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Double bass case: recommendations?


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Posted (edited)

I have a double bass case[1] that I don't like very much to put it mildly:

 

  • Rips fairly easily
  • Zips get stuck
  • One zip has fallen out and the accessories pouch is flapping in the breeze because of it
  • Shoulder strap very awkward to carry for long distances. It's fine for walking 100 yards from your car to the stage, but that's it.

 

My previous case was much much nicer, but unfortunately it didn't fit my current bass and I didn't know any better what to look out for. One killer feature was that it had rucksack straps so I could walk with it for much greater distances.

 

So, hive mind, what case should I buy, money no object? In particular:

 

  1. Wheels at the bottom of the bass case (e.g. this discontinued Jaeger bag) gimmick or not?
  2. Bass is 7/8. Assume this requires a 4/4 case but anyone experienced different?
  3. Anyone walking large distances with their db and really like their case? For me rucksack straps are a must, but if anyone can convince me they're not needed I'll certainly entertain the idea.

 

Any advice appreciated. The bass case I currently own wasn't exactly cheap so I'm guessing I'll have to spend big bucks to get something noticeably better.

 

 

[1] I don't know what it is, but I think it's this one, or at least a predecessor of it.

Edited by chyc
Urgh, it submitted on an Enter press. Finishing the text.
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Cases are subjective and have various prices (obviously). 

The 2 standout cases used by most professional players are Soundwear (in Europe) or Mooradian (favoured by US players). Both have rucksack style straps. 

 

Soundwear =THE best case money can buy as agreed by most pros. Plus they were around £800 but are now around £600.

Ive had mine for over 20yrs and it still looks new, no failures or tears etc (I go out 3x a week) and it's the only case I trust to put my 200yr old English bass in. 

 

Mooradian, bad news is that unfortunately they are now not being made but you can buy a Tuff Bag which are absolutely identical to my eyes with the addition of even more padding, extra handles and other improvements. (off the top of my head they're around £350??)

You can contact Mooradian and they will make you a custom one-off (mega bucks) but general production has now stopped. 

The story goes that the Mooradian guy packed up but sold the pattern to Tuff Bag then they improved it. 

Lighter than Soundwear but it has the main zip on the "wrong side" - left hand side of the bass - but that doesn't take long to get used to. 

I have owned one for 5 yrs and its also like new - I use it to safely carry my big 5 stringer. (much cheaper than the Soundwear but you have to import one from the states) but the tuff bag (Mooradian) is actually easier to carry and load as it has more handles. 

 

Both cases I can whole heartedly recommend. 

 

Over the years I've seen many others fail, I'm sticking to the best 2 available.

Recently a friend had her bass in a Julius and Roth case on back pack straps that snapped and the bass fell directly onto the spike pushing the block up inside the bass and splitting the front and back (it's currently being repaired at around £2900!!) as it was on her back she couldn't react to catch the bass.. 

 

Cases with built in wheels - don't do it!

I've seen so many tears and rips around the wheel areas over the years plus they can snag and get caught (I've literally seen 10 - 15 students with split cases from the wheels - Tom and Will cases seem to really suffer from this after a couple of years or so. 

 

Get a "bass buggy" you'll never use back pack straps again - problem solved. 

 

(I'm not a Tuff Bag (aka Mooradian) or Soundwear fan boy, just that in 40yrs of playing I've not found any others that come remotely close in quality or more importantly security for a very expensive instrument) 

 

4/4 case fits a 7/8 bass. 

 

Yes, there are many cases available but I can definitely recommend the Mooradian (Tuff Bag) and Soundwear. 

 

Let me know if you need any further information. 

Ta

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Oh, and if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned Messina cases (the recognised number 3 best case) is that occasionally the stitching pulls out after about 3 - 5yrs...😉🤔

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Bloopdad1, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. You seem to have covered most of the bases (badum-tish).

 

I'm based in the UK, which to me means that the two cases of Soundwear [SW] and Tuff-bag [TB] would be similar prices once customs and taxes are taken care of. The fewer handles doesn't concern me as my current case has many handles I don't use (the ones I do are on the SW). Given the SW is heavier, would it be safe to assume it offers superior protection?

 

Thank you for relaying the story of your friend and her case. I was thinking about retro-fitting rucksack straps onto my current case but can now see it is a very bad idea indeed!

Edited by chyc
fiix tyops
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I assume you're aware of the tyred wheel that has a spike to go into the the spike button on a bass? A couple of pro bass players I know that are London based use them. 

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2 minutes ago, zbd1960 said:

I assume you're aware of the tyred wheel that has a spike to go into the the spike button on a bass? A couple of pro bass players I know that are London based use them. 

Yeah, I've seen those. I've heard unsubstantiated rumours that even with the pneumatic tyres they can be a bit dicey as you're putting loads and sending shocks through your endpin. The bass buggy looks safer as it disperses the weight around the case.

 

On that subject, SW actually offer their own version of the bass buggy, the Soundwear Trolley. There is almost no information on t'internet about these, except they attach via velcro to the case. Would make for a simpler system than the Bass Buggy, but has anyone got experience with the SW Trolley? I'm guessing they're good quality but nobody seems to have written anything about them.

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Hi. 

Me again....! 

The Soundwear trolly isn't available any more (they were crazy expensive when they were! - no one bought one either).

Once the bass buggy came out it took over. Its just so simple, indestructible and safe.

I don't know many players that still use their bass wheel (don't even know what happened to mine? May be in the garage somewhere?). 

The problem was that it always rolled... You couldn't stop and relax, or stop to chat, every time you opened a door it would roll off somewhere plus to reduce the shocks of pavement gaps, gravel etc I would have to run it almost flat to cushion the "ride" which made it a right pita! 

Get a Bass buggy it's the new industry standard and not too expensive. Plus you can stand the bass up when it's on and relax. It's not always "on the move" that needs constant attention like a wheel. 

 

As I mentioned before my 200yr old  £110k English bass ONLY EVER goes in the Soundwear. My other basses happily go in the excellent Tuff Bag (that should give you a clue as to how much better the superior protection is... 😁

 

I seem to remember during a phone conversation with the Tuff Bag shop that they marked up the package as gift (or repaired item) or something like that so I definitely did not pay any import duty, but it was something like £50 postage. Can't remember to be honest.. 

Definitely much cheaper than the SW. 

Ultimately its a tradeoff, top money, best protection but very heavy =SW. 

Lighter, more padding, better straps, (I think the zips are better too) cheaper =TB

If you have a priceless bass that needs ultimate protection go for SW for anything else the TB will be perfect. 

 

If you want to have a look at my cases feel free to pop in for a coffee and a chat. (and if I can find my wheel you can have the little bugger as well!) 

Happy hunting. 

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Just a thought... Now that the wonderfully informed and patriotic public has voted Brexit (*shoots foot off #idiots) 🤦

you'll probably be looking at import duty and tax, shipping the SW case over from Germany...?

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Thanks @Bloopdad1.

 

I'm struggling to find places that sell the tuff-bag to the UK. There is the String emporium which lists it as $435 + $135. Add the VAT on top and you get fairly close to the SW price. Marking as a gift would obviously be lovely and I'm surprised that anyone would do that as you open your business up to prosecution.

 

You say the TB is lighter which I don't dispute, but it's very hard to get a weight of the thing online for a direct comparison. I need to go home to see how much my current one weighs but my intuition tells me that the SW would be similar weight if not lighter at 5.7kg (as said on Thomann's website).

 

 

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It's been a while since I ordered a Tuff Bag. 

Give String Emporium a call and have a chat... They were very accomodating and even gave me a discount (as there are not many in the UK I suspect they were eager to help out...) plus they're trying to replace the great reputation of Mooradian with their own Tuff Bag brand. 

I think it's worth a phone call, you never know... 😏

I'll try to weigh mine when I get it back (currently out with a student). But it's definitely lighter than the SW. 

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Company near me called "Bass Bags".  Guess what, they sell bags for double basses.  If they can't meet your needs, no-one can!

 

They can do you a custom bag any size with or without rucksack straps and with or without wheels (though they don't recommend the wheels due to the rough ride they can give the bass).

 

NB: they do sell other stuff these days, but the current owners dad was a bass player who realised no-one could get hold of decent bags, so started a company to specifically meet that need!

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