View Full Version : Put a Latch on It ...

06-10-2017, 07:43 AM
Apropos of nothing in particular, I own four ukuleles, all tenors, and each has its own hard case. Plus, I have an extra case I somehow wound up with. They range from fake leather over wood, to fiberglass, to carbon fiber; from reasonable to spendy, and what I find interesting are the latches, which run from okay to heavy-duty. Not surprisingly, the best case has the best latches, but the others vary in ruggedness, not necessarily related to cost.

Five cases: Two have three latches; two have five latches; one has four latches. (And my classical guitar case has six.)

Ko’olau; Oahu; Crossrock; Crossrock Chinese knock-off; Hoffee. And the guitar case is faux-alligator Cedar Creek.

Interesting. Makes me wonder as to the how-many-latches philosophy various companies have.

06-10-2017, 09:37 AM
My soprano Harptone case has 4 one being on the hinge side , :confused:

06-10-2017, 12:18 PM
I guess the tighter the seal, the more latches a case has? Most of my cases are only mildly rain-resistant. Wouldn't take any of my cased ukes out in the rain without a plastic bag over the case.

06-10-2017, 01:00 PM
The extra latch on the hinge side is a pain in the bum, I always forget it's there!

06-10-2017, 01:00 PM
Most expensive case, the Hoffee? has three latches. They are the biggest and heaviest, and the seal is watertight. It's a flight-quality job, pretty much bulletproof. The Crossrock seals pretty well, too, I would trust it in the rain, though the decals might not survive, and air travel in thr cabin.The knock-off's latches are the flimiest, and it is the lightest weight, good for in-house storage, but not serious travel. The Oahu and Ko'olau are good, knock-about dry-weather cases. I don't own a soft case.

06-10-2017, 07:18 PM
Maybe even fit an engine and drive it to your gigs.

06-10-2017, 08:24 PM
I take the reverse point of view. Hard cases are in general an illusion, they are not always as safe as they seem. People loading trucks and aeroplanes and cars see what looks like a bulletproof case and they show little respect for it and throw it around. A soft case demands much more honesty and respect, you don't take the same risks and you pay more attention to looking after the instrument.
If you regularly travel and need to have the uke handled by someone else, there are case makers in most cities who can make a custom case for the same or less than the fancy cases you can buy. A rectangular metal case does not look as cool as an expensive black plastic thing, but it is metal and you can order the locks and hinges you want, and you can get the interior set up to store a microphone, foot pedals etc.. Being rectangular it stacks easily in luggage compartments or on the back seat of a car. You can get wheels fitted and a handle so it can be pulled around as well. If you get a good design it can turn into a trolley for all your stuff you take with you to play

Could well be, Bill. Can't argue with that. Then again: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yc2fspfvz1g. Skip ahead to about 2:15 ...

06-11-2017, 12:05 AM
That's true -- but if someone (i.e. airline baggage handler, inattentive truck/bus loader, inattentive individual packing a car for vacation) is going to drop an instrument wouldn't you rather it be in a hard case that can survive a drop from a roof that high? Having an instrument in a softer case only works if *everybody* who handles it cares about it and knows never to put a case on the ground either in front of or behind a vehicle in case it doesn't get packed and the vehicle moves. I have light cases for all my instruments because my wife is a musician also and we are the only ones who handle our instruments. If I were to fly or take any sort of transportation where I might not be the only person handling my instruments I would definitely have them in cases like in that video.

06-11-2017, 12:22 AM
On a side note, I've successfully used shoe polish to make a scuffed up case look nearly new. Have to let it dry and buff it up very well.