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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 1939 Martin tenor and the case is not the original. The overall "structural integrity" of the outside of the case is decent and the inside felt is ok too (not great, but ok), but, the sax is quite loose in there. It was packed super well when shipped, but now I would never transport it anywhere in this thing. I get nervous just hearing that "clunk" when I stand the case up. So I don't. I "could" shell out for a new Pro-Tech or something, but, I kind of like the look of this old case and I'm not real anxious to spend more money....so I'm wondering if there are any good tricks to making old cases work. I'm talking about filling the free areas with "stuff" of some sort to make the horn and neck not move, without being too much of a PITA every time I put it in there. Any ideas?
 

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I would put foam rubber to secure the horn - do this NOW - and then look for a replacement case. Expecially since what you have isn't a Martin case anyway, so no reason to cling to it.

For my Conn 10M (also bell keys on the left side) I like the SKB "Pro" case (the one that has a slot inside for the neck and a fabric pouch on the outside. I bet your Martin would fit well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I think I've already decided to get a new case....I had been looking at the protec (I had one of those for a King Zephyr and liked it, except it was "top heavy" and you cant really use the pouch on the bottom. I had looked at the SBK, sort of discarded it in my mind, but if you like it for your Conn I'm considering it, esp. since it will apparently accommodate left-side bell keys. Is it "flat" on the bottom side of the case? Hard to tell from the pic on WWBW.
 

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My protec xl has space (soft spot) for a split-bell horn and would probably work for a left-bell one. Not sure if the regular protec has room, I've only ever had the xl because of the big honkin' bell on my King. It is possible to gently "customize" the case, I had to clearance the underslung neck by peeling back the velvet liner, trimming foam, and glueing it back.
 

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I would put foam rubber to secure the horn - do this NOW - and then look for a replacement case. Expecially since what you have isn't a Martin case anyway, so no reason to cling to it.

For my Conn 10M (also bell keys on the left side) I like the SKB "Pro" case (the one that has a slot inside for the neck and a fabric pouch on the outside. I bet your Martin would fit well.
Good suggestion although I advise and laying out a cotton T-shirt or something similar over the foam. Oddly the chemistry of some foams can react to the lacquer and react /melt / bond onto each other. Neoprene (IE mouse pads) is the worst.

Sthsquid, that case was made 80 years ago. I highly doubt anything new will last equally as long. New is really nice to have congratulations on your choice.
If you don鈥檛 intend on keeping the old case pass it along to someone who may enjoy it.
 

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When in doubt I always say you should replace the case. Protect your horn. I had a Martin tenor for several years in the SKB Pro case mentioned above, great case! I have my Couf tenor in that case now.
 

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When I got my Martin, the case was a no name and it was way too big for it. I went to Home Depot and got some neoprene pipe insulation, looks like a tube. Cost me about $10, but I cut it it could fill in the gaps where it wouldn't slide around anymore. I went out and bought a Protec, not the XL and my 54 Martin fits nice and snug.
 

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My favorite "new" case is a Soundwear. The modifications to "center the bell" can be used (and probably should be) to improve an old coffin case. Adding firm custom padding top and bottom (bow and neck) will also stop a horn from clunking around in an old case. One of my Martins came with an old Martin case. I sold that on Ebay for $40. Now I don't have the "original case" with my vintage horn. Good riddance.

http://stuffsax.blogspot.com/2013/05/soundwear-professional-tenor-saxophone.html

This is the case that I use the most and always for flight. It fits only my 1943 Centennial and not my 1939 Handcraft. That's a custom fit.
http://stuffsax.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-custom-hard-case-for-tenor-saxophone.html

I haven't used my Protec in a few years. I probably should check and see what's in it.

Mark
 

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I own 2 Hiscox cases which are made in England. I have both alto and tenor cases. Youtube has 5 guys standing on a guitar case with no damage. I can't understand guys who have expensive saxophones and put them in cheap cases. Spend the money on a Hiscox and you won't be disappointed. https://www.hiscoxcases.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is the case that I use the most and always for flight. It fits only my 1943 Centennial and not my 1939 Handcraft. That's a custom fit.

Mark
"When I first play tested the horn, I thought that I had ruined my Martin. It sounded just like a Selmer".

Very funny.
 

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I think I've already decided to get a new case....
best to test your new case before buying it,as there are small different things with all vintage horns and also with different cases.
if you can,go to a local saxophone shop to test a few out.
also,for the environment,don't throw the old case,as someone will want it.
also,for the environment,old cases can be fixed up to work for your particular horn.
 

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My Comm III tenor fits in a protec case but not perfect. Extra room above the neck socket, and the neck because of its angle and length just barely fits in the neck holder. Would be good if you could check the fit before buying. I'd say mine is acceptable but if I was hauling it around a lot I'd adapt it a bit I think.

My Comm III bari fits great in a protec bari case.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As fate would have it, I wound up buying a Protec XL from my tech yesterday. I wasn't there for that, but when I saw it I asked to try it out. We also tried the regular size and the horn wouldn't fit because of the left side bell keys...actually, the whole bottom part of the horn didn't seem to want to go in, so the XL it was. Seems a very good fit but "not perfect" at the top part of the body...I think there's still a little space there. I don't gig regularly - not even close - this is more for just occasional use for travel and mainly so I don't damage it at home. For that, this case will be more than enough. It doesn't move at all once inside. I had one of these for my King Zephyr alto and they are good cases. My only "issue" is, once you take out the horn, the case wants to flip backward. Annoying, but thats the only real downside. Thanks for all the ideas/replies.
 
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