#1
Hey UG. I figure it's about time for me to invest a bit of money in a good case for my amp head (and possibly cab) so here I am.

Up until now I've just put it in the back of the car and belted it up or got someone to sit in the back with it but that's not really going to cut it from this point on. So I need a good flight case for it.

I know a little about flight cases but not a huge amount. I understand the three main configurations you might find and all that jazz but when it comes to deciding on a particular case, I'm lost. Are there any manufacturers that you guys tend to go for or are they all pretty much as good as the others?

Advice on this one would be appreciated. I don't want to drop a bomb on something like this and find out it's held together with string and fairy dust.
#2
I MUCH PREFER the LIVE IN option for my cases. They can add a lot of weight, but I like keeping my gear safe in the Trailer. I used to transport my DSL with just a slip cover (how COULD I BE SO WRONG) but that didn't do anything. When I traded it for the Triple Rec it came with a live in case (a huge reason for the trade). Basically, do you want it to be in the case the whole time?

The lift lid can be annoying, but when taken off you have a base, and the rest of he case, so thats 2 pieces. You can also leave the head on the base, but depending on the head that could reduce access to knobs, inputs, power, what have you.

Live in has two removable panels, totaling to 3 pieces.

I find the hinge to be dumb for heads. Open it like a chest, and take it out. One final piece to condense and put off stage. At least in my opinion and what I need a case for, I find them impractical.

My case is from http://affordable-cases.com/ and I don't hate it by ANY means.

What could become a big problem is that not all ATA cases fit all heads. So if you trade or sell, it might be too small or two large. A lot of places make each case specifically for that model of head.

They also make them for combos, and both life and live in for cabs. Then more and more configurations. Just go to the link, click a bunch of things, and absorb the information! Best of luck


Edit: if you travel or put the head in a van/trailer for tour, get a case.
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Last edited by Katsock at Aug 1, 2014,
#3
My go-to has been Anvil Cases. I think I've got about 40 of them. Maybe 50. Some of them are 30 years old. The soft foam rots, the harder stuff doesn't. Plan on re-foaming your cases from time to time.

Hard cases have two functions: to protect the goodies from penetration/impact/crushing, and to protect them from vibration.

Penetration includes a random mike stand becoming a spear under heavy braking.
Impact includes *internal* impact (put a raw egg inside a tin can and shake) as well as external.
Crushing should include a Hammond B3 coming loose from its restraints in the back of a truck...
And vibration protection should prevent your electronics from developing those intermittent solder join problems that are next to impossible to find.

Usually that means a hard exterior and a combination of hard and soft foam for the interior.
Normally, the better the case is at all of this, the heavier and bulkier it will be.

The bigger companies have the experience to make suggestions. Don't buy something that's not specifically built for YOUR piece of gear. ATA type cases should not be off-the-shelf items unless it's something for non-critical stuff (a box for cords, cables, etc.).

For ease of use with speaker cabs, I prefer the ones that have the bulk of the case lift off, leaving the cabinet with a base and wheels. You can use the cabinet just like that (moving it on and off stage quickly if necessary) or you can remove it, put the top of the case back on and put the cabinet on top of the case. I've done heads two ways; if it's just me, I find the head case that's easiest and fastest to remove. If it's a whole band thing, I like the cases that drop the front and back, leaving the head surrounded by a "case inside a case" -- a hard shell surrounded by foam surrounded by the exterior shell.

Consider colors carefully. I usually suggest that you avoid blue or black. My cases are a light tan, and they have a stenciled name on them. The light color helps keep them from absorbing heat. More importantly, if all your gear is "there should be five tan cases," it's easier to make sure that YOUR gear has been loaded/unloaded/moved offstage. Leaving a black or blue case behind because you can't see it on stage, or because it's just like everyone else's -- or accidentally swapping your gear for someone else's -- all are easier to prevent if you have your own distinctive color on everything. Yet another reason not to buy an off-the-shelf case.Take advantage of those offers that come up that give you a cheap brief case (especially if it's in your color and cheap). Buy a bunch if you can afford them; you'll be amazed at how much you'll use them.

One last thing: the better the handles are, the less likely your case (with gear) is to be dropped. While I like to put wheels on anything heavier than a ham sandwich, consider that those wheels are the most vulnerable part of the case and also the most likely part of a case to do damage to other equipment in the truck/van/bus/plane. Give lots of thought to both handles (particularly in regard to centers of gravity) and wheels.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 1, 2014,
#4
www.roadcaseusa.com is where I get mine. Ive heard of and seen plenty of Anvil cases also.
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