The Gretsch gig bag first appealed to me when I found it during a Google search for 11" openback gig bags, but although I could find photos and some specs in shop sites, I couldn't really find any reviews or opinions on it. The other contenders seemed good, but the colours were uninspired, and they all looked a bit....crumpled.
The Gretsch seemed more solid and better designed, and was an interesting colour.
What I did read on it stated it was designed for their Dixie 5-string banjos, so I worried it might not fit, but it turns out the Dixie is a standard size instrument. It fits my vintage Windsor banjo like a glove, just perfect.
It is exactly the right length, and there's no worries about the neck/headstock moving laterally as the pot is very snugly held in place at the other end - it almost seems made for this banjo - perfect fit.
It's not the most expensive thing in the world, but isn't a cheap case either, so quality is good. While nowhere near the protection of a hard case, it offers reasonable security against bangs and bumps, and minor falls. It won't stop someone sitting/standing on the banjo and crushing it, but short of that, it's good. The zipper, while not extending the full way round and therefore not allowing the lid to be opened all the way, still gives good access for the banjo. As a bonus, it also has protective pads at the bridge and headstock end to save damage to the lining. Not many compartments, but the one at the front should be adequate. The back straps are just fine, and the whole package is so lightweight I could carry it around all day.
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