Favorite Cases

Hey Monty, nice to see you here.

Now that you mention it, I remember seeing that case and thinking: That's odd. With all the saxes that I've collected pics of over the years, I've never seen anything like it before.

It's possible that Pete--who is the only person I know who has more sax images collected than I do--has come across something like this before.

If we same his name 3 times, he usually appears in a thread... Pete, Pete, Pete... ;)

BTW, I'm guessing you've read the page on my website that talks about my experiences with having Bruce build the custom case for my Buescher bass. If not, I'd suggest you give it a quick look because it does offer some sage advice for just this type of project. (Things we learned the hard way, that will save the next person time and possible $ on their project.)

On a related note, this page provides pics of a custom case built by a member of the Bass Sax Co-op. Different from what you're planning on building, but nonetheless perhaps useful.
If we same his name 3 times, he usually appears in a thread... Pete, Pete, Pete... ;)
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me. Sorry. I mean, "Hi, there!"

I've not seen a baritone case that does the gullwing thing. I have seen some alto cases used for Adolphe Sax (the inventor, not his son) altos that opened similarly, though.

I don't pay that much attention to cases, although I try to include a pic if the case is original to the horn. However, in my research, I've seen a lot of stuff about cases and I've seen a bunch of interesting-looking. It seems like most of the major manufacturers had at least one patent, if not dozens, related to instrument cases. Conn and Buescher definitely had the most case patents I've seen. If you consider the 1920s as the era when there was an awful lot of competition in the sax market, having some interesting an unique feature might get you some extra sales -- particularly because cases cost extra.

A lot of really early 20th century and 19th century baritones had one other problem: fixed necks, which were more-or-less needed because of the two octave keys. That means you have to be a little creative in creating a case. I don't know how old the bari pictured is, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised to find that it had a fixed neck. I think I can only see two altissimo side keys, so I'd call it possible.

I don't necessarily think the gullwing design is a bad idea in the era before foam. You could have a bunch of pillars supporting the horn, thus distributing a shock more evenly if you drop the horn straight down. However, dropping it on the right or left side would be a lot more catastrophic. If you were to build a similar case, you could add a lot of padding all the way around (and note that it looks like the horn is actually in a pretty deep "pocket") the horn really easily. However, I think this is probably an overly complex solution for a modern case because you can do a lot more with foam.

Anyhow, if you want more details about the specific case pictured, I'd recommend searching for Conn and/or Buescher "musical instrument case" patents on Google Patents. While you're probably not going to find exact measurements, you'll probably find really detailed pictures. Hey, Google Patents is a fun way to spend a couple hours, anyway!
I borrowed a school sax once, when mine was still in the ether, somewhere between my wallet and my music room. It came in a standardish gig bag, and from a cosmetic basis, it sure looked cool.

From a prevention of damage standpoint, it was anything but. I noted the leaks on the thing. I took it by my favorite repairpearson, and his verdict was that the long rods had been twisted. Anything bing possible with a school horn, I had him fix it, loaded it into the back seat of my car, carefully padded on all sides on the padded seat, and took the short drive to the dinner theater.

When I took it out, the long rods were again bent. Bummer. One more setup, and the horn spent the rest of the time in a storage locker when not being played.

Just the mass of a large horn like the baritone can be a problem if you shock it ever so slightly in a cool but pointless gig bag.

Junk the gig bag, buy a proper case, and be happy with the result.
One of my favorite "cases" is a Bass Clarinet gig bag that I bought on E-Bay.

It is a padded Black fabric bag shaped like an assembled BC with an exterior storage pocket. It was not expensive.
I purchased a Pedler BC on Ebay. The BC had all of it's parts, but needed a super overhaul. My tech did a great job and I
have a BC that is fun to play (an older 5 piece wooden Pedler from when Harry owned the company)

But...the Case was a POS :) it was viable for shipping only -all broken up, and really really really smelled baaad.

A friend advised me to keep the case, as it is difficult to find a generic case that will fit some BCs. Good advice, but the case is gone.
I bought a Deg and returned it, a Pro Tec wouldn't fit either. The horn is not worth putting $450.00 - $500.00 in to it for a custom or a Bam Case . So when I got this case, it was a relief to find something that I could use.

Another good thing is that it fits my Keilwerth Straight Alto very well, so I use it to transport the Keilwerth, rather than the small coffin style case that came with it, much more manageable.

So that is at least a favorite case.

Glenn G
I should mention that my favorite "stock" case was the one that came with my Yamaha 52 baritone. IIRC, it had three handles across the top, one on the side. Nicely padded. Weighed about as much as the bari.

Stephen Howard occasionally talks about cases when he's doing instrument reviews, such as this one for the Yanagisawa 901/902/991 bari. (Even if he didn't, go and visit his website, anyway. It's worth the trip!)


To me, it looks like you have to choose:

* A light case
* A case that actually protects your horn but weighs a lot/is difficult to maneuver
* A case that has so-so protection and is inexpensive

You also have to note that I've seen lots of comments about how people don't like playing horn X that's all of one or two pounds heavier than horn Y, so a hard case that's 20% - 50% heavier than stock can be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.

BTW, if you haven't checked out Layne Francis' bass case for Helen (see the above posts), you should. I like the "integrated" rolling mechanism. I have a dolly I use with my 60lbs or so of computer-related stuff I take into work every day (the reason why I bought that particular dolly is because I see a lot of the maintenance folks where I work using them). Hey, that and a couple bucks worth of bungee cords will give you a rolling case. The only lifting you have to do is to get the horn in and out of your vehicle.
I am on my third Yamaha baritone case, with the second and third coming from eBay. Apparently, there are dealers out there that retail the Yamaha horns but replace the coffin with (sigh) a gig bag.

My last one is slightly different from the first two, in that there is a provision for a peg on the bottom of the bow, and that there is no provision for putting castors on the end of the case. Other than that, same-same. All of them have provision for a low B foot flute case in them as well as the standard storage compartments (some of which are under the flute case).

Just what these manufacturers have against provisions for a clarinet case in a baritone case is still unknown.
Hello Woodwind Forum,
My first posting here but I know most of the frequenters from other forums.
This post is, well, almost in line with this thread. I can't say if this would be a "favorite case" or not but I'm looking for any information on it.
The pics that I was able to capture was from an ebay auction about 10 months to a year ago for, if I recall correctly, was of an early 20's Conn Bari. Not that I'm that interested in the horn, but the case is fascinating. For lack of a better phrase, it's a gull wing.

But, it appears that even the images have vanished from the net. I'd like to eventually build one for my daughter's '26 Wurlitzer, so if anyone has any info/contact on it so that I may avoid any pitfalls in building a case similar to this one I would appreciate it.
Here's the 2 pics I have.

View attachment 2138View attachment 2139`

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me. Sorry. I mean, "Hi, there!"

I've not seen a baritone case that does the gullwing thing. I have seen some alto cases used for Adolphe Sax (the inventor, not his son) altos that opened similarly, though.
I've been rummaging through some photos because of my current Gallery 3 issues. I found the case, only for an alto. Current pic gallery is here. I'll attach a pic to this post, too. This is from a sn 288 Conn Wonder Improved Eb alto (I call these "Worcester" horns to distinguish them between the other Wonder horns -- these have single-side bell keys). The serial equals 1895 or 1896. The next oldest Conns I have pictures of cases of are from 1904/05 and those cases are rather traditional, so if you did browse some patents and didn't find the exact one, this should help you nail down a date you should look at: 1888 (the first Conn sax) to 1904/5.


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I noticed a thread on SOTW this am where someone has uploaded pics of a beater bari in Australia with the same case. Different horn to the one you likely saw on eBay MontyMac.
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