Topic: Carbon Fibre bassoon case

Hi All!
I really love the look and feel of carbon fibre bassoon cases. I know that BAM and Wiseman London makes Carbon Fibre cases (for quite the $$$).Are there any others out there?
What do people think of the BAM and Wiseman cases. Do they offer enough protection? I want to gain as much information as I can before making a big purchase.

Thanks!

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Re: Carbon Fibre bassoon case

I have seen many of the Wiseman classic exterior cases, so this is a bit modified for that. I don't like them at all. Very clumsy way to hold the bassoon together, the velcro around the whisper key pad is inviting disaster, and I've seen a number of instruments have a damaged right hand whisper key lock due to how much pressure is on that part of the instrument (Fox type 2 sliding type, or old Puchner style locks, or a Moosmann style lock are all susceptible).

The carbon fiber versions have a totally revamped interior which is better, but you're completely at the mercy of some foam pieces a) not getting lost and b) staying in place in the case. Really think critically about how the bassoon might get bumped around in this image: http://wisemancases.com/wp-content/plug … G_1956.JPG

That image scares me (as someone that shipped and sold bassoons for a living for almost 6 years).

I currently own a BAM carbon fiber case. I have a student with one of the newer BAM cases that has the same interior but has a more traditional nylon cover exterior. I feel like these cases were a bit of a missed opportunity. They are good, and I've never had any issues with the bassoon itself in these, but I feel like their use of internal space could be considerably more optimized. There is a large compartment of "dead space" on the left side of the case above the top of the wing joint. I keep my swab there, but if that space could have been kept more contiguous with the dedicated accessory area it would have been better. Nobody makes a case with what I consider an ideal layout of the body parts of the normal long joint bassoon design.

If you have anything other than perfectly normal S bend bocals (like I do) you will find yourself compromising on the bocal storage. Also, the little carbon fiber tabs that keep the bocals in place are left rough on the bottom from the factory and can (and have for me) scratch the plating on the bocal. You can fix this easily yourself by taking them off and sanding the rough edges off with regular sand paper. My first impression of those cases was really good: felt really lightweight, but after using one for 4 years I don't really think it's any lighter than any other case on the market in practical terms.

The shoulder straps flake the nice squishy neoprene part after a few years and aren't as comfortable. I need to replace one of mine right now.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Carbon Fibre bassoon case

I similarly have criticisms of the two cases mentioned above. With the Wiseman the only joint of the bassoon which is comfortable to put in and take out is the bell, which just pushes in from the top. The rest of the joints have to slide in and be negotiated and it did not seem like a joy to me. I appreciate Wiseman's dedication to their tubular design as well,  but it unfortunately cuts out so much accessory space, and while the Wiseman also has dead space it's in between joints here and their on either side and not consolidated at all for use. Keeping sheet music curled on the exterior is just bad for business, and the little bag they supply is smaller than one would hope.

The BAM is apparently more of a hybrid case than a full on carbon fiber case, I believe, and you can tell a bit by its weight. The Wiseman is quite lighter than the BAM, but the design is a bit more useful, if even still not the best. I have never used this case personally, but it is probably one of the better hard cases.

I'll submit some information here, not as a recommendation, but only to flesh out your options. I too felt the carbon fiber itch (especially since my neck and shoulders have been out of whack from a minor car accident). I currently have a case from Hanxiang Tech based in China. This is kind of a silly story. I literally just googled "Carbon fiber bassoon case" to see if anyone else made any, and someone did. I emailed them probably a year ago to inquire about it and the price. They said that they don't typically do customer sales and usually ship large amounts to distributors (I guess in China or elsewhere), but I was able to negotiate that for their next big production to simply add one to their count and drop ship to me. The case cost 200 (two hundred, yes) and shipping was 210, and there was a 40 dollar wiring fee, so a total of $450, about the same price as a Bonna.

Speaking of Bonna, this case is patterned after it (though I don't understand who decided on the narrowing patter and not a usual rectangle for more storage space, but I digress). As I said before, I am not recommending this per se, just giving you options. This case has its issues, which I am living with. The quality is actually remarkably good. The carbon fiber looks great, it's 4 pounds empty so very light, the case latches are very good (the same which are used on hard cases by GEWA or for new Puchner and Moosmann cases) and all the rest of the hardware is very good. The interior foam and coverings are all comparable to Bonna as well. Here's the main catch really. The case, or my case at least, is probably almost an inch narrower than the Bonna. I have an 11k Heckel, which is not as huge as some modern instruments, but I spent a good half an hour gently but forcefully bending the compartments inside the case to allow my wing and long joint to lay without bumping into other joints. I also found that to get the case to close the foam needed heavy modification, whereas most of the Bonna cases I have seen pretty much just work on arrival. So, the manufacturing and hardware seem excellently done, but it wouldn't surprise me if this company couldn't pick a bassoon out of a line up...anyway, I'm pretty happy with it, but based on my experience I can't really tell how thrilled they were about the whole experience and I am not sure if they would enjoy having a whole onslaught of emails inquiring about customer sale of the case. By the way, between my initial email, the email where they said they'd tell me when their next production is to make a case for me, and finally the commencement of production was probably four months, and beginning of production to my door step was about a month and a half. So, long process, but again these aren't sitting in a showroom for customer sales.

Tl;dr Got an awkward chinese carbon fiber Bonna knockoff, kind of awkward, kind of insanely light and incredible.


What I would honestly do if I had the money (and didn't have this neck injury pushing up my timetable) would be to have a custom carbon fiber case made by Michael Manning in California. He used to be based in NYC and has made custom cases from sax players and doublers/triplers for years. He is a very good man and does excellent work to whatever design you want. You could make your own design (eliminating joint movement and dead space) and have him make it. He quoted me that a bassoon case would probably be around $1500, cheaper than the Wiseman. It would be nice if someone made a carbon fiber oval bassoon case (like the old Gewas) that allowed you to keep your hand rest and balance hanger on...one day. smile

I think that's all the options available for bassoon at the moment. IMHO, I would just get a Kolbl case. Well made, nice design, good storage options, holds bassoon well, doesn't break the bank, is readily available, and is pretty lightweight. Spending an extra thousand dollars or 6-8 months of time to get a custom case or even this chinese case just isn't worth it to shave off one, mayyyybe two pounds.

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Re: Carbon Fibre bassoon case

It would be nice if someone made a carbon fiber oval bassoon case (like the old Gewas) that allowed you to keep your hand rest and balance hanger on...one day

Preach.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds