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Richard R

Amourdillo Bass Defender Semi-rigid Case/Gigbag review

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A review of the Armourdillo Bass Defender bag.
Bought from Daswons in the January sale.  My other gig bag (a cheap Ritter that came with my second-hand bass) has had to be repaired a couple of times in the past two years so I’ve been looking out for something to replace it. In particular I wanted something that would also protect my laptop and save me carrying a second bag for bits and pieces. The laptop’s worth four times what I paid for the bass, so having just a pocket on the outside of a thin gig bag isn’t ideal.


First impressions:
First impression – substantial, well padded, well made. Second impression – heavy! 3.1 kg on the luggage scales, the bass is 3.9.  After using it for a couple of weeks carting about mainly by car, here is a more considered opinion, photographs at the end. The bag is definitely well made, and well designed, but it might not suit everyone. 

Guitar protection:
My guitar is 35” scale and fits nicely as you can see in the photograph. A friend’s guitar with a more “Fender-esq” headstock was just too long. (I’ll measure the space when I can find the tape measure). The padding on the bottom end is nice and thick, as is the padding around the sides and the neck support. The lid on the guitar space is also well padded, so the instrument is well protected.

Accessories space:
The “accessories” space has three compartments, one for a laptop and two others, each zippered separately and with an outer zipped cover over all of them. The laptop space looks like it’s a standard component as it includes space for pens etc. My laptop is 13.5” and very thin, you might get a 14” laptop in, but definitely not a thick 15” machine. The extra padding isn’t massive, but it’s enough to protect a laptop against most bumps. A thin piece of ply would provide protection against more impacts, but as I largely drive to church and practice, I’m happy.
The other two compartments are just single spaces with zippers. There’s enough space for bits and pieces (tuner, glasses case, leads). The depth is enough for a shallow stompbox (the photograph shows my home-made page turner), but the switches can be felt through the outer cover, so aren’t really protected against knocks. 

Construction;
The construction is good. The outer fabric is thick, and I think it will wear well. The zippers are large and again seem like good quality, if you wanted to, then the loops on the zipppers are large enough to padlock closed. The straps for the side handles are rivetted and sewn, and loop round the whole case, which is good design. You can see this in the photographs. The shoulder straps are well attached at the top, again rivetted and sewn, but it’s not possible to see how far down they are attached. The shoulder straps don’t completely detach, but they unclip at the bottom and can be tucked into a back pocket.  You can see how in the photograph. Whether this would be safe enough to allow the bag to as checked baggage on a flight I’m not sure of, but it’s definitely better than having the straps loose.

Conclusion:
Would I recommend this bag? Yes. It won’t suit everyone, and it’s probably overkill for what I need, but it does provide a lot of protection and space for accessories.  I paid just under £79 in the January sale from Dawsons, their standard price is £119.
https://www.dawsons.co.uk/armourdillo-defender-bass-guitar-gig-bag


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Edited by Richard R
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Updated with some internal measurements and photographs as promised.

The internal length, if you keep the bottom padding in place, is about 117 cm. If you were to take that pad out you would have a length of nearly 123cm, at the expense of some protection. Max width about 34cm.

The neck rest can be moved, it sticks to the case floor with wide velcro. Maximum distance from the top is 23cm, min is 16.

 

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