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flightcase - keyboard?


Dave Horne

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I'm in the market for a flightcase for a keyboard and went to Anvíl's site and saw the Speedster case. This case has a built in telescoping handle and attached wheels so you do not need a hand truck. Would this be practical for a heavy keyboard (since the wheels are so small and the weight of the piano is so heavy)? http://members.home.nl/davehorne/Speedster.gif

 

I don't know if I can get the same thing in the Netherlands. At any rate, I would appreciate any information you could throw my way re flightcases. I know the big US names, but am not aware of the European equivalent.

 

I went back and edited this post after I found the following case from Calzone ... http://members.home.nl/davehorne/Calzone.jpg

This looks like something I would want.

 

Anyone here in Europe who has seen something like this? Who are the big European flightcase makers anyway?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Calzone actually bought out Anvil a while back. Both are top-notch quality, although I suspect Anvil makes an even tougher case. I bought a Calzone case for my Kurzweil K2600X which weighs 72 lbs. The case weighs 54. Do the math. :freak: Heavy stuff, but the sound at performance time is worth the schlepp, and the wheels handle the load. :thu: Can't go wrong with either company. My Calzone case was about 400 bucks (U.S.), and worth every penny to protect my baby. It will fend off an Iraqi RPG. ---Lee

Joe Pine (60's talk show host who sported a wooden leg) to Frank Zappa -- "So, with your long hair, I guess that makes you a woman." Frank Zappa's response -- "So, with your wooden leg, I guess that makes you a table."

 

 

http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/album.php?aid=2001&alid=-1

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Does anyone here have any experience with the SKB \ molded plastic type cases. Since the piano I will order (P250) is quite heavy (71 lbs. / 33.5 kg), would anyone advise against that type of case? The advantage of those molded plastic cases is of course their light weight.

 

So, does anyone have first experience with a _heavy_ keyboard and that type case? I only mention that because they offer a model with wheels as well.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I used an 88 key skb case years ago, but I used it with my own truck and never left the schlepping to others, so taking good care of the keyboard was assured. The skb case had no wheels and moving was like dragging around a dead body in a coffin. I have a good friend whose business rents pro equipment equipment in the Dallas, Texas area to touring musicians. All his cases are the calzone type. No skb. Since he must have protection as a priority, he cannot take a chance. His staff does the load outs, etc. Based on his practice I would recommend calzones with wheels if your priority is protection. We have weekly jam sessions at his place and I am used to dragging keyboards out of the warehouse. The wheels are a good feature, believe me.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Thanks Dave for the info. The weight of those SKB cases is attractive, but I do realize the trade offs.

 

Good news - I just found a Dutch music store that likes to undercut prices. You walk into just about any Dutch music store and they all give you the same price ... and a free cup of coffee.

 

I might be ordering my P250 and my flight case next week. My wife has the car for the weekend and I am home alone. I could bike to the store but that would take several hours.

 

... later

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Dave,

 

I use a new-model SKB case with wheels for my S90. Weighs a few pounds less than the P250, but the S90 is 60-something pounds, so the weight is comparable. Total weight is 80-something.

 

I like the case a lot. In addition to looking much better, the molded case doesn't catch fabric or damage things as I move it around. (The square metal corners of those other cases are deadly when you collide with something.) The case is rigid, but the molded fiberglass construction has a little "give". This is a good thing because the extra give means that the case itself can absorb some impact.

 

The wheels are relatively small, but roll smoothly, even on rough asphalt parking lots. The only problem is getting it in/out of my Explorer. If I slide it out flat, then angle the case down to ground level, when the wheels hit the ground the case wants to take off on me. I have to remember to grab one of the end handles before the wheels touch. My nightmare is to see it slide down a parking lot into the path of a car ...

 

The handles are strong, but could be a little wider: Hard on the hands. Looks like both types of cases use similiar handles. I'll probably pad mine with thicker rubber tubing or something.

 

Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up with and your impressions of the P250. I almost bought one, but the versatility of the S90 won out.

 

Murray

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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There's one more issue I'd like to hear back from you guys on - if you were to have used a hand truck, the piano and case would be more upright because of the how you use the hand truck - your one hand is on the bar of the hand truck which is in front of your chest; the case with built in wheels forces you to place one hand at the top end of the flight case. Since you're maneuvering the piano using the top end handle, aren't you also pushing more weight (if you lower the top end to your chest) than with a hand truck, do you see what I mean? (I realize the weight of the piano is constant but the angle pushing it makes a difference ... I think.)

 

At any rate, does it work OK with the wheels on the bottom of the case and one hand on top of the case? If you have steps, do the wheels also do their job as well as a hand truck would?

 

With built in wheels, would you ever need to bring along your hand truck?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Everytime I know I have stairs to negotiate I would count on taking a hand-truck, myself. In my experience, the small wheels are good for level surfaces. I do not think they are adequate for stairs. Heck at Sound Productions, I'm careful going onto rugs, carpet, door jambs. I think the wheels are a great feature and would buy whatever case I got with wheels. But, you're probably going to need a good hand-truck, too if you are in and out of loading areas at hotels, and the like. Just my 2 cents.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Dave, thanks for the info re steps and those small wheels. I usually work places I have already played so I know ahead of time what the situation is and can prepare.

 

I just got back from the store who will either make or order my case. Now I have another decision to make - do I buy a flight case that comes in two separate pieces or one with a piano hinge?

 

The owner of the store asked me if I play with the piano in the case. To me, that's asking for trouble. I don't drink on jobs (unless the musicians I'm working with are horrible) and having someone else help me (who has had a few drinks) place the top half of the case on the piano is a accident waiting to happen ..... or not?

 

Opinions? I'm narrowing now my choices and the guy will call me back Tuesday with a price for the P250 and we'll discuss the flight case.

 

This is an interesting store - for insurance cost reasons, he doesn't carry any insurance, there is no indication from outside that this is a business and for that reason he can undercut the other Dutch music stores. He also makes cases and I will be able to order exactly what I want.

 

For those Dutch guys following this, e-mail me and I'll pass on the name, location and phone number of this 'store'.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Since you're maneuvering the piano using the top end handle, aren't you also pushing more weight (if you lower the top end to your chest) than with a hand truck, do you see what I mean? (I realize the weight of the piano is constant but the angle pushing it makes a difference ... I think.)

Dave,

 

You're on the right track. First of all, because weight is due to gravity, all of the force on your hand when you pick up the case is downwards.

 

Danger: Start Math I'm pretty sure the gravity force would be 1/2 cos(theta), where theta is the angle of the case from the ground. When you first pick it, theta will be nearly 0 and the weight will be nearly 1/2 the case/keyboard weight. As you lift it up, the weight decreases slowly because of the way the cosine function works. At 45 deg., the weight is 1/2 X .707 or 35%. Using a hand truck nakes theta approach 90 deg., so the downward force approaches zero. This is the benefit the the truck, but then you've got to balance a very heavy upright keyboard. Might get tricky.End Math

 

When you start to push it, there is some force required to roll it, but unless you're pushing it uphill it's small compared to the downward force. Bottom line, you're lifting about 40% of the weight when rolling the keyboard.

 

This is an interesting store ...

 

Dave, this isn't one of those canabis shops that the Dutch are famous for???

 

Murray

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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When you start to push it, there is some force required to roll it ...

 

Ah yes, I remember the coefficient of friction from high school physics.

 

Dave, this isn't one of those canabis shops that the Dutch are famous for???

 

Nope. You know, I've lived here for nine years and only set foot in a 'coffee shop' one time. I think I only smoked marijuana once or twice in the last nine years. (I smoked more in the military and we had piss tests, go figure.) The US could learn a few things from how other countries do things, but this discussion would soon take on a political slant.

 

Re that music store, I spoke with the owner and he said the cost of insurance was so high, that he refuses to carry it; so, you call him up and make an appointment. I just biked there today and rang the doorbell ... interesting.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I should add one more thing ... and also ask you guys with wheeled cases about another issue.

 

The guy who makes his own cases could place a handle in the middle of the case (on the large surface area) about the same place where you would grab a hand truck if you had used one. This seems like a good idea ... or not?

 

That might be a better solution than to use the handle at the top end of the case; it would allow you to more easily keep the case in a more vertical position when wheeling it which would make it a bit lighter and easier on one's hands.

 

Question to the guys with wheeled (88 key) cases - is using that top handle awkward when wheeling your case? Would you refer to have a handle built in the case at chest level?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by daveloving:

Dave, explain how the case lays flat with a handle on the back. I think I'd keep it simple. The wheels and end handles work ok. The advantage of a hand truck is the large wheels, imho.

Yea, that concerned me as well. The guy who I spoke to did not think that would be a problem with the handle recessed, of course if it were completely recessed it would take up some space on the inside of the case as well. I'll have to talk with him more about that. I think my case is beginning to become complete.

 

I think for most of my jobs I can get away without using a handtruck. (My father bought me a Sears handtruck when I was 16 or so and I still have it. It has been welded a few times to repair it and it is still going strong after 37 years.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Dave,

 

I'm not sure the recessed handle would work very well. First, you have to elevate the keyboard to an upright, balanced position. You would have to pick it up using an end handle, then transition somehow to the recessed handle. The wheels would make it want to roll away from you. Sounds awkward and dangerous.

 

When you're rolling it, you would want it to be slightly unbalanced with the case leaning toward you (like with a hand truck) so that bumps wouldn't make the case rotate and flip away from you. This means that the unbalanced weight of the case would be downwards. Unless I don't understand the design of the handle, you would be supporting the weight using the top of a single hand. You'd be on the underside of the case, so you couldn't see where you're going. It probably would require you to have your arms angled up just to get it away from your face. Not good.

 

I'm fairly strong, but I'm reminded every week that a long, 80-something pound case on wheels isn't easy to control safely.

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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It doesn't appear that I will have the case made with a handle buit into the bottom part at chest level (when wheeling it).

 

My idea was to have one hand on top of the case (using the top handle) and the other hand on that chest high handle when pushing it. When I used a hand truck on my A-80's flight case, I would keep one hand on the top of the case and the other on the hand truck.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

My idea was to have one hand on top of the case (using the top handle) and the other hand on that chest high handle when pushing it.

The hand on top will have poor leverage and will tire out quickly. Better hit the gym first!

 

Originally posted by Dave Horne:

When I used a hand truck on my A-80's flight case, I would keep one hand on the top of the case and the other on the hand truck.

Sounds unsafe. Would be much better to strap the case to the truck and keep both hands on the handles. Unless you're taller than I think, make sure you get a periscope to see in front of your case! ;)
Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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I had a K2500XS in a Unitec (anvil style flight case) case with wheels on one end, handle on the other (hand truck style); it was very heavy (especially going up the stairs!), but practical. I sold keyboards in retail for years, sold a lot of SKB cases. Every now and then they would get damaged in flight situations (especially overseas). The external hardware would break in a lot of flight situations. The anvil style cases (whether Anvil, Calzone, or Unitec) always held up. The majority of sales were the SKB type, and to be fair to SKB, we had far, far more success stories than not. If it were me, and I was doing the transporting, I'd get the SKB and save my back; if flying, I'd get the heavy one! Another plastic case that is very good is at www.gatorcases.com.

:wave:

Composer/Performer at Roger Hooper Music

Product Trainer at CASIO

www.rogerhooper.com

 

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Here's what happened to a poor guy that made the wrong decision on his keyboard case. Maybe he should have gone for the hand truck:

 

"A Sandusky, Ohio, man was rescued Wednesday after having been pinned under a pipe organ for about 10 days.

 

"Elex Pentorn Jr.'s mail had been piling up, so apartment building workers Jack Johnson and Edward J. Ferback went to check on him, according to the Lorain Morning Journal. They found the 50-year-old man trapped underneath the 200-pound instrument, lifted it off him and called 911.

 

"Paramedics rushed Pentorn to a local hospital. He was then flown to a special-care unit in Toledo (search), where he was in critical condition Friday.

 

" 'You could see the [organ's indentation] across his stomach when they picked him up,' Johnson told the newspaper.

 

"It appeared that Pentorn, said to be an expert weightlifter, may have had a stroke and pulled the organ down on top of himself.

 

" 'They said he was in there seven to 10 days,' Johnson said. 'They said another day, and he wouldn't have made it.'

 

" Thanks to Out There reader Jill P." ; Fox News on Line, April 24th.

 

Be careful out there!!

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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:eek::eek:

 

Anyway, I would really like to see the case for a pipe organ.... :D

 

And while we're at it, the biggest case I've ever seen was after a Pat Metheny Group concert. Five or six poor guys were struggling and gasping while tryng to set the *grand piano* inside its case! It was scary.

 

As for Dave's dilemma, I would go with a nice hand truck in addition to a case. In my experience, it is usually more adaptable to every type of logistical situation than built-in wheels.

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Who are the big European flightcase makers anyway?

I have great experience of Holmberg cases in Sweden, you can find them at www.hbc.se They have a couple of different models, ranging from the lighter aluwrap models to the more sturdy full-blown flightcases. Still, they´re a LOT lighter than Calzone cases, highly protective - I´d take one of these over an SKB any day - and they come in different colors! :D The Holmbergs are the standard case for sound and light production here in Sweden, and most production companies have been using them almost exclusively for the last +25 years or so. Since I´ve bought all my cases used, I´ve aquired two Holmberg cases, one Calzone and one big SKB for my A-90, I have three stairs and no elevator and an A-90 in anything heavier than plastic simply would not get up those stairs! :rolleyes:

 

/J :cool: nas

 

Feel free to pm me for additional info!

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Thanks for that link. You need to remove that last dot ... http://www.hbc.se/

 

I've sent them and a music store in Germany e-mails for prices. My wife has vacation in a few weeks and it might be worth my while to drive to a big city in Germany to get a better price. Holland has a built in 19% tax on almost all items. (Remember that when you guys complain about state sales tax.)

 

I should be ordering the P250 and a case shortly - I haven't made up my mind on the case yet. Since I move the stuff myself, a SKB type case would be fine. I have lots of experience with the Anvil type cases and know they will outlive me.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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You move a A90 in case up three flights of stairs? I hope you charge extra for bringing your own stuff.

 

(If there's a piano already there, you don't have to move any equipment, right? If there's no piano they should pay you extra for bringing your own. That's my philosophy.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Thanks for that link. You need to remove that last dot ... http://www.hbc.se/

 

I've sent them and a music store in Germany e-mails for prices. My wife has vacation in a few weeks and it might be worth my while to drive to a big city in Germany to get a better price. Holland has a built in 19% tax on almost all items. (Remember that when you guys complain about state sales tax.)

 

I should be ordering the P250 and a case shortly - I haven't made up my mind on the case yet. Since I move the stuff myself, a SKB type case would be fine. I have lots of experience with the Anvil type cases and know they will outlive me.

...we have 25% sales tax... :freak:

 

Like you said, if you move your stuff yourself, SKB is a good way to go. Dot removed!

 

/J :cool: nas

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

You move a A90 in case up three flights of stairs? I hope you charge extra for bringing your own stuff.

 

(If there's a piano already there, you don't have to move any equipment, right? If there's no piano they should pay you extra for bringing your own. That's my philosophy.)

You are so right about this. I don´t do a lot of solo piano gigs, and usually I bring my Electro and XV-2020 for cover gigs. Most of my stuff - including the A-90 - is in my rehersal space nowadays, and there´s an elevator there. Still, that´s half an hour drive from my apartment, and sometimes it´s a lot easier to bring the stuff home. I have to start working out again! :D

 

/J :cool: nas

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25%!!! I thought 19% was bad enough. I've never been to Sweden, but plan to visit. Sweden is a member of the EU, correct? I saw a price at that web site, I believe, that could not have been Euros. Are companies still posting prices in both currencies?

 

The prices in Germany are typically better than in Holland. Because we are all members of the EU, there is no import tax. I might just buy that piano and case in Germany and make the trip to pick it up part of the vacation. I should receive another price quote tomorrow.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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