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When it comes to protective cases for transporting musical instruments from gig to gig, some musicians don’t have a lot of hang ups when it comes to how they transport their instruments, while others most certainly do.
In fact, the more times you and your band take to the road, road cases for all your instruments become pretty much a necessity, helping to avoid almost certain damage if you’re just flinging your guitar in the back of the van in a soft un-protective case.
A smashed up guitar, or any other instrument being half-destroyed, is not a way you want to start your next gig. There are a thousand and one other ways to lose money while on tour…does wrecking your instruments while transporting them in between gigs have to be one of them?
While some musicians are just not that careful with their gear, other musicians are well aware of the need to keep their valuables safe, and that’s where a good solid road case for pretty much all your gear comes in handy.
Today we’re talking to Ed Udhus of GOMC INC. Custom Road Cases, out of Fullerton, California, to get some info on the impressive road cases he and his company are able to produce, and get the lowdown on why a musician might like to have one.
Enjoy the interview! (Note – All images from the GOMC INC website)
GOMC INC Interview with Ed Udhus
What is your business and when did it start?
GOMC INC – We started in 2003.
What is the geographical range of your business, i.e. where do you ship to?
We ship cases all over USA and Canada.
What motivated you to start a business on custom road cases for musical instruments?
We started making cases for ourselves in our various touring bands that we were playing in and it kind of just kept going from there…( reel big fish, zebrahead, lit, death by stereo )
What did you see lacking in the music industry, especially in live gigging, that either bothered you or made you think you could do better than what was available?
It wasn’t that we thought we could do better. We just figured we could do it and save a couple of dollars in the process… and, as a bonus they would be really fun to make.
When it comes to guitar road cases, what makes a good guitar road case?
For a guitar case to be a good guitar case it needs to have a few things from the ground up… needs to be durable, needs to be light weight and needs to be designed in such a way that it will protect the guitar when it is being beat up by a luggage handler… needs to be light enough to be checked onto an airplane without fees but strong enough to fall off the luggage cart and then get run over by the same luggage truck…we have seen that happen quite a few times..
So, you guys build guitar cases according to someone’s custom requests?
Yes we do make custom guitar cases to specific requests…We start with a couple of basics. Flight panel material, heavy duty aluminum extrusions and heavy duty parts… Customer can pick the color, they can also decide if they want a certain color fabric to cover the foam in the interior… As far as custom guitar cases go… We do the single cases. We do a double case with removable inserts. We will take an existing I series SKB case and mod it out to fit 2 guitars with our inserts… we make 2,3,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, and 12 space vaults…. When it comes to guitar cases we will make anything the customer can dream of…
What’s the most expensive guitar case you’ve ever designed and who was it for?
We have done quite a few display / transit vaults. These things can be used as museum displays with plexi lids and or trade the lids out for standard lids and ship them to the next show. Some of them can get pretty elaborate with all kinds of extras. Power LED lights on a remote with different colored custom fabrics etc. The sky is the limit. Being a guitar collector myself, I know guitar lovers LOVE their guitars and will do whatever it takes to make sure they are safe…
What are the most common customizations you get from customers?
Most common lately is 2 space fly vault… Customer can have a 2 space made that will house 2 guitars. Many different styles will fit and they can fly with them. Switch out guitars when they want to and it is a very convenient case for the price. We used to do a ton of the 3 space versions but, as airlines make it tougher the check large things on a lot of customers have switched to the 2 space versions.
What’s the first thing that breaks down or becomes ineffective with a typical guitar case and how do you deal with that problem?
On the 2 and 3 space fly vaults we have had issues in the past with wheels breaking or breaking off. Over the years we have had to come up with better versions of that that are more rugged and we have done a pretty good job with that to date…
What are the least practical, and perhaps therefore most “rock star” thing anyone’s ever requested you make for them?
We do not judge… We have made cases for everything you can think of. If someone wants it then it is a valid request. We have made cases for bars, for alcohol bottles, for vanity mirrors, hidden compartments for who know what (not our business) nitrous bottles, whip cream bottles, weapons of every single kind. You name it and we have made a case for it…
What’s your biggest guitar case you’ve developed, and can you tell me more about it?
The largest case we do is for a 12 space vault- Acts as a guitar boat on stage and transports 12 guitars anywhere in the world in an airline container in the cargo hold of an aircraft. We have quite a few customers who freight their guitar vaults to the farthest corners of the globe. This case might come off as expensive but, when compared to 12 individual cases it is quite a bit less expensive. In terms of value and use it is a great product.
How protective are your cases, and how much does durability and protection figure into things?
Durability, protection, ease of use, and aesthetic are the 4 most important factors in designing a guitar case…if it does its job easily, takes the riggers of the road, and looks good doing it then you have made something great that the customer will be pleased with.. That is really the most important thing we do here.
Anything planned for the near future that readers should know about?
Anything planned for the near future that readers should know about?
We are really getting into pedal boards and pedal board cases. A lot of guys want something slightly different than all of the standard sizes available. We want to give them an easy to use affordable tool to make that happen…On our site they can input the size and color of the board they want, add tiers and basically make the board they want with a couple of clicks and make it happen… Try it out at www.gomc.tv
Thank you very much!
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below! Also – check out GOMC Road Cases on Facebook here.