Protecting your gear while out in the wilds is important — especially if you have a nice guitar like a Les Paul.  For around $120.00USD, you can buy the SKB 56 Deluxe Guitar case with TSA locks and protect your vital investment while you travel the road.

Here’s the blurp about the SKB 56’s features:

  • New fiberglass reinforced nylon trigger release latching system.
  • TSA recognized and accepted locks
  • Bumper protected valance
  • Injection molded feet
  • Indestructible cushioned rubber over-molded handle
  • Full length neck support
  • Rigid EPS foam interiors to keep guitar from slipping
  • Accessories compartment

I love the SKB 56 hard case — a Gibson Les Paul case is sturdy, but not hardy enough for air travel or for living the rough life on the road — if you’re going to be moving your Les Paul around beyond your home or rehearsal studio, you need to make sure the headstock and the entire guitar are properly coddled and protected from dangerous bumps and bruising elements.  The SKB 56 does all that and more.

The handle is super-soft — but strong — and that’s a mighty combination because that handle is the means of carrying the guitar. You don’t have any shoulder straps or other handles.   Maximizing comfort in the handle grip is paramount to making sure your hand won’t get tired in the holding.

The “TSA” approved locks are another standard delight.  You can lock in your Les Paul for air travel and, if the TSA needs to inspect your guitar for any reason, they have a proprietary key they can use to open your case.

In the past, if the TSA wanted to inspect your guitar — and if you weren’t around to unlock it for them — they would just break the lock for a looksee.  That was, and still is, problematic because once the lock is broken, the guitar is no longer secure from theft or safe in a case that still closes and locks and a cracked lock also ruins your case from ever being used again.  Be sure you get the SKB 56 with the new TSA locks.  There are still some older versions of the case for sale that have the old, proprietary, locks on them.

I appreciate and respect my SKB 56 — because I know my beloved Les Paul guitars are safer, and more secure, inside the finely sculpted bodies of the cases.  We spend a lot of money on our Les Pauls, and it only makes sense that we would spend a fraction of their cost in securing a reasonable hardshell case that will responsibly protect our playing while honoring our investment.


  1. Looks like a good case, David. It makes sense you’d want to spend a little more to protect your baby.

    1. Hi Anne!

      Yes, one would hope the manufacturers would include a case hardy enough and strong enough for traveling — but Gibson doesn’t and neither does Fender. You you have to fill the void out of your own pocket.

      When I purchased my Martin guitar year ago, it came with a fantastic hardshell case. I wish I still had that guitar in every way!

  2. Great review, David. I particularly like the TSA lock though I have heard some tales of horror of TSA lockless people who have had their things go missing only to see the TSA staff using those things a few weeks later. I guess a TSA lock is the way to go!

    1. I, too, have heard TSA horrors — but stealing an entire guitar without any TSA lock damage should pretty clearly point to someone at the TSA stealing the guitar.

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