Disclaimer: This customer guitar case was paid for at full retail price as a regular customer using the regular sales channel/process.
I’ve just received my Ameritage custom guitar case. Huzzah!
I had been using a the mini-jumbo Tric case, which was the closest to my guitar’s size. It was a little too tight at the width of the lower bout and too long, but it provided some protection. After poking about online, I decided to take a chance on the Ameritage case.
Firstly, the process. After completing the custom guitar form, I was contacted to send in an outline of my guitar, the lovely Africa Queen custom nylon string guitar carefully crafted by Luis Feu de Mesquita. I was also asked for which materials/colours I wanted. At first I opted for colours which matched my guitar (browns, beiges, etc.) but then changed my mind by the time I sent in the guitar’s outline. I opted for a more muted black exterior, grey interior with nickel fittings.
This started in late November.
The first few e-mails received a prompt response, but once I’d sent in the outline of the instrument, it started to slow. I’d get a response every 5-7 days. This was a little frustrating as I wanted to know a rough timeline for the case’s build and the final price. I eventually received a response stating that there was a December shut down, and that I’d get the quote and build time after the holidays. Hmph. The staff were very friendly, but I never did get a final quote until the money was due. Additionally, I never got a clear build time, only a hint that “engineering was asking questions”. I won’t lie, I did frown at times, wondering what was going on and whether I’d get it in a reasonable time.
Today is March 6 and I have it here with me at home. So all in all it was about a four-month process.
The case arrived in a cardboard box. Within, the case was in a large clear plastic bag, with pieces of foam shaped to accommodate the lower bout and neck ends of the case.
First impressions: This case is very well built. The size is almost identical to the Tric case I have. There were a couple of blobs of glue on the binding, but it came off easily enough (ok, perhaps picky of me, but this case was a bit outside of my budget which led to quite high expectations from me). The hardware (latches, handle) are of notable quality. The latches, specifically, have a very nice, positive action. There are six of them. Using them made me lends a sense of precision, sophistication and robustness.
There are nice little feet on the case which accommodates all the key positions. On the bottom of the case when positioned to open; on the side, with the handle up; when putting it in a position to pick it up by the handle; on the side at the end of the lower bout when putting it down with the neck up.
The inside gives a sense of luxury. Different pads are located to accommodate the guitar. Each measurement which Ameritage requests becomes clear here, with each pad ensuring that the instrument will be nestled in nicely. There are provisions for amp jacks, which is good as my instrument has one.
There is a compartment for accessories. Within I found an electronic hygrometer with a velcro backing (which came off immediately and I now have to glue back on). There is a companion piece of velcro on the inside of the top of the case, at the very end of the neck area to which it can be affixed. In the compartment I also found a couple of keys, information on the hygrometer, a warranty card, dessicant bags (I opted for the humidifier/dessicant module) and general information on humidity.
Speaking of controlling the humidity, the seal for the case appears quite good. When closing the case here is a little lip so that there’s no way a piece of paper could make its way through. The two halves come together with a tight fit. It’ll be interesting to see how this seal behaves in ten years.
Then came the moment of truth. With all the measurements, the outline… how would the guitar fit? Would it work? Would it provide full protection? All that money! I took Africa Queen out of the Tric case and approached the open Ameritage case…
Not too shabby. The extra space at the upper bout and at the end of the neck are a tad curious, though. The instrument does not shift. The two e-string tuning pegs are about 2mm from the humidifier/dessicant box, though they don’t touch.
Overall I’m happy with this purchase. My guitar now has good protection, handling the case is a pleasure and it feels very solid, providing good protection. The details are quite nice. I’m glad I went for a black exterior as now it’ll be harder for anyone to figure out that I’ve a custom case. I prefer to fly beneath the radar, etc.
Should anyone want a picture of a specific part of the case, simply leave a comment below!