Reviews on Sabian's "Max Protect" Cymbal Case

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
Hey guys, I'm looking online for reviews on the new Sabian cymbal case but haven't found much aside from one amazon review where they criticized the plastic for being too thin and their being weak points around the handle. The weight doesn't seem that far off from the larger SKB case so I'm not sure what to think about the thickness of it. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this case because I'll need one in a month and a bit for some fly in dates and need to bring my own cymbals.

It'll need to hold 7 cymbals (1 ride, 2 crashes, 2 chinas and a pair of hats) and be sturdy enough to handle being checked on a plane. The SKB case worries me because it only has one strap with a plastic buckle to keep it shut, where as the Sabian one relies on 4 snaps and the screw for the centre post. I've seen how rough baggage handlers can be with luggage, so the last thing I want is to deal with a broken buckle which compromises the case.

FWIW I'm open to any case, I just want my babies to be protected!

Thanks in advance!

-Jonathan
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
My first impression is that I would greatly prefer the SKB. I've had an SKB snare case with the 1 buckle for over 15 years, it's not going anywhere. Very heavy duty.

I've been a little soured by 'branded' cymbal bags because the Zildjian "Deluxe" bag I have is falling apart.

If you can go without wheels, I'd definitely get the Ahead cymbal case. Very good quality, and would work just fine as a checked bag, I would think.

EDIT: Apparently the Ahead bag has a wheeled version too, it's $193 on Amazon though.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
My first impression is that I would greatly prefer the SKB. I've had an SKB snare case with the 1 buckle for over 15 years, it's not going anywhere. Very heavy duty.

I've been a little soured by 'branded' cymbal bags because the Zildjian "Deluxe" bag I have is falling apart.

If you can go without wheels, I'd definitely get the Ahead cymbal case. Very good quality, and would work just fine as a checked bag, I would think.

EDIT: Apparently the Ahead bag has a wheeled version too, it's $193 on Amazon though.
Ok. Aside from being $100 CAD cheaper, the only thing I preferred about the Sabian is the additional buckles. Your vote for the SKB is appreciated though.

That's fair, my experience with bags is that almost every strap that's stitched will eventually fall out. Branded or not; but there is something to be said about buying a case from a company that specializes in cases.

No way I'm checking a soft bag to a plane full of cymbals. I've seen too many pieces of luggage dropped from a couple feet up to feel ok putting my cymbals in something that will not protect them from any bumping. Thanks for the suggestion though!

Additionally any info/reviews on the Hardcase cymbal vault would be appreciated.

-Jonathan
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
I just have a normal bag, but a friend has the Zildjian rolling hard case that is great! Center post for the cymbals and foam dividers for extra protection. He swears by it.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
I just have a normal bag, but a friend has the Zildjian rolling hard case that is great! Center post for the cymbals and foam dividers for extra protection. He swears by it.
Thanks for suggesting that! Looks very similar with to the SKB but with an additional latch to keep it closed.

-Jonathan
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I would be concerned about the 4 clasps on the Sabian front being opened by coming into contact with other large or knocked off completely. I got one of the older Sabian Vaults with a lot I bought and it was flimsy.

Long-time SKB user here btw. I toured with my SKB for years in buses, vans, and the air with no worry. The buckle will only open if someone opens it.

To ease your mind you could grab a ratchet strap and stick it up under the handle to go over the stock strap.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Another solution would be to use the existing SKB, but just get a new strap with a metal buckle instead of plastic.

www.strapworks.com


I've used them before, and they make quality straps and are quick to ship. They are located in Oregon. You can choose the length, width and even color of your nylon strap. You can also choose what kind of metal closure you would like. That would be a very cost effective method as well. Just simply measure the width and length of your existing strap.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
Re: REVIEW

Well, for whatever reason I went against what everyone said, and opted to save $100 and went with the Sabian case.

The same day I recieved it I happened to drop by my local Long & McQuade and saw they actually had the SKB case on the floor so I was able to open it up, and inspect it a bit, so all comparisons are from actually handling both cases.

Upon first inspection of the Sabian case, it seemed only marginally thinner than the SKB but has quite a bit of play when I try to bend it with my hands. I suspect the rigidity is due to the non-flat face on the SKB, and is absent from the Sabian thus making it a bit on the flimsy side. The buckles on the Sabian seem quite high quality, and even after seeing the SKB buckle in person, I'd still want to get an additional strap for the SKB because there isn't any other protection if the strap fails while in transit. The centre screw-in locking mechanism on the Sabian seemed great, although there's a second screw on the inside that actually prevents the cymbals from sliding off the centre post, dealing with two screws like that is bound to be a PITA (I'm sure something like the Vater cymbal nuts could work great in place of the inner screw).

Once I actually loaded the Sabian case with my normal cymbal load for my metal band (1 pair of hats, 1 heavy ride, 2 large crashes, 2 large chinas) that's when I started to really get my doubts about the case. The handle on top of the case (not the extending one) seems very flimsy attached, with only 2 rivets per side that are in close proximity to each other and when supporting the wieght of the full case, it would actually bend the lid to open ever so slightly, and that is guaranteed to break off at some point (especially if you factor in rough baggage handlers). The extending handle seemed better, but I can see that failing too after rigorous airport exploration.

My overall feel on the Sabian case is that it's a "case" of getting what you pay for. While I definitely don't recommend it for flying or heavy gigging, it isn't without it's uses, if you do mostly in-town shows with few cymbals and don't want to break your back with a backpack cymbal case. But beyond that it's not built for what I wanted to use it for. Thankfully that SKB is still at the store, so I can pick it up tomorrow.

Pros of the Sabian:
-lower price point
-case won't fall open easily

Cons:
-flimsy construction
-feels very prone to cracking
-main handle seems like it could be ripped off with enough force
-lid opens a bit at top when lifted by handle
-felts to separate cymbals inside are thick and cause the edges of the cymbals to smack against one another

Overall I'd rate this a 4/10. :/

-Jonathan
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Re: REVIEW

My overall feel on the Sabian case is that it's a "case" of getting what you pay for. While I definitely don't recommend it for flying or heavy gigging, it isn't without it's uses, if you do mostly in-town shows with few cymbals and don't want to break your back with a backpack cymbal case. But beyond that it's not built for what I wanted to use it for. Thankfully that SKB is still at the store, so I can pick it up tomorrow.

Pros of the Sabian:
-lower price point
-case won't fall open easily

Cons:
-flimsy construction
-feels very prone to cracking
-main handle seems like it could be ripped off with enough force
-lid opens a bit at top when lifted by handle
-felts to separate cymbals inside are thick and cause the edges of the cymbals to smack against one another

Overall I'd rate this a 4/10. :/

-Jonathan
Thanks for the review! This makes me even more wary about drum and cymbal companies making their own bags. Companies that specialize in cases and bags are a much safer bet.
 
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