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chickencole

Bag recommendations for 3/4 double bass

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Hi everyone,

What are your opinions on double bass carry cases? Worth it? Carry / grab handles? Cost?

My middle started to learn the 3/4 double bass at school at the beginning of the summer. He is loving it but complained because he could only sometimes access the school double bass because it is kept in the locked practice rooms and he couldn't always find a member of staff to let him in.

I have just taken the plunge and bought him a ply double bass second hand for £420 to practice on, seemed to sound okay to me and it had a pick up on the bridge. It has been given the once over by his double bass teacher who has declared it sound and suitable to grade 4 possibly 5. Indeed he declared it streets ahead of the school double bass so we might want to transport it to and from school more than I was expecting.

It didn't come with a bow, so I have bought one (£40), and I have also bought a stand (£55) because I am afraid of knocking it over when it's in the corner of the room, so we are currently looking at £510. This is quite a lot of money for me.

I am rather short at 4ft 11 and find that although the bass isn't heavy its difficult / impossible to get into the car single handed (Hyundai i10, very small). It's okay if there is a willing helper but today I was on my own when I got home.

I have looked at BassBags web site and like the look of the Westbury case £96 but largely because it has more grab handles. What do people think? Is it worth the extra on the cheaper bags, given my short stature?

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You pretty much get what you pay for, so yes, pay a little more and then when your son moves on to a slightly better instrument you 'll have a decent bag to put it in. You can't have too many handles. My Roth & Junius bag has 6 handles and two carrying straps and is superb, if a bit dearer than the Westbury.

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This is cheap, sturdy, and surprisingly light.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/String-Bass-Lightweight-Case-/182299944006?hash=item2a71ec6446:g:yWsAAOSwaB5XwbtC

The wheels at the back mean that you can walk down the pavement towing it behind you without effort.

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I'm using the Hildersine case which is excellent value for money, but it doesn't have that many handles, so might not be the best for your situation. One thing that does occur to me however is that there is more than one way to load a double bass in a small car, and maybe you would benefit from changing your approach to how you are carrying it in the vehicle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3HJCBJFTRk

It's possible on many cars with split seats to modify Geoff's approach of turning the bass on it's side and have only the wider side of the split collapsed (as opposed to collapsing the whole rear seat in the video) which still allows someone to sit on the rear seat as well as room for two people up front.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=samNHsF2NhI

Bit more detail on the front passenger seat method in this one.


And just for laughs while we are on the subject of double basses and small cars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWvI3QVjlv8

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Wow, thanks for the input folks, much appreciated!

I can get the bass in the car but without something to grab onto it's hard for me to manoeuvre it into position, hence my leaning towards a bag with handles.

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Is your car a hatchback? Sorry don't know hyundais very well. If it is you'll need a cover with at least three handles down the front: one at the top, one near the bridge and one at the bottom. I didn't see those on the eBay one, although £50 looks a great price. I've got two cases from Thomas Martin. They are strong, light and have the handles in the right places. And they're not expensive.

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The more handles on the bag, the easier it will be to lift into a car. The Westbury bag looks like a good choice for this.

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One thing to consider is the size and shape of the bass, I bought a new Tom&Will bag from Thomann as it was one of only a few that would fit my bass when you look at all the dimensions. No matter how cheap the bag is if it doesn't fit it's a waste of cash!

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A good point well made, this is something I'll need to check out since I have no idea the precise type of double base Alisdair now has I guess I'll be there with the tape measure! Thanks for everyones input.

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Hey chickencole, I have two Westbury bass bags (one with wheels, one without), and can't recommend them highly enough! If you can stretch your budget by another £30 and get the 22mm bag with wheels, you won't regret it. The wheels are an absolute godsend!! [url="https://www.bassbags.co.uk/product/double-bass-bag-22mm-padding-with-wheels/"]https://www.bassbags.co.uk/product/double-bass-bag-22mm-padding-with-wheels/[/url]

Loads of strong handles, spacious pockets, great quality in terms of material & stitching etc, and the 22mm padding is ample protection against knocks & bumps :)

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I've had two double bass bags and both suffered from the same problem, which is that the spike socket gradually damaged the zip where it passes over it. I've noticed other bassists with the socket actually sticking of the zip, with one slider done up to each side of it, so presumably they've had the same problem. Are there any bass cases designed to avoid this?

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Thanks again for all the input everyone, its been very informative for me.

Interesting point about the wheels, Henry, I can see how useful they could be. On damage to bags from the spike front my eldest son plays the cello and the spike (quite sharp) sits through the bottom in between the zips. Not ideal but okay. Seems to be a bit of an issue there too. Figured the only way to sort it would be to go for a rigid bag, (not that we have done this as yet), would be more like a coffin for a double bass!

I can see me investing in a bag pretty soon.

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[quote name='chickencole' timestamp='1476085220' post='3151004']
Figured the only way to sort it would be to go for a rigid bag, (not that we have done this as yet), would be more like a coffin for a double bass!
[/quote]

One word of caution about the covered-polystyrene-hard-cases, whilst they are functionally very good in protecting the instrument - they are huge and cumbersome and take up a lot of space both when stored at home and when taken to a venue.

I had one but sold it, very cheaply (on this forum!) and the buyer got a real bargain, but when not in use, it was larger than the wardrobe in my spare room; when going to venues it was difficult to find storage space - it also makes it harder to manoeuvre through doorways and to fit in the car compared to a padded soft case.

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The Westbury double bass case is the one that you want for your situation, as others have already said. The number of handles and their placement make it an excellent choice. Some dealers rename them as their brand of a case; this is a testament to the Westbury's quality.

[b]Endpin Damage:[/b] Most bass bags/cases zip up to the endpin. There are a couple of reasons for this:

A, To prevent damage to the case and zip
B, To make them easier to put on and off the bass.

Most good cases including the Westbury have leather (or similar) sewn over the zip to prevent the zip being closed completely over the endpin. Cases with an offset zip and a hole for the endpin to poke through are a real pain to get on and off the bass.

In this photo, you can see the zip stops sewn over the Westbury case zip. [url="https://www.bassbags.co.uk/img_0310/"]https://www.bassbags.co.uk/img_0310/[/url]

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Hi Everyone, Many thanks for the input from everyone regarding a suitable bag for my sons double bass. It's been a long time but I thought it might be worth telling everyone what I chose and why. I bought a Westbury bag from Bassbags. I chose the one without wheels because it was lighter after some sound advice from Bassbags. I pretty weedy and I think it was the right call. It's been in use now for a little while and fits the bill for me exactly. I can now get the bass in and out of the car by myself without help if I need to, which is brilliant. I too cannot speak to highly of the advice I was given before purchase as well.
:)

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