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Lifton - A Case Study


Watersilk

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A guitar without a case is like a hand without a glove...

 

I had decided to buy a decent hardshell case for a 1959 Les Paul replica. The case she has is irritating, the lid strap keeps getting trapped when you close the lid; plus, I wanted something that looks a 'little' like the original Lifton Gibson Les Paul cases; a Californian girl, brown on the outside, pink on the inside...

 

Ux9TQIC.jpg

Enter Faber, they sell Lifton 'style' cases, I tried to order one from a British company who previously I had noticed sold them, so far, so good.

 

However, when I searched their site, the Faber cases had vanished. I wrote to them and asked when they would be back in stock, the answer came:

 

"We have no plans to sell these cases again in the foreseeable future."

 

I couldn't help wondering, was there a problem with these cases? I asked them, is there a reason for them not stocking Faber cases?

 

Their reply was interesting: "We have had problems with customers who have 'fifties' style Les Paul's, those with fatter necks; they don't fit in the Faber cases!"

 

Strange then, a fifties-style Lifton case that doesn't accommodate fifties style Gibson guitars! Can this be true?

 

I went to Thomann, the large German music internet shop, found the page with Faber's Lifton case, there, a customer had posted a review, complaining that the case he had ordered doesn't fit his Gibson Les Paul! He added that he is returning the case because it is useless!

 

I wrote to Faber's main site in Germany, asking them which guitars their case is made for if it doesn't fit fifties type Les Paul's, those with fatter necks. Through five or six emails, I tried to get them to acknowledge that customers are complaining about the fit of their cases, the answer I got was flat denial, "we have sold x number of cases and you tell us of one customer who is unhappy"..etc...

 

Their web page announces a new case, the 2018 Lifton model. Why a new model? I asked how the new model differs from the current model; three emails later they finally told me!

 

Notice that the reply came in large, red, bold letters!

 

same shape

 

first neck support/cradle slightly height increased

 

new outside and inside material

 

2013 case is sold out

 

2018 case available early 2018

 

Finally, finally I got it: "first neck support/cradle slightly height increased"

 

Why would they change the internal dimensions if there was nothing wrong with the original case?

 

There was a further clue, all the pictures I had previously seen of this case featured a sunburst Les Paul, 1958 - 1960, the 'new' 2018 case is pictured with a first model '52 Les Paul; am I correct in thinking that the '52 had the thickest neck profile of all Les Paul's? If so, are they trying to state that the new case will now accommodate the thicker necked Les Paul's?

 

mokSi6M.jpg

After all this, I will most probably buy one, because I believe that the design flaw of the first 2013 cases has now been rectified; but why, why can't they just be honest and admit that the first cases were not a match for fifties Les Paul guitars?

 

Has anyone here had any experience of these Faber Lifton style cases?

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There was a further clue, all the pictures I had previously seen of this case featured a sunburst Les Paul, 1958 - 1960, the 'new' 2018 case is pictured with a first model '52 Les Paul; am I correct in thinking that the '52 had the thickest neck profile of all Les Paul's? If so, are they trying to state that the new case will now accommodate the thicker necked Les Paul's?

 

mokSi6M.jpg

 

I don't know anything about these cases but if you look closely at the picture you posted, the guitar neck slots in the case seem too high and with less depth. The middle of the neck won't go down into the neck slot in the case far enough. The neck towards the headstock isn't even sitting completely in the second slot. That tells me that when you close the case, the headstock is going to be pressing into the top part of the case. A few good bumps and you have a broken headstock. It seems that they have NOT fixed the issue. There's going to be constant tension on the neck and headstock of that guitar in that case. You could modify it but why bother? That case with that guitar is a broken neck waiting to happen.

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I don't know anything about these cases but if you look closely at the picture you posted, the guitar neck slots in the case seem too high and with less depth. The middle of the neck won't go down into the neck slot in the case far enough. The neck towards the headstock isn't even sitting completely in the second slot. That tells me that when you close the case, the headstock is going to be pressing into the top part of the case. A few good bumps and you have a broken headstock. It seems that they have NOT fixed the issue. There's going to be constant tension on the neck and headstock of that guitar in that case. You could modify it but why bother? That case with that guitar is a broken neck waiting to happen.

 

Hello MichaelT, I believe that the weak spot on a Les Paul is the neck, just in front of the headstock. I guess that this is due to the 17° headstock angle, 18° if it's a Tokai. As you point out, it does look precarious!

 

The thing that annoys me is that the reason we would buy a decent case is to protect our beloved guitar and most Les Paul's are expensive and delicate instruments; while it's certainly not the type of case we would gig with, it's role is still to protect and that should include as you say "A few good bumps"!

A customer's complaint on Thomann's site, translated, loosely from German:

 

"Does not fit for Gibson LP with 50's Neck

 

The case does not fit my Gibson Les Paul with 50's Neck Profile. The neck is only in thomann the lower support, at the transition to the head plate is much air between neck and case. When the lid is closed, however, it presses on the neck in the region of the first frets. Furthermore, the case sits on the horn of the cutaway so loosely that thomann I can put a finger between guitar and padding. In the area of ??the toggle switch, the case also sits very loosely. Overall, I am more than dissatisfied with the fit, which is why I will send the suitcase back. The processing is also only mediocre. thomann The artificial leather is not stuck anywhere on the outside exactly on impact and has in one place a Macke. Maybe I got a montagsmodell, nevertheless I can not recommend this case. Especially considering the price."

 

 

 

I will try to see one of the Faber 2018 cases before buying one, if that is possible.

 

Does anyone know of a 'Lifton" look-a-like case other than Faber or Gator, that's well made?

 

 

 

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When you close that case it'll lift the body and the result will be that the neck snaps. I wouldn't use one (going by that pic only, of course.)

 

Hello Farnsbarns, it's been a long time!

 

Yes, it's difficult to be sure by just looking at a picture, it needs to be seen in the flesh, with a Les Paul in there to test the fit and as you point out, support for the neck!

 

It does 'look' nice though!

 

The best hardshell I have is a TKL, the neck rests equally on both neck rests, the same goes for the Gibson Custom Shop cases, I think these two areas are very important for Les Paul's, that and the lid pressing gently on the guitar when closed to avoid the guitar moving within the case when it's carried; is that really asking too much?

 

My next rebuild project is a rather sad Korean Tokai, for that I will be buying the Gator case, the Faber is too expensive for that guitar.

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This is all a little crazy. The original problem seemed to be that a thick neck LP wouldn't fit properly into the case and it wouldn't close properly or offer correct neck support.

 

Their solution of raising the height of the first support (closest to the body) is exactly opposite of what they should have done. If there wasn't enough room for the neck in the 2013 case, raising the support will only make it worse allowing less room for the neck.

 

The photo of the newer model pretty clearly shows that the first support is so high that the neck doesn't even touch the second support. [scared] [scared]

 

How a company that primarily builds cases can be this incompetent is beyond my comprehension. [confused]

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This is all a little crazy. The original problem seemed to be that a thick neck LP wouldn't fit properly into the case and it wouldn't close properly or offer correct neck support.

 

Their solution of raising the height of the first support (closest to the body) is exactly opposite of what they should have done. If there wasn't enough room for the neck in the 2013 case, raising the support will only make it worse allowing less room for the neck.

 

The photo of the newer model pretty clearly shows that the first support is so high that the neck doesn't even touch the second support. [scared] [scared]

 

How a company that primarily builds cases can be this incompetent is beyond my comprehension. [confused]

 

 

Was on the Gibson site recently. I think what blew my mind the most was cases...just like guitars, if they're beat to shiet by a Gibson employee they charge double. Seriosly. The regular cases are $250 or something, and the beat-up one is double. My son's pay more for jeans that come all ripped apart. Maybe it's a sign of me getting older...but then the people who buy this beat-to-**** re-issue stuff are all old folks. IDK

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Gibson is charging double for someone to beat up a case? I do that quite well all by myself. If someone wants to send me their $250.00 case, I'll beat it up for them for only $100.00. That's a savings of $150.00! I'll have to post a picture of my '81 V case. A life of years on the road, coast to coast, has definitely taken its toll on this case. Even my brand new Les Paul case got a ding on it on the way home when a small table we also had in the back of the SUV apparently scraped against the case.

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Guest Farnsbarns

Let's put this to bed. Yes, guitar companies are listening to their customers and providing aged/distressed/pre-worn stuff. Not everyone wants it but there's clearly a market. It takes them time to do this and there's an up charge. Could we all just get over it, like it or not. There's only so many different ways to say it and only so many similes that can be drawn and everyone knows they can achieve the same by wearing items out by use. It isn't news to anyone.

 

Back on topic... Does anyone know of any good cali-girl replica cases on the market? Aged or not.

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