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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience with these? They seem like a reasonable option for the price and appear to have a good combination of tough material, burly latches and decent weight.

In my mind, it's sort of between this and a BAM Cabine for a new (to me) Mark VI that seems like a keeper. I've got the original case now and, while it's better than some old cases I've used, it's pretty bulky and heavy and the horn doesn't stay perfectly immobilized in there. Looking for something compact and easy to carry around on the bus without sacrificing protection.

I also checked out the Hiscox, but it seems like it doesn't have as snug a fit inside as the BAM and definitely is a lot bulkier.

My main hesitations with the BAM are the price and the latches, which look abysmal and seem to have gotten some less than stellar reviews over the years. The Winter has big burly latches on the fiberglass case.

I see some older threads about these cases, but I'm not sure if they've changed at all since then or if the newer options are better.

Of course, I'm always open to other suggestions. Just looking for a protective case that's compact and relatively lightweight. Don't need a ton of room for accessories, etc.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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My concern with the JW cases is the horns ability to move inside.

My most recent interaction with a Cabine did not instill confidence in regards to the latches, but I have heard some say they are improved on recently made Cabines.

Your main enemy is movement inside the case. If the horn can move at all, it's not a good choice. The Hiscox cases are a disaster waiting to happen IMO. I've seen members mention their horn being damaged in a Hiscox.

Try to check out your potential cases somewhere before you buy. Ensure there is no movement and the horn is secured.

You have lots of options with a Selmer. Most modern cases are made for them. I have a vintage American tenor and there arent many good options out there. I did a ton of research on my options and eventually I ordered a custom Mike Manning case as a result.

- Saxaholic
 

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Dirty - Check out the BAM SoftPack cases. I like 'em for the balance of protection, size, and accessory capacity.

Prices are best with MatthewsMuziek.com: https://www.matthewsmuziek.nl/en/bam-case-tenor-saxophone-softpack-4002sm.html
I have the BAM Softpack case DrG refers to, and I also have this JW case I recently bought from Matthew's: https://www.matthewsmuziek.nl/en/jakob-winter-case-tenor-sax-jw-2195.html

The JW seems to hold my MkVI with discernible movement and be built well. It has only two latches, but they are good sturdy ones. The BAM case *seems* to be a little lighter and maybe a bit less robust, but I like the little carrying compartment, and it is certainly tough enough for my use. If I were to buy one or the other today I would spend the extra money and get the BAM SoftPack, but I'm certainly not disappointed with the JW.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Definitely agree that movement inside the case is not acceptable, so that rules out the Winter. Has anyone used the Cabine and Softpack cases and have any particular criticisms or comparisons of either? I don't love the zipper closure on the Softpack, but I do appreciate how small and low-key it is.

Is there a hard shell under that soft material, though? That makes me nervous, if not.

For those that use the Softpack, would you feel comfortable carrying it on a plane?

I'd really like to find something a bit lighter and more compact than the ProTec cases I am using on my Conn tenor and old Keilwerth/Bundy bari. If nothing seems meaningfully better, I might just buy another.
 

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I hate zippers myself. A lot. Regarding the Softpack, with American tenors, a very reputable vendor informed me that he's had some cases where the foam on the bottom bow has been different (harder) recently and not suitabe for the American style tenors. This would also concern me on the Selmer style horns...if it's the wrong type of foam and too firm, it won't provide the cushioning needed against an impact.

Most cases don't provide complete isolation of movement inside the case. Your Conn tenor doesn't fit in the Cabine, but the Mark VI will. You might like it. Lots of guys enjoy them. I don't have first-hand experience with them other than inspecting them for a few minutes. They seemed ok, but I wasn't completely sold.

I'm highly skeptical of most cases at this point...the WJ cases had a big thing years ago about the exterior pushing inward, then rebounding to it's original shape. So the horn would get damaged and the case would look fine. The Hiscox cases have way too much interior movement to be safe. The BAM Softpack appears to be inconsistent according to a reputable vendor. The Cabine latches seem hit or miss (to me) but to be fair might be better recently? JW cases have too much room, same for for the Protecs (which I've used for years) in both sizes, forget about SKB's.

Being fed up with it, and wanting to protect my investment, I began researching custom built cases that completely isolated any movement inside the horn and would fit my tenor. I looked into the Manning Custom cases, the JL carbon fiber cases, and the Wiseman (London) cases. After a ton of research and talking to the companies, I decided on the Manning case. I'll be interested to see how it stacks up. For the price, it better be perfect.

- Saxaholic
 

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Definitely agree that movement inside the case is not acceptable, so that rules out the Winter. Has anyone used the Cabine and Softpack cases and have any particular criticisms or comparisons of either? I don't love the zipper closure on the Softpack, but I do appreciate how small and low-key it is.
I've had both Cabine and SoftPack. Although some here have commented on how they can make the accessory compartment of the Cabine work for them, it is too small for me. I prefer the zipper to the Cabine's latches as well.

Is there a hard shell under that soft material, though? That makes me nervous, if not.

For those that use the Softpack, would you feel comfortable carrying it on a plane?

I'd really like to find something a bit lighter and more compact than the ProTec cases I am using on my Conn tenor and old Keilwerth/Bundy bari. If nothing seems meaningfully better, I might just buy another.
The SoftPack is not so soft as a gig bag, for instance. My Borgani has been in a SoftPack for about 10 years, and traveled plenty with no issues.

BTW, Borgani had a special order of SoftPack cases made especially to fit the larger bow/bell of the Jubilee tenors. The standard case is a snug fit to a Mk VI. I would not recommend them for your Conn without an option to return it if you don't like the fit.
 

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Discernible movement is not good! Why would you buy it again?
Rats!!I meant to say NO discernible movement!
 

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I don't love the zipper closure on the Softpack, but I do appreciate how small and low-key it is.

Is there a hard shell under that soft material, though? That makes me nervous, if not.

For those that use the Softpack, would you feel comfortable carrying it on a plane?

[\QUOTE]

The more I read about cases the more I feel like I should stick with Bam soft pack.
First, I have had a Bam softpack for my tenor since 2007. The case still works great and the zippers have never failed. These aren’t garbage zippers like you may have seen on old Selmer Trey Pack cases or various case covers. I must have opened and closed that zipper thousands of times. I would guess between 5 and 8 thousand times.

You mention soft material. I think Soft Pack may have been a poor choose for name. It makes it seem like it is soft like a gig bag. But instead, it is really more like flexible. One side is fully hard and the other side is flexible. I believe the flexy side is made to take a jolt so the horn doesn’t take the jolt.

Lastly, you asked about carrying on a plane. I do have alto and tenor soft pack cases. The alto was purchased in 2015. The alto is quite small and very easily fits overhead or even under the seat. (Sticking out under my legs a little of course). The tenor also fits in the overhead. In fact, when you get onto the smaller planes that are too small to fit standard carry on luggage, the tenor *still* fits. My alto and tenor saxes have been on tons of planes, cars, tour busses, and one very long train. Hey handle the small space available and the bumps and shakes completely fine.

As a side note to other people talking about Jacob Winter. I have one of those for alto and have not even thought about whether there is movement from inside the case. I use the Bam because there is more storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rats!!I meant to say NO discernible movement!
That's a big difference! I'm leaning towards the softpack right now, but I'm going to think about it for a bit.

I'd still love to hear more about these or other similar cases.

Manning is an option down the line maybe, but he's not cheap. He's over in Daly City though, just a few minutes from me, so it would be cool to support local businesses. I'll probably talk to him soon about fixing up an old clarinet case for me.
 

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Manning is an option down the line maybe, but he's not cheap. He's over in Daly City though, just a few minutes from me, so it would be cool to support local businesses. I'll probably talk to him soon about fixing up an old clarinet case for me.
After my initial research, I'm not sure there's a better option to protect an investment than the Manning case. Definitely not cheap, but it also has a lifetime warranty and is custom built for your horn, which is what swayed me over other case manufacturers. I'd been doing research and talking to various people, including Manning, for over 3 months before I made a decision. I wanted to make sure, and I'm confident there wasn't a better option for me considering it had all the features I wanted (custom fit vintage American horn, latches, high quality shell, straps, etc.) But, I will reserve ultimate judgment for when I get mine.

- Saxaholic
 

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After my initial research, I'm not sure there's a better option to protect an investment than the Manning case. Definitely not cheap, but it also has a lifetime warranty and is custom built for your horn, which is what swayed me over other case manufacturers. I'd been doing research and talking to various people, including Manning, for over 3 months before I made a decision. I wanted to make sure, and I'm confident there wasn't a better option for me considering it had all the features I wanted (custom fit vintage American horn, latches, high quality shell, straps, etc.) But, I will reserve ultimate judgment for when I get mine.

- Saxaholic
How does the custom fit program work? I’ve seen that they want to have your horn to make the fit. How would you send it to them if you don’t already have a wonderful case?
 

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You send it to him without a case. Manning has a program he has used for shipping without a case with supposedly a 100% success rate. I don't have the details yet (it's still getting finished with the overhaul) but I imagine it's simply wrapping the horn in 10-12 inches of bubble wrap on every side. But who knows, maybe there's something really specific.

As far as the fit, he takes the measurements over a few days. To my understanding, he keeps the horn for 2 or 3 days, takes the measurements, then ships the horn back to you. How long the case takes probably depends on schedule, what kind of case, etc. etc. So while it may seem like a lot to send the horn, it's only probably a week total you're without the horn.

For me it was significantly easier, since mine is getting overhauled.

- Saxaholic
 

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You send it to him without a case. Manning has a program he has used for shipping without a case with supposedly a 100% success rate. I don't have the details yet (it's still getting finished with the overhaul) but I imagine it's simply wrapping the horn in 10-12 inches of bubble wrap on every side. But who knows, maybe there's something really specific.

As far as the fit, he takes the measurements over a few days. To my understanding, he keeps the horn for 2 or 3 days, takes the measurements, then ships the horn back to you. How long the case takes probably depends on schedule, what kind of case, etc. etc. So while it may seem like a lot to send the horn, it's only probably a week total you're without the horn.

For me it was significantly easier, since mine is getting overhauled.

- Saxaholic
His process is pretty simple. I've seen him work on my soprano case. He basically starts from an empty shell, then cuts out pieces of semi-hard foam sheet, wrap them in velvet an hot clue them supporting the horn in strategic places. By the time the case is done your horn is trapped in this foam maze. It won't move a micrometer. He'll lay the interior out to give you whatever layout of accessory compartment you want, space permitting.

It is annoying that you have to leave you horn there, but his build process is tailored around it.
 

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I'm using a Winter case. No problems. It's strong, latches work fine and it is small so it fits in the overhead. Horn moved around a bit but one small towel solved that.
 

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Dirty- I am using JW for my alto MK VI, and I travel alot with it. 4 years ago- last time my horn was overhauled completely- my repairmen who is Mikey Saxcat here on SOTW noted solder job he had discovered on low Eb post. And since I never dropped this horn the only reasonable explanation was that there is play in upper half of the case. It can be squished if placed let's say in overhead bin by somebody else's carry-ons ( or your own if placed on top of it). Although I am still using it I am consciencious about its flexibility.
 

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Thank you, Saxaholic and Guto, for sharing that info.
 

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I had a plastic Jacob Winter tenor case for my Selmer SAII for about 15 years. It was serviceable until the shoulder strap ring plate pulled out and the case hit the tarmac, bottom end first.
This resulted in a slight ding in the bow of the tenor, as the impact from a shoulder high drop went through the case. (padding too hard & not snug enough & too close to the lower edge (bow end).
Now I use a Bam Cabine for my MkVIs & Hiscox for a Conn 10M & 6M. Whatever you choose, try not to drop the case & avoid checked baggage!
 
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