Keyboard Bag - with or without wheels?


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Hi,

Looking for suitable transport for My RD2000 and Fantom 7

I transport myself, so weight is an issue (and their already heavy boards) so full flight cases are not good. Most semi rigid with wheels are also not really useful - as their half the weight of the board again.

So - Im looking at reasonably protected soft cases - which Im fine with (Ive been using less protection on the RD for a while).

i have a couple of options - one does have wheels but is very light. The other is 1Kg lighter again (thats not worth worrying about) and has no wheels. The one with wheels is 3 x the price of that without - all other specs are comparable (size, padding etc).

There is another - a Gator BUT the handles arnt long enough to use to shoulder carry - and it doesnt have a shoulder strap (and actually the padding is slightly less as well). Both the bags Im looking at have handles I can shoulder mount (the one with no wheels has backpack style straps plus long handles, the one with wheels has backpack straps, short handles plus a separate shoulder strap.

all things being equal the "wheeled" option is best given the carrying options BUT at 3 x the price? when I need 2 of them? Im second guessing - and the actual protection is pretty similar. So is it worth paying the extra? Im always concerned with wheels on bags when boards are on the heavey side - not sure how long they will last (as their flexible and prone to breaking - not a problem on hard cases).

Thoughts?
 
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happyrat1

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Look at it this way. You spent how many Thou on the boards? Does it make any sense to cheap out on the bag?

Gary ;)
 
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This is such a hard question to answer Paul. It really depends on the frequency, method and distance of your transport and storage requirements. It also depends on the weight of the keyboard in question.

For example - 99% of the time my keyboards live in road or flight cases (with wheels). Yes they're heavy but the wheels help immensely and I'm secure in the knowledge that they're highly unlikely to get damaged. This being said, my 'boards (before COVID-19) were regularly travelling 20,000+km per year. I also don't trust anyone else at a venue to be careful around my keyboards - so no soft cases go to gigs.

The above said, if I'm just moving a 61-key keyboard from the rehearsal room to my house for some practice time, I'll stick it in a soft case with no wheels, because it only has to go from one safe and controlled room to another via the back of my 4WD. Chance of damage pretty much zero. The flipside to this is my stage piano always lives in a road case with wheels even for short trips, because the risk of damage to it is too great due to its weight. If it were to be dropped or a soft bag handle were to tear, it would be curtains.

In summary...it depends, but for my usage patterns I'm highly wary of soft cases.
 
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OK, So I move all my own kit, in my car (and from my music room to car, and from car to stage etc). It rarely goes more than 10 miles from my house. Stages are rarely more than from the venues carpark, so not usually more than 30-50 meters. There are the odd one where there further away as the venue doesnt have its own parking.

I rehearse twice a week (in rehearsal rooms or working clubs) with carry distance about 20 meters max. Gig wise, normally not more than 3 a month - sometimes 4 sometimes 2.

There never stored in cases/bags. When not at a gig/rehersal or travelling between them they live on my stand in my music room.
Boards are RD2000 at 48lb/22KG and Fantom 7 at 42lb/19Kg

The actual protection the board will get is almost identical (both 30mm, both semi rigid).

The only REAL difference, is one has short fabric handles, a shoulder strap, backpack style straps and wheels for £160 each - the other has longer fabric straps (so I can use them as shoulder straps but a little more awkward for hand carriage) and backpack syle strap as well for £50.

So Im basically paying £110 extra for EACH bag - to have seperate shoulder strap and short handles, and wheels over no wheels and longer hand straps that provide hand and shoulder carriage.

If there was different levels of protection - that would be a different calculation. Im guessing the outer material of the more expensive bag is of better quality - but thats speculation as its not really specified.
 

happyrat1

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48 and 42 lbs are a significant amount of weight.

One "feature" of cheaper bags is cheaper stitching around the handles and support grommets.

If you think it's worthwhile to save $100 and end up dropping one in a parking lot that's entirely on you.

At least get a little cart or a bundle buggy or hand truck and a couple of bungee cords to move it from point A to point B.

Otherwise a 2 or 3 foot drop onto pavement could end up costing you muchly.

Or worse, it slips and goes tumbling down a flight of stairs.

Gary ;)
 
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True - I really should get the better bag. The Fantom 7 sized one is out of stock everywhere mind.....though given the current social issues i have no need to transport it right now. The RD one is in stock so could get that one sorted.
 
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Carrying a £2500 keyboard 20m is still a long way with a heavy load, made more awkward by the fact that you will probably have multiple doors to open enroute as well.

One option to reduce the overall weight (as Gary suggests) is to use a soft bag, some straps and a lightweight sack truck, not saying that this is OK but something similar will do the job. Strap the keyboard case to the truck securely and wheel it around.

The truck will no doubt come in handy for stifling other gear as well

 
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unfortunately theres no way Id get a hand truck/dolly into the car - even though it is a big(ish) estate. its packed out as it is.

Anyway - took the plunge on a soft case with wheels. I didnt go for the one Id originally looked at. One version wasnt quite long enough when actually measured - and the other is out of stock, with the early July shipment already delayed (thats into the manufacturer from their factory - let alone out to shops).

I did some digging unto the Soundstage range and they had some of the right dimensions (that I hadn't found on my initalk shop search) and using the product codes found a supplier, with one of each in stock. A tad cheaper than the ones Id originally looked at - with a tab less padding (25mm v 30mm), but lok to be quality and again has the handles, PLUS shoulder strap, PLUS end handles and wheels.

I didnt find any weight specs - BUT I did find a weight for one bag (slightly narrower but same length) and its on par with the bag I originally looked at. I can always send it back if its not what I think it is.
 

happyrat1

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The truth is that whether an RD2000 plus bag weighs 65 lbs or 70 lbs in the end won't make that much of a difference. My boards don't move unless I'm changing my address but I have a Gator Hard TSA case for my 54 lb Kurzweil PC3K8 that brings it up to 80 lbs when I have to move it and a Gator Padded Bag for my DS88 that brings the weight up from 34 lbs to about 50 lbs fully loaded.

In the end all I'm concerned with is protecting my investment whenever I have to deal with the hassle of moving.

In my last move the dining room table had a leg amputated but the keyboards made it safe and sound :D

Gary ;)
 
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Id be the same if they were moved once in a blue moon, but moving them 3 times a week on my own.... I couldnt get them in the car in full flight cases either TBH.
 

happyrat1

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Personally, last time I moved I traded in my car for a van. Sometimes a crossover or an SUV just can't cut it when you have to haul stuff.

Sure the gas mileage sucks but there are other advantages, like safety on the road and sheer cargo capacity to consider.

If your living depends on it perhaps you should consider your next vehicle purchase more carefully.

Gary ;)
 
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Back in the early 2000's I used to drive a beautiful company car. Big General Motors four-door sedan with a V6 motor. Then due to cutbacks my employer decided to downgrade me to a little 4 cylinder Mitsubishi, complete with plastic everything in the interior.

I could hardly complain given that my work was picking up the tab, but I still remember to this day when I went to change over my lovely Holden for this little beer can. The guy at the car dealer who was changing over the lease said to me "Yeah, this one isn't quite as nice as the one you're handing back." I must have looked like I needed cheering up after that because he followed up with "Ah well, at least the fuel will be cheaper on this one..." Of course being a company vehicle that made no difference, I could have cried.

But I got over it. Luckily back then I wasn't lugging three keyboards plus associated monitors, gig bags, etc. These days I drive a beautiful big diesel-powered Pajero.
 
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Round about 2000 our cr4p Government at the time changed the rules on Company cars and started calling them a benefit in kind and hence they became taxable at a far higher rate. The result was that Companies were being pressured by staff to downsize to smaller vehicles with a lower tax implication to the user.

Companies also allowed employees to hand back the Company car and take an annual cash lump sum in lieu of having a Company vehicle.

I did just this and bought a small GTI hatchback, ran that for a couple of years then swapped it for a more comfortable motor, then I went to work for myself for the last ten years of my working life.

Such is life, 25 different jobs in 45 working years.
 
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Hope I'm not too late to the party...

@paulmapp8306 : Would you be able/willing to share the two non-Gator cases you were considering? I just acquired an RD-2000 myself, and a Gator case to go with it. But I'm honestly not thrilled with the Gator. I'd be interested especially in that wheeled case, if that's what you ended up with.

Thanks!
 
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This one:


and this one:




2nd one is slightly better spec'd but costs a little more -= its also not in stock anywhere at present.
 

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