Maton forms the sound track of generations; from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to current stars like Tommy Emmanuel and Keith Urban. Musicians acknowledge that Maton's build quality and unique sound make their guitars the best guitar in the world. So Maton's brief for a case was unequivocal; it had to be the best in the world and cocoon their creations. A guitar is a complex equilibrium of timber structure and veneers supporting precisely tensioned strings. Transporting a guitar exposes it to vibration, loads and shocks. On tour, robust handling and misuse is the norm. But even when handled gently, micro-cracks within joints (affecting the instrument's resonance) & structural damage can occur.
Traditional guitar cases are generically shaped to suit a wide number of guitar brands and models. This results in a sloppy/loose fit for most models, where the guitar is subject to excessive movement (acceleration) within the case & external impact/vibrations are exacerbated inside the case. In contrast the Maton Case has an engineered, tailored fit specific for each Maton model. This allows the Impact Absorbing System to precisely support the known structural points of each guitar model & provide clearance zones around the guitar's sensitive/resonance areas. The Maton Case's modular design means future models can easily have unique inner layers to tailor fit new or non-Maton guitars.
The Maton Case uses a similar principle to modern cars; combining crumple zones and rigid passenger cells to protect occupants during collisions. The Maton Case's integrated Impact Absorbing System has layers which combine to provide far superior protection to the guitar. Compared to a traditional case, the Maton Case demonstrably reduces impact loads transferred to the guitar. The layers are described in subsequent sections, but in brief from the inside-out the layers are: - Liner: EVA moulded closed cell sheet foam upholstered with short fibre velvet fabric - Impact Absorbing Strips: Soft open cell foam - Support Structure: Semi Rigid closed cell PU Foam moulding - Outer Shell: HDPE blowmoulded
Like permanently deployed airbags, the Maton Case uses pockets of air within strategic points of the Case as part of a holistic protective environment. Other guitar cases are made by case makers. As guitar makers, Maton's intimate understanding of a guitar's structure, sound & resonance guided Cobalt to place clearance zones around the guitar's most sensitive surfaces (like the soundboard and body). The clearances are sufficient to prevent or substantively reduce contact to these sensitive areas. In addition, internal air pockets are positioned throughout the Case. These cushion loads and allow room for controlled deflection between the soft foam layers & the semi rigid Support Structure.
The velvet upholstered EVA Liner fully lines both halves of the case and forms the guitar's frontline contact surface. Compliant in itself, the duro level of the moulded EVA is flexible enough to dissipate loads through deflection, yet firm enough to provide structure through its tailored fit. The Liner positively fastens to the Outer Shell within a channel formed around the whole perimeter. Bonded to the underneath of the Liner are soft open-cell PU foam Impact Absorbing Strips. These are positioned at key points aligned to the strongest points around the guitar body. The Strips absorb loads and vibrations between the Liner and the Support Structure and are positioned away from the guitar's most sensitive parts.
The Support Structure is a semi-rigid foam (LD-PUR) moulded within the Outer Shell. This lamination creates a very strong, flexible and lightweight body. Two foam cross-braces (for/aft of the storage area) to prevent torsion/twist. The Shells are blow moulded HDPE; making them extremely resilient to impact/static loads & have a scuff resistant surface texture. Typical guitar cases are moulded in ABS plastic, edged with an aluminium valance. Valences are easily bent & once they are, can prevent the case from closing. In contrast the Maton Case's Shells have a deeply torturous lip profile, creating significant cross-sectional strength around the whole perimeter which remain unaffected by even large bumps.
Maton contributed 70yrs of guitar-making experience, and Cobalt applied fresh user-centred design and materials technology into the Maton Case's development. For any musician an investment in a guitar is significant (a median Maton guitar is about $2500). Users identified that their guitar's protection and longevity were paramount attributes for a case. Another factor was reducing set-up times (a well transported guitar needs less tuning on arrival). These aims drove the core performance attributes of the final product. As well as the many smaller features, such as material reduction to save weight & handle's COG position. Even the number of latches were reduced to save time each time the case is opened and closed.