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NatalieS
12-03-2011, 08:38 AM
I'd like to get a custom case for my uke, and the Cedar Creek cases really appeal to me because you can pick from any number of options. I have no clue, though, what a case would cost from them. They don't really display prices on their website.

Does anyone have a Cedar Creek case? Would you recommend them?

Thanks.... :)

southcoastukes
12-03-2011, 09:56 AM
I'm truly sorry to have to say this, but I can't recommend Cedar Creek.

Sorry to say it because for a time when I was restoring instruments I lived not far from Oilville, Viginia where they build their cases. I was one of their few clients who would actually walk in the door, and I got to know a lot of them. Mainly excellent musicians who also produced beautiful work with their cases. Not cheap, but you felt like it was more like an act of love.

We're getting custom cases from Ameritage now. Iv'e found the same cooperation and enthusiasm there that used to be at Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek management has now turned over twice since I first started buying cases there. The second team was promoted from within, and things didn't change much.

The new management has come in from TKL (who owns them). They impress me as production people who may have some understanding of production line management in general, but have no idea how to handle custom work. It took me months to get any sort of pricing from them. In the interim, I received an occasional e-mail with questions so odd, it made me wonder if they really knew anything about cases, or were just production line people in the most general sense.

The only time I noticed anything resembling enthusiasm was when the prospect of larger quantity orders that could be produced in conjuction with the parent TKL company came up. They would get fired up over the possibility of a 100 case order.

By this time I was beginning to have serious doubts about them. Then I started hearing things about problems. Then came William King's semi-famous blog posting of a photo of one of his Tenors in it's new Cedar Creek case. It wasn't closed because half the neck was sticking out. His caption was something along the lines of "maybe I should start building Soprano-scale Tenors".

At this point, I realized I needed to start looking elsewhere. If they were going to have that much trouble with a standard Tenor, what would happen with my non-standard shapes? The icing on the cake was when I finally got my pricing (this was after about 5 months). It was double the highest price I had ever paid (I had a builder's discount) - around $480.00. I forget the quantity involved, but although it was not a standard sized case, it was not for a single unit either - probably for around 6 units.

As I said, I am truly sorry to have to say all this. At one time, I had a great relationship there, first with Terry, then with Dennis. If you want to give it a go, their materials are first rate, and I beleive the craftsmanship has stayed at a high level also. Maybe if you're ordering a standard case, with just color and hardware options, the price won't be so high, but after all, their name is "Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe. Unusual shapes used to be no problem (the Tiple I sold UU member Zach came in one of those custom cases).

The real shame about this is that they were one of those American companies that were the best in the world. I saw a $50,000.00 (not a misprint) case there for Eric Clapton. They got a trapper in Florida to spend months looking for 6 Albino gators with matching hides, it had solid gold hardware, and the case for the case was no slouch either. Companies like that need to do whatever they can to keep their skilled people. Guess it wasn't a priority for TKL.

NatalieS
12-03-2011, 10:08 AM
I appreciate your honest opinion. I too have seen that picture of the tenor with its neck extending about 6 inches beyond the end of the case. That seemed like a really wacky mistake to me.

For some reason, I'm not a big fan of the cloth covered cases, like Ameritage has. I want one with leather, which is why I had my eye on Cedar Creek. I've been looking at other companies' ready-made cases too, just haven't seen what I'm looking for.

Any other opinions out there?

southcoastukes
12-03-2011, 10:14 AM
Ameitage has other options they don't show. Don't know if they would be available for a single case order, but give them a call and tell them what you want.

Hippie Dribble
12-05-2011, 02:28 PM
Hi Nat

I inquired also with the guys at Cedar Creek the other day... designed my specs and emailed them for a cost

got a reply this morning... wait time 10-12 weeks, $549 for a very basic / bottom end case...wow...what else needs be said?

ukulelepuapua
12-05-2011, 03:26 PM
I mean, I suppose I would consider that if i had an ukulee worth more than 3k, but otherwise a bit expensive i think...

NatalieS
12-05-2011, 03:52 PM
Hi Nat

I inquired also with the guys at Cedar Creek the other day... designed my specs and emailed them for a cost

got a reply this morning... wait time 10-12 weeks, $549 for a very basic / bottom end case...wow...what else needs be said?

Wow... ok that makes up my mind for me. I was thinking maybe half that much for a soprano case. That option is effectively out.

Thanks for the info. :)

Drew Bear
12-05-2011, 04:08 PM
Since Natalie has her answer, let me sneak in a newbie question: aside from appearance (leather coverings), what is the advantage of a custom case over a high quality case that fits your particular instrument? Is it really that important for the body of the ukulele to be fitted exactly to the case? I have ~1/8" gap around the lower bout and a bit more on the upper. Is that not fitted well enough?

Hippie Dribble
12-05-2011, 04:42 PM
Wow... ok that makes up my mind for me. I was thinking maybe half that much for a soprano case. That option is effectively out.

Thanks for the info. :)

yeah, mine was for a concert. But that price is just beyond consideration...think I'll stick to my garden variety hardshell cases <100 bucks. sheesh!!!

Steiner
12-05-2011, 04:50 PM
These any good?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNWXrpZbpII

southcoastukes
12-05-2011, 07:21 PM
These any good?

Hoffee Cases - Carbon fiber -

$699 for a mandolin case - $899 for guitar.

mds725
12-05-2011, 07:25 PM
Dirk,

Do you have any experience with, or thoughts about, those new fiberglass or carbon fiber Kamoa cases? I know there was a thread about them a while ago and I believe you posted in it, but I can't find the thread and I forget what, if anything, you said about them. Thanks in advance.

Mark

southcoastukes
12-05-2011, 07:36 PM
Sorry Mark,

No real experience. We've generally needed custom shapes, and those guys want a very big order for that.

joejeweler
12-05-2011, 09:15 PM
Dirk,

Do you have any experience with, or thoughts about, those new fiberglass or carbon fiber Kamoa cases? I know there was a thread about them a while ago and I believe you posted in it, but I can't find the thread and I forget what, if anything, you said about them. Thanks in advance.

Mark

I got in a Kamoa fiberglass case a week or so ago,......was a bit disappointed in it actually. It fit my Kanile'a soprano, but just barely. I realize the Kanile'a has a bit wider lower bout, but the length just made it, and the neck width just fit. I was going to order a carbon fiber case originally, but after getting this one in i'll forget about that. It was a 3 or 4 month wait anyway.

I was also surprised they are made in China,......although when i later checked i saw that mentioned. Somehow because the company is located in Hawaii i assumed they made their cases there. I wanted to support the US worker, but too good to be true......

Getting it at 20% off at Elderly helped, so probably a fair deal at $126 plus shipping. (normally $158) But i didn't get the hydrometer that was supposed to come with them. Mine also had 3 latches, but i understand they originally had just 2. (even on a tenor)

I guess i was spoiled by the extra protection i have with the used Calton fiberglass flight case i bought from Aaron Keim a few months ago in concert size. That has decent storage, and a lot of protective spacing around the uke i'm using it on. (the uke fits the padding perfectly also) The Kamoa has NO storage,......and for sure does not protect as well as a Calton does, just no "extra" protective space cushion around the uke. It should be OK for traveling in a car under normal circumstances. On a plane i wouldn't be so sure. The fiberglass body with better humidity protection is a plus i suppose,.....for i think there is less moisture loss in these than in a wooden case during the heating months for some of us.

..........and they sure are "cute".

I'll keep an eye out for another used Calton,.....made the way they used to make them! Fabulous protection. :D

NatalieS
12-06-2011, 12:31 PM
Since Natalie has her answer, let me sneak in a newbie question: aside from appearance (leather coverings), what is the advantage of a custom case over a high quality case that fits your particular instrument? Is it really that important for the body of the ukulele to be fitted exactly to the case? I have ~1/8" gap around the lower bout and a bit more on the upper. Is that not fitted well enough?

I'm not sure that custom cases offer more protection than a good stock case. I just wanted a very particular looking case, and haven't been able to find one factory-made that looks like I want.

southcoastukes
12-06-2011, 01:30 PM
.... I just wanted a very particular looking case, and haven't been able to find one factory-made that looks like I want....

Natalie, I've been talking a lot with Ameritage lately as we try to get the last of our case prototypes finished up.

Asked yesterday, and turns out they will make single order cases from materials other than what you see on the web. When I started the process with them, they sent me photos of about a dozen other covers they had in stock.

I asked about actual leather, and no, while they could do it, export restrictions prohibit them sending it up here. (While their offices are in the U.S., the production is in Central America).

If "leatherette" will do, they have those. If you call you'll almost certainly get Nancy on the phone. She's great!

Drew Bear
12-06-2011, 01:52 PM
...those new fiberglass or carbon fiber Kamoa cases? I know there was a thread about them a while ago...

I just finished reading this one; a good portion was devoted to the Kamoa:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49937-The-case-on-cases-Kamoa-Ameritage-Kamaka

mm stan
12-06-2011, 02:33 PM
Aloha Natalie,
Great to hear from you....I cannot justify spending that kind of money on a case, simple as that ....unless I had a 5K... even 150....is streching it...
Love my guardian, oscar schmidt, and leather crossed woven uke crazy case hard cases.. even if I had extra money, I wouldn't get one...am I stingy or frugal or what...

NatalieS
12-06-2011, 03:54 PM
even if I had extra money, I wouldn't get one...am I stingy or frugal or what...

None of the above, Stan. :) You're just a wise spender. I was blown away by how expensive the Cedar Creek ones were going to be. That's the same cost as a K-brand uke itself! Insane! I'm not a big fan of the Ameritage style cases.

I need to bite the bullet and just keep the case I have, it'll do just as good a job and I hardly ever need a case anyway.

Ronnie Aloha
12-06-2011, 03:56 PM
George did a nice review on cases...

http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2008/03/case-study-part-3.html

mm stan
12-07-2011, 03:00 AM
George did a nice review on cases...

http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2008/03/case-study-part-3.html
Aloha Ronnie,
I got one of those Pro tec cases first mentioned...it was given to me... I would never buy one of those...sure it has a heavy duty zipper...
but it is big, lunky and it is damn heavy...I mean like nothing I ever came across yet..

xjumper
12-07-2011, 10:28 AM
Hi Natalie,
I got my first Pono from you, and now I have six. See what you started... However, I just got a Ameritage tenor case, and it is a tank. I also took advantage of Elderly's sale and got it shipped for $155. I really think it's worth it. It might even survive a trip in the hold of a plane One more thing, I am going to get a cover for it because it is really a nice looking case.

NatalieS
12-10-2011, 01:53 PM
Hi Natalie,
I got my first Pono from you, and now I have six. See what you started... However, I just got a Ameritage tenor case, and it is a tank. I also took advantage of Elderly's sale and got it shipped for $155. I really think it's worth it. It might even survive a trip in the hold of a plane One more thing, I am going to get a cover for it because it is really a nice looking case.

Good to hear from you! Thanks for the information on the Ameritage cases. They do seem like very good cases.

I think I'm going to keep the fiberglass case that came with my soprano. It's got a lot of padding and protection... I'm not a fan of zippers or fabric on cases but, what the heck, it works.