well..
A possible problem could be that the case was measured to a kamaka tenor but mines been in the shop for the past year so I can't check. But from what I remember the measurements of my kala tenor and a kamaka tenor are pretty similar. Nothing that would cause that major protrusion.

I'll have to measure my compartment I forgot the measurements.

I ordered mine from a place called dusty strings in Seattle. When I get my kamaka back and it's still high I'll give the, a call.

Landshark
11-22-2014, 06:13 PM
How does the Carlton compare with the Ameritage for protecting the uke

wickedwahine11
11-23-2014, 12:28 AM
How does the Carlton compare with the Ameritage for protecting the uke

I would say they are pretty comparable, with the Calton a little more bulletproof. Plus little things - like the latches are sturdier (and have protective guards), and the exact measurements letting it support the neck perfectly make it slightly more protective. I also prefer the Calton because I think it weighs a little less, and I like the backpack straps option. Plus I like the material better - it is less of a magnet for pet hair. But is it worth the money for the difference? No, I think the Ameritage is perfectly fine.

Unless you want hard core protection, or a particular color (already wish I had chosen a color other than black - I was contemplating green or white), save the extra money and get an Ameritage. I don't regret it because I prefer the Calton for me, but also think for most people the difference is not worth the extra $$$$.

wickedwahine11
06-23-2017, 06:09 AM
It can be tough to find the perfect case for a slimline tenor ukulele, since they have such a narrow height. For my KoAloha slimline though, I found one that works wonderfully. I got a good deal on it on Amazon (YMC Tenor Ukulele Case Hardshell Case with Plush Interior and Storage - Black), but was bored with the plain black exterior. So I ordered stickers of each of the countries I have visited to liven it up. It feels like a vintage suitcase and makes for a cool conversation starter. Plus, stickers are a cheap and easy to find and pack souvenir.

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