1. John H.
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  3. Wednesday, 04 April 2007
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Hi All,

I'm in the San Francisco area and soon have a gig in Geneva. The music store there in Switzerland has a Fender Jazz bass for me to rent if I don't want to bring my ABII, which, of course, I do! I've not yet traveled on the airplane with my bass and wonder what techniques and tips others might have for best assuring that my DW 1) gets there in a timely fashion and 2) in one piece.

Any help would be appreciated.

John
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dsincjr Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Check with the airline to see if they will let you carry it on the plane. If you carry it in a gig bag it will fit in the overhead compartment. If they won't the best case I have seen is the Zero Haliburton Z-Bass case.(www.z-cases.com) You have to make an outline of your bass and they fit it to your bass. It takes time,which you might not have, but I would trust my Prima(in production) with that case. Best bet would be to cary it on the plane.
All the best.
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Mark L Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I flew my Voodoo to Sheldon in December using a Gator lightweight flight case. I was very nervous about the whole process, but UPS got it there without incident. Of course the trip on a UPS plane from Texas to Canada is likely a very different experience than a commercial flight overseas. I'm not sure that an assembled bass will fit in the overhead bins, but you could easily take the neck off and transport it in two smaller bags.

Mark
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FrankM Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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John-
i would suggets you really check w/ your airline and then double check w/ your airports. Since airline policy wil be dictated by the guys on the ground, esp at security.just becuz the airline claims you can-doesn't mean th eguys at the gate will say yes.

If you read on talkbass, stories go in both direction-ie. having to check the guitar in as luggage to being allowed on board.

It appears that post 9/11 that most airlines will allow you to check as luggage your guitar, and as such you best prepare accordingly.

heres a starter read
http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthrea ... t=airplane
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Sheldon Dingwall Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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If you have gigbag, the new version of this http://www.skbcases.com/music/products/ ... &c=75&s=75

is pretty trust worthy.
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":nti5c1i2]If you have gigbag, the new version of this http://www.skbcases.com/music/products/ ... &c=75&s=75

is pretty trust worthy.[/quote:nti5c1i2]

Cool. So SKB redesigned the latches?
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lomo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Although I have bad things to say about their cust service (they acknowledged the design defect in the latches and then blew me off), I DID succedd in fixing the latches myself and apparently the new version has OK latches. This thing is the ultimate-it's indestructible and allows you to bring along a gigbag-plus it rolls!! I took a bass to Salvador, Brazil last month-checked it through 6 flights (3 each way) with no trouble. The case even had extra room for some dirty laundry on the way back. Way better than Halliburton for half the cost!
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Sheldon Dingwall Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="Funkshwey":2yshb7bc][quote="Sheldon Dingwall":2yshb7bc]If you have gigbag, the new version of this http://www.skbcases.com/music/products/ ... &c=75&s=75

is pretty trust worthy.[/quote:2yshb7bc]

Cool. So SKB redesigned the latches?[/quote:2yshb7bc]

We brought one in recently and couldn't get the latches to malfunction.
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="lomo":1ouonznm]Although I have bad things to say about their cust service (they acknowledged the design defect in the latches and then blew me off), I DID succedd in fixing the latches myself and apparently the new version has OK latches. This thing is the ultimate-it's indestructible and allows you to bring along a gigbag-plus it rolls!! I took a bass to Salvador, Brazil last month-checked it through 6 flights (3 each way) with no trouble. The case even had extra room for some dirty laundry on the way back. Way better than Halliburton for half the cost![/quote:1ouonznm]

It's not that SKB has bad CS they pretty much have no CS. I found this out when I tried to get parts for my drum hardware case. 3 weeks to get a handle. The 1st week they wouldn't even return my calls or emails. I called 3 days in a row.
I actually had to call another part of the Co and have them tell CS to contact me.
SKB's big thing is parts are field replaceable now. I told the manager that they're not field replaceable if you can't even get CS to find out what part you need. :twisted: Good times.
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lomo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I succeeded in getting through to cust. serv. after 2 days. The rep. told me the latches were faulty and that she'd contact me as soon as the new latches were ready. 4 months later I emailed her again and she answered, saying they're not ready yet. Another 4 months later and nobody returned calls or emails from me-I'll not buy another product from them, even though the redesiged roller case is great.
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Lomo do you have an email for SKB that you can reach someone or is it just the standard email. PM me if you do.
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John H. Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Thanks for the input, everyone. After reading the thread on talkbass, I just about gave up the idea of dragging my ABII with me to Europe. Then lomo's success story and Sheldon's pre testing of the SKB ATA case got me thinking I might give it a go. I know that the SKB case is notorious for being problematic, but sounds like some improvements have been made. The Haliburton case sounds like a better case, but I think time is not on my side for that solution. One thing I'm pretty certain about: I'll check the bass and case rather than try to carry it on. I'd hate to get stuck with having to gate check my bass in only a gig bag.

Somewhere along the line I read something about travel insurance for my bass. I think I'll check into that. Let me know if anyone has experience with a company that does a good job on that front.

Thanks again,

John
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lomo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[color=red:3aqj06ow]Lomo do you have an email for SKB that you can reach someone or is it just the standard email. PM me if you do.[/color:3aqj06ow]

Sorry, I burnt it in a Voodoo ceremony after they screwed me :twisted:
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John H. Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I decided not to fiddle around with the SKB as it seemed to be problematic if not for the latches for the disassembly/reassembly required at the hands of the TSA (not to mention that the case and the company did not fair well in my limited polling and reading).

My right-hand man at work is part of a metal band who's doing a tour in Europe this summer and his equipment manager had this case made up for my ABII. It's not too fancy but burly as all get out (and will definitely help with my goal of achieving better definition in my biceps and triceps!).

Thanks for all the input.

John
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FrankM Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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wow- that looks burly.
You can never have enough definition in your biceps and triceps.

Did you ever find out about the travel insurance?
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lomo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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how many horses does it take to pull that wagon??
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fullrangebass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I have a very similar case made for a guitar (oops... did I just say "guitar"? sacrilegde in this forum!!!!) that belonged to one of the guys in Rammstein (had been used in touring); I can say that It really holds up strong, but it's HEAVY!!! I am slim and fit but carrying this case around would turn me into Arnold in no time!!! But it's really worth it's weight for protecting the instrument. In fact I have thought of converting it to fit a Dingwall 8)
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Franco Bollo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I have a Calzone ATA-style case for a J-bass that looks a lot like that. I used to take it to gigs, before I got into lighter gigbags. I remember on more than one occasion hearing "Oh, you play keyboards".

I think that that case you have is much better than anything that has "SKB" written on it.

Good luck on the trip.
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John H. Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="FrankM":3mow1fjc]
Did you ever find out about the travel insurance?[/quote:3mow1fjc]

I was going to get back about the insurance earlier, but I've been at the gym pumping up. :D

It dawned on me that my homeowner's insurance might cover my bass and case against loss, which I found out, indeed, does: $500 deductible in this instance. I then checked with United Airlines as to damage protection and was told: "musical instruments are not on the excluded list," which I took (as did the agent I spoke with) to mean covered.

If I made my living as a musician, I don't think the homeowner's would be applicable -- I'm pretty sure special coverage is needed then.
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John H. Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I'm back from the European extravaganza and all went (pretty) well with transporting my bass to and from. The weight of the case/bass was no issue as I didn't have to carry it too far and/or a cart was readily available. The airlines did not charge me any extra, even though technically my case is bigger than the allotted dimension for checked baggage.

I did/learned a couple of things along the way, so thought I'd mention them here in the event it helps anybody out in future travels. 1) I removed the electronics bay and battery covers so that TSA wasn't tempted to do it themselves (I shudder the thought) and 2) recommend that you ask the baggage folks to put the instrument in a heated compartment! Going to Europe, no problem, returning my bass and case, especially, were subjected to mighty cold temps. My case looked like it had come out of a deep freeze.

All in all, well worth the effort and my ABII seems to be all right after the chilling experience.

Happy Travels

John
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