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Bass travel case?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thumper, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    I've done the search, read a few reviews, but would like Talkbass input on this relatively new item.

    I'm looking at the SKB case that fits a bass in a gigbag and has wheels. SKB stuff is regularly bad mouthed, but I've had pretty good luck with it (rack, pedalboard).

    It's getting tough to take the Spirit in a gigbag when I travel (airlines), and a couple of trips ago I was forced to check it, of course it got damaged....

    Anyway, I think I'll just take before pictures on the days I fly so if they damage the Zon or the case, I'm in a better position to negotiate.

    Does anyone have experience with this particular case?
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I have one. First off, I try to send it through empty and carry the bass on-board. If that doesn't work, then I pack the bass in the SKB. This issue only happened to me once and my MTD 435 made the flight from SF to NY fine. Since I made them go into the hold to get out the SKB case, it was put on rather gently (although I cannot tell what happened at the stop-over)

    My issues with the case are minor. Since oil is used in the molding process, it is almost impossible to put "Fragile" stickers on it. Also the internal neck padding won't stay put. I bought some Gorilla Glue -and I'll give that a try.

    I'll be taking my 535 for the Detroit Bass Fest (www.detroitbassfest.com) next month and we'll see ...

  3. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I took one to South America earlier this year and it worked out pretty well. I've flown with a few other cases that were of the plastic moulded hard shell variety and they held up pretty good too. The only case that I have flown with that didn't fair so well was a Larrivee' hard shell case for an acoustic bass. I flew into Venezuela right after I got it and it when I picked it up it looked like it had been shot at. But the bass was fine which I guess is the purpose of the case.
  4. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    There is a secret most airlines won't tell you, I have the ins. There are 2 coat closets on the planes. If you are nice to the attendants and smile they will put your bass in the closet. I have done this on every flight I have taken(and it's a lot) with no problems. If they give you lip, ask them if they are going to pay the cash for a new bass if it gets broken in check.
  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999

    The only time that being really nice to the flight crew didn't work was flying Delta. The Delta Manager in SF specifically told the TSA not to allow ANY musical instruments past the check-in.

    The decision is usually left up to the flight crew. I have always found that the flight crew will bend over backwards to help you. After my experience in SF, the flight crew apologized for the entire flight back.

    Suffice it to say, that I will never fly Delta again. Even if they have a subsidiery named "Song Airlines" and sponsor events at my alma mater (Berklee). I find it funny that they will sponsor the gig, just not allow the musicians to carry their instruments on the plane.

  6. I have one of the SKB roller cases and it's worked great to haul my 535 to & from and around Japan (great on the trains & escalators) and on a few Hawaii-mainland trips.

    minor downsides: Without a lock the latches will come open. A large lock or clip can stick out and catch on things and damage the latches (I had onr of mine bend but not break). I use miniature stainless steel screw shackles from West Marine. Security folks are intrigued by these cases, and will always want to ask questions and see what's inside.

    For me, it offers the best compromise, and I like being able to leave it in the hotel and carry the bass around in the gigbag.


  7. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Thanks for all the input gang, I'm going to order one. It'll be nice to travel & practice with a higher quality instrument.
  8. Mike,

    Thanks for offering to get back to us after Detroit.
    I'm very interested in this case and would like to follow updates on their use.

    Thanks for everyone's report. I haven't seen much feedback elsewhere for this relatively new product.

    I've had good luck with my SKB cases, checked through baggage on Seattle to N.Y.C. flights (back when I was flying!)

    A dealer once told me that statistically (don't know what that meant exactly...) wood cases have survived better but I can't imagine how they would.

    Some say that wood cases "breathe" but I can't imagine how they would with plastic covering material etc.

    Hey Mike, do you use a humidifier/dehumidifier in your cases?

  9. wyliee


    Jul 6, 2003
    South Hill, WA
    I generally try to carry my bass on the plane. As noted, the flight crews have final say in what goes and what doesn't. When possible, I try to select flights in non-peak hours so the flights aren't as full. That way, if I do have to stow it overhead, there's a better chance of having a bin to myself.

    The first class coat closets are your best option, IMO. Get to the gate early and be nice to the gate crew. They can smooth the way with the flight crew for you. Note: Alaska Airlines is in the process of removing the coat closet in most of their planes to make room for an extra row in coach. Do not presume your flight will have a closet. I would not be surprised if other airlines are removing the closets as well.

    As far as cases, I strongly recommend the SKB Staff Golf Case. I have one and it is big enough for a double gig bag, several inches of extra foam, extra cables, headphones, parts, etc... It has wheels and is no more expensive than the SKB Bass Vault. I've noticed that most ticket counter personnel and grounds crew don't give it a second glance. It's just a golf case to them. I don't understand why, but it always seems like the ground crew put the golf bags in a separate spot in the cargo hold as well. They often get offloaded to the oversize cargo area, so be aware of that as well.

    Here's a shot of mine:
  10. TampaBlues


    Oct 28, 2002
    Tampa, Florida
    Here is another option for you. I've heard good things about this flight case. Only $79.95.

    at Rondo music
  11. I've used my SKB to fly with my LB76 quite a number of times, but the airlines have been pretty hard on the case. It has one of the hinges broken (ripped through the plastic) and a missing metal foot (and resulting hole in the bottom). I still think they are one of the better alternatives and I have fragile stickers still on my case from three years ago, although they are now starting to peel off...
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Well the Gorilla Glue did a geat job of securing the foam padding. On the outside, I used some paint thinner to remove the oily residu left from the rotomolding process and used spray paint made especially for plastic to stencil on "Fragile".

    Finally, I want to reiterate, my prblems with Delta Airlines came before I ever got a chance to ask the flight crew. The Delta manager at SF airport directed the TSA not to allow any usical instruments on any of their flights. If you can get to the flight crew, all is usually cool