88 Key Flight Case Under 20lbs?


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I just returned from a trip to the Big Island (Hawaii) to play a wedding with my band. I have a massive old Gator flight case that weighs like 45lbs. Combined with my 27lb Arturia Keylab88 and some extra gear, I got dinged bad at 78lbs, had to pay $70 each way! If we start to do this more often, I've gotta come up with a smaller/lighter case to carry my board. If I can get it under 20lbs, I can avoid paying the overweight charge (50lbs). I would guess this is a common complaint, so I'm wondering if there are any lightweight flight cases out there that will get me under the limit. Anyone have any leads?

PS: The Keylab has a slightly smaller footprint, having the wheels above instead of off to the side (thank god), so SOME large 76key cases will fit.
 

Fred Coulter

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The problem with light weight flight cases is that they don't provide the protection that the ATA cases do. If the airline breaks your keyboard in a lighter case, then the airline will probably claim it was inadequately packaged.
 
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I was afraid of that. What's the verdict? Is it possible to get under 50lbs with a 76key board + case, or is that even pushing it? What do all of you do when you fly, just eat the cost, or strip the setup way down?
 

happyrat1

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Or else, and just spitballing here, it may work out cheaper for you to ship it to your gig ahead of the flight using UPS or Fedex.

Gary ;)
 
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Not really an option, and definitely not cheaper. I gig every week. Last travel gig, we came home and played a gig here in town that night. And UPS is really expensive per pound, I'd likely pay about 4x as much. At some point, I just really need to get a smaller, unweighted controller... but I really hate un/semi-weighted boards.
 

happyrat1

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Take a look at some other third party air freight carriers then.

Believe me it's a cutthroat business and there's lots of other carriers who will offer competitive rates.

Gary ;)
 
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Yeah... don't mean to be rude, but for a variety of reasons, some of which I've already stated, that really isn't an option. I could go into more, one being that Hawaii is EXTREMELY difficult in inter-island shipping, logistics are a nightmare, and it really would put a lot of people (my band mates) through a lot of trouble to pick it up on the other side. I'm looking for easy solutions that allow me to travel with a band and not add any extra hassle or cost. Currently my rig is HUGE (we barely fit into the van), and cost us an extra $150 for both ways. I'm simply trying to curb those issues. Logistics of shipping, when we might not even know where our stuff is, is definitely not something I want to deal with.
 
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happyrat1

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Fair enough.

I'm fresh outta suggestions.

Gary ;)
 

Rayblewit

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There is no solution.
As a band "unit" you all need to consolidate and have one job lot price combined for each gig. The whole shiping package speakers, guitars, amps, keyboard, drums, and ancillary.
The cost to ship . . $500. (for example)
Pass on this cost plus 10% to the ones who are hiring you. Send them an invoice for $550 . . That is fair.
 

happyrat1

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Another thought occurs to me.

Arturia Keylab 88 sells for $799 new on Amazon.

If you really are commuting round trip on a weekly basis why not buy a second keyboard and leave it at the gig.

At $140 per round trip it pays for itself in under 6 weeks.

Gary ;)
 
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Let me clarify. The band rents the backline equipment, PA and drums (minus cymbals), as well as keyboard stand, so there in no shipping of anything. The biggest thing being sent, by a long shot, is my keyboard.

Also, we don't gig off island weekly, in fact, this was the first time since I played with the group (about 2 years now), that we've traveled. We play in town twice a week though + weddings. The point was that when we play off island, I generally have to have my stuff back in time to play within a day or two (in that case, the same night).

Honestly, though, there's a really simple solution that had I thought about it, would be a no-brainer. I just need to buy a smaller, cheap, unweighted board for travel. I've always been a weighted piano guy, having grown up learning on an upright when I was a kid. TBH, I'm not very good at unweighted boards, I feel sloppy and often hit extra keys because they take no force to hit, and I'm just not used to them. Then again, I have been playing a bit on a cheap keytar, and I'm starting to get the hang of it, but I'm playing it as a gag, so precision isn't really an issue. I just need to get with the program, though, and get an unweighted board. Be good for organ stuff, too, which I'm playing more and more.
 
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While no non-hammer (i.e. semi-weighted) actions are as piano-like as the hammer actions are, some are much better than others for piano playing. The Numa Compact 2/2X are above average, and low-cost, 88 keys, and under 16 lbs.

Though since you're backlining everything else anyway, you could also look into backlining the 88, and instead travel with the smallest keylab (or even some other key-less control surface) to give you the controls you expect.
 
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Totally irrelevant post by myself but when this post was resurrected
I hovered over Eric’s avatar and it showed that it was last October that he last visited the forum.

Where has the last 7 months gone ?
 

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