Music Area cases redefines the gig bag

Music Area Cases is a Chinese manufacturer with a different attitude towards selling internationally. Instead of trying to hide their country of origin with an American or European-sounding trade name, they brand themselves with a logo using Chinese characters, and have as a company theme to show the world that “Made in China” can mean top quality as well as reasonable prices.

What they make is top shelf padded bags for musical instruments, hand cut and sewn in Dongguan, a city in the southern Guangdong province known for the finest luggage and bags. For more than two decades they have been producing OEM cases for a number of prominent Japanese and Chinese companies, and are now also offering their own products under their name.

The basic Music Area Cases are made with a five ply material for the top and back, with stronger 6 ply layers for the sides. The outer and inner layers are polyester, with polyurethane foam and expanded polyethylene in between for protection and temperature resistance. Premium cases offer outer layers made from PVC leather, with additional protective layers, in a variety of colors and textures.

The polyester and PVC outer layers make these bags waterproof and weather-resistant, and the lightweight inner materials allow these cases to be very easy to carry. An adjustable padded neck cradle for guitars, fiddles, and electric basses makes it quite simple to custom fit your instrument, and all models have at least two pockets for accessories. A rain cover is included for the Dragon series, which use an outer layer of canvas.

Several models feature a detachable isothermal bag, held in place by velcro straps, handy to bring to the stage or into the studio with tuners, strings, and such.

At this time, Music Area only makes cases for guitars, basses, ukulele, drums, violin, and saxophone. They are available from numerous Asian retailers who ship worldwide, and are actively seeking distributors in Europe and the US. One imagines they would be open to making bags for banjo and mandolin if such a market exists in sufficient quantity.

Most of the cases retail for less than $200 US, with a few larger and premium products going above that line.

Full details on the company and their many case options can be found at their well-organized, English language web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.