support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

Accessories Hunting for a case - 1957 Martin tenor... custom build?

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
Hi!

New to the café - and only been playing for a few months, but that has been long enough completely to fall in love with this instrument. I have a

Martin "The Martin" tenor, 1957, LH bell keys, serial 2021xx

... and I need a case for it. Apologies for the length of this post, I thought it better to include as much info as possible!

Any recommendations would be very gratefully received.

Objectives
  1. Protect the sax!!
  2. Allow comfortable cycling with shoulder straps
  3. Keep out water when cycling in the rain
  4. Allow for painless cleaning
Cases
  1. Protech PB305CT XL
  • fabric-covered
  • weight 3.5kg
  • bulky
  1. Hiscox - not available with backpack straps
  2. BAM Signature? Looks bulky?
  3. Customize a Jakob Winter JW 2195 CA case, which I have bought but does not fit
  • very robust case
  • weight 2.8kg
  • nearly fits, but far too much pressure on the bell and on the LH bell keys, it feels very tight
  1. Gator GL is fabric and bulky
  2. Gator ABS:
  • "Also suitable for Keilwerth saxophones"
  • weight 3.2kg
  1. Others? SaxOnTheWeb Definitive list says "JW Eastman Greenline" and "BAM Signature" will fit a Martin Handcraft - but they seem really bulky
Jakob Winter options:
With the JW 2195 that I have bought, there appears to be enough space in the outer shell, it's just the internal moulding that needs to change. I could:

  • Squish the existing polystyrene foam and add extra padding where needed
  • Strip out and redo all the lining and padding - as suggested by John Korchok who did it in leopard-print with expanding foam :) - discussed on Bassic Sax
Status
I have bought the JW 2195 CA case - the sax itself is currently in for repair after an "incident" when cycling with an old unmoulded case, and I'll get more details of the damage soon I hope. I have to decide in the next few days whether to return the case, and choose something else, or keep it and redo the moulding so that it fits. Its great advantage (and the reason for buying it) is that it is light, waterproof, easily cleaned, feels very robust... and is comfortable on my back when cycling. However, taking a knife to the lining of a brand new £200 case is not something I'm very happy about...

Might the Gator ABS case be a better alternative? Could anybody recommend an alternative, or advise whether doing a DIY refit of the lining of either the JW 2195 or the Gator ABS sounds particularly insane?

Thanks very much!
-- Thomas

References
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,785
Locality
Sweden
I use Hiscox case for my "The Martin Tenors".

Today I'm not cycling so much with my saxes beacause I have to travel several miles (Swedish) for playing. But when I do, I use a cargobike (dog model). I have a "The Martin Baritone" as well and I use the original case, Two seat belts and a cover gives my saxes good protection. I have plans to start "busking" with the cargobike. Saxes and an active monitor/speaker in the box. But then my old friend Frank must stay at home. No room for the dog. Maybe you should by a new bike instead of a searching for cases? Off topic.

Good luck and take good care of your The Martin Tenor.

 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,471
Locality
New Mexico, US
With the JW 2195 that I have bought, there appears to be enough space in the outer shell, it's just the internal moulding that needs to change. I could:

  • Squish the existing polystyrene foam and add extra padding where needed
  • Strip out and redo all the lining and padding - as suggested by John Korchok who did it in leopard-print with expanding foam :) - discussed on Bassic Sax
I have bought the JW 2195 CA case - the sax itself is currently in for repair after an "incident" when cycling with an old unmoulded case, and I'll get more details of the damage soon I hope. I have to decide in the next few days whether to return the case, and choose something else, or keep it and redo the moulding so that it fits. I

Return the case (assuming it isnt showing damage or wear) - your horn doesn't fit the case, period.
Very interesting, thank you! Somebody else recommending the spray-foam solution...

Don't go down that road. The trouble and time and expense to actually modify it ? It doesn't make much sense (trust me, I am a vintage sax seller and I have modified well over 100 cases to some degree - it is a pain in the keister).
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,471
Locality
New Mexico, US
Also...
  1. Others? SaxOnTheWeb Definitive list says "JW Eastman Greenline" and "BAM Signature" will fit a Martin Handcraft - but they seem really bulky
  1. Not sure I understand your reading of the Definitve Case List - did you scroll to bottom of that spreadsheet and make sure you were viewing the correct size sax (SATB) ? Because there are several choices for a Comm III Tenor (including Protec):

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 8.44.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 8.47.10 AM.png
 
Last edited:

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
Maybe you should by a new bike instead of a searching for cases? Off topic.

Good luck and take good care of your The Martin Tenor.

Thanks - that's an option I hadn't considered! I don't have a dog, sadly, but nonetheless getting another bike just for transporting the sax might be an option. Especially if I could find space to store it...

I'm very much hoping the damage is not too severe - if it can be returned to its former glory then I really want to make sure that it's never damaged again by any future bump - and it looks as though the best protection may be offered by a spray-foam approach. Perhaps -

  • (carefully!) wrap the neck and sax body in clingfilm
  • make cuts in the existing fabric and pull back or cut away completely
  • cut away or compress the foam where the LH bell keys and/or the bell itself are being compressed
  • spray foam as required
  • lay down a sheet of velvet, then the wrapped neck and sax, then a second sheet of velvet so that fabric extends outside the case
  • repeat for top surface if required
  • close the case and bind tightly shut with wire or belts

Once set, the fabric and any excess foam can be trimmed.

For those who've tried it, does this sound like how you approached it? I might add a thin sheet of elastic foam between the expanding (polystyrene) foam and the fabric, at least in some places, to provide extra cushioning. Probably a repositionable spray glue would work best to stick down the fabric.

As for the outer shells -- could anyone offer an opinion as to the robustness of the Gator ABS as compared to the Jakob Winter 2195? The JW case seems pretty much indestructible, not sure ABS will give me the same protection.

Thanks again,
Thomas
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,471
Locality
New Mexico, US
and it looks as though the best protection may be offered by a spray-foam approach.
Honestly....why do this if good cases are available ? You will end up with compromised solution which takes a lot of effort to produce (when you mess up with spray foam, it is a b#tch to clean up)...
....the Chart has been an ongoing endeavor which has had literally a hundred plus sax players input their experiences, and there are over 10 options listed on that chart. Your damage occurred because the previous case had no interior moulding, really. All of these currently-available options hold the horn snug and tight.
 

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
Return the case (assuming it isnt showing damage or wear) - your horn doesn't fit the case, period.

...

Don't go down that road. The trouble and time and expense to actually modify it ? It doesn't make much sense (trust me, I am a vintage sax seller and I have modified well over 100 cases to some degree - it is a pain in the keister).

Thank you very much indeed - may have saved me from a sea of pain. Ok, I'll keep looking for a case that actually fits...

-- Thomas
 

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
@JayeNM -



Also...
Not sure I understand your reading of the Definitve Case List - did you scroll to bottom of that spreadsheet and make sure you were viewing the correct size sax (SATB) ? Because there are many choices for a Comm III Tenor:
Oh wow... I had totally misread this, didn't realize the tenors were on their own tab :rolleyes:
I apologize - my error. So if this is a Committee III -- is that the name for "The Martin" saxes with those serials? -- then options are as follows. I'll detail them here in case they're useful to anyone else.

For comparison, the JW 2195 CA has a hard shell, 2.8kg, 88x36x22cm, £175. And it doesn't quite fit.

  • Hiscox - no backpack fittings, so far as I can tell - I've emailed them. Cycling with a sax slung over one shoulder is beyond even my level of poor judgment.
  • Protec PB305CT XL Contoured Big Bell - 3.5kg, fabric-cover, 88x31x16cm - backstrap available, £175
  • Protec PB305CT Pro Pac Contoured - marked as "maybe", otherwise similar to XL.
  • Gator GL Lightweight - 2kg (!), fabric-covered foam, big at 88x40x24cm £55, ... but no backpack fittings
... and I think that's it. The two fabric-covered Protec cases will be probably be fine in good weather, but will get spattered in road filth in winter. Are they really my only option?

Does a blank cell in this "Definitive List" mean the option hasn't been explored yet, do you know, or that it's been ruled out? There are some JW Eastman hard shell cases, the Gator GC Deluxe ABS. some SKBs that might be possible, etc. Some of those threads have people discussing using SKBs (trimming some foam), and Walt Johnson cases (which I might find on eBay) - but not worth pursuing that if these have been ruled out.

Unless I've made a(nother) stupid mistake, I think that gives me the options of a Protec PB305CT XL with a rain cover and an extra 0.7kg ... or tweaking the interior of the JW 2195 (or another hard-shell case).

Or are there other options? You wrote "there are over 10 options listed on that chart" - I'm guessing that includes the Hiscox? Maybe I could modify a Hiscox so it has shoulder clips.... Uuurgh.

Thanks very much for your help - I am no longer at all keen on using spray foam, if you've tried it so extensively. What about just trimming back the rigid foam a little and adding some spacers of an impact resistant HDPP or similar foam? Have you found this works any better?

Alternatively, maybe I should just listen to @thomsax and get a CargoBike. Or taxis.

Much appreciated.
-- Thomas
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,594
Locality
New Zealand and Australia
As any sax repair tech will tell you they call soft/gig cases their retirement plan. Ideally you don't just want a case that "fits", what you want is a case that is a durable hard shell with a slightly giving foam interior (not too squishy). The fit should be tight so the the horn can not move. The problem with most off the shelf cases is that the sax can rattle around inside which causes damage. You may need to add foam bits to any case you buy to ensure that any mishap does not cause damage to your horn. Martin III is a great horn by the way. Good choice!
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,785
Locality
Sweden
I didn't transport a Martin (leftside bell keys) cykling on my back. it was often when we played outdoors close to my place. Maybe 30 min in each direction. When I used a case with backpack straps I had someting i this style (below) And my saxes were Yamaha student, Dörfler & Jörka, G4M ... I didn't put my Magna in a that case. I would not fit and beside it's too valuable for me. It was nice to take the bike to a sax meeting, jam, small gig ... in the summer. But I also became hot and sweaty!!! Especially on the back. On the other side I was already in a higher gear compared to my fellow muscians. Just warm up the mouthpice and reed. I bought the Cargobike so I can take the dog to the woods.
Thomann Lightcase Tenor Sax Rectang. – Thomann Sverige
 

Ivan

Undecided
Café Supporter
Messages
8,155
Locality
Peeblesshire
Is the case slung across your back @Pixiedust? What sort of distances will/do you do with the tenor?

Are you hoping to mitigate against the impact of falling off?

I ride bicycles a fair amount (and fall off every year) and I would find my tenor in its hard case very uncomfortable and the seams are nothing like waterproof... I don't know of an off the shelf that would keep the rain out. I dropped the case 2 to 3 foot when loading the car and damaged the tenor within

I modified a waterproof, impact proof box with layers of foam cut to shape and glued in place but it's too heavy for a backpack and could only be considered for @thomsax's trailer
 

Ivan

Undecided
Café Supporter
Messages
8,155
Locality
Peeblesshire
If it's short distances in town then a soft gig bag, and bin liner when it rains, might be the lightest most practical solution
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,594
Locality
New Zealand and Australia
Thanks - I looked at this but I'm really looking for something a lot less bulky... :)

The #1 priority you list is "protect the sax". If this is the "case", then complaining about weight for something that does the job right doesn't make much sense. A light weight case isn't gong to protect your sax if you come off your bike. Either change your priorities or accept the consequences of something that looks like a case, but offers little of no protection.

It's your call, just be realistic.
 

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
Is the case slung across your back @Pixiedust? What sort of distances will/do you do with the tenor?

Are you hoping to mitigate against the impact of falling off?
I happily cycled half a mile with the tenor in the Jakob Winter case with two backpack straps and the sax vertical behind me -- and I'll sometimes want to cycle several miles. Longer distances would be train+bike (I don't drive) so I need something I can manoeuvre around trains and stations, with a bike and panniers. I routinely fall off (on one occasion, in a coma for week, but let's not dwell on that...) and am trying to make sure that if and when I do, the tenor does not suffer.

I'm also routinely asked, "Will You For !$*!!'s Sake Stop Cycling". Hasn't happened yet. I do now wear a helmet though.

I ride bicycles a fair amount (and fall off every year) and I would find my tenor in its hard case very uncomfortable and the seams are nothing like waterproof... I don't know of an off the shelf that would keep the rain out.

A major plus of the JW "Thermoshock" case is that it's made from very strong, rigid "thermo-formed ABS" (they make shop worktops out of it), with an aluminium frame, and a water-resistant seal (which I think I can improve with a line of silicone). It's pretty comfortable when cycling - hybrid road/mountain bike, so I'm sitting upright.

I do very much wish I could find something off the shelf that would fit the Martin, but none of the options so far fit the bill.

I dropped the case 2 to 3 foot when loading the car and damaged the tenor within

I modified a waterproof, impact proof box with layers of foam cut to shape and glued in place but it's too heavy for a backpack and could only be considered for @thomsax's trailer
The JW is, pretty much, a "waterproof, impact proof box" - just a very expensive one in the shape of a saxophone!

I think my options are now:
1. Protec PB305 -- accept it will get tatty and worn quite quickly, won't be very comfortable at all when cycling, will be quite heavy but will do a reasonable job of protection. I'd be keener on this if it didn't cost as much as the JW...
2. CargoBike. Actually a really good idea.
3. Give up on the whole plan and just get taxis. I get horribly dizzy in cars, so not a great option.
4. Get a Hiscox case and add shoulder straps. I've looked at this, I think it would be a lot of work... and might well end in disaster.
5. Keep the JW 2195 (or get a second-hand one on eBay) and make the (quite small) adjustments needed, with a craft knife, pieces of high density foam and some glue. Thanks to @JayeNM's cautionary note I'm now much less keen on the spray foam option -- but if I make a complete hash of making small adjustments, that would be a fallback.

The JW 2195 outer shell is very nearly ideal -- and there's clearly space for the Martin with some judicious craftwork, If it works, it will last possibly as long as me...

Will decide over the weekend. Thanks all.
-- Thomas
 

Pixiedust

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
UK
The #1 priority you list is "protect the sax". If this is the "case", then complaining about weight for something that does the job right doesn't make much sense. A light weight case isn't gong to protect your sax if you come off your bike. Either change your priorities or accept the consequences of something that looks like a case, but offers little of no protection.

It's your call, just be realistic.
Thanks Wade, completely agree with this. My original "Objectives" began:

  1. Protect the sax!!
  2. Allow comfortable cycling with shoulder straps

I can find lots of ways of doing #1. To do both #1 and #2 seems, as @sizzzzler suggests, to require some customization. And I think the reason this JW case is so expensive is because it is so tough - certainly a much tougher outer shell than the Protec - so if it can be adapted to fit the horn, it should (I hope) provide excellent protection.
I also hope that I never get to put that to the test!
 
Top Bottom