I recently received a new gig bag for my F tuba and posted a review about it to TubeNet, but figured I would include it here, as well. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this bag and look forward to ordering one for my CC in the next few days and cannot recommend this bag highly enough.
Here is the review as it was originally posted:
“I will start this off by saying how pleased I am with both the speed of processing/delivery and the quality of this bag. I am usually very shy to go for a gig bag that is a “one fits all” design–a bag that is made to work with a horn up to x” in bell diameter and x” in height. I usually find that these bags do not fit my horn well because of some proportions being off. My PT10 was in a ProTec gig bag (the smaller version) which did fit the bell, but was about four or five inches too long for the body of the instrument. In fact, this bag would have fit my PT6P if the bell portion of the the bag was just a couple of inches wider.
But, enough of that and on to the Wessex bag. This bag fits my PT10 wonderfully. The Wessex bag has some of the best padding I have seen in a gig bag; the Cronkhite bags might have a smidgen more (I no longer own one) but I would put the Wessex padding right on par with one. I usually buy Cronkhite bags, but have always disliked the snap-on outer pocket that holds my oils and stand (it often comes unsnapped or snagged on something), but this pocket is securely sewn on to keep it flush to outside. Now, this bag does have just a little bit of extra width to it that makes it not a perfect fit for my horn, but, because of the precise fit of the bell and the length, the horn does not move around and feels secure when being carried. And, for me, the backpack straps actually keep the bag at the perfect height and position–no bumping the back of my head or my legs.
Despite the great padding, this case is pretty light! Even with better padding, this case is lighter than the ProTec I was previously using. I had this case (horn inside) on my back while I had a conversation with a fellow tubist yesterday for 30 mins and couldn’t have been more comfortable (given I had a tuba on my back). The backpack straps are placed well to help keep the horn balanced while you’re carrying it on your back, have enough padding so you don’t feel like you have to shifting the bag or pad them up to avoid any pinching or discomfort, and the fact that they zip into the bag when not being used is ingenious. I always trip over my straps because often, if the case has anything to help with carrying the horn not on your back, only a strap to keep the backpack straps flush to the case are provided and I end up tripping over whatever isn’t fully flush (which is usually most of the straps).
I do see two problems with this bag (which were mentioned by Mark, 58mark, in his review of his new bag). First, my large pocket is big enough to comfortably hold music books, but not my big ensemble folder. This folder is just slightly too tall and wide to fit in there without me feeling like I will stress the seams of the pocket. The pocket does expand out a decent amount and I even keep my Hercules stand folded up in it along with my heavy-weight mouthpiece and have plenty of room. Plus, the pockets to keep my oils organized and to keep pencils/pens easily accessable is a great feature that not every bag offers. Second, I would also like to see the bag redesigned to offer a shoulder strap. I know that this is for a larger tuba than what Mark has, but I am often carrying both my PT6P and my PT10 at the same time and like the option to sling the big horn on my back and the smaller one over my shoulder. For me, the option to buy a strap (if you don’t include one with it) would be a must since I do not own one of the Wessex hard cases that come with the strap. I do not know how the strap sets up to the harder cases, but I would like to see a setup similar to the ProTec bags in which you have a sturdy metal ring and metal clip that secure the shoulder strap to the case. This way, there won’t be any worry about the security of the horn when one has to carry both.
Those are the only two improvements I can really want to turn this great bag into an amazing one. If you are looking for a gig bag and you want something great without spending a lot of money, buy a Wessex bag! If you are looking for a gig bag that will protect your horn and don’t really care about the price, but want somthing that is not a hard case (like an Accord) then buy one of these! If you just want a non-hard case to keep your horn safe and easy to move and know nothing about any other brand (or know a whole lot about other brands), then buy a Wessex bag! I couldn’t be happier and will be contacting Andy this week to get a bag for my PT6P shipped out.
I do not work for Wessex, nor do I get any endoresements from them. I am just this amazed by the quality of this bag and how inexpensive it is.”
Posted in Equipment