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Thread: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

  1. #1
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Post The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    These are the facts: (question at bottom)

    Adrians '23 Loar drawing shows the total thickness 3 3/8 at the bridge.

    My F5 is very closely copied from this drawing, outline, archings, neck thickness and set (though not the decorative aspects) and is 3 3/8 at the bridge

    A Collings MTO (oval hole A) I have here also measures 3 3/8 at the bridge.

    I have two Cedar Creek cases sitting here, A and F style, and neither my mandolin or the Collings will fit them... the top hits the bridge and is still open an inch... besides the fact that I obviously wouldn't want to put the pressure on the instruments that it takes to close them, I REALLY don't like the idea of the bridge having so little xtra space and what would happen if the case got squeezed at some point.

    I'm about to send them back, at my expense, because they insist the cases are fine. Case closed.

    QUESTION... do any of you make mandolins thinner than 3 3/8?? Seems like they would need to be about 3 total to fit well.
    WesBrandtLuthier.com
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  2. #2
    Hester Mandolins Gail Hester's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Wes, that's about normal give or take a little for bridge height differences. Sometimes a case will appear to be interfearing with the bridge when it's not. To verify what the probelm is, I have put a thin playdough/clay type material in a baggie set on the bridge to make sure that it is the bridge that is contacting first. Sometimes it's another issue.

    I have also had some bad luck with new cases lately, points in the wrong place, wrong dimensions, etc.
    Gail Hester

  3. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I just called Cedar Creek this morning. I was going over there to have the F5 I just finished measured for a custom fit case (a service they offer, either by laser probing or from a sent-in measurement sheet and tracing), but they are too busy getting ready for the NAMM show, so I guess this one will have to go to the owner with no case... since Calton has not filled my order and does not return emails...
    Anyone out there thinking of starting a case company??

  4. #4
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Post Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gail Hester View Post
    Wes, that's about normal give or take a little for bridge height differences. Sometimes a case will appear to be interfearing with the bridge when it's not. To verify what the probelm is, I have put a thin playdough/clay type material in a baggie set on the bridge to make sure that it is the bridge that is contacting first. Sometimes it's another issue.

    I have also had some bad luck with new cases lately, points in the wrong place, wrong dimensions, etc.
    Thanks much Gail,

    In this instance, I can see clearly they are hitting on the bridges first. I can see the bridge "printing" on the velvet. I thought maybe the neck cutouts weren't deep enough but they are. I tried pushing in the padding to sort of seat it and it helped a little but... I don't think the next person who they send these cases to will be very happy either.
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    Registered User Jessbusenitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I have a banjo case made by CC and it's a tight(pretty snug) fit, so I don't know if they design them that way or what.

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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    It would be nice if someone would block out the inside of a good shell to make it a full suspension case, such as violins and violas already have available. The instrument is suspended inside by blocks over and below the tail and neck blocks, firmly held in place when the case is shut.



    The one additional detail for mandolins would be padding or blocking for additional support of the headstock.

    This way the body would have plenty of space from face to back, with no possibility of the case top touching the bridge, etc. This could happen in either a shaped or oblong case. I have refit old Gibson cases to do this, it's pretty easy.
    .
    ph

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  7. #7
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hostetter View Post
    It would be nice if someone would block out the inside of a good shell to make it a full suspension case, such as violins and violas already have available. The instrument is suspended inside by blocks over and below the tail and neck blocks, firmly held in place when the case is shut.



    The one additional detail for mandolins would be padding or blocking for additional support of the headstock.

    This way the body would have plenty of space from face to back, with no possibility of the case top touching the bridge, etc. This could happen in either a shaped or oblong case. I have refit old Gibson cases to do this, it's pretty easy.
    Looks and sounds good to me Paul... you must have a nice computer program for doing mockups. I've also seen some violin family cases that provide you with optional thickness bits of padding that can be velcroed in place to fit variations in instruments.

    Yes, the fit is also quite snug around the perimeter padding, which is good as there is plenty of padding before the case edges and will probably loosen up over time, but it's hard to comprehend making it undersized for the most important aspect of the case ...keeping the bridge from taking hits or additional pressure. These cases would have been quite nice if they were just 1/2'" or so thicker. The rest of the workmanship and materials are very good.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    If they are making their cases too shallow and refuse to admit it, they will not be in buisness very long. It seems like such a simple thing, good luck.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  9. #9

    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Cedar creek bought out harp tone and tkl. No more competition so if no one else comes forward with cash to start a new company we are at their mercy.

    John, try hoffee case co. He's gearing up.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I have had good luck with Ameritage lately, I REALLY like their shaped F-style mandolin case. It is sad about Calton, I have orders there that I have given up on.

    Will Kimble
    www.kimblemandolins.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I have a Cedar Creek case for my Octave and it is a great fit.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Gail's idea is a good one. I have a shaped TKL and to say that the bridge saddle imprints on the top felt is an understatement. On the other hand, it in no way interferes with the lid closing, so it is a fine balancing act. A very hard and direct blow to that exact spot on the outside, enough to deflect the hard shell, would likely cause damage. On the other hand, the mandolin does not move inside that case, even when dropped or shaken, and I don't know if I would like any "slop" between the top and back either. I have carried it in that case for over a decade, and whatever pressure is there does not ever cause the mandolin to go out of tune.
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    From the Hiscox case website - quote :- " The instrument sits on, and is held by strategically placed soft foam cushions to create the ultimate in lightweight protection ". I can't help but feel that maybe the new Hiscox case is one of the 'better' cases currently available.They certainly seem to be 'roomy'. They appear to be a bit bulky at first,but if you go to the Hiscox website to see how they're constructed,you'll understand why.
    Neither my Travelite case or my TKL rectangular case,show any bridge impression on the lid interior,
    Ivan Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I anyone is seriously considering case design, a reasonable US made case could be:

    1. Molded heavy ABS - like an ABS canoe. I priced getting a mold made once, a bit high $$$ for me.
    2. Waterproof valance. I really like that aspect.
    3. In addition to the standard outline foam, several covered blocks of slightly different thicknesses for tail and neck base for positioning the instrument
    4. Wedge on velcro under and over the headstock to provide precise firm cushioning
    5. Blocks on lid, velcro attached and several choices, to get the instrument firmly suspended within the case

    I don't know why exactly, but Gianna decided using Cedar Creek wasn't good for us.

    I can second the liking for the shaped Ameritage.
    Stephen Perry
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    Registered Mando Hack dunwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Over the years I've tried TKL, Harptone, Cedar Creek custom shop, Calton, and I am now using Ameritage. I had troubles with all except for Calton. It is sad to see that there are now issues with them. I particularly like that I could call Al, order a case and FORGET about it. It would arrive with the proper configuration at or close to the time specified. It seems that all other case companies, now just one company in the case of TKL/Harptone/CedarCreek, have scheduling issues. I don't understand this with a production shop. The shop floor flow should be a known.

    In any case, with Ameritage there were a few scheduling or communication issues in my last order, but some of that was with health issues of the design person. So no real fault to them there. Of the two cases I ordered, one was delayed due to a trim mix-up and had to be re-fit. Both however are a good fit. They use the design of holding the neck in two places and have a big pad under the headblock. There is another pad pair at the tail block and the sides are supported with various blocks but not all the way around. In particular, the points are free. This sort of floats the instrument. Very much like the image posted earlier by Paul.

    Further, I like the outside design of the contoured cases, they use heavy edge trim and cloth for the covering. I also have my logo embroidered in the cloth cover. Very reasonable prices.

    Negatives is still the scheduling, communications, and deliver time. The gluing of the interior cloth sometimes is a bit rough and the cloth itself is a bit stiff at first. But it is also an under $200 case, not Calton prices.

    FWIW,
    Alan D.

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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I have had good experiences with Ameritage. I guess I've not been keeping track of the case businesses. Can anyone say tactfully just what the current state of Calton is? Also what of Pegasus USA? A friend of mine recently got a CF guitar case from Hoffee and is very pleased with it.

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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    My issue with Hiscox is the same as with any of the urethane foam cases with aluminum valences: they gas off and warp and eventually the valences don't close right. And at best, they're an around-town case—not flightworthy. I don't see why there can't be a simple "Canadian" case (even made in China) with a decent wood shell and full suspension for mandolins that costs much more than any other "Canadian" case.

    Is there a Pegasus USA?

    I miss Al and I miss Calton Canada. What a pity that guy ran it into the ground.
    .
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Paul, I asked because I seem to remember that Big Joe and Sam were working on getting something together about getting Pegs made here. But I think the last I heard of that was a year or more ago.

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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I wish they would, their (Scottish) mandolin cases were great.
    .
    ph

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  20. #20
    Future Mandolinist
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I didn't realize finding an adequate case was such a challenge. My main mando is in a travelite case and I have nothing but good things to say about it. If I wanted something with a harder shell is anything available these days or what?

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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    GWW which are the guys making Ameritage have made short runs for me where I ordered a bit more austere case than the stock Ameritage with vinyl instead of Cordura and plush instead of satin and given a pretty competitive price. They also made the cases for my octaves.
    With the same arched lid as the Ameritage there's no bridge clearance issue and they're very strong although a bit heavy. Just be aware you need a pretty good lead time.

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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    I really miss the old Harptone company. I've ordered many cases from them in the past for instruments that just had no standard case option. You could send them a tracing, tell them where you wanted padding, where you needed clearance (for tuners, points, banjo 5th string pegs...), and where it needed to touch, how high you wanted the neck support/accessory box, and any other detail important to you, and they made you a case to fit! Around the time of the TKL buys every other case maker event, I'd ordered a few fairly fancy and expensive custom cases from Harptone (Or so I thought). What I got was a standard TKL case with the padding removed so that it would fit (sort of) the old Orpheum banjo with a 12"++ rim. The rim fit so tight against the velvet that you had to really force the lid to close. The yoke of the neck support was exactly in the same spot as the 5th string peg (even though I'd told them where I wanted it, and how it needed room around the peg). The velvet was glued to the wood---NO PADDING!!!!! This was a very nice, very old banjo, and my customer would have not been happy with this case, and I never considered asking him to take it. I sent it back, explained the problems I had with it, and they sent a slightly bigger case with almost enough padding, but the neck support was so high that the peghead stuck up and you would have to force the head down to close the lid. The yoke was still in the same spot one the neck! I rebuilt the neck support myself, as we figured this was the best the TKL morons were going to do. One of the other cases I ordered at this same time, was for an old smallish tenor guitar. I got a standard classical guitar case with a lot of padding in it aroung the guitar body. The padding actually did resemble the shape of the tenor as I had traced for them, but the neck support had the same issue as the banjo case. I guess more padding was better than none? The old Harptone company would actually make a playwood shell in the shape you wanted, with room for the right amount of padding in the right spots. The TKL/Cedar Creek/whomever they choose to call themselves when they answer the phone today company, just picks a case shape the have already fabricated and stuffs it with foam to SORT OF fit your specs, and covers it with the material you chose, charges you too much for this CUSTOM job, and hopes you are stupid and tasteless enough that you don't know the difference or care. It really irked me to spend that much on a custom case, and still have to modify it myself!! Now days I order one of the nicer chinese cases, and redo the interior myself to fit like I want it to.
    TKL BE DAMNED!!
    bobby burns

  23. #23
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    GWW which are the guys making Ameritage have made short runs for me where I ordered a bit more austere case than the stock Ameritage with vinyl instead of Cordura and plush instead of satin and given a pretty competitive price. They also made the cases for my octaves.
    With the same arched lid as the Ameritage there's no bridge clearance issue and they're very strong although a bit heavy. Just be aware you need a pretty good lead time.
    Thanks for the info... didn't know about GWW.
    So can you order different lining material from GWW? I just don't like that fuzzy teddybear lining I see on online in the Ameritage Gold and Silver lines (unless the photo is deceiving me) , plus they don't show a contoured A style just F.
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Here's the cases I ordered. I got a burgundy lining in the octave. But they offer a lot of options. See if you can contact Nancy.
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  25. #25
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: The case of Cedar Creek Cases continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hostetter View Post
    My issue with Hiscox is the same as with any of the urethane foam cases with aluminum valences: they gas off and warp and eventually the valences don't close right. And at best, they're an around-town case—not flightworthy..
    Is this "issue" you have based on actual, real-world experience with them, may I ask, or on theorising about them?

    The reason I ask is that I have (and still do) quite a number of their guitar cases. Some of them I have now had, and used regularly, including extensive flying time, for around 12 years. Not one of them has this "issue" you report. There is zero warp. None whatever. The only actual "defect" I have ever noticed is that the lining can come loose around the accessory hatch (on the guitar cases) after several years of heavy use. The mandolin cases are only just out, so I'd be real surprised if you have seen any problems with those yet. I have one, and I like it quite a lot. I would happily use it as a flight case. I do have a couple of Calton's (the UK ones) and to be quite honest, I feel the protection offered by the Hiscox is about as good at less than half the weight. I know many full time pro's who fly with these cases constantly.. there's a short list of some users here:

    http://www.hiscoxcases.com/testimonials_hiscox.htm

    One of the names is classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, who entrusts instruments worth many hundreds of thousands to them... I don't think he just means "about town", either... they are hugely popular with orchestral players, and one 'cellist I know did 3 US tours, an Australia and New Zealand tour, several European tours, and a tour of China with her $90K 'cello in one. Both the case and the 'cello survived in great shape, which I'd suggest would be highly unlikely if they were really "not flightworthy".

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