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Thread: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

  1. #1

    Exclamation Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Upon suggestion of guys on another forum I lurk on it was suggested to post this on the Mandolin Cafe.
    I guess to let you know who I am and why we have this information could be important.

    I am Dwain, one of the proprietors of Hill Country Guitars in Wimberley, TX which is 45 minutes southwest of Austin, TX. We are one of the largest dealers of Collings instruments and through that connection we were introduced to Jon Green, the new owner of the Calton Cases US division. We have been working with him recently to let folks know what is going on in the Calton Case world. There have been some rumors circling recently so we are here to help answer questions and help Jon move forward with his venture in Calton Cases. We have no affiliation other than being a dealer for the cases.

    Our interview or visit with Jon
    Calton Cases have not only moved to the U.S., but they are now being built in Austin, Texas!

    Jon Green is the new owner of the U.S. division of Calton Cases. Jon will start his own production of the world famous cases within the next month. He will be working with Keith for the next few years, but the production of all Calton Cases for the North American market with happen right here in Austin.
    They are currently gearing up and fine tuning the process with the production of Dreadnaught cases. The rest of the case molds should be arriving shortly and production on cases for Orchestra Model, Mandolins and Banjos will start soon. All other models will become available sometime in the early fall.
    If you are interested in ordering a Calton Case, there is one major difference to the U.S. business model. This division of Calton Cases will not be taking direct orders from customers. The cases will only be available through dealers, and as luck will have it, the first dealers are the top 10 or so Collings dealers.

    I would like to wish Jon the best with this new business opportunity. I know that a venture like this takes some time to get up to speed, doing a restart of a business is sometimes harder than just starting fresh, but we are looking forward to partnering with Calton Cases. We believe they are some of the best cases in the world and the fact that they will now be made in Austin, TX has to make them that much better. We may be a little bias maybe just a little.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    When you say Calton has moved to the US, do you mean that Jon Green bought the company from Keith Calton and moved its base of operations to the US?

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Can US Calton make a mandolin case with some room around the headstock?
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  7. #4
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Jon Green apparently owns a manufacturing base for US made calton cases,not the UK 'mothership'.
    Don - I don't personally own a Calton case for any instrument,but i have many friends who do.I also know of the great concerns re.headstock room in the Calton mando.cases that many folk on the Cafe have expressed. I would think that any moulds for the new Calton cases for use in the US,will be absolute copies of the UK ones ie. very little headstock room. If any Cafe member reading this thread has concerns about a prospective purchase,they they should contact Dwain at HCG & express their views,so that he can pass them on to Jon Green. However,although Jon's production facility will be licenced to make Calton cases in the US,it's doubtful that he would be allowed to produce a 'different' case unless agreed to by Keith Calton. As Calton seem to have completely ignored concerns re.the lack of headstock room in the past,don't hold your breath,
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  9. #5

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Al at Calton made me a mandolin case out of the smaller mandola case form. Perfect for traveling with a mandolin. If you hunt around on here you will see the pics of it I posted on the board.
    Last edited by Mandobar; Jul-10-2013 at 6:54am.

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    When you say Calton has moved to the US, do you mean that Jon Green bought the company from Keith Calton and moved its base of operations to the US?
    Mike, yes he has bought the North American division of Calton Cases. Head quarters for manufacturing and the Corprate office are in Austin.

  12. #7

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    If the new Calton folks make a mandolin shaped case for mandolins I will buy a few, if they make a tear drop shaped mandolin case, believe I'll pass.

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  14. #8
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    I think this is terrific news. Congratulations and good luck to the new owner.

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  16. #9
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    I think this is great news too. I am also hoping that the new owners seriously consider redesigning the headstock area of their mandolin case. I think that it is possible that Calton has not done this up to this point, because it would require a redesign of a good portion of, or even the entire case. I am not knowledgable about the mechanics/cost of such a redesign.

    I have seen photos of and really like Mandobar's Calton mandola case modified for her mandolin(s). If I remember correctly, the interior had to be modified in order to fit a mandolin instead of a mandola. This would be a custom order and it sounds as if Calton will no longer be taking custom orders, correct?

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  18. #10
    plectrist Ryk Loske's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Many thanks for your post Dwain. I had spoken with Keith about the problems with the maritime Canada Caltons and he informed me that US Calton was in its final stages of emerging. Keith was quite happy about the new development for both the US and for some improvements he was making to Calton's designs which i would assume will be manifested in US made cases. Mayhaps the mando-headstock-maulings will be a thing of the past?!

    Great that Calton in North America will get a chance to return to the high esteem it was held in when Al & Trudy Williams were Calton NA. They were a pleasure to deal with ..... i always looked forward to conversations with Al.

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  20. #11

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    I know that a couple of people have reported problems regarding the headstock area of the calton case but I've used one going on 20 years and have had no problems at all. I've flown many times with it both in N.A. and to gigs in Europe so it's not like it has been sitting in my house and just going out to jams. It seems to me that the problem has been blown out of proportion on this list since the notion of headstock problems has been passed around the cafe so often, particularly by people who say that they have never even used one. I don't mean to undervalue the issue a few have had but I'm taking what I see here with a large grain of salt.
    I imagine what Jon Green did was buy the licence to be a Calton manufacturer, I hope that he can provide as good a service as Al Williams did in Calgary.

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  22. #12

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Jon Green apparently owns a manufacturing base for US made calton cases,not the UK 'mothership'.
    Don - I don't personally own a Calton case for any instrument,but i have many friends who do.I also know of the great concerns re.headstock room in the Calton mando.cases that many folk on the Cafe have expressed. I would think that any moulds for the new Calton cases for use in the US,will be absolute copies of the UK ones ie. very little headstock room. If any Cafe member reading this thread has concerns about a prospective purchase,they they should contact Dwain at HCG & express their views,so that he can pass them on to Jon Green. However,although Jon's production facility will be licenced to make Calton cases in the US,it's doubtful that he would be allowed to produce a 'different' case unless agreed to by Keith Calton. As Calton seem to have completely ignored concerns re.the lack of headstock room in the past,don't hold your breath,
    Ivan
    The molds are from the UK. I will bring up the issue about the mandolin cases because he is looking at some of the past concerns and we have a meeting next week.
    I do know when we met at Collings Guitars the other day we had a concern about a flaired peghead on one of the guitars and he simply said we will build one to fit.

  23. #13

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Watson View Post
    I think this is great news too. I am also hoping that the new owners seriously consider redesigning the headstock area of their mandolin case. I think that it is possible that Calton has not done this up to this point, because it would require a redesign of a good portion of, or even the entire case. I am not knowledgable about the mechanics/cost of such a redesign.

    I have seen photos of and really like Mandobar's Calton mandola case modified for her mandolin(s). If I remember correctly, the interior had to be modified in order to fit a mandolin instead of a mandola. This would be a custom order and it sounds as if Calton will no longer be taking custom orders, correct?
    They will be doing custom orders just not right away. They are working on getting the regular production up and running first. Sometime after the first of the year is the plan for custom cases.

  24. #14
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    I know that a couple of people have reported problems regarding the headstock area of the calton case but I've used one going on 20 years and have had no problems at all. I've flown many times with it both in N.A. and to gigs in Europe so it's not like it has been sitting in my house and just going out to jams. It seems to me that the problem has been blown out of proportion on this list since the notion of headstock problems has been passed around the cafe so often, particularly by people who say that they have never even used one. I don't mean to undervalue the issue a few have had but I'm taking what I see here with a large grain of salt.
    I imagine what Jon Green did was buy the licence to be a Calton manufacturer, I hope that he can provide as good a service as Al Williams did in Calgary.
    I too have owned and used Calton cases since 1991( 6 or more). I have flown with them 20 + times, shipped them, traveled cross country more than a dozen times, taken them to too many gigs and jams to count. They have been dropped and thrown around etc. NEVER had a problem. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I think they are fine the way they are.

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  26. #15

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    I have to say, after using the Hoffee for a while I am not sure it will withstand the punishment that a Calton would. Which is why I am holding on to all mine, even the guitar cases that no longer have guitars that go with them.

    The cost to retool the molds is astronomical, and as Mike stated and I confirmed this with Al at Calton, there was one one mishap reported on the mandolin case. I have to say, I have a pretty pricey and hard to find Collings At16 and it's home is a Calton. If god for bid my house caught on fire I'd feel confident enough to wing that case through the upstairs window as well as my mandolins that are in Caltons. I would never do that with the Hoffee. Nice case, but those latches are not very tight. Jeff's got some work to do there.

    I was ecstatic when Steve Miklas at Acoustic Music Works told me that Calton North America was back. I'd like to get a few mandola cases.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  27. #16
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwain HCG View Post
    The molds are from the UK. I will bring up the issue about the mandolin cases because he is looking at some of the past concerns and we have a meeting next week.
    I do know when we met at Collings Guitars the other day we had a concern about a flaired peghead on one of the guitars and he simply said we will build one to fit.
    The issue wasn't the lack of space, while it is tight, the issue was the placement of the metal rivets. The headstock scroll "nearly" rested against them and a good shock to that area would snap the headstock scroll.

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  29. #17

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    This sounds like it's going to be a very good thing. I was getting a bit discouraged thinking about cases the other day.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  30. #18

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I have to say, after using the Hoffee for a while I am not sure it will withstand the punishment that a Calton would. Which is why I am holding on to all mine, even the guitar cases that no longer have guitars that go with them.

    The cost to retool the molds is astronomical, and as Mike stated and I confirmed this with Al at Calton, there was one one mishap reported on the mandolin case. I have to say, I have a pretty pricey and hard to find Collings At16 and it's home is a Calton. If god for bid my house caught on fire I'd feel confident enough to wing that case through the upstairs window as well as my mandolins that are in Caltons. I would never do that with the Hoffee. Nice case, but those latches are not very tight. Jeff's got some work to do there.

    I was ecstatic when Steve Miklas at Acoustic Music Works told me that Calton North America was back. I'd like to get a few mandola cases.
    I forgot about the latches until I read your post. They are talking about and have to decide if this will be a option are come standard on the new models. They have a hard rubber that is tapered that goes around the latch and is mounted with the latch so it is one, to stop almost any chance of the the latch getting busted off of the case. This is one of the areas of improvement that Jon and Keith have been discussing and Keith came up with the solution.

  31. #19

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Mark, Thanks for the post. Part of the reason for this post is to get feed back on the past and peoples concerns. Thanks again

  32. #20
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Mandolins and the repair of them have been my main thrust for many years. I have a Calton case that I bought 14 years ago and it stays with me regardless of what mandolin I am calling the one I own now.. I have never had an issue with my instrument in this case or with any that have come in for repair work that are transported in a Calton. A great case that might be tweaked for more storage of "Stuff" and perhaps a bit more in the headstock area, but overall, I think it's the best case on the market. Good luck with the transistion and start up of production. I've had MAS for many years but not CAS.
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  33. #21
    perpetual beginner... jmagill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    I don't mean to further muddy the waters about Calton cases, but I just thought I'd mention that a few months ago I saw an ad for mandolin cases in the Classifieds being offered for sale by Main Stage Cases of Moncton, NB Canada.

    I went to their website and saw cases that looked a whole lot like Caltons, so I sent them an email asking if there was any connection. Kris Morey sent me this reply:

    "Thanks for getting in touch. My partner Andrew Chatham and I started Main Stage Cases after Calton/Workhorse shut down production last year. Andrew worked for them for several years and was offered the chance to buy the manufacturing assets and overstock inventory. Apparently the previous owner had trouble managing the company and keeping the product going out the door."

    The Main Stage overstock cases (uncompleted orders, excess inventory, etc.) were priced very attractively, so I gave them a call. I liked what I heard, so I sent them a tracing of my mandolin, and a few weeks later my Holst custom F4 had a new home, custom fitted for its unique body shape, and the case even came with a tag engraved with the serial# and my name at no extra charge.

    Kris was great to work with, responded quickly to all my emails and the case arrived a bit sooner than I expected.

    Keep them in mind when you're looking for a "Calton-style" case.

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  34. #22
    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
    Keep them in mind when you're looking for a "Calton-style" case.
    And don't mind trampling all over Keith Calton's IP rights...

  35. #23

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
    I don't mean to further muddy the waters about Calton cases, but I just thought I'd mention that a few months ago I saw an ad for mandolin cases in the Classifieds being offered for sale by Main Stage Cases of Moncton, NB Canada.

    I went to their website and saw cases that looked a whole lot like Caltons, so I sent them an email asking if there was any connection. Kris Morey sent me this reply:

    "Thanks for getting in touch. My partner Andrew Chatham and I started Main Stage Cases after Calton/Workhorse shut down production last year. Andrew worked for them for several years and was offered the chance to buy the manufacturing assets and overstock inventory. Apparently the previous owner had trouble managing the company and keeping the product going out the door."

    The Main Stage overstock cases (uncompleted orders, excess inventory, etc.) were priced very attractively, so I gave them a call. I liked what I heard, so I sent them a tracing of my mandolin, and a few weeks later my Holst custom F4 had a new home, custom fitted for its unique body shape, and the case even came with a tag engraved with the serial# and my name at no extra charge.

    Kris was great to work with, responded quickly to all my emails and the case arrived a bit sooner than I expected.

    Keep them in mind when you're looking for a "Calton-style" case.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's good news, they don't stand a chance otherwise.

  36. #24

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
    I don't mean to further muddy the waters about Calton cases, but I just thought I'd mention that a few months ago I saw an ad for mandolin cases in the Classifieds being offered for sale.

    I went to their website and saw cases that looked a whole lot like Caltons, so I sent them an email asking if there was any connection. Kris Morey sent me this reply:

    "Thanks for getting in touch. My partner Andrew Chatham and I started Main Stage Cases after Calton/Workhorse shut down production last year. Andrew worked for them for several years and was offered the chance to buy the manufacturing assets and overstock inventory. Apparently the previous owner had trouble managing the company and keeping the product going out the door."

    The Main Stage overstock cases (uncompleted orders, excess inventory, etc.) were priced very attractively, so I gave them a call. I liked what I heard, so I sent them a tracing of my mandolin, and a few weeks later my Holst custom F4 had a new home, custom fitted for its unique body shape, and the case even came with a tag engraved with the serial# and my name at no extra charge.

    Kris was great to work with, responded quickly to all my emails and the case arrived a bit sooner than I expected.

    Keep them in mind when you're looking for a "Calton-style" case.
    This is a sticky issue and I can't get into it. Keith Calton is handing that. The only licensed manufacturer for North America is the location in Austin and Keith released that news.

  37. #25

    Default Re: Calton Casers - Austin, Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwain HCG View Post
    This is a sticky issue and I can't get into it. Keith Calton is handing that. The only licensed manufacturer for North America is the location in Austin and Keith released that news.
    Mr. Magill is talking about a different company. Main Stage has nothing to do with Calton.

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