I recently won, via my brother’s photography talent, a contest put on by the very generous folks at The Ukulele Site (aka Hawai’i Music Supply). The picture (part of the photoshoot that churned out the cover of Point A) earned $100 in online store credit. After first asking my non-playing brother if he needed anything ‘ukulele related (no), I pulled the trigger on a $180 Crossrock 1000 series fiberglass case to replace the O’ahu case that came with my Moore Bettah tenor.
When it showed up, I unpacked the box and, low and behold, there was the most sexy red case I ever did see. The finish is super glossy and the black trim really makes it pop. The slim neck portion of the case gives it a unique spaceship look. The inside is lined with beautiful red velvet. A perfect 10 for looks.
Opening up the case, there are four solid latches – three in the front, one on the back. One of them has a cheap key-and-lock mechanism that seems to be standard on cases. The hinges seem sturdy and open smoothly. Definitely high-quality hardware.
The strength of the fiberglass leaves a little to be desired. It’s kind of thin. I was expecting something bombproof, but there can’t be much more than 1/8″ of hard external material and it’s a bit flexible. You can twist the top when the case is open and push your finger into the back when closed – albeit firmly. I’d probably put it on the same level of protection as my O’ahu case. (Which is still pretty good.)
There are also two hooks for an included shoulder strap and rubber feet on the bottom and on the end so you can stand the case upright. The Crossrock has a leather handle that looks like it could take lots of abuse, but also dish it out if you have to carry the case in your hand a long ways.
Like I said, the gloss red is great and the trim is well done, but there are a couple gaps along the “seal” where the case flexes out of line just a tad. The rivets holding the hardware on seem to have a residue of paint or something on them and some bare metal showing.
The Crossrock’s internal padding around the instrument is pretty thin. I guess that’s how they can make the case so light and small. While not a concern for protection, either your ‘ukulele is going to fit snugly or it’s not.
My Kamaka HF-3 fits well and gets sealed in tight when the top is closed. My Moore Bettah doesn’t because the cutaway fails to push against the padding in the lower corner. The extra space allows it to wiggle around since the Crossrock has a slack waistline that doesn’t really “grip” the middle of the ‘ukulele.
If it fits your ‘ukulele, the Crossrock is a slick case. It looks like a million bucks and appears to provide adequate, compact protection for an instrument. That said, because of the fiberglass construction, I was hoping for a bombproof case. One in which I could really feel my ‘ukulele was safe from intense bangs, drops, and rain. A case that could be dropped from a building, worse case scenario, and let my ‘ukulele survive the fall.
- Killer looks
- Smooth gloss finish for stickers/rain resistance
- Small outer profile
- Shell is on the thin side
- Spotty finishing on some of the hardware
- Unforgiving fit – try before you buy
Bottom line: If you don’t plan on entering a warzone with your ‘ukulele, you’ll be stoked with the Crossrock.
The Crossrock is available in many colors and sizes from The Ukulele Site.