GuitarNation.com Product Review: Cedar Creek Custom Guitar Case, American Vintage Series, Model CC600

Company Background

Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe is located in Oilville, VA, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Founded in 1992 to build, by hand, quality built high-end custom instrument cases. Cedar Creek custom cases are built with handpicked wood, the best quality Providence Forge® hardware and the industry's finest interior linings and exterior coverings. They are made by the finest skilled craftsmen, along with select materials in the U.S

Cedar Creek offers a variety of interior, exterior and hardware offerings. Their custom shop also offers options such as:
Solid Brass Hygrometer/Thermometer
Satin Shroud
Personalized Nameplate
D-Rings to enable the use of a shoulder strap

Product Review

Rule #1 when not playing a guitar is to protect it by keeping it in a hardshell case. Hardshell cases are preferred because they protect a guitar from dings, chips and other damage, as well as from changes in temperature and humidity. Cases are manufactured to provide varying levels of protection. Inexpensive cases usually provide minimal protection and use cheap components; expensive cases usually provide extensive protection.

I am pleased to report that Cedar Creeks American Vintage Series provides a VERY high level of protection, suitable for the most expensive guitars. I was really surprised to learn that it was priced to be within reach of the majority of guitarists who do not own super-expensive guitars.

With their online "Build Your Case" feature, prospective buyers can build their own case to see how different combinations of outside coverings and inside colors look. Cedar Creek has a downloadable pdf file that lays out the outline of a guitar with requests for specific measurements of your guitar. Your custom case is made, specifically for your guitar, in accord with your measurements and choice of outside covering and inside color.

The online "Build Your Case" feature is VERY easy to use. As a matter of fact, it is worth visiting Cedar Creek's website just to see how easy it is to design your own case! Step 1 is to click on the "Exteriors" tab, which brings 23 samples of material for the outside of your case. It is fun to click on a few choices to see how your choice will look. Step 2 is to click on the "Interiors" tab. This brings up 12 choices of very plush velour case linings. Cedar Creek, very thoughtfully, has the case being designed in the open position, making it as easy as possible to coordinate exterior and interior colors. Cedar Creek encourages everybody to try many color combinations in their effort to make every case personal and unique to its' owner.

Step 3 is to click on the "Accessories" tab. This lets users see how their case will look with either a black or brown genuine leather handle, a key or combination lock and chrome or brass hardware. Cedar Creek's online "Build Your Case" feature is a beautifully designed and easy-to-use tool that gives the user opportunities to blend the different case components into the case that you will be proud of for many, many years!

One of the most notable measurements Cedar Creek asks for is the measurement between the upper bout and a flat surface, with the lower bout laying flat. This measurement takes into account the fact that acoustic guitar bodies are thicker toward the end joint than they are at the heel. Cedar Creek takes this measurement and builds up a small, padded area under the heel which ensures that they guitar body lays perfectly flat in the case.

Speaking of the inside of the case, the fit provided by a Cedar Creek case is nothing less than perfect. Having had some other cases around for comparison purposes, the best way to describe the difference is by analogy to automobile seats. Nicer seats hold you in place and have side bolsters to keep you in the seat during cornering. Poorly designed seats are like couches, such that you sit on the seat, instead of in the seat. Cedar Creek cases really hold your guitar in place, firmly yet gently. In other cases, the guitar rested in the case. Cedar Creek case interiors are very thickly padded with crushed velvet material, available in your choice of color. There are 12 interior colors from which to choose.

It is absolutely critical that a case provide support for the guitar's neck. On this score, Cedar Creek comes through with a dual neck support system. The case under review was tested with a 12-fret "OO" steel-string, size guitar, handmade by luthier Frederich Holtier. On this guitar, the neck was cradled by support at the first and 8th frets.

Moving to the outside of the case, our test case was covered in premium black durahyde. Cedar Creek offers 21 custom exterior coverings. The shell of the case is made from 5-layers of hand-laminated poplar wood, with each ply being added one at at time. Cedar Creek has a unique manufacturing process that sends an electrical charge through the glue to dry it thoroughly and instantly!

The top of the case is arched or rounded to distribute the load in the event that something is placed on top of the case. Using arches to distribute loads dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. Ever wonder why Greek structures, such as the Parthenon, are crumbling while so many Roman structures are still standing? The answer is the arch. Greek structures featured flat roofs resting on columns, so that the load was completely supported by the columns. When the columns failed, the structure collapsed. Contrast that with the Roman arch, which spread the load over a wider area.

Even the strongest case in the world would be worthless if it did not close securely and your guitar fell out when the latches and other hardware failed. Recognizing this, Cedar Creek has developed their own proprietary hardware line, called Providence Forge. The case under review had 6 heavy-duty brass latches to make sure the case is kept securely closed.

One of my favorite features is the genuine leather handle. Thick and easy to grip, it feels SO nice.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Cedar Creek makes a superior guitar case. One of the things that puts Cedar Creek ahead of the competition are the choices of 21 exterior coverings and 12 choices of interior colors. Not only do Cedar Creek cases provide superior guitar protection, they offer options such as a thermometer/hygrometer and custom name-plate.

Cedar Creek does the little things VERY well. The feature that sticks in my mind in the "heel-pad" that makes sure the guitar lays flat and level in the case. I can't think of another case company that cares enough to incorporate such a feature.

Retail price: $349.95 (and worth every penny!)

For more information, contact:

Cedar Creek Custom Cases, P.O. Box 362, Oilville, VA 23129

Tel. 800.370.2991

URL: http://www.CedarCreekCases.com