Gear Review

Product: Guitar Case with Humidity ControlSystem®

Mfr: Ameritage, P.O. Box 498, Elkhorn,WI   53121

URL: http://www.ameritage.com

I. Introduction- importance of storingguitar in an optimum climate

What a great time to be a guitar! Guitarmaterials are now capable of being scientifically measured toascertain optimum humidity & temperature conditions underwhich to build & store guitars. The best handbuilders workin climate-controlled rooms to ensure the stability of the woods& glues.

Now, thanks to the folks at Ameritage, itis possible to store guitars in humidity & temperature controlledcases. Climate changes are very bad for guitars; they can causedistortion, swelling or warping of the wood resulting in cracks& checking in the finish or the guitar itself. Checking inthe finish occurs when the wood gets hot, expands & puts unduepressure on the finish.

II. Ameritage Humidity Control System®

Ameritage cases feature their exclusive,patented Humidity & Temperature Control System® permitsthe creation & maintenance of a stable "case environment".No longer is a guitar at the mercy of changes in temperature &humidity.

Adjacent to the accessory compartment are2 chambers; one holds the desiccant which draws moisture out ofthe case environment thereby lowering humidity & the otherholds the humidifier which adds moisture to the case environment.Optimum humidity level in the case is 45-55%.

When the humidity level exceeds 55%, youinsert desiccant to bring humidity level down & remove thehumidifier. Conversely, when humidity level falls below 45%, youput the charged humidifier in & remove the desiccant.

III. Testing the Ameritage case - From the coast to the desert

I tested it out with my Brazilian rosewood& Engleman spruce Ed Foley dreadnought in a beach area ofSouthern California, where I live, & in the desert of PalmSprings. Beach areas in Southern California typically have typicallyhave humidity levels greater than 55% & Palm Springs typicallyhas humidity levels less than 45%. These areas gave me the opportunityto objectively test the Ameritage case in conditions which wouldrequire lowering & raising the humidity level in the case.

Ameritage cases come with a digital hygrometer& thermometer that attach with velcro to the area directlyabove the area between the capstans to ensure accurate readings.Upon receiving the case, the humidity level was 73%. I put thedesiccant in, took the humidifier out to charge it by soakingit in water for a few minutes & closed the case, leaving itclosed for 3 days to stabilize the case environment. Opening thecase, the hygrometer showed a reading of 55% & a temperatureof 70degrees. In other words, it was perfect!

After checking it for a week or so, it wastime to head over to Palm Springs. I was greeted with temperaturesof 100degrees & a humidity level of about 20%. To say thatit was hot & dry would be an understatement. Knowing thatthe desert would be hot & dry, I put the fully charged humidifierin the case immediately prior to leaving & took out the desiccant.

I opened the case at about 4PM, shortlyafter arriving, & saw that the humidity level was 45%. Thehumidity level stayed constant at 45% for the next 2 days, afterwhich I headed back home.

IV. Other Observations - Construction & Appearance

The Ameritage case provided a nice, snugfit for my guitar. The plush velour lining was luxuriously soft,keeping my guitar scratch-free. Neck support is very generous,reducing stress & preventing damage to the neck & headstock.

All of this talk about a "controlledcase environment" makes sense only if the case-environmentis sealed from the outside environment. The case closed securely& was kept closed with 5 super high-quality brass latches& a brass combination lock.

Ameritage thoughtfully designed the casewith an outer covering of Cordura, which is water-resistant, scratch-resistant& is light in color so as not to attract heat the way darkcolored cases do. The case shell is very sturdy, being made frombreathable hardwood.

Case featured a unique re-inforced PVC bindingthat easily passes for genuine leather, further adding to itsrugged good looks. The handle, made from the same leather-likePVC, felt balanced, strong & very comfortable. The fact thatit felt strong is not surprising as the handle is re-inforcedwith steel.

V. Conclusion - Highly recommended!

The Ameritage guitar case performs superbly!The best things are never cheap & never will be. The realquestion is whether the case is worth the price.

Between you & me, Ameritage cases area relative bargain as most cases are less than $400. This is especiallytrue when you consider that many factory-offered cases are closeto $300. What you get for your money is a premium guitar case,made with super high-quality components that will provide an environmentfor your guitar that will ensure your guitar will retain its'structural integrity indefinitely & that will ensure yourguitar's finish will not crack or check. Your guitar can effectivelybe kept in "like-new" condition. Keeping your guitarin top condition is the best way to ensure optimum performance& re-sale value.

Ameritage cases perform as advertised. Theyprovide an optimum environment for your guitar. They are rugged,nice-looking, easy to use & very reasonably priced. When youthink about how much pleasure your guitar gives you, it makessense to keep it as nice as possible. Ameritage guitar cases providebenefits that are well-worth the purchase price.