Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Measuring a bass for a hardshell case?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by lownotes02, Feb 17, 2005.


  1. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    I still havent decided what kind of bass Im going to buy, but when I do, I want to get a hardshell case for it. At 5000 for a good bass, I dont mind spending the extra money. Ive seen some from Freedom Guitar, Jim Laabs and Lemur for 500-800 bucks.
    I read that some manufacturers' measurements for a 3/4 scale might be different than others, and some larger 3/4 scale basses might be considered a small 7/8 by others.
    When you measure upper and lower bouts, do you go from the tip of the upper "C" on the left side to the one on the right (upper bout) and then do the same for the lower bout? Also, do most basses tend to be about the same thickness? And height as well?
    Lemurs hardshell case, for example, doesnt even have any measurements posted. Freedom Guitars case has upper/lower bout and height measurements, but says nothing about the thickness. I know with EB if you play anything other than a Fender Jazz/P Bass (or a clone) you will have a hard time finding a universal case where the bass isnt flopping around (loose) or you have to really jam it in there to make it fit, and I dont want to do either to an expensive DB. It would seem that DB measurements are different from make to model just like an EB, but the DB cases are more generic in nature.
    Most guys I see use a padded nylon bag. Is this because you had a hard time finding a hardshell case that would fit your bass correctly?
    The local stores here dont carry hardshell cases, so Id have to buy it sight unseen, I wanted to make sure if there were any other measurements I should know about, such as cutaways for violin corners, etc. Ive even called the dealers direct, but they either didnt have it in stock (so it couldnt be measured) or they didnt really know if it would fit my bass either. The only case I saw that seemed to be truly universal was Kolsteins, with the air bags that you inflate to cradle the bass. But, at 3000 dollars, Id rather find a cheaper one that has my bass' measurements.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I think you'll find a bag will suit your needs unless you're trucking it around in the back of a pickup or cargo van.

    But, in answer to your question, go with the largest measurements.

    Height, shoulders, lower bout, overall height, thickness of the body and thickness from the back to the end of the bridge. With those numbers and a human on the phone line you should be able to tell if it's going to fit before you order it.
     
  3. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Thanks Ray, I figured if anybody would know, you would. I do have a pickup truck, and I am bungie-cording the bass to keep my bass on its side, thus keeping the stress off the neck, but I thought with a hard shell case, it would be one less thing Id have to worry about.
    By the way, I listened to your MP3's and you are a MONSTER player! Your guitar player is equally terrifying too! He sounds like John Scofield on one of those tunes. Its a far cry from this "jacuzzi-jazz" band I settled for, and then recently quit. (I never cared for fuzak, but it was a pre-made situation I walked into) and your music/playing is truly inspiring for somebody like myself who is starting out on DB. I havent had a chance to listen to more than a few posters MP3's (I live in the sticks and have dial-up) but yours and Chris Fitzgeralds' playing really leaped out at me.
    Thanks for sharing your music and experience with me and everybody else here. Also, could you take a peek at my question I posted in the technique forum and give me your feedback? (The Michael Moore one)
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Well -- thank you for the kind words! And how could I not check out the other question after all dat butter?

    When you get to the other clips you'll find a lot a great bass players hang here.
     
  5. Hey you guys, you just go ahead and not worry about the rest of us! Ray has ALL the answers and he's certainly not a bad player......so, the two of you just go ahead and float through all the different threads and posts and don't mind the rest of us!
    (Welcome, lownotes and yeah we ARE lucky to have Ray here!!) :D
     
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Lownotes, you might want to get the measurements of the cases you're considering as well....compared with your available cartage space. Hard trunks are HUGE, but they come in different sizes. I've used one that barely fit into the bed of my Ford F150 (regular length bed), and one that had room to spare.
     
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I was trying to find that link to that weird kinda in-between case that Sam'l got, I guess that's on an older board. Anyway, SLOWBOAT, buying a flight case for your bass is kind of like an electric player buying an ANVIL ATA case to gig around town in. No rule against it, but it's an awful lotta weight to be carting around. Now I never bounced mine around in the back of a pickup, but I've been carrying an upright around for nigh on 20 year and have never had anything other than a soft case (two Mooradians and a Messina). In slab bass terms the Mooradian is like a gig bag, the Gage type is like an anvil and the in-between kind (Sam'l?) is like the case your Precision bass comes in at the Guitar Center.

    Plus alla the big cases are more than I paid for my bass (at the time). Except for that Cremonisia, damn under a thou. I wonder how much it is to ship to the US?

    But a couple of misconceptions,
    1.most folks use soft cases because the hard case weigh a LOT and you don't want to push that much weight around. Not because they can't find a hard case that fits.
    2. you want a looser fit and padding/air bags in a travel case because generally you are putting your bass inside WITH its soft case on and you want some room and padding between the bass and the inside of the case to insulate the bass from whatever is happening to the outside. The whole idea of the air bladders is that when the case is dropped the part of the bass on the side that hits forces air out of the bladders and absorbs the shock that way. Even with foam, force gets transferred from the exterior to the interior.
     
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Yep. I have a 25-year-old Mooradian Deluxe -- not quite as good as a Sandal Shop bag (remember those?) but no slouch, and I have the semi-hard Styro-box.

    I got the box from Kolsteins at a stupid price because they were trying to ditch them at the time. It is light -- let's say 20 pounds at a guess; not much more than a high-quality bag. The advantage is that I really felt like my bass was protected in the winter -- y'know, if I slip and all that. Plus, your bass doesn't even get as cold in the car. The disadvantages are a) the stitching and such just SUCKS -- I've sewn handles and more on it -- and b) it's GODDAM HONKIN' BIG.

    It would be ideal for travelling by truck or bus but I wouldn't fly with it. It strikes me as good for exactly one idiotic bounce, in contrast to real fiberglass case which should be good for a couple. Punch line: The box almost always stays home and the Mooradian almost always comes out.
     
  10. Ken Smith is talking about Jacques Gagnon over on the Basses heading. I bought one of his first travel cases from Barrie Kolstein many years ago. He's the one responsible for those fancy machines that Barrie sells I guess....Dave Young told me some funny stories about this guy.
     
  11. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Ray Parker said:
    Well -- thank you for the kind words! And how could I not check out the other question after all dat butter?

    Butter...I love that! I usually refer to it as "sucking up," but I like your terminology much better! ;)
    I didnt even think to measure the distance from the top to the bridge, I was thinking in terms of front to back (minus the bridge), so, as usual, your answers are spot on to my questions. The cremonasia link is extremely helpful. Thanks.

    Paul said:
    Hey you guys, you just go ahead and not worry about the rest of us! Ray has ALL the answers and he's certainly not a bad player......so, the two of you just go ahead and float through all the different threads and posts and don't mind the rest of us!
    (Welcome, lownotes and yeah we ARE lucky to have Ray here!!)

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Paul. I think I read somewhere in here that youve been around the block and have played with some pretty heavy cats. I live out in the sticks with a 5 year-old Win98 machine, 28k dial up modem, and a virus/spyware infected computer slowing everything down to a crawl. This forum is so addicting, I have to choose between listening to posters' MP3's or reading/posting questions, otherwise my computer will crash. But your'e next on my "to do" list, so Im sure I will be equally blown away! I plan on going to the library where they have modern machines hooked up to a broadband connection so I can listen to EVERYBODY'S music. Yes, we are lucky to have Ray here, but the same goes for you....and everybody else. I have learned a tremendous amount in the last few weeks. After I've heard the MP3's, there will be plenty of brown-nosing on my part.....oops....BUTTER ! :D

    Mchildree, I am going bass shopping in a month or so. I will probably end up with a New Standard based on what everybody is saying. Do you play a Cleveland or La Scala, and what type of hard-shell case did you buy for yours? I have a Toyota Tacoma and my Chinese junk has to sit somewhat diagonally in the bed. What make/model did you find that had room to spare?

    Also, (and this question is for everybody) what kinds of vehicles do you all drive since a truck/cargo van might not be the best thing to haul your bass around in? I think Chris mentioned he hauled his in a Honda Civic? That alone is an incredible feat, not to mention playing the thing!
    Id be more than happy to get a midsize car (like a Camry) instead of a truck, so me (and my bass) could travel more comfortably. Do you fold down the passenger seat, put the bass in the backseat, and have the neck rest on the back of the folded-down front seat? Im paranoid about having any weight on the neck/headstock, as Im afraid the neck will snap. Or is this not an issue?

    Another funny thing I just thought of...If my girlfriend wants to come to my gigs, she will have to jog along the outside of the car since there wont be any room for her! Hopefully I can find something local! :D

    Ed and Sam, thanks for your input. It sounds like you guys use soft cases also. I guess Im still stuck in "EB mode" where Ive had gig bags and hardshell cases, and have always used a hardshell case. I'm sure some of you guys have pricey instruments, and if a soft case is good enough for you, then I will look into the brands you mentioned.
    PS..."SLOWBOAT?" as in slowboat to China? Are you insulting me or the country of origin where my finely-crafted Crapatino was built? Ill have you know, we resemble that remark! ;)
     
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Smaller cars, particularly hatchbacks, are easiest to get the bass into. The two most difficulat cars that I had to deal with were a '74 Chevy Bel Air and a '64 Buick Electra 225. The eastiest car was my '66 Caprice wagon, followed by a Dodge Caravan, and finally an '83 Civic hatchback and a VW Fox wagon being about equal.
     
  13. Don't spend too much time worrying about a car. As Ray says, most hatchbacks will work. I have a Hyundai Elantra Hatchback. I can get two 7\8 basses in there back to back. OR, one passenger, bass, amp, stool and amp stand plus luggage. Just be sure to take a bass with you when you buy a car.
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    SLOWBOAT = LOWNOTE, I coulda gone BLOWSMOKE or BLOWFISH STEW or somethin else.

    No worries, it's just a sound in my head.
     
  15. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    (laughing) I like 'em all!
     
  16. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Thanks Paul and Ray for the vehicle info. I was thinking the bigger the bass/bigger the vehicle. The money I will save on gas, insurance, and a hard case will be used for something more important, like lessons.
     
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There's an old thread around here somewhere that gets into 'bass v. car' in-depth, including insertion and extraction techniques and the whole shebang.
     
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Here's that "in between" case I was thinking of.
     
  19. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Thanks Ed...I was mulling over the padded bag/hatchback vehicle combo and contemplated getting rid of my pickup truck. At 21 lbs that looks like a lot of protection without all the weight. I will certainly consider this case as well...just waiting for the company to email me the price and exterior measurements...thx for the info.
     
  20. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Greetings to all. Sorry to jump on the end of this post but I have been watching with interest. After 28 years of being a musician, I have finally decided to chase my real dream of owning and playing a DB. Funny how a divorce can finally let you change directions and do what you have always wanted to do! :eek:

    Now, to task: I, too, have an F-150 with a full-sized bed (read 8-foot). My new DB is in Chicagoland -- about 2.5 hours away from me -- and will have to ride home in the back of my truck. She comes with a nice soft case to help cushion her, but my luthier raised an important question: what about things that might bounce into the back of my truck? Weider things have happened ...

    So I was wondering, what if I made a box/case out of wood that will slide into my bed, lined with speaker cab foam, caulked from the elements that the bass could ride in while inside her soft case? Do any of you think this would be a good idea? Sorry if I am paranoid, but if she has to make too many 5-hour round trips to the luthier, she might get to be a little worse for wear.

    Thanks in advance for responses. This board has been a valuable tool that has helped me to broaden my horizons, to learn many things I didn't know, and to survive some of my darkest hours through my divorce. Everyone here is great and I am humbled to be in your presence. I can't wait to pick up my new DB! :D