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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Chris Carpenter on May 06, 2011, 12:42:11 am

Title: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Chris Carpenter on May 06, 2011, 12:42:11 am
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 06, 2011, 02:49:42 am
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?

They are slightly better than the paper box the equipment was shipped in.  If that's the level of protection you need because you're the only ones handling your gear, or all your roadie friends are extra gentle after closing time, you'll be fine.

Remember, the purpose of a case is to deliver the things inside in working order.  The more critical the item, the better the case needs to be.  If you drop the kak box and a bunch of short cables spill out, it's not a big deal.  If you drop the microphone box you might not be as lucky.

I hate flimsy console cases.  You can get by without a couple of mics, you can probably get by without some EFX or an EQ if your case fails... but if your console case takes a flying mic stand when you make an avoidance maneuver with the van, you'd better hope it's robust enough.

In cases you get what you pay for, too.  Nice cases last a lifetime and are a pleasure to use because you don't have to 'fight' them to put the lids on, or get the "right" lid on the "right" side of the rack; the extrusions have been de-burred; the handles are in sufficient quantity and in all the right places.

Buy according to your needs, but it's always cheaper to aim high now than to replace things later.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Bob Leonard on May 06, 2011, 08:56:26 am
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?

They are slightly better than the paper box the equipment was shipped in.  If that's the level of protection you need because you're the only ones handling your gear, or all your roadie friends are extra gentle after closing time, you'll be fine.

Remember, the purpose of a case is to deliver the things inside in working order.  The more critical the item, the better the case needs to be.  If you drop the kak box and a bunch of short cables spill out, it's not a big deal.  If you drop the microphone box you might not be as lucky.

I hate flimsy console cases.  You can get by without a couple of mics, you can probably get by without some EFX or an EQ if your case fails... but if your console case takes a flying mic stand when you make an avoidance maneuver with the van, you'd better hope it's robust enough.

In cases you get what you pay for, too.  Nice cases last a lifetime and are a pleasure to use because you don't have to 'fight' them to put the lids on, or get the "right" lid on the "right" side of the rack; the extrusions have been de-burred; the handles are in sufficient quantity and in all the right places.

Buy according to your needs, but it's always cheaper to aim high now than to replace things later.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc

It can't be said any better than Tim has just said it. You buy the best components you can afford and then put them in a cheap poorly made case. I don't know how that could make sense at all if you think about it, unless you don't care if those components are damaged, or keep you from doing the job because they're damaged. Good tools deserve a good home. I use Road Ready, just one of any number of good cases that can be bought for a reasonable price. And before you go there, injection molded cases are not an option in the real world.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: David Parker on May 06, 2011, 10:41:35 am
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?

I build all my own cases, and I like them, they work well for me. Probably the only advantage to the cheap ebay cases is that they probably are lighter than heavier duty cases. A good choice for "cheaper" cases is

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Cases/Case_Products_Page/CASE_and_HARDWARE_SELECT.shtml
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Mike McNany on May 06, 2011, 10:46:17 am
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?

As was said, depends on who is handling the case. I bought one of the cheap cases for my peavey RQ2314 a couple years back. The mixer was bought used and is a backup band, small gig and Dj mixer. I like the mixer but it wasn't worth a case that costs as much. I added some extra padding since it was "carpet padded" (next to nothing. It also has surface draw latches and a single surface mount handle. If you go this route, pay the extra and get the "flight" latch/handle package and the extra foam padding.

Along the way I picked up a used Gator G2030 mixer case. Love it's design but it was too big for that mixer. Sold it off later. Anyways, check out the plastic hardshell Gator and SKB mixer cases, they protect and seal well.

Mike McNany
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Ned Ward on May 06, 2011, 11:45:42 am
+1 on Audiopile.

While I had bad luck with an OSP case and a NY case for my 01v off of eBay, I have been extremely happy with all of my cases from Audiopile.

While not touring grade, for the small timer who loads all his own gear, they are great for the money. Plus the service from Mike and Liz is great.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Randall Hyde on May 06, 2011, 12:08:09 pm
+1 on Audiopile.

While I had bad luck with an OSP case and a NY case for my 01v off of eBay, I have been extremely happy with all of my cases from Audiopile.

While not touring grade, for the small timer who loads all his own gear, they are great for the money. Plus the service from Mike and Liz is great.

Interesting, I've had really great luck with OSP shock mount cases.
Far better results than I've had with RoadReady cases, I might point out.
I've purchased four OSP cases to date: a 20U shock mount, two 16U Effects shockmount, and a case with a bunch of drawers it in. Some of these cases I've had for several years and other than the usual scratches on the lids because the road crew tosses them around, they're all in extremely good condition. The casters, in particular, have held up real well (unlike my two Road Ready cases). The drawbacks to the shock mount cases are that they are heavier, larger (truck pack!), and more expensive. But having 1" or more of foam with a case within a case is a big deal to me.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Aaron Johnson on May 06, 2011, 12:20:21 pm
Interesting, I've had really great luck with OSP shock mount cases.
Far better results than I've had with RoadReady cases, I might point out.
I've purchased four OSP cases to date: a 20U shock mount, two 16U Effects shockmount, and a case with a bunch of drawers it in. Some of these cases I've had for several years and other than the usual scratches on the lids because the road crew tosses them around, they're all in extremely good condition. The casters, in particular, have held up real well (unlike my two Road Ready cases). The drawbacks to the shock mount cases are that they are heavier, larger (truck pack!), and more expensive. But having 1" or more of foam with a case within a case is a big deal to me.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
+1
My church has been using the OSP shock racks going on 5+ years now without any problems.  I haven't tried any of their other cases, but the shock racks are very robust for the application.  Now don't get me wrong, I agree that these wouldn't be the best for a production company or touring outfit, but for our situation they're fine.  I wouldn't sacrifice though on the console case, we're using an L&M for that and it's proven itself.  But for our rack gear, the shock rack provides that extra density in the walls.  I've been very impressed with the durability.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Marsellus Fariss on May 06, 2011, 02:17:21 pm
I bought exactly one of the cheap Ebay cases years ago and while it's been fine for what I put in it (guitar pedal board) I wouldn't buy any of their stuff for racks or consoles unless it's never going to move but just sit in a church or club. Also, they where quite deceptive in the ad and in correspondence contradicting themselves about weather or not the case had been built and/or shipped.

 ???

Go with the Audiopile EWI stuff or the OSP stuff if you have too. The EWI is better though. From what I've heard from a close friend of the business Mark designs everything himself and they go through each piece for quality control before they ship.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Bob Leonard on May 07, 2011, 01:59:14 am
Interesting, I've had really great luck with OSP shock mount cases.
Far better results than I've had with RoadReady cases, I might point out.
I've purchased four OSP cases to date: a 20U shock mount, two 16U Effects shockmount, and a case with a bunch of drawers it in. Some of these cases I've had for several years and other than the usual scratches on the lids because the road crew tosses them around, they're all in extremely good condition. The casters, in particular, have held up real well (unlike my two Road Ready cases). The drawbacks to the shock mount cases are that they are heavier, larger (truck pack!), and more expensive. But having 1" or more of foam with a case within a case is a big deal to me.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde

You hit on the Road Ready cases pretty hard so I would have to wonder which line case you had. There are two, the lower cost being the value line which I would recommend for DJ use or jobs not so demanding, but not for pro sound. The high priced spread has served me very well with no failures of any type. I make my own dollies for my cases so casters have never been a concern or a point of failure. I would wonder if you were using the manufactures dollies or if someone had simply screwed wheels to the bottom of the case, keeping in mind that Road Ready only has two (2) cases they install the wheels on. They also have a lifetime guarantee. If you still have those cases call road Ready. I've been told they'll replace them.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Chris Carpenter on May 07, 2011, 02:09:50 am
If I were to construct my own, where is a good source of corners, edges, handles, latches, and interlocking groves? I see parts express has most of this stuff, but am having a hard time finding the interlocking groves where the lid meets the rest of the case.

Also, any resources and reading would be helpful. I have access to the tools and people to build it, if I can get the parts.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 07, 2011, 02:23:02 am
If I were to construct my own, where is a good source of corners, edges, handles, latches, and interlocking groves? I see parts express has most of this stuff, but am having a hard time finding the interlocking groves where the lid meets the rest of the case.

Also, any resources and reading would be helpful. I have access to the tools and people to build it, if I can get the parts.

D.B. Little (he posts here occasionally) - www.dblittle.com

Penn Fab - www.penn-elcom.com

Trans Canada Hardware - www.tchweb.com


Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: David B Little on May 08, 2011, 02:10:16 pm
D.B. Little (he posts here occasionally) - www.dblittle.com

Penn Fab - www.penn-elcom.com

Trans Canada Hardware - www.tchweb.com

Tim, Thanks for the plug. Unfortunately I will no longer be carrying extrusions or case hardware once on-hand stock is depleted.

As you mentioned TCH is a source.
Penn-Elcom has their Pro Audio Stash http://proaudiostash.com/ (http://proaudiostash.com/)
and Reliable Hardware is on the west coast  http://www.reliablehardware.com/ (http://www.reliablehardware.com/)

David Little
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Randall Hyde on May 09, 2011, 03:14:04 pm

You hit on the Road Ready cases pretty hard so I would have to wonder which line case you had. There are two, the lower cost being the value line which I would recommend for DJ use or jobs not so demanding, but not for pro sound.
No doubt it was the lower-end stuff. It always felt "cheap" to me.

Quote
The high priced spread has served me very well with no failures of any type. I make my own dollies for my cases so casters have never been a concern or a point of failure. I would wonder if you were using the manufactures dollies or if someone had simply screwed wheels to the bottom of the case, keeping in mind that Road Ready only has two (2) cases they install the wheels on. They also have a lifetime guarantee. If you still have those cases call road Ready. I've been told they'll replace them.
Naw, it was on the Road Ready dolly. The casters were a two-piece wheel affair and the outer part of the wheel separated from the inner part. I already replaced them with casters I bought from a local hardware store.  It would be interesting to compare their higher-end boxes against the OSP (which I really like, regardless of the low opinion people around here seem to have of the OSP brand).
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Randall Hyde on May 09, 2011, 03:17:50 pm
Nice cases last a lifetime and are a pleasure to use because you don't have to 'fight' them to put the lids on, or get the "right" lid on the "right" side of the rack;
I have a (no name) rack case that has a "front" and a "back" lid to it. I used to swear at this thing all the time until I figured out that the two lids mate perfectly can could be stacked together protecting the inside foam from damage while they were off the case. My opinion of that "feature" changed dramatically once I figured that out.

As to getting the right lid on either side of the case, I just took a magic marker and wrote "FRONT" in big block letters across the aluminum on the case and the lid so there was never any confusion.
cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Nils Erickson on May 16, 2011, 02:00:39 pm
I'm happy with my cases from Audiopile (I have 10 or so), they are holding up well.  My one and only OSP case had a problem on its very first gig.  The extremely thin black covering on the case cracked in sun.  I had to remove it completely and paint the front of the rack.  Bummer.
Title: Re: Cheap eBay Cases
Post by: Tom Duffy on May 16, 2011, 03:27:35 pm
I always see these inexpensive mixer cases on ebay. How does the board feel about these? Has anyone given them a try?

I figure a cheaper case will have thinner materials and less robust components, but for the weekend bar gig, will they do?

I bought some TuffBox cases off eBay this year.  The first were a pair of oversized briefcases that I use to carry a pair of Altman 3.5Q fixtures in each.  I put a lot of foam inside, cut and crafted to hold the lights securely in place.
For this job, the cases are fine. I didn't want a big case to hold 4 fixtures, and they were otherwise just laying on the back seat of the vehicle wrapped in a blanket on the way to a gig, and took time to load/unload.

Then I purchased a case to hold 4 PAR64 fixtures (LED short barrel with O clamp attached).  I didn't want to spend $300 or more, so the price was the deciding factor.  Again, the main issue is shortening load/unload times by not having everything in plastic boxes or loose.

Grr, mistake on this one.  The walls are truly flimsy, there's no way I could stack anything on top of this case when it is in the vehicle.  The sizing seems to be off too, the PAR64s are really loose in their cubbys.
2.5" casters aren't going to be as smooth or as easy to push as the industry standard 4" wheels.

You don't need to go to full ATA spec cases for weekend gigs, and you don't need to think about truck pack sizes (in fact the smaller, odder the sizes, the easier they are to get in some vehicles when you don't have a truck).
I have a full ATA spec RoadReady case for my main console, and it is a heavy beast, so much so that I downsized my recording rig and the main console only comes out if I'm doing SR and recording at the same time.
I had a shock mount 16U rack from AudioPile, but with it loaded up, it was just too heavy for a one man gig where there are steps.
Measure the gear you know you need for your typical gig, decide what are the right size cases to divide it up into, then look for the right cases that fit that need. Price should  be last deciding factor between identical product, and then only when balanced against quality of the dealer's pre and post sales care.

Tom.