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Road Cases: Economical or no?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mrkreuzschlitz, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Buy one and take out a loan to pay it off

    28 vote(s)
  2. Build one and enjoy the experience.

    36 vote(s)
  1. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Time has come to give my cab some protection. Slip covers are just gonna get torn to shreds going on the road, and I really don't want to even take the risk. So, road cases, here I come. I found Trans Continental Hardware's site, and Star Cases site, and after wood and whatnot I figured it'd cost me a whole LOT less than buying from the cheapest of road case manufacturers (a little less than $500 from affordable road cases, $700 from calzone) and it can't be that hard. I'm handy with tools, and I can rivet everything together, glue the laminate onto the wood, etc, it really doesn't seem too tough, and I have buddies who will help me out if need be.

    So, is it really that easy? I mean I've seen bands that have made their own road cases to one extent or another. Is there something I'm missing, like some fancy wood trick that only case makers know? My whole band is in need of cases, and if I can make them and save us a bit of cash, then sweet.

    Should I go with a pro built case and shell out a lot of money that I don't have, or just do it myself?
  2. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    I say go for the build if you're semi-handy. Unless you're looking at national tour where you're trusting your gear to trucking companies and airlines, I'm betting it'd be just fine.
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    +1. In addition, depending on the conditions of the tour, you might be able to get away with much lighter weight construction than commercial flight cases. For instance, instead of laminate, just paint the thing. When it gets scuffed, paint it again.

    The downside is that you'll be doubling the size and weight of your gear, making you less transportable at a time when we read about bands being driven out of the business by transportation costs.
  4. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    By the way, these won't be extensive national tours or anything, they'd be at most stuff around my state or a regional tour. I hate having my cab in the back of a trailer without any protection.
  5. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    My SVT-810 case came from Safecase.com It was bought off eBay for $599... After shipping I had $750 in it. They are located in Houston, so you could have all the cases built and drive over and pick them up. At least you'd save shipping.

    So far I have only bought one case. I will need to pick up a bunch more. I am very pleased with the quality, nice wheels etc.

    They're about 100# for an 810 sized cab. You know exactly how heavy that would be. They add about 4" to the height and width and about 8" to the thickness. They will not stand up in my van, but will lay on their side. The cab alone will stand up in my van.

    SO it is definately larger truck or TRAILER sized gear. The wheels on the back make them a bit harder to lay against each other. BUt since you are just talking moving one cab...

    The cab could be left IN the box too. The front cover removes and there is a little door that flips down giving access to the connector plate.

    Four nice lag bolts through the case and into the cab would permanently mount the cab in the case. I am all for this mod.

    I dont like beat up gear, so I'm very for the flight cases. And this Safecase is really nice. I dont think average joe could build one of these this nice, not saying you're average joe by any means.

    Jan-AL is the super pro touring case guys, I figure three times the price for the same case, of course they wouldnt call it the same case.

  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    A while back, someone showed slip cases made of corrugated cardboard and duct tape. I know it sounds cheezy, but every dollar you save gets you an extra... well, it gets you an extra five miles down the road.
  7. heath_r_91


    Jun 3, 2006
    Topeka Area, Kansas
    I'd check out Tuffbox cases for what you are looking for.

    Tuffbox 810 case.

    It sounds like that is exactly what you would be looking for.

    It shouldn't add too much weight or size, but would definitely give you a lot more protection than a slip cover.

    Also, at $300 the price would be very hard to beat even doing it yourself.
  8. ashtray9


    Aug 1, 2002
    Tempe Arizona
    Are you guys worried about damage to functionality of the cabs, or just the aesthetics?

    Just noticed a big dent and lost paint on my Eden 210 and thought "nice". IMO bass gear looks great with wear and tear.
  9. Two thoughts:

    Look for used cases (I see a bunch come up for cheap every once and a while - people have a tough time getting rid of some large custom cases).

    Replace your cabs with some used Mesa's (Road Ready?) that have the road case built in to the cab.
  10. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Well, I think we're just gonna get some padded slipcovers and be done with it. My drummer and I were discussing it, and he had a great idea. We're going to get a dual live in head case with a rack, and everyone in my band is going to put their heads in it, and we're gonna put it on stage like it's a second 810. I found a place that will build one for $600, but four 4x12 roadcases would be $1,300, not to mention another $500 for my 810 case. Not cheap at all.

    As far as tuffbox goes, I emailed the guy and he said that I'd have to really baby it if I wanted to to hold up. Yeah, I'll pass to be honest.

    I've done a cardboard slipcover, and it lasted two shows. I could redo it, but I don't mind paying a little bit of cash for a decent padded slipcover.

    I'd LOVE a Mesa RoadReady, but I don't really want to change my cab, you know? And it doesn't help that my band is retolexing our backline to a matching color... :p

    Thanks for the info though.
  11. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Bro, when you see my cab, you'll understand. I bought it with almost no damage on the tolex and now it's got a whole side peeling off. I'm all for character, but after I retolex, I don't want it peeling off again. The color we're retolexing in wouldn't look great peeled off... well, its gonna look nicer a lot newer than how it is now.
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    A good road case can make all the difference in the world. If you feel you can do it justice, go for it (I don't have those skills so I shelled out for a head case). The first time you drop a tube head on the cement and nothing goes wrong inside you'll be glad you had it. If you're only worried about aesthetics then padded covers should do you fine. My guitarist has been using just the slip covers that came with his mesa triple rec/4x12 for years and while the covers are beat to heck, the head and cab look pristine.
  13. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I think it depends on what your time is worth to you, and whether you have the skills, the tools, and a proper place to build. Materials can cost as much as a bought item, and then you're always left with a home made item that you'd have a hard time selling. I could build most anything, but these day I'd rather work my job and buy, than put the time in to build. Sometimes it's fun though. I build speaker cabs and guitars for fun once in a while, along with some furniture.
  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    for your type of gig i would reccomend skipping the road case and getting a padded tuki cover. they make ones with velcro enclosures that cover the entire cab as well. these things are bulletproof. I and several others have beat the hell out of these things to no avail.
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Unless you are doing hardcore big-truckpack touring, road cases are a waste of space and weight for cabs. It's also a pain to pull into some club and store this extra bulk while playing the gig. Often there isn't much room for it except back in your van/truck.

    If one is concerned about tolex or carpet, one can easily do finishes on cabs that hold up or touch up better, including bonding road case ABS to the enclosure and using aluminum extrusion on edges, or refinishing using industrial paints. Or one could even just shoot with flat or satin black cheaper pain, because that is so easily touched up at the end of an especially grueling period of portage.
  16. heath_r_91


    Jun 3, 2006
    Topeka Area, Kansas
    I never knew that, I had just seen them on Ebay. Why would someone make a "road case" that you would have to baby?

    Isn't the point of the road case to be able to hold up on the road and help make it so you don't have to baby your equipment as much?
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    When I play gigs that are supported by commercial sound companies, I have never seen speakers in road cases. Most often, I see speakers that are finished in rat fur or something like Duratex.

    A speaker is a box. If a box needs to be transported in a box, then something is wrong. Maybe tolex is too delicate for heavy use. I opted for Duratex, which I can touch up myself.

    Road cases are just a recipe for more cost and setup time. Many venues don't have enough storage space for road cases, so you might have to load them back into your trailer while you are playing.
  18. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Greenboy, the road cases I'm talking about are live in, not the lid/trunk/etc style.

    I discussed it with my band (we're all in need of cases) and we're just gonna get head cases, and go with the padded slip covers for our cabs. As far as brands go, which are the most durable at the end of the day? I'm thinking about Tuki, but I don't know too much about them.

    Also have any of you guys had any experience with affordable-cases.com? They seem VERY reasonable and a little over $500 for a live in head + 6 space rack with 1/2 ply seems really good.
  19. My guitarist has one for his head and rack. It works fine, but the covers don't want to line up and fit right sometimes. But all things considered, it works fine and has seen so many shows and held up well.
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    What you need are AmpCondoms® :D

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