Cons: Lack Of ATA Rating, Fair Build Quality
To say that musicians are a passionate bunch may be an understatement. Like all passionate people, they assume an all encompassing view of their craft and tend to the details as much as the art of performing. This is clearly evident in how musicians go about caring for their instruments. I can always tell a lot about a fellow musician simply by looking at his treatment of his instrument; does he clean it after using it, how he handles it, and how it's carried around. We once had a pickup tenor player bring his horn to a first rehearsal with his sax in a pillowcase! It played out where he was an excellent player but was sloppy in all other aspects of his life including being on time which subsequently got him replaced after two gigs.
I have always believed that instruments are here for a purpose and eventually they get passed down to someone else so why not assure they are cared for in the process? Anyone that has read my reviews over the years knows that I like to buy instruments rehab them and sell them. While I have kept a few, I have sold many more and one thing I like to do is make certain they are cased properly.
A Les Paul I had acquired came in with a nice looking Gator G-Tour Road Case that attracted my attention. I have a number of road cases and my biggest issue with them is weight; it's hardly worth using them unless you are piling gear into a truck or trailer and want to assure your guitar travels safely. Clearly the Gator G-Tour Road Case provided that as it features 9mm plywood covered with a PVC skin. Spring loaded handles are functional if not uncomfortable with twin recessed twist latches which I particularly like. The overall weight is just under 30 pounds which makes it a bit heavy for transporting in your car not mentioning the unforgiving dimensions 43.5" l x 17"w 8.6" height, which make a standard case a bit more practical.
The Gator G-Tour Road Case is built with extruded aluminum edges, steel ball end stackable corners with rivets holding it all together. A gasket assures moisture doesn't enter the case from the piano hinged lid while this case's molded interior is cut for a Les Paul shaped guitar. It all sounds rather perfect until you take a closer look. Now, keep in mind that as a case , I think it's top notch in that I am assured a Les Paul will be safe from normal wear and by far beats the abuse a standard case will withstand. No, this is a road case and it's by that standard that I'm addressing this review.
Is the case ATA rated for travel by air? No. based on that alone I cannot endorse the case for anyone who needs a road case. I can, however, recommend it for the musician who is traveling in and around the country, carrying his gear in a van or trailer and wants a good inexpensive alternative to a rated ATA case, and this is about where my endorsement ends. The lid racks easily, the construction, while good cannot withstand too many falls, the molded interior plush, but fair, I have seen better.
At the end of the day the Gator G-Tour Road Case offers an option for the working musician other than carrying around a standard case. Whether the benefits outweigh it's detriment, is up to the user. Personally for north of $240.00 I would opt to get a sanctioned ATA flight case that will provide more overall value.