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Bass trunks... recommendations?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by MantisBot, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. I'm looking to buy a trunk for my 3/4 4-stringer bass. I don't have an extension or any fancy equipment to make room for, so I'm looking for a decent case that can keep my cheap-o instrument in playing condition when I deplane in S. Korea in the next few months. Also, when looking for a trunk what are some things to keep in mind? Any recommended questions to ask a dealer when picking out the right case for your instrument? Anything that I should be wary of?

    Oh, and one more thing: does anyone have experience with international flights in regard to bass handling? I was hoping I could put my bass underneath the plane... are there extra fees involved? Do most airlines allow such a thing? I'd really rather not have to ship my bass on a cargo boat or something... I've heard it's costly.
  2. BPbass


    Oct 11, 2004
    Fort Worth, TX
    I"m not sure if it's in your price range, but I can highly recommend the Tuff-Lite Bass trunks being sold at several places in the US: http://www.tuff-lite.com/

    I have had nothing but good luck with it and it seems to really withstand the bumps and bruises of flying/shipping. There are two models available and I bought the carbon fiber model (black interior) because it was strongest and only weighs 70 lbs. w/ a 7/8 hand carved bass and soft case inside! There is no fear of any airline rejecting this case since most, especially Kolsteins, tip the scales at over 100 lbs., the upper limit for baggage going underneath. I did some homework before deciding and found that many others were on back order. You can forget about finding a used one for sale since the market is so tight, however ebay has a couple on there right now! The Gage case would be my next choice, but the locks can be very complicated for security. In fact, I've heard a rumor that it is hard to even get overseas with a Gage case due to security issues. You might try renting one from one of the places if you don't want to have to buy one.

    One last thing, expect to be charged $50-$175 one way for getting the bass around domestically. Don't know internationally. Best of luck!
  3. Hey, thanks for the tip! The prices I've been seeing are in the mid to upper $2k range so this is a good price to see. I'm trying to keep it somewhere around the $1500-2000 range so this should be good. Thanks again for the help!
  4. It sounds like you're only going to be using the trunk once or twice, have you thought about just borrowing or renting one? I know a lot of people who buy trunks end up having them just sit around most the time; I'm sure someone would be happy to loan or rent their case to you in exchange for some small compensation since it's not really doing them much good... For what it costs to buy a trunk you could rent/borrow one a whole bunch of times, and you'd never have to worry about where to store the thing.
  5. I think the most important thing I'd look for is weight. I've been flying around quite a bit lately with a trunk that would weight 107 lbs with the bass inside. Most airports didn't bother to weigh the thing, but one place did (Providence, RI), and nearly forced me to send it through the mail.

    The weight limit on most domestic flights is 100 pounds. On some international flights, it can be closer to the 70 pound mark. You should weigh your bass with its soft case on before you order anything. Some airlines charge several hundred dollars to fly it one way, so do expect some nice charges.

    They don't fly international, but Southwest airlines is generally the best company to fly with. They have a flat $50 fee for anything between 75 and 100 pounds.

    Thought I might mention a few other tips I've picked up recently. NEVER stand your bass upright in front of the ticket counter. It scares the bejesus out of them. Roll it down on its side and keep it in a position where they can't see it very well. I once did this so well that the person didn't even bother to charge me for oversize luggage. If they ask what it is, try telling them it's either a cello or a small violone. That last one won't show up in their handbook, so they won't really know what to do.

    Finally, if you ever have problems, don't be too shy to complain. I once had my bass come out on the luggage carousel (again, at Providence). I heard something crash inside the case when I got it off the runner, and opened the case up right there on the baggage claim floor. It was just my wheel, which had come loose during the flight, but I still complained to the supervisor. He said he'd talk to the people working in the back room, so hopefully it won't happen again.
  6. I heard some guys by an extra ticket and put their bass in the seat next to them.

    Is this a myth?

  7. Edgar Meyer does it. It used to be more common, but it seems to have become considerably more difficult in the last few years.

  8. I had thought about renting but wasn't exactly sure how to go about it. Thing is I plan on spending about 3 years in Korea, another three in Taiwan, and then perhaps jumping over to Spain or Italy for another few years. I've got this urge to travel the world and I'd like to have everything ready to go when I need it.

    So with all that said, do you have any tips on renting?

    Oh man, that had me laughing out loud embarassingly loud. I'll definitely keep all of your advice in mind though, thanks for the tips!
  9. I don't know about renting, really, except that I know some shops will have a trunk available. I was thinking more along the lines of just finding someone who has one and giving them some $$$ to use it. Sounds like that probably wouldn't work too well in your case though. The few times I've needed a trunk it's always just been for a few days or maybe a week, and I've just borrowed one from someone I know.
  10. Thought I'd also mention the Contrabasse Shoppe in London sells two models of flight cases that are far lighter than anything I've seen in America. The $5,000 carbon fiber case only weighs 30 pounds or so.
  11. Hi all,

    I have a Kolstien trunk,and would consider renting it.I'm in Nashville,so MantisBot,I don't know how we would arrange it.I've flown to international gigs before,and didn't have any problems.Price was $150 one way.

    The way we did it was to haul the case to the airport in a truck or van,then at the destination airport,rent a locker.Leave the road case there,put the bass in the soft case,do the gigs.Then return,pack it up and go home.

    I believe you can't rent a seat for the bass.Safety issues about it getting loose in the cabin.I tried,but wasn't allowed on Nortwest Airlines.( I love those pictures in Rufus Reids book of his bass in an airlines seat!).

    On one gig,while waiting for for a ride home at my home airport,I met a famous guitarist who was checking out my road case.Bass road case are very BIG!!!! Be forewarned,it might not fit in your car,van,or truck.Even the string bass in a soft bag has caused problems with rental cars before.Plan ahead!
  12. Thanks for the offer country bass but I won't be able to get the case from Nashville to NYC. However, I have been talking to a guy in NYC who is willing to lend me his, the only problem being that he'd need it back before I'd be coming back. Do you know anything about international shipping of just the cases? I was thinking about FedEx or something similar.

    I'm glad to hear that it's only about $150 to take the bass... I was afraid it would be around $500. I'll keep the locker idea in mind, sounds like a great trick. Consider I'll be heading to Korea to teach English I doubt that the people picking me up would be happy about renting a van.

    So thanks for the info!
  13. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    This may be a little off topic, but if it's a "cheapo" bass you're taking, why bother? Rather than spend big bucks on a case and you're going to be in Korea for three years, why not buy a bass there to use and sell it when you're done? Or is it even harder to buy a bass there than it is here?
  14. Well, mainly I don't want to have to buy a new bass because I'm really liking how my cheap one is shaping up. I've been getting some work done to it and I think I may be able to win some auditions with it, so rather than buy a bass in another country where I don't really know the scene I'd prefer to bring my own bass with me.

    That and who knows how long it'll take me to find a decent bass that I can afford over there:p
  15. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Wow.. I had to ship a bass out in one of those things before and it was a chore, but they work. And they aren't THAT much heavier than your standard fiberglass model. Maybe 50 lbs. hit the gym and you'll be ready to load it in your van by the end of the summer.
  16. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Does it come with a shoulder strap?:)
  17. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Man, that thing just needs some tank treads and it's good to go!

  18. Jesus! That's not a bass case, it's a sarcophagus from ancient Egypt in a container!

    Wowza;p I'm thinking weight will definitely be a factor, not to mention storage. That case is ricockulously huge and most likely too much for my needs (as in protection, not price though that could be true as well). I notice it doesn't have wheels either... that might be a bit tricky considering I may have to take the subway with the bass case to get to the airport. Truthfully, that part of the journey has me most concerned. It'll be nuts to say the least:D
  19. I seriously don't recomend taking a bass trunk on public transportation. (train, bus, etc). Not only will it require an extra set of hands, but it might not even be allowed. I know in my city the driver (conducter?) would have a cow...
  20. heheheehe. Yeah, I get bad enough stares when I take my bass on in it's soft case. However, most likely my flight will be at an off-peak time (I think the ones to Korea leave NYC around midnight usually) so I don't think I should have too much trouble.

    I am working on getting a friend of mine to drive me in his van though... muchas bribes should do the trick;)

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