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View Full Version : Hardcases or Softbags??



David_DX
06-30-2010, 07:31 AM
I'm currently looking for both, and can't decide on which I should buy.

I already narrowed it down to "Hardcase" - hardcases or protection racket Bags.

What I need is 22x16/10x9/12x10/16x16 (dont know if the depth of the racktoms fit exactly)

In price the protection racket bags are somehow 60/70% of the price of hardcases.

If anyone has experience with either this would be very helpful, because I'd like to buy them soon for gigging.

I have a HN14S (Snare-Hardcase) from "Hardcase" and I think its pretty nice, but I have no experience with the protection racket products in person, so every opinion is appreciated.

chilledbongo
06-30-2010, 08:06 AM
i own a full set of protection raquet cases, and i can recommend them highly for local gigging, though maybe not if you are traveling longer distances and others are abusing/handling your gear.

ive had my bags now for a couple of years and they are holding up beautifully under near daily use and abuse. the exterior material is very tough and i love the sheepskin interiors!

one of the handles on the 22x16 kick drum case developed loose stitching. i emailed protection raquet with pix and they immediately shipped me a new case, free of charge.

i would go with them in a heartbeat for cases.

premiumdrummer
06-30-2010, 08:10 AM
I have no experience with either, but i'd go skb

Creekstock
06-30-2010, 08:12 AM
I have a combination of Protection Racket and Harcase cases. So I definitely think you're picking between the right products!

Pro Racket cases are great - strong, light, take knocks fairly well and pretty waterproof. Hardcases will give a whole lot more protection againts bumps and scrapes, but don't have the nice soft lining that the Pro Racket cases do. I have no idea if this lining makes any difference, but I like the idea of my drums being surrounded by it!

Two caveats:

1 - if you're going to be flying with any of your gear, or generally entrusting it to other people then go Hardcase - they'll take the abuse, and are light enough to avoid too much excess baggage charge!

2 - if you're insuring your gear check whether or not they must be in rigid cases (i.e. Hardcases) - I know a few insurers insist that gear is transport in 'rigid bodied cases'.

towers
06-30-2010, 08:34 AM
I've had experiences with both.
From my experience:
Hard or soft case? Absolutely hard case.
if hard case, which brand: Hardcase, Humes & Berg, SKB, etc.? My least favorite is Hardcase
If soft case, which soft case? Defininitely Pro Racket

Simon_LDT
06-30-2010, 11:25 AM
Hardcases will give a whole lot more protection againts bumps and scrapes, but don't have the nice soft lining that the Pro Racket cases do.

I can confirm that. They just have small bits of padding attached to the top and bottom of the case. I've gigged with Hardcases for awhile now and they're excellent. None of my drums are damaged (not even a scratch). However, if you're transporting an expensive kit around, you can just pad the sides of the case yourself (it's quite cheap to do). OR you can wrap each drum in a beach towel or something, before putting them into the case. Just adds that little extra protection.

PYRRHO
06-30-2010, 11:52 AM
Owning both PR bags and SKB cases, I'd say it depends on your intentions, and the quality of your gear.

My gigs are local/regional, and the drums mid-range; for them I use the PR bags. The bags are durable, affordable, and adequate for the needs of most working drummers. If you don't fly your gear, and only you or a few trusted people will be transporting your gear...PR bags. The exception might be if you're going to be traveling a lot. In that case, regardless of who's loading or driving, you have an increased likelihood of getting in a car accident. If you can afford it...go all SKB.

My cymbals and snare drums are expensive and/or irreplaceable. For these I use SKB hardcases, even on local gigs.

David_DX
06-30-2010, 11:54 AM
I've had experiences with both.
From my experience:
Hard or soft case? Absolutely hard case.
if hard case, which brand: Hardcase, Humes & Berg, SKB, etc.? My least favorite is Hardcase
If soft case, which soft case? Defininitely Pro Racket

least favourite?

Let me know why, and what difference SKB and Hardcase have.

Thanks for the input so far

SLIPKNOT1
06-30-2010, 12:29 PM
SKB Vs Hardcase?

SKB has a LIFETIME warranty. Hardcase does not.

SKB cases are fully padded on all sides. Hardcase is only padded on the top and bottom

SKB cases have a lid securement strap that goes completley around the case. This makes them lids MUCH more secure lessening the chance of a drum falling out. Hardcase uses a short strap system where each end is held in place with a rivet. If that rivet pulls out, the lid can fall off.

SKB Cases have ridgid metal handles that are stronger and allow you to maneuver the case into place in high places. Hardcase uses nylon strap handles.

Need more reasons to buy SKB?

chilledbongo
06-30-2010, 12:51 PM
skb is no doubt among the best for hard cases.

there are a couple of drawbacks, however, depending on your needs that no one has mentioned:

hard cases, a full set, are quite a bit heavier than pr cases overall. so if weight is a consideration - and moving this stuff around a lot seems to make them heavier and heavier - then you may want to think about that.

the other issue is volume/size. a full set of hard cases will take up quite a bit more room in your vehicle than soft cases, which can be squeezed into smaller vehicles. the hard cases are not going to bend, obviously. if you use a big vehicle, no problem.

barjack
06-30-2010, 04:02 PM
My cymbals and snares live in hardshell cases. I have an SKB roto for my custom snare, an Impact square box for my 14" snares, and an SKB hardcase for my cymbals. All my other drums have varied brand softcases, each with 1/2" padding. I carry my bagged drums as if they didn't have cases at all, and load-in/pack-up by myself. There's not much need to weigh down the car with hardshells for bar gigs with my not-breakable Pearl EXR or Fiberglass kits.

I used to own 2 complete sets of hardshell, foam-lined Protechtor cases and they were pretty nice. Once I stopped gigging out of state, I saw no reason to own $400 in cases so I traded them in on drum gear.

For my fellow North Americans, I found a nice & cheap alternative for your hardware... Wal-Mart sells hardware trunks in blue or black, meant for tools and built to be thrown in the back of a truck. They are the perfect length for boom stands and are made from the same high-impact plastic that most drum cases are made from. They have lock hooks and you can mount castors to the bottom. I have 2, they were $25 each. In 1 case I can fit 3 convertible booms, a hi-hat, 2 single pedals, 2 tom arms, 6 floor tom legs, and 3 multi-clamps no problem.

Drumhappynet
06-30-2010, 05:11 PM
I bought the Hardcase brand stuff years ago when I could do so on staff discount. They have taken plenty of abuse from my old roadie, and the drums were never damaged.

However after quite a few years, some of the interior foam squares came off which wasn't such a big deal - but since I didn't want my new kit to be marked on the rims, I bought some better foam and padded out the tops and bottoms of all the cases fairly cheaply.

I cut it in squares to pad around the edges up to the lugs.

While we're in here, do any of you have suggestions for a Mike Mangini snare case? It's not a standard size (10x6.2") and doesn't fit a 10" tom case..

TalonTsi90
06-30-2010, 08:53 PM
For my fellow North Americans, I found a nice & cheap alternative for your hardware... Wal-Mart sells hardware trunks in blue or black, meant for tools and built to be thrown in the back of a truck. They are the perfect length for boom stands and are made from the same high-impact plastic that most drum cases are made from. They have lock hooks and you can mount castors to the bottom. I have 2, they were $25 each. In 1 case I can fit 3 convertible booms, a hi-hat, 2 single pedals, 2 tom arms, 6 floor tom legs, and 3 multi-clamps no problem.

+1 for the DIY approach. Ive been looking for an inexpensive way to case my drums the past week. Ended up getting a 30x50" duffel bag from the local military supply place for about $34 with tax. Itll fit ALL my toms too. Then i went to Wally World and got a queen size mattress topper that ill cut up to line the duffel bag with. 1 layer for the 16" ft, then add 2 extra layers for the 12", then another layer for the 10" and yet another for the 8" tom. So my bag will stay round all the way up, and my toms will be stair stepped. Ill post a thread when im doing/done with it. Now all i need is a kick case/bag.

For my hardware, in the past i used a softball bag. A 'bottom' zipper compartment fit the legs on my DR-80 rack, and everything else went in the main zipper compartment. It had one inside pocket and one external pocket which kept my smaller stuff like cow bell, misc parts, extra's etc. I think it too was around $20, might have gotten it at K-Mart though, dont remember exactly.

Ehrin
07-01-2010, 10:00 PM
I've had quite a bit of experiences with cases and I can say that SKB cases are without a doubt the best molded plastic cases on the market and are worth every penny. My cased drums get thrown (literally sometimes) into the back of a box truck or a van, get stuff stacked on top of them, get water dumped all over them (just happened today in fact) and get all kinds of abuses yet my drums come out of the cases in perfect shape every time. SKB is absolutely the way to go. I only have one complaint and it's very minor. I have one bass drum case at work that the padding seperated from the case and made a mess. I blame an over entheuastic roadie as he had to have caught the edge with the bass drum claw and just kept shoving to cause it to seperate. I've never had this happen to one of my personal cases. A little glue and 24 hours later and it was good as new. As for SKB vs. Hardcase, Slipknot1 pointed out a number of great reasons. Another personal favorite of mine is SKB uses cloth wrapped foam in their cases so it doesn't flake off and get all over the drums. There's nothing like pulling a drum out of a case and having a pound of foam dust fall out all over the floor. Especially when playing churches or hotels where a mess like that can cost you the gig.

David_DX
07-06-2010, 03:14 AM
thanks for the input so far, it seems now theres the time for me to save some money...

TalonTsi90
07-06-2010, 05:08 AM
I scrapped the duffel bag idea cause i cut the foam wrong and to save from spending more money fixing the mess up, i decided to get some Gator bags off Ebay. Ill be getting 6 pieces for $140 shipped from a guy who set up a special set for me so i can get the 8, 10, 12, 14 (snare), 16 and 22.

playinpearls
07-06-2010, 05:33 AM
i bought humes and burg enduros 2 weeks after i got my masters in 99.

Now my cases look like crap, and my drums are still beautiful.

I've dropped them from 5 ft up, rolled them down stairs, and tossed them around many vans.

I would buy skb's next time around, they didn't sell them back then...

but hardcases are the way to go. you'll never have to replace them again...

randdrum
07-06-2010, 10:02 AM
I just spent $170 at GC yesterday on some WolfPak bags.

22x18
12x10
14x14
16x16

I really like these bags. Very well made and they stand up stiff without collapsing. I was looking for used molded hard cases for a long time but couldn't find the sizes I needed for less than $250 and they were not even foam lined. The WolPaks's have a really nice lining in them. I didn't steal them but I feel like I got a fair deal for new bags. Highly recommended.

tomkapicz
07-06-2010, 12:04 PM
On a somewhat related note, what would everybody suggest for cymbal cases? Since buying nice cymbals, I don't think my softbag is enough protection. I regularly gig locally, but will also be doing a short tour at the end of summer.

Also, do you use those foam divider things between cymbals? And what about the cymbal cases with a post in the middle? Do they keyhole the cymbals or anything? What advantages do those have vs the ones that do not have the post?

Thx everyone :D

TalonTsi90
07-06-2010, 12:27 PM
Zlidjian makes a cymbal safe that will fit at least 22, maybe 24"ers. It can fit quite a bit, has a stud with wingnut to lock them down and some felts i think.

Javier!
07-06-2010, 11:23 PM
i bought humes and burg enduros 2 weeks after i got my masters in 99.

Now my cases look like crap, and my drums are still beautiful.

I've dropped them from 5 ft up, rolled them down stairs, and tossed them around many vans.

I would buy skb's next time around, they didn't sell them back then...

but hardcases are the way to go. you'll never have to replace them again...

what if one breaks or cracks, good bye beautiful finish. :'(

playinpearls
07-07-2010, 05:13 AM
what if one breaks or cracks, good bye beautiful finish. :'(

if one breaks or cracks, the last thing i'm gonna be crying about is the finish, lol

weps
07-07-2010, 11:43 AM
I use a very old HardCase brand cymbal case with center post. No problems with keyholing on the threaded rod. I worried about it and even forced a cymbal stand rubber tube on it for a while. As far as padding between the cymbals, I just cut up and use that thin (1/8") foam packing sheets saved from shipments between each cymbal. I put a felt cymbal stand washer over the top cymbal before putting the lid on and tightening that down since it has a bass grommet in the lid's center. before I started using the packing foam, I did get some wear rings from one cymbal onto another.

weps

Javier!
07-07-2010, 08:13 PM
anyone ever used a hardware Stagg Case?
http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Stagg-Drum-Hardware-Case-with-Wheels?sku=445746#used

chilledbongo
07-08-2010, 09:03 AM
i have the protection racket cymbal bag and throw it around on a nightly basis. i have never had any cymbal damage whatsoever. it has gotten wet and few times.

i love the sheepskin padding inside. best bag, imho.

Alan12
07-08-2010, 11:06 PM
While we're in here, do any of you have suggestions for a Mike Mangini snare case? It's not a standard size (10x6.2") and doesn't fit a 10" tom case..

Since it's an odd-size, I'd DEFINITELY go SKB for that drum. You can call SKB and they will custom make you one. I'm unaware of the price but I know for a fact they can be custom made.

Chris_D
07-20-2010, 09:38 PM
I just picked up a set of Gator cases as I'm sick of my bags (not enough protection & a bloody nuisance to load drums into them). I only had those & the Stagg cases to choose from, I must admit I'm pretty happy with the Gator cases. Full internal padding, secure handles & strap & well made. I didn't like the Stagg's as their lid closes on to the drum, the drum itself supports the lid not the sides of the case.

David_DX
07-21-2010, 06:19 AM
Can anyone tell me if Optimounts fit inside the SKBs?

Ehrin
07-23-2010, 01:39 AM
Can anyone tell me if Optimounts fit inside the SKBs?

Yes, I have an MCX with old optimounts and a Ref with the new ones and both fit in the appropriate sized cases perfectly. Just order the case that is made for whatever drum size you have i.e. if you have a 10"x8", order an SKB 10"x8". (I think they only make a 10"x9" but you get the idea.)

mrblling
07-23-2010, 02:46 AM
i have the pro rackets, good idea that they have a set of tom cases for rims and a set for non rims. my drums and cymbals have never got any damage i have a ful set - bass, 3 toms, cymbals, snare, harware bag and used to have a pedal case before i got my 9000s with molded case.

brilliant cases i would reccomend them but again if your not the only guy handling your stuff id go for a hardcase. although you could get both for added protection :D

David_DX
07-23-2010, 04:34 AM
i have the pro rackets, good idea that they have a set of tom cases for rims and a set for non rims. my drums and cymbals have never got any damage i have a ful set - bass, 3 toms, cymbals, snare, harware bag and used to have a pedal case before i got my 9000s with molded case.

brilliant cases i would reccomend them but again if your not the only guy handling your stuff id go for a hardcase. although you could get both for added protection :D

I thought about that, but then my expenses would explode :D

mrblling
07-23-2010, 04:52 AM
buy the soft cases now then the hardcases later on since theyll need to be bigger :D

kiwitimma
07-28-2010, 04:46 AM
Im looking at a set of 'Gator' hardcases that feature the padded/lined interior. They look the same as the SKB's (on the inside) and offer the same protection. Plus they look well made and solid. They are significantly cheaper than SKB too (in German retailers im talking about). Dont know if thats the case in USA though.

Jutt8
07-28-2010, 12:59 PM
As mentioned previously, if you are the only one handling your gear and hauling it to and from the gig, then soft cases are the way to go. If you are NOT the only one handling your gear then get SKB.

Humes and Berg DrumSeeker bags are as good if not better than Protection Racket. I have a full set of PR bags and also own a DrumSeeker bag. The DrumSeeker has thicker padding and also has a hard plastic insert in both batter and resonant side of the drum which the PR lacks. It also has the artificial fleece lining and nice protective outer portion that I believe is waterproof just like the PR bags. The one thing I don't like about the DrumSeeker bags are the handles. They are not long enough to throw over your shoulder and not short enough to carry for comfort. It's this in between weird length. PR bags are also waterproof and the handles are perfect.

Other plus's to getting bags is that they are lighter, compress and pack way easier into a vehicle, and they don't scratch the interior plastic areas of your vehicle. AT the end of the gig I'm fatigued and exhausted. Lighter equipment with great protectino is what I'm looking for.