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Walt Johnson for Selmer/Yamaha altos: Will it fit Jupiter?

2428 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bcnsax

I have a Walt Johnson Alto case which is made to fit a Selmer or Yamaha. I need to find out if it will fit a Jupiter Jas 565gl. Unfortunately, I cannot physically try it out so I need somebody's advice.

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According to Mr. Walt Johnson himself, the cases are made for one specific horn manufacturer: ie, Selmer or Yamaha or Keilwerth and they are not meant for another make or model.

My advice: find another case.
Walt Johnson, in a phone call I had with him after my Yamaha Bari was severely damaged in one of his "cases", told me that the Selmer horns are different from a Yamaha and that his cases are custom made for each manufacturer. If a Selmer horn is different from a Yamaha and both use the same cutout, I can only imagine just how different the Jupiter is from the Selmer and Yamaha horns.

In my opinion, the Walt Johnson Cases are just overly priced garbage bags that one can set out at the curb after the horn is trashed when the case fails. As I have said before, these cases flex and bend when they take a hit. If the case bends, what happens to the horn inside when the case bends? No rocket science training needed here.

There are hundereds of cases available out there. Almost everyone is far superior to the Walt Johnson cases. Get one. Walt Johnson does not stand by his product. His cases have a bad track record of being poor fitting and cheaply made and very expensive. There are better cases available at half the price. My suggestion: go with one of those.
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I hang around a fair number of touring professional saxophonists. All were using a WJ case until things started to happen to their cases and their horns. None are using them now. I am the only one who has a baritone saxophone. The rest are alto and tenor players. None of these guys will take their horns in a car in a WJ case, let alone go across country or out of the country in one.

My repairman, who was a good friend of Mr. WJ, and one of his distribtors even sells these cases any more and has not for a very long time. It is his opinion that the damage to my horn was caused the inferior quality of the material used in these cases. When he contacted WJ to tell him about the damage to my horn, WJ gave him a song and dance. WJ refered me to his attorney. As I have said before, I did not ask for any money from or made any accusations. I just reported to him what had happened with his product. He did not care and indicated such vehemently.

You can use these cases if you wish. In my opinion, they are dangerous. They are great protection against the rain, but that is all. Protecs are much better than the WJ cases.

When your gig playing saxophonist repairman refuses to put his personal horns in a WJ case for local gigs, there must be something to my claims.

If you use these cases, just be very careful with them. They are very flawed. They do not hold up well and give a very false sense of security.
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I have heard of some legal troubles associated with these cases over the years and got on Lexus/Nexus to do some research. However, when I search for any information including business related documents that should be on public record concerning any and all companies in the US, I find none for Walt Johnson Cases, Johnson Cases, Johnson Musical Products (which is the name he uses on his myspace page).

Anyone know what the registered business name of Johnson Cases is?

Johnson Cases or any possible combination of Walt, Johnson, and cases has yet to yield any result.

Anyone know??
My sax fell in a Wlat Johnson case from a height of less than 4 feet. There were witnesses to this. The reason it fell was becasue the D ring on the strap broke in two places. They were clean breaks. One witness is a metallurgist whose job is to test metal strength in the manufacture of wire. He lookied at the metal in the D Ring and determined it to be metal coated plastic with enough strength to hold five pounds. When I opened the case, my horn was bent in eight (8) different places. The C key was 1/2 inch higher that it should have been. The case was less than one year old. I bought in it 1996.

This is not really anecdotal evidence. I have witnesses to the incident. I have witnesses to the damage. I have a four hundred labour repair bill to fix the damage (I paid $300.00 for the case). I lost another $200.00 in gigs becasue I did not have another sax at the time to cover me for the 6 weeks that my horn was in the Chicago area getting straightened and repadded to fix the damage that this "flight case" caused. The case was closed and latched. I was holding the case. I was not walking or running with the case. I was not falling or tripped. I was standing still talking to people when the "metal" D ring that holds the hook to the nylon strap broke. It broke so cleanly it looked like it was cut clean through. It separated into two equal halves. It was almost like it started out as two equal pieces and they joined together.

If you think these cases are great, more power to you. I am sure they were. But in my opinion and the opinions of the people who witnessed this, they are an accident waiting to happen. I sold my case to some one who has since sold the case.

The college I attend has its saxophones in Walt Johnson cases. The cases do not closing evenly. They are badly scrathched and chipped.

Walt Johnson, when I called him to tell him what had happened, got very beligerent. I was quite calm and collected. I did not ask for help or monetary assistance with the repairs. He reffered me to his lawyer saying that my horn was expressly made for a Selmer Mark VI horn and should never have any other make or model of horn in it. He laso let it slip that his cases were made in Mexico and that he had not control over the quality of his cases.

Again, I am telling my story here because I think it needs to be told.

Feel free to buy these cases. Just beware that these are not what they appear to be. In my experience, I put my trust into this case. The case failed like no other case I have had before or since. I can no longer trust these cases nor Walt Johnson. Take my experience and believe it or not. It happened. It cost me. I won't make the same mistake again. I will not let any of my horns be damaged like that again.
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