The Drum Case Thread

Road Bull

Silver Member
Warning, I am going to geek out on over thinking drum cases for a bit... you have been warned!

But, besides my concerns, I wanted to create a thread where we could offer some current input on the subject of hard drum cases.

So I have been looking into getting some drum cases for my Tama Artstar Customs. I have done a pretty good amount of reading on the subject on this forum. I have been looking at hard cases, partly because my drums might end up part of an equipment salad inside a band van very soon, but for now I might have to transport them in my pickup truck. I do not have a canopy on my truck bed atm, so I was thinking that the hard cases. Though not ideal, hard cases could keep my drums dry if I got caught in the rain. So those are two of the driving forces behind looking into hard cases.

I have a nine piece set's worth of Protection Racket case that I like very much, but would not do me much good against the Seattle, WA elements.

I was trying to get a consensus on drum storage and the pros/cons of lining vs. no lining. I know the old style open cell foam is a nightmare to be avoided due to the foam wanting to deteriorate and adhere to your drums and hardware.

The two companies and lines that caught my eye are Humes and Berg Enduro Pro and SKB Roto cases. The Humes and Berg Enduro Pros can be ordered without foam if desired, but it seems as though the SKBs come with lining standard. I like the design on the Humes and Berg a bit better. They seem plenty sturdy. And the SKBs look nice too.

The drums that go in these cases, in addition to going out for the odd show, could be asked to stay in their cases for a healthy amount of time. I seem to remember people cautioning against such a thing due to possible issues with humidity and hardware corrosion. I also noted the suggestion to get some silicon packets, or the like to help combat the phenomenon of humidity.

Any thoughts on foam lined vs. unlined? Pros / Cons? What do you have, and how is it holding up to use? Is the lining hanging in there?

Seems like lined would offer more protection, however some pointed out that it also can trap moisture inside the case better and that the unlined are better overall. I think that a major contributing factor might be temperature differences between the inside and outside of the case. This can be seen when you take, lets say, a cold metal cymbal stand outside where it is warmer, and higher in humidity. You get condensation. I imagine, to some degree, that this is happening on the inside of the drum case, and is more extremely effected by greater temperature and humidity swings. I believe this is why, especially guitarist say not to store your guitars next to and exterior wall, as the wall separates the greatest temperature differences from uncontrolled to controlled climate.

Someone commented that the foam is not necessary to keep your drums safe, and that they don't get scratched up like you think that they would. And one advantage to the unlined, besides a cheaper price, would be that if for whatever reason either the drums or the inside of the case got wet, they can easily be wiped dry with a towel, vs. a lining getting wet and having to air dry.

So what do you think?
What are your experiences with hard drum cases?
How are your cases holding up?
How are your drums holding up?
Would you buy the same products again?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for contributing!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
For anything outside of hard touring, I like the Protection Racket AAA rigid cases. Best of both worlds for me. They're tough enough to take serious bangs & knocks, waterproof enough to take anything other than days immersed in water, yet they breathe enough to negate any condensation issues. They're also kind to car interiors, unlike moulded hard cases. The linings are superb, & best of all, they're lightweight. My only issue with them is the horrendously long lead times on ordering.

For me, they do everything that a moulded hard case will do, but with extra flexibility & features that set them apart. Ok, they won't take a 4 x 12 cab falling on them corner first from 10ft, but a moulded hard case won't either. If you anticipate that level of punishment, then it's flight cases all the way.
 

brady

Platinum Member
The Protection Racket is some really good stuff. I only have a cymbal bag and large soft gig case from them but the cymbal bag has tons of padding in it. I use it all the time for local gigs. I would feel safer with a hard case if they were going to be tossed around in a van or trailer though.

All of my drums and hardware go in SKB hard cases though. Yes, the lining is standard on SKB cases. Technically, you will probably be alright with an unlined case assuming the drum fits in the case as it should. If it takes a hit, the impact would be on the lugs or rims anyway. I just feel better with a little soft lining in my cases. But I'm also a little OCD (aren't we all?)

The only thing I would caution you about regarding the lined cases is that it seems there was some brand a while back that had some issues with the foam peeling off or the glue corroding the drums or something. I forget what brand it was. I could be remembering this incorrectly too. Maybe a web search will help you find more information. I do know there hasn't been any issues with the SKB stuff though.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
I'm happy with the Humes and Berg "Enduro-Pro' hard cases with the stitched-in lining. I trust them enough to protect a $1300.00 Joyful Noise snare drum. The lining won't tear when placing the drums into them, unlike that gum-rubber crap that's glued to the inside of one of my Protection Racket cases.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Nice! I do like my Protection Racket cases, but I need something that can go in the back of my uncovered pickup truck. My nightmare is being stuck with my drums in the back in soft cases when it starts to rain. I admit, it is not an ideal situation, but that is life for you.

The good thing about my situation is that I have two kits that share similar sizes. So if I just needed soft cases for a gig, I already have them and could just swap hard to soft cases for the gig.

I have been looking at good hardware cases too. The two hard case hardware cases that I have in mind are ones that allow you to keep the hi-hat assembled without breaking down rods and so on and so forth. I have seen some cases designed for golf gear that look promising. Then there are the more general foot locker sized cases than look like they can be filled beyond lift capabilities. Any of these hardware cases should have their own wheels.

I think I just want something simple, effective, easy to use, and durable. Is that too much to ask? lol.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I've used both lined and unlined hard cases over the years. Whilst I love that "cosy, finished off look" that a good lining provides, the reality is that I never experienced any damage due to drums being stored in unlined cases. The unlined cases kept them just as safe and sound as the lined cases do.

As Brady quite rightly points out, the only part of a drum that is going to come into contact with the inside of a case is the rims and lugs and they're certainly durable enough to come into contact with some smooth moulded plastic......that beautiful wrap or lacquer finish you're trying so hard to protect, just doesn't come within a bulls roar of touching the sides anyway. And lets be honest, if the ultimate disaster happens and a speaker cabinet or steel rigging falls on the case, the drums themselves are hardly gonna be any more protected purely due to your cases being lined, are they?

All in all, I love the Gucci look of a nicely lined case as much as the next guy.......but if truth be told, they really ain't that necessary and certainly do no more to protect the actual finish of a drum than an unlined case does.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I spent years touring with SKB cases and Flight cases

about 2 years ago I got my first set of Protection Racket bags and wish I did so years ago .

the hard cases have been in the basement collecting dust and unless my gear is flying they will stay there

Protection Racket is the way to go

easy to carry
well lined
extremely strong and durable
very affordable
rugged zipper system

if you have rim mounts on toms they make the R series witch gives you the extra space you need for the mount
 

drumgod007

Junior Member
Cases are great and all, but pretty expensive... Why not just get a box cover for your truck? Makes more sense, its weather proof, and will protect other things than just your drums...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hard cases greatly increase my workload. They complicate load in and create storage issues in the clubs so I skip them. No problems in the last 3 years since I ditched the cases. I had over a hundred gigs last year. I am the only one who touches the drums, basically speaking, so it's all under my control. I do have a rolling thing for my hardware, and a hard case for my bronze, and my snare goes in a bag (only because of the snare wires). But the bass drum and the 3 toms go gonzo lol. Yea I got a few scratches on them. No one notices them.
 

porter

Platinum Member
For all those recommending Protection Racket soft cases (not the AAA ones), I suggest you check out the Ahead Armor cases. I believe they are practically the same materials as my Protection Racket softcase(after comparing them in-store), yet they have a design that actually considers the shape of the drum so you don't need to worry about finding the right models for rimms mounts or even a bulky snare throw-off. They also have a unique zipper path which would help me, since I struggle to fit my 13x5 snare into my PR bag. They don't have any hardcase elements like the PR AAA bags, though.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Cases are great and all, but pretty expensive... Why not just get a box cover for your truck? Makes more sense, its weather proof, and will protect other things than just your drums...
Yeah, that's the other route I have been thinking about that as well. Because, even if I have my drums protected in cases, there would be nothing preventing anyone from stealing them if I was not there to guard them. Only problem with this option it's that is they are there times more expensive than just cases. I need to start shipping around for toppers. We might be getting a van, but I should have my own tamper options.
 
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joihjoll

Junior Member
In my experience Beato Pro 1 are the best "soft" cases on the market.
I have foamed XL Protechtor hardcases that I use when someone other than my self is handling the drums, planes, trucks or I have to ship the kit somewhere.
For every day use the Beato's are BRILLIANT and they will hold out!
 

Tomer

Member
For all those recommending Protection Racket soft cases, I suggest you check out the Ahead Armor cases.
Second that.
I didn't get a hold of them yet, but from some really intense research they definitely seem to be the most promising ones by far.
Sadly, I got some weird but OK soft cases for my drums, but concerning the cymbal case, wooo... that case looks amazing

* You have both a shoulder and backpack (including a waist strap) configuration plus the normal carrying handles.
* Wool type dividers.
* A number of pockets including a pocket for the shoulder straps which can be a great advantage over other cases since it can be used as a place to store music notebooks or something for those who need it.
* The case seems realllly rigid.

I know they also have a fantastic hardware bag!

As for their drum cases, they're awesome due to their durability and ability to open in that special way making it much easier to use.
 
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