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jw3571

School Me on Gibson Cases

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I've been looking at and have purchased a few of the new 2020 line of custom historics.  I've noticed that sometimes they come with the Red Line case with the purple interior and sometimes they just come with a normal hard case that comes with the non custom shop models.  Does anyone know if there is a rhyme or reason for this or is it random.  I had one dealer tell me that the non red line case is the historically correct case for the 1957 SJ200.  However, on another site the same model comes with the red line case?

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The redline case basically replicates the looks and style of a case that was built from the 1930's up to sometime after WW2, I believe. That is the case that came with my L-OO Legend, and it is also a case that was with a 1948 L-7 that I negotiated for at one point.

Gibson has used a variety of different cases over the decades. Until modern times, lower-end guitars were priced with no case. Cases were an option that started out with a $10 chip board case, and went up from there.

There is not necessarily a single "historically correct" case for a lot of models. 

The dealer is probably right about the case for a 1957 SJ 200, since the redline case was probably not made at that point in time.

The great thing is that no matter what case a guitar comes with,  you can have a case built that is more historically accurate if you aren't happy with what comes with the guitar.  These guys will build whatever you want, and the price is not ridiculous.

Cedar Creek cases

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The  case which was originally supplied for a 1957 J200 would have been the brown Lifton case.  There were two versions to pick from l - one with a plush lining and one with a flannel lining.   As a  rule these were not provided with the guitar but had to be purchased separately.  In 1961 Gibson went with the black yellow lined Victoria Luggage cases.   These are my favorite Gibson cases.      But   If there is going to be a weak spot in more modern cases it is most likely going to be the  hardware.   The old stuff was just a much better quality.

Edited by zombywoof

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1 hour ago, zombywoof said:

the brown Lifton case.

Ah yes, that's the one. A great case- the handles seemed to hold up better than most, too. 

Anybody's guess as to which case comes with the '57 reissue you're looking at. . . might be too soon to say. Best to have clarification, and a person's name before the sale. Some dealers might be pressed to put up some sort of photo of the case for the listing.

Does this black Red Line shown in the Sweetwater ad for the 1957 SJ-200 even look like a super jumbo case?  The curve on the upper bout of  '200 cases (shown lower left) almost makes a "corner" (so much so, that it does not touch the floor when on it's side), the waist has an almost exaggerated valley, and the lower bout has a more rounded shape, compared to the                J-45/Hummingbird case (shown on the right) :

KysrIDy.png

 

Edited by 62burst

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That brown case with the round lower bout and exaggerated waist looks right for the SJ-200. It is also the case that is used with Gibson's 17" archtops, such as the L-5 and L-7.

The 17" SJ and 17" archtops have the same body plan, but the sides are a bit deeper on the SJ, I believe. However, the total body depth is very similar because guitars like the L-5 and L-7 have carved tops and backs with a pronounced arch, to that the total body volume is similar. All of these are long-scale.

A case for an SJ-200 and a 17" Gibson archtop will be the same, and a traditional case used for these would have a round lower bout and a pinched waist. The case I bought for my 1947 L-7 was a black one by TKL, with a burgundy velour lining. It looked like the pinch-waist brown case in your photo, except for the color, of course.

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Gibson cases were not custom built to fit each model.  They were   generic archtop cases. so would be used to accommodate any guitar with a  17" lower bout.  The originals, however, had more of a mottled brown tolex so the one in the photos is not a spot on repro when it comes to looks.  Here is a flannel lined case for a 1960 J200.  The tag on the cubby hole reads "Built Like a Fortress."   If you look at the side you can see the mottled effect.  Guardian also makes a case that will work with a J200.

1960-Gibson-J200.jpg

Edited by zombywoof

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3 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Gibson cases were not custom built to fit each model.  They were   generic archtop cases. so would be used to accommodate any guitar with a  17" lower bout.  The originals, however, had more of a mottled brown tolex so the one in the picture is not a spot on repro when it comes to looks.  Here is a flannel lined case for a 1960 J200.  If you look at the side you can see the mottled effect.

1960-Gibson-J200.jpg

They apparently still make that same pattern of case covering material.  My custom Cali Girl  J-45 case made by G&G for Norman's Rare Guitars in LA used that same material on the outside.

Cedar Creek has an exterior material they call "Epi Brown" which is very similar but may not have the exactly the right pattern.  They also will do the interior in "Vintage Pink Sky Velvet", which is a dead ringer for the original Cali Girl lining.

ZW is right about the primary shortcoming of modern cases being the hardware. The Providence Forge hardware used by Cedar Creek (and used on the Redline case that came with my L-OO Legend) is pretty good compared to most of it. 

You get what you pay for.

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I am back to where I started!

My 2002 Gibson J50 (recent of pawn shop!) came in a......bag.

My first Gibson acoustic came in a ....bag.....the famous yellow Blues King bag!

The only Gibson I have with a Gibson case is the 2005 Gibson Dove. And that is pretty standard fare. But it has the Gibson logo on it and sort of fits. Fine for around home but if the guitar is going anywhere, into one of a 'floating' set of Hiscoxii it will go. J50 went to luthier's in a Hiscox dread. I bought some L-00 size Hiscoxii for my Waterloos and ha ha ha ha! The Blues King now has a nice case - the Waterloo case, same for my old L-0! But if I was taking them out, pick a Hiscox.

It is a hopeless task getting a 'proper' case here in Australia - for some reason (size) it costs as much to import a guitar with it! So I was rather pleased when I bought my new Taylor Grand Pacific slope shoulder (717e Builder's Edition) that came with a case created just for the Grand Pacifics!

QbJpcFyh.jpg

2c8gxpTh.jpg

 

And while we are off the Gibson case track, some of you may like this video of the late great Bill Collings and his new 'Traditional Case" - after owning a hodgepodge of cases, I love his attitude!

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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Most of my original cases are the chipboard variety - the Gibson alligator  or Geib black case with purple lining.    In the 1960 Gibson catalog a J45 would run you $135.  The plush lined case would set you back  $47 with the flannel lined version being $5 less.  A chipboard Faultless case was  only $13.25.  Basically for what you would have paid for a J45 with either of the hard shell cases you could have walked out of the store with an SJ with the chipboard case for less cash.  And while a store might have thrown in the chipboard case to seal a deal it is doubtful any would have tossed in a case which equaled about 1/3 the cost of the guitar.. 

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5 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Most of my original cases are the chipboard variety - the Gibson alligator  or Geib black case with purple lining.    In the 1960 Gibson catalog a J45 would run you $135.  The plush lined case would set you back  $47 with the flannel lined version being $5 less.  A chipboard Faultless case was  only $13.25.  Basically for what you would have paid for a J45 with either of the hard shell cases you could have walked out of the store with an SJ with the chipboard case for less cash.  And while a store might have thrown in the chipboard case to seal a deal it is doubtful any would have tossed in a case which equaled about 1/3 the cost of the guitar.. 

I recall paying either $10 or $15 for a Gibson-braded chipboard case (black) for my J-45 in 1966. Five years later, I got a non-branded generic dreadnought hard-shell case for about $35.

When I bought my one-owner 1950 J-45 last year, it came with a smooth brown chipboard case with brown felt lining. The case was in perfect condition, so I wanted it, but did not want to take a chance on shipping the guitar in it. I shipped the owner a spare modern Gibson hard case to ship the guitar in, and had the chipboard case packed and shipped separately. It seems a little silly, but what the heck?

I have more money tied up in that chipboard case than I had in my first 1950 J-45 plus a new chipboard case back in 1966.

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I did some research into cases for old Gibsons when I wanted to find a good vintage reproduction case for my 1942 J-45, which came in a crappy thermoplastic case when I got it.

The Redline case would be correct for a 1930s guitar, maybe up until the war. I remember asking Willi Henkes at Antique Acoustics about this, and from the war, there was no such thing as a certain type of case ”belonging” to a certain guitar model. In fact, very few guitars sold with hard cases from the dealers at the time. Of the J-45s with hard cases, most came in 16' archtop cases that didn't fit very well.

So when I wanted a vintage correct modern case for my 1942 guitar, I had two choices. I could get a 1930s repro Redline, or a poor fitting archtop case. My guitar would most likely not have been sold with a Redline, but many wartime guitar still ended up with these cases, when the owners later went case hunting. So, I went with the Redline repro case from Cedar Creek. It's a lovely case, and the price was fair, at least back in 2012. It was also custom fitted, not that it would make a big difference for a J-45. After the war and in the 50's, cases became more standardized with the guitars, and the brown tolex type was most common.

So, for the latest Gibson reissue guitars, I think the 1930-1940's vintage reissues will have a Redline, while other 50's models should have a brown tolex case.

Hope this helps.

Lars

 

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The red line cases associated with 1930s to early-1940s  Gibson were made by Geib.   Geib also made the orange/racing stripe cases associated with upper end Gibson archtops..  Martin tended to use Harptone cases,

As I said, the old cases were generic and intended  to fit a number of different guitars with similar lower bout widths.  So nothing "fit like a glove."  

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