Gibson hardcases, Lifton vs TKL

John_P

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To my knowledge, Lifton is the only case today that comes with headstock wedge pads. These are removable foam pads without lining, there's one under the headstock and one over the headstock.

In the 90s and a few years past the millennium the brown TKL cases had one permanent headstock wedge pad with lining glued onto the lid, but no pad under the headstock. These cases came with CS models as well as USA-models. Later TKL cases don't come with headstock wedges.

I understand that the idea behind these wedges is to protect the headstock from breaking.

-So why did TKL stop using them and why are the Lifton wedges removable?
 

Tim Plains

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I would guess the wedge is removable because it was an afterthought, cheaper than redoing the case, easier for people to put their guitars in since it is only needed for shipping.

Glued to the lid doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
 

omega

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Personally, I like the TKL cases way more. Classier and better protection. I don't care if the Lifton is more historically correct. If I bought a Historic that came with the Lifton, I'd immediately buy a TKL case for it. That's just me.
 

jb_abides

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The Lifton is fine for storage around the house, or other secure space.

Why do 1:1 swaps, that's costly...?!

My strategy is to have an extra SKB 1SKB-56 case available for taking anything out of the house, rather than swap out Liftons for TKLs or whatever...
 

omega

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Reason for me would be every time I would put it away in a Lifton case, there is an unnerving "thud" as the back of the headstock hits the case. Not so with the TKL and its neck support. Like I said, that's what would work for me. If I spent that kind of money for a reissue, I'd want to protect it at all times and another 200 isn't material in this situation.
 

strat1701

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black TKL custom shop cases are the best imho. Lifton style are nice to look and have that vintage flair, but if I were actively gigging still (even pre-corona lockdown) I would not trust them for transporting/gig use.

I personally hate the existence of only ONE hard clasp lock on the lifton reissue cases vs. 5 on the black TKL's. However, the 2013/14 lifton reissue cases did have 5 of those clasp locks but I think overall the black ones still reign supreme in my book.
 

Gold Tone

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The Lifton is fine for storage around the house, or other secure space.

Why do 1:1 swaps, that's costly...?!

My strategy is to have an extra SKB 1SKB-56 case available for taking anything out of the house, rather than swap out Liftons for TKLs or whatever...
I do exactly this. Keep the guitars in their original cases. Use a travel/road/spare gig case and in goes the guitar for that night.
 

John_P

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Sometimes a gig bag would be preferred, sometimes a dust cover and sometimes a flight case. I don't think there is one single optimal solution for all possible transportation and storage scenarios. Still a traditional hard case covers the basic needs; general protection and portability.

But what about the headstock protectors; -Why did TLK stop using them and why are they retrofitted to the Liftons? Am I right to assume the Lifton has a looser fit?
 

RAG7890

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I only leave the house with an SKB, Hiscox or Flight Case.

The rest are just nice to look at but TKL > Lifton.

There is also Cedar Creek (a Division of TKL) that are nice.

:cheers2:
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Sure thing. I have spare cases here for taking things out of the house. Not only that but no brand name to yell "Steal me!".
I removed the “Custom Historic” from a nice solid black TKL with acetone, banged up the edges a bit...no need to advertise.
When the ne're-do-wells look at the headstock and see what you're playing, "Steal Me" will be heard a block away.
 

PauloQS

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For transporting I like to use a Mono M80 Classic electric or a Gibson soft case. When I need more protection, a TKL from a Gibson USA or an SKB. I much preferred the double arm rest Lifton style case used up until 2017 to the current ones. These new ones might be historically correct but they absolutely suck. Useless collectible piece.
 

Roxy13

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When the ne're-do-wells look at the headstock and see what you're playing, "Steal Me" will be heard a block away.
In the case of many of mine probably not :rofl: Most of them are MIJ, but I do also have some Gibsons. And many of my MIJs are rare and have value too, but if they see that name on the headstock, they may not have a clue what it is.
 

integra evan

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The black TKLs with the crushed red velvet are the best hardshell (non flight) cases. Got one for my R9 to be kept in because I didn't trust that Lifton case with one neck rest and not-so-secure latch-like mechanisms.
 

danzego

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Yeah, I think the Liftons suck. There’s barely any padding in them and the fact that they have to ship these things with extra foam pads (the headstock and tail pieces) just to keep guitars safe and secure in their case should be a clue.

Anyone that would prefer their CASE, of all things, to be more “historically accurate” than protective needs to get their priorities straightened out.
 

strat1701

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My '96 R6 has a TKL case with the built-in head protector. I like it a lot.







Man, I'd love to have my case from my 91 studio now. It was just like that, but it had a thick plush 'throw' vs. the sheeny cover throw yours has. Very secure case imho those ones from the 90's.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Man, I'd love to have my case from my 91 studio now. It was just like that, but it had a thick plush 'throw' vs. the sheeny cover throw yours has. Very secure case imho those ones from the 90's.
It is indeed very secure, much more so than the Lifton repro I had with my '18 R6, or any of the cases I had with my Norlins other than the chainsaw case I had with my '79 Custom ... those were great cases too.

BTW, "Predator" is one of my favorite movies too.
 


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