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Protec Vax Trumpet Combo Case with WheelsTraveling by air or your local club date is a breeze with the attached wheels and telescoping handle.The Protec PB-301VAX trumpet combo case is the result of a yearlong design collaboration with the famed trumpeter, Mike Vax. After spending years on the road as a performer, Mike has learned first hand what features a professional musician needs and appreciates. With a compact exterior dimension of 22" x 12-1/2" x 9" inches, this trumpet case will comply with most airline regulations. The exterior pocket design holds sheet music and allows for secure attachment of the Protec M-400 Mute Bag (sold separately). Interior layout fits many musical instruments. One section of the case fits a Bb trumpet or C trumpet, and the second section of the case fits a flugelhorn, cornet, and a Eb/D trumpet or piccolo trumpet.
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Unlike other reviewers, this case holds both my trumpet (Harrelson) and flugel (Yamaha)and seems well built and protects my horns just fine.
My issues are with the exterior of the case. First, the front pouch is large, but awkward to use. By the time you put your MP case, valve oil, pencils, stand light and other knickknacks, there's little room for music. Invariably, something will fall to the bottom of the pouch and the zippers aren't large enough to allow full access. Also, if the pouch is open when you open the case, all your stuff falls out because of the zipper arrangement. Lastly, if you DO get your music in the pouch, the case becomes unbalanced and won't stand on end!
Then there's the metal frame on the back. You have to be careful when carrying by the handles. Otherwise you bang you knee into the frame! Ouch! Also, you have to be careful what you set your case down on. It will scratch wood furniture and piano tops!
I'd suggest putting the music pouch on the back over the frame. This protects your knee and furniture and changes the balance of the case. I'd also make the front pouch into two smaller pouches to better organize your stuff and move the zippers so that they can be open when the case is open.
In a few words, this case is wonderful. Very well made, sturdy, and plenty of padding. The case also has wheels and a telescoping handle so you can wheel it through airports or just to gigs. There is a roomy pocket on top for music, oil, etc. The inside is padded extremely well, and both trumpet and flugelhorn fit snugly. I have even been able to put a C trumpet and a cornet in the flugel side with no problems. Those of you with large bell flugels (Conn V1, etc.) may not be able to use this case.
The only drawback to me is the fact that there is no room to put mutes in the case without potentially damaging a horn. Other than that, this is a great case, and I understand it will also fit in the overhead bin on airplanes. Well worth the money.
I just received the case a few days ago and overall am very pleased. I am storing a trumpet and flugelhorn and although it does fit snugly, there is scant room for anything else. Suggestions I have for improving the case are: (1) slightly lengthen the strap which holds the top open. The strap on my case is a hair too short and the top will often fall closed when you want it to stay open to access the case contents. (2) There is a small zipper pouch for incidentals which is inside the larger zippered music pocket on top of the case. Redo the case design to put the small pouch on the outside of the larger music pocket...which allows music to slide in and out of the pocket easier and removes the lumpy effect created by having the small pouch on the inside. (3) I also purchased the M-400 mute bag which attaches to the outside of the Protec Trumpet/Flugel Case (very handy). However, with 3 or 4 mutes and a few other things in the mute bag, the trumpet/flugel case becomes top heavy when standing on its end (end with wheels) and the case tends to fall over. Repositioning the point of attachment for the M-400 mute bag would correct this problem. (4) There are two large bumper pads which attach by Velcro to the inside of the top of the case. These are for the added protection of your horns to make them fit more snuggly. However, since the case has little room for storing anything other than your horns, additional storage space could be created (e.g. for additional mouthpieces, valve oil, etc) by providing access to store items on the inside of the bumper pads. (5) Lastly, since the M-400 Mute Bag is quite large, I would like to see an additional pocket either on the inside or outside of the Mute Bag made specifically for storing additional mouthpieces (up to 4). These are meant to be constructive comments on the ProTec Case and Mute Bag and overall both the case and mute bag are very nice.
As was stated in previous reviews, this case will not fit many flugelhorns - particularly those with vertical valve tubing. Conn V1's or the Getzen Custom will NOT fit in this case, unless you only want to put a flugelhorn in it. And then, it will not hold it snug in the case. I find this interesting since this is a Mike Vax endorsed case, and he plays Getzen. Other horns I tried unsuccessfully while I had it at my big band rehearsal: Jupiter XO, and Kanstul 1525. It is really too bad, because it seems like it is otherwise a well-built case. Pro-tec needs to make the fit limitations more clear in their description.
As a follow-up to my previous review, if your particular flugel does not fit, you have to pay shipping back to WWBW. They do not consider fit to be a product defect. And several pro-level flugelhorns will not fit in this case (see previous reviews). So please verify this case fits your flugelhorn before you order online or over the phone.
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