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CONN ORIGINAL GUITAR CASES
From the Conn Series that were produced from 1971 through 1980
(Acoustics from 1971-1978, and Electrics in 1979-1980) 

 

Content from any area on this site is free to download except if otherwise specified, and as long as acknowledging this site as the source. HOWEVER, no information can be redistributed or sold, or placed on a site that charges a fee for accessing it.

Photos and Facts about Conn Cases

In 1971 Jerry (see Conn History on the Conn Acoustic Guitars page) launched the guitar business at Conn. Before that, Conn was known for producing mostly brass instruments for band/orchestra use. First production of rugged, but inexpensive classical guitars was the first priority for the new venture. These guitars were built strong, and Conn knew that they required only minimal protection as long as the guitars were substantial. These first cases were generic "chipboard" cases, and not made specially for Conn (they would fit any classical guitar). However, as Jerry set out and sold the program to schools and sales took off, Conn recognized that there was a market for a higher caliber of guitars, and with those higher dollar guitars came the need for good quality cases.

 

Many guitar players like purchasing the brand of case that was made for the guitar. Others don't care--choosing to use one that is made by a third party. There are case companies that make not only their own brand, but also produce cases for other manufacturers including Fender, Washburn, Takamine, and others.  Even Martin guitar cases are made by a third party in Canada. But they are made to Martin's exacting standards with Martin's logo on them.

 

Many Conn guitars came in chipboard cases. But models beginning in 1972 and later were offered with an option of a well-made heavy-duty hard cases. Conn was in the business of musical instruments, and their brass instrument cases were heavy duty--made to withstand hard knocks and to protect the instrument.

 

The first Conn case I ever saw was the one below. The guitar that used to occupy this case was a Conn model F-15 acoustic. The F-15 was similar to the Yamaha FG-180 in terms of quality, construction, and sound.  The case looks like a band instrument case on the outside, but is heavy like a TKL or other brand--complete with plush lining. It was likely made in the USA by a generic case manufacturer.  Below are two photos of the case.

The hinges and hasps on this case were originally chrome. However, when purchased, the chrome was corroded, and I removed the rust and painted them black using a good grade of black lacquer.



More cases follow below, with a brief explanation of their construction, origin, or whatever else may be known.

 

 
ABOVE: The above case (gig bag) photo was submitted by Andrew Sedlak of Woodstock, IL on April 14, 2013. Note the small white tag at the "pocket", and see below for a close-up. The gig bag was given to him over twenty years earlier by a friend that found it in his mother's attic. It had a red 12 string guitar in it at the time. Andrew does not know if the guitar was a CONN guitar, and doesn't remember what became of it.
 
 ABOVE: The case/gig bag is obviously original Conn. This is a great bag...a real rare article, and a collector's prize!
 
ABOVE: Back side of the bag. A lot of denim. Capitalizing on the "levis" fad of the 70's, Conn was right on target with this bag.
 
 
 ABOVE: This is an original case made and shipped with the CSE-5 guitar. Other Conn guitars may have used the same case. The CSE-2 and CSE-7 are similar in shape, so may have fit this same case.
 
 ABOVE: The case has a plush burnt orange color lining. The pocket is large enough to hold a strap and cable, and other accessories. The case is not what I would call a "better" case, but it does protect the guitar, and has since 1980. This one came with my own CSE-5 that I acquired from Jay Johnson.
 
 

ABOVE: Similar to the gig bag shown far above, the above denim gig bag was offered for sale on eBay by seller tonalite (Martin Nelson) and submitted to this site for posting. It is a classic example of the style that Conn was going for in the 70's -- appealing to the hippie in all of us.

DIRECTLY FROM THE LISTING:

Vintage ~1970s Some Years Old, Probably from Hippy Days CONN BLUE JEAN DENIM GUITAR GIG BAG...  45" long x 21" wide at the opening... has a snap at the bottom where it could be doubled over and snapped to shorten it a couple of inches.... its in good used condition w/ no rips/tears, no repairs or names/writing... it has brass grommets for the draw string on both sides at the opening

 
 ABOVE: The CONN logo can be clearly seen attached to the "pocket. Photo submitted by Martin Nelson.
 
 ABOVE: Shown with the drawstring pulled and tied. Photo submitted by Martin Nelson.