Who do you trust?
There are times when your put your faith in products that you buy, especially products that are designed to protect important investments. Recently I have purchased high quality cases for my new instruments and find they really don't live up to the promises.
Case examples (pun intended!)
I purchased a Bam Newtech cello case on the strength of the salespersons advice from Allans/Billy Hyde..
The Bam website states:
Outside shell made of sleek metallic ABS composite shell with an Airex skeleton thanks to which the case is ultra-resistant.
The "Newtech": Double layer structure with an airex / PVC foam skeleton
With the case standing upright, there are four points of contact with the floor. two wheels at the back of the case, and two plastic feet on the front. One of these feet appears to have suffered some trauma and has cracked the shell so that the part of the shell still attached to to foot is not physically connected to the main body. the only thing holding it on is the seal between the front and back of the shells.
I don't know when this happened. It might have been that way from when I bought it, I didn't look and only noticed it a month or so later. I have never dropped it.
I went back to Allans/Billy Hyde but they were of no assistance as they were closing down and referred me to the Bam agent in Australia. I asked for the contact information and and phoned him up. He gave some excuse about being busy and that he'd call me back. He never did! So much for service after an item is purchased. He did mumble something about possibly replacing the case, but that was never followed up. I wonder how much postage would have cost?
I recently bought a Mandolin from a luthier in Canberra while I was at the Harrietville Bluegrass festival. The case provided was a TKL and looked well up to the task of protecting the instrument.
The TKL website states:
Industry leaders, the world over, have made TKL their first and only choice for fine musical instrument cases and bags. We invite you to join our many satisfied customers who know that TKL stands for innovation, quality and value - with question, without compromise. The Only Brand to Carry TM
Their website shows a guitar case being abused.
The case is built very well and looks very sturdy and I don't doubt that it could handle being kicked around.
My issue with the case is the strap the stops the lid from opening too far. This is really just a token effort and not robust in anyway.
What happened to me, and it is unusual, is that I grabbed the lid when I had knocked the case from a table and it was heading for a tiled floor. What dismayed me was that the strap simply came away from the lid and emptied the mandolin face down on the floor with an all mighty bang. The mandolin survived which is a testament to the luthier.
Next day I had a close look and discovered that the strap is attached to the side of the lid with one staple and no re-enforcing.
I had two attempts at re-enforcing the strap, actually replacing it, as it's completely non functional.
For the moment it works and I think I can trust it, but I don't plan to repeat the exercise. I'll be much more careful in the future.