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Keyboard Bag - with or without wheels?


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Hi,

 

Looking for suitable transport for My RD2000 and Fantom 7

 

I transport myself, so weight is an issue (and their already heavy boards) so full flight cases are not good. Most semi rigid with wheels are also not really useful - as their half the weight of the board again.

 

So - Im looking at reasonably protected soft cases - which Im fine with (Ive been using less protection on the RD for a while).

 

i have a couple of options - one does have wheels but is very light. The other is 1Kg lighter again (thats not worth worrying about) and has no wheels. The one with wheels is 3 x the price of that without - all other specs are comparable (size, padding etc).

 

There is another - a Gator BUT the handles arnt long enough to use to shoulder carry - and it doesnt have a shoulder strap (and actually the padding is slightly less as well). Both the bags Im looking at have handles I can shoulder mount (the one with no wheels has backpack style straps plus long handles, the one with wheels has backpack straps, short handles plus a separate shoulder strap.

 

all things being equal the "wheeled" option is best given the carrying options BUT at 3 x the price? when I need 2 of them? Im second guessing - and the actual protection is pretty similar. So is it worth paying the extra? Im always concerned with wheels on bags when boards are on the heavey side - not sure how long they will last (as their flexible and prone to breaking - not a problem on hard cases).

 

Thoughts?

Roland RD2000, FA07 (soon to be Fantom7), Legend EXP, Peak, Virus Ti2 Desktop.
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That might be the eternal question for me :D I used to have a softcase for my 88 without wheels that I would fling over my shoulder and carry with the shoulder strap - it would get quite tiresome on longer load-ins, but was great for stairs, gravel and other adverse terrain.

Now I have a slightly heavier case with wheels. It's annoying having to pick it up for every flight of stairs, and don't get me started on gravel roads... however, last winter I had a gig where I had to transport the board from a parking garage 5 mins away to a building behind a bustling christmas market. I would have died carrying the board, but dragging it with the wheels was a breeze.

It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
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Yeh.... I carry my RD (and FA - though my new Fantom comes this week to replace it, hence looking at new bags) and can cope on the shoulder OK. Thats why Im considering the cheaper on without wheels..... BUT..... wheels would be so useful on occasion. If prices were closer (as they are with Gator cases for instance)

it would be a no brainer. If I was buying one case for one board (ie for the RD and I was keeping the light FA) id just go with wheels, but when I need 2 cases (my current RD is showing wear on the edges and the Fantom wont fit the FAs bag).... Its £320 for wheels of £100 for no wheels...... (for the pair). The difference is 10% of the cost of the Fantom...

Roland RD2000, FA07 (soon to be Fantom7), Legend EXP, Peak, Virus Ti2 Desktop.
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I've got a Soundwear Stagebag 88 for my old 'n trusty Yamaha CP5. It's a sturdy soft bag with wheels and multiple pockets etc. It definitely doesn't offer the protection a hard flightcase would, but it's light enough to maneuver by yourself - and the wheels help immensely. The problem is getting the heavy keyboard into it at first! The RD2000 is a heavy keyboard at 47 lbs, but the CP5 is even heavier (55 lbs).
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I did look at the soundstage stuff. The Fusion gabs are the same kind of price, but lighter (by about 5kg). The problem with the soundstage stuff, is while there is one perfect sized for the RD, there isnt for the Fantom. That board is 1300mm long but 403mm wide... thats the problem bit - getting a bag wide enough that isnt massively too long for it really. Fusion do one thats not too bad (about 12cm too long) BUT they come with foam blocks that vecro into the side to snugly fit boards smaller than the c case.... as well as internal straps. There also 30mm padding v the 25mm on the Soundstage kit.
Roland RD2000, FA07 (soon to be Fantom7), Legend EXP, Peak, Virus Ti2 Desktop.
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Just a thought, and don"t know if it"s been mentioned and/or ruled out... but would the cost difference of buying the cheaper cases w/o wheels offset the cost of buying a two-wheeled dolly? Usually the wheels are heavier duty than what you get on cases, and for times where you might only need to move one board a short distance you can leave it at home.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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I'll repeat here what I wrote in the other forum for the (perhaps dubious) benefit of others who might have a similar question:

 

This is such a hard question to answer Paul. It really depends on the frequency, method and distance of your transport and storage requirements. It also depends on the weight of the keyboard in question.

 

For example - 99% of the time my keyboards live in road or flight cases (with wheels). Yes they're heavy but the wheels help immensely and I'm secure in the knowledge that they're highly unlikely to get damaged. This being said, my 'boards (before COVID-19) were regularly travelling 20,000+km per year. I also don't trust anyone else at a venue to be careful around my keyboards - so no soft cases go to gigs.

 

The above said, if I'm just moving a 61-key keyboard from the rehearsal room to my house for some practice time, I'll stick it in a soft case with no wheels, because it only has to go from one safe and controlled room to another via the back of my 4WD. Chance of damage pretty much zero. The flipside to this is my stage piano always lives in a road case with wheels even for short trips, because the risk of damage to it is too great due to its weight. If it were to be dropped or a soft bag handle were to tear, it would be curtains.

 

In summary...it depends, but for my usage patterns I'm highly wary of soft cases.

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Why not buy both?

 

I have 2 cases for my bass: A soft gig bag for travel to rehearsals...it has shoulder straps so I can load in or out in one trip, and also a hard shell case for when a couple of us may be car pooling to a gig with a load of equipment so it has some added protection in case the load shifts.

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What I found using wheels on soft bags is that if I only needed to bring a keyboard then they are great. The problem is the stand, bench, cables, maybe pedals, etc., so one trip just for the keyboard is not efficient IMO. When I gigged with the most stuff, I used a Rocknroller. One trip for two boards, two amps, etc. For a jazz gig an aluminum 2-wheeler that folds down will carry a digital piano, two small amps, bench, stand, accessories utilizing bungee cords was/is best.

AvantGrand N2 | ES520 | Gallien-Krueger MK & MP | https://soundcloud.com/pete36251

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Buy a block of paraffin or zipper wax and treat the zippers of whatever bag you buy.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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My PC3 is getting old so I try to be as careful with it as possible. I would not transport (nor have I ever transported any keyboard) in a bag that has wheels and drag it around. I've found not that many smooth surfaces ever exist at places that I gig and the idea of the wheels bouncing over the creases in cement, dragging it over stones, across lawns, etc. can't possibly be good for a keyboard. I always carry my own keyboard. If people want to help they can carry other bags but I always carry my own keys. I treat my keys with kid gloves which is why they always seem to look like they are in excellent condition despite the hundreds of gigs and practices that they all have been through.

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

Delaware Dave

Exit 93 Band

 

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Somebody may have mentioned but - ONE high quality folding dolly. Get a good one, it will last.

 

Then you can roll EVERYTHING. Your boards, your amp, etc. The larger wheels on a good dolly are worth gold, the small wheels on most rolling cases are just not as easy to work with.

Folds down flat so it's easy to find a place to stash it near the back of the stage - mine goes behind the amps.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Several years ago I decided to do one load from car only. This required:

 

1) Rock 'n Roller cart (of sufficient size)

2) Cases without wheels, that can stack - the wheels would be superfluous.

3) Different sized schlep bags for varying rig configurations

4) Pedal board in road case (for fast setup of Key Largo and all pedals)

 

This has pretty much kept me from ever having a rig larger than two keyboards (and the occasional keytar), which may not work for some.

..
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At 39 pounds for the Fantom7, we're not in the light, under 30 pound board range. It'd be helpful to see the prices you're talking about.

 

I've really liked my Gator Pro Go. At around $200 they're not cheap but it seems to be well built. It has backpack straps, which for my use is perfect, I don't need wheels. But at 40 pounds that's starting to ask a lot of you and the bag as a backpack.

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Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

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Several years ago I decided to do one load from car only. This required:

 

1) Rock 'n Roller cart (of sufficient size)

2) Cases without wheels, that can stack - the wheels would be superfluous.

3) Different sized schlep bags for varying rig configurations

4) Pedal board in road case (for fast setup of Key Largo and all pedals)

 

This has pretty much kept me from ever having a rig larger than two keyboards (and the occasional keytar), which may not work for some.

 

Off topic, but how do you like the Key Largo? Anything you don't like about it? I've been considering adding one to my rig.

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Off topic, but how do you like the Key Largo? Anything you don't like about it? I've been considering adding one to my rig.

 

I love it.

 

Mind you, I went in with both eyes open - I realized it doesn't do everything a small-format mixer does (like a Yamaha MG), and has some odd features I never use (the sustain pedal pass through, for one).

 

But for me, I run a two-board rig in mono, play in several different bands, with all sorts of possible FOH situations. So the KL does everything I want it to do, perfect interface with FOH, and it sounds really, really good. Love it and no looking to replace/upgrade anytime soon.

 

It's funny, but everything in the signal path can impact your sound, even your mixer. Many times we aren't aware of it until you accumulate too much gear, and then can A/B mixers, DI boxes and such on a bored weekend. I can say this - after A/B'ing all my mixers, I'm sticking with the KL.

..
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Somebody may have mentioned but - ONE high quality folding dolly. Get a good one, it will last.

 

Then you can roll EVERYTHING. Your boards, your amp, etc. The larger wheels on a good dolly are worth gold, the small wheels on most rolling cases are just not as easy to work with.

Folds down flat so it's easy to find a place to stash it near the back of the stage - mine goes behind the amps.

 

No room in the car for a dolly of any sort. Its jammed to the roof as it is. I carry both boards (currently an FA rather than the Fantom -but its similar in size), plus 2 PA Cabs, plus stand (Spider Pro in a bag), plus mic stand and speaker stands (in another loing bag), plus 3 flight cases with modules in 9Peak, Virus and Legend EXP), Plus a bag full of cables, plus a toolcase with spare cables, soldering iron, tools etc, plus another soft keys bag with my top shelf in (with line mixer mounted under it) and my floor board (couple of EXP pedals and 3 dampers).

 

Anyhow - ended up going for a soft bag with wheels, though not the ones Id initially looked at as they had no stock, and non due till after July (shipments from factory delayed) - and that was direct from supplier.

 

Ended up with a couple of Soundwears. A Soundwear Gigbag made for the RD series

 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Soundwear-Gigbag-142x39x15-cm-e-g-Roland-RD-700-300SX/art-EPI0000456-000;pgid=9rugwiERzRdSRpTzruU3zIz70000ATnwZgof

 

and a Soundwear Tasche for the F7

 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Soundwear-Tasche-136x43x14-cm-z-B-Roland-FP-PA-1x-pro/art-KEY0002411-000;pgid=9rugwiERzRdSRpTzruU3zIz70000ATnwZgof

Roland RD2000, FA07 (soon to be Fantom7), Legend EXP, Peak, Virus Ti2 Desktop.
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