Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
User avatar
By michi
#9423
Just saw that Drumskull offer a new case:
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Drumskull Djembe Case - Deluxe
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Looks like it's very similar to the older deluxe case with hard top (which they still sell). The main difference appears to be that the new model has two pockets. But it looks like the carry handle has gone missing, and the hardware is still plastic, as for the previous model.

I'm not sure how they justify the price difference though: $239 for the new model compared to $196 for the previous one. That's an expensive extra pocket unless there is some other major difference.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By michi
#9425
e2c wrote:Fabrication costs have likely gone up - our economy hasn't been doing very well since mid-autumn 2008.
Yes, I appreciate that. Still--$239 is way up there. For example, the TKL bag (below) is available for $100. It's not as nice as the Drumskull one, but it's close. (I have one of each. The Drumskull bag is overall sturdier, with thicker padding and made from higher-quality materials. But still, the TKL bag is nothing to scoff at and has given me good service for several years.)

Cheers,

Michi.
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TKL Djembe Bag
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Last edited by michi on Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Djembe-nerd
#9429
How does the Drum skull bag compare to Hume and berg 14" bag, or Meinl professional djembe bag.

I have 2 Meinl bags, first I though they were made for Meinl djembes and would not fit the african djembes, but I took the djembe and tried them. They are good and the H&B 14" is good too. These are the ones I have tried.
User avatar
By michi
#9432
Sorry, I haven't seen the Meinl or Hume and Berg bags in the flesh. From what I can tell from photos on the web, it looks like the Meinl is inferior to the Drumskull bag. The Humes & Berg one might come close, but doesn't look as sturdy from the picture.

For what it's worth, I've seen lots of djembe bags over the years, and the Drumskull Deluxe bag is definitely the pick of the crop. Best quality and most sturdy build. It's not cheap though.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Beerfola
#9436
The DrumSeeker bags (Hume and Berg) aren't bad. A bit flimsier than the Drumskull bags though. A little less padding but adequate. The material (Cordura?) isn't quite as heavy on the DrumSeeker. I haven't had the DrumSeeker as long as the Drumskull bag but they will both probably stand the test of time. The strongest bag I have seen (and own) is the Rhythm Trader Master Series bag. It is really heavy and bulky though. Not a real joy to carry. For travel I would recommend that or the Drumskull Hardtop bags. For day to day covering and dragging your drum to class ( to the car - to class - and back home) any of the others will do. It's rare that I actually use the bags as a backpack. I usually just sling the drum over my arm through one strap. Another advantage of the Drumskull bags is that they come with a single sling shoulder strap that doubles as a waist strap for seated playing. The DrumSeeker and the Rhythm Trader bags don't have that but it isn't difficult to find something to fill the bill there. Commonly the biggest issue that one will experience with any bag is the stitching around the straps will fail. Having more pockets on the bag will usually lead to you carrying more and more stuff and the whole thing starts to get heavier and heavier and the stitching gets strained. I haven't experienced any issues with plastic hardware vs. metal. Zipper failure hasn't plagued me on any bags with the exception of cloth bags manufactured in Africa (at a considerably lower cost I might add). The new generation Drumskull bags, DrumSeeker, and Rhythm Trader bags all handle really large drums with wide bases. Other decent choices would be the TKL bag (don't own one but I am familiar with them) and the bags available through Irietones.com - djembedirect.com - africaheartwood.com "collective". These bags have a good feature set, good quality but don't fit really large drums.
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#9446
I was a fan of TKL... bought one for myself about 6 months ago and it has been fine. BUT, my teacher, Sidy, just got a new one in September and the thing is already trashed. The top handle (one of it's best features) started to tear off within weeks. The seam holding the zipper in has already come undone and the shoulder strap is tearing off. This in a bag that is only a couple months old. NOT cool.

The bag was purchased from the Drummers Lounge and they are saying they are going to rectify it for him, but so far, nothing has actually been done.

So, if I were in the market for a bag, I would not be buying another TKL.

(Incidentally, my TKL has held up pretty well so far. But I am not a professional player dragging my drum in and out of the car every day.)

One of my classmates has the Humes and Berg. I am going to check it out, for future reference.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#10012
michi,

i'd say the TKL bags are nowhere near the level of the DSD bags...even the older generation bags. I have DSD bag from 2005 that's still holding strong. the only problem with that old one is the shanty zipper on the sole side pocket that i already busted. pocket is useless.

i've inspected and fondled the new $239 cases and the main difference is the extra padding similar to the Modoo bag they made in 2009. the other change is the 2nd pocket and the gaudy logo on the side. i hate that logo. they know i hate it too.

if anyone considers buying the bag and doesn't like the logo, ask to make a bag for you without one.

DSD will be scaling back the production of cases for now so check with them for stock on hand and/or potential waiting times.
User avatar
By michi
#10017
Dugafola wrote:i'd say the TKL bags are nowhere near the level of the DSD bags...even the older generation bags.
I agree with you--the Drumskull bag is definitely a step above the TKL, no argument there. But, for someone who doesn't need a bag that can survive daily torture, such as while touring, the TKL bag is a good alternative at less than half the price.
i've inspected and fondled the new $239 cases and the main difference is the extra padding similar to the Modoo bag they made in 2009. the other change is the 2nd pocket and the gaudy logo on the side. i hate that logo. they know i hate it too.
OK, for the record, I hate it as well :) It's tasteless. I have no problem with a manufacturer putting their name on the product--it's only fair. But when the logo is so blatant that it's the first thing people see because it hits them in the eye like a ton of bricks, I feel I'm being abused as a walking billboard. Something a little more subtle would be better.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#10021
Update on the TKL return saga. TKL is willing to take the trashed bag back, but I have to pay for the shipping and they want photos of the damage before they will give me a return authorization number. Dave at the drummers lounge is going to try and work it out so that I don't have to pay the shipping back. I hope he is able to do it.

Also, just fyi, I was at a drum circle the other day and saw another TKL bag and it, too, was trashed. The foam padding was actually sticking out from where the zipper had come undone. I think it was a 14 inch one, too. What's up with that?
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#10022
Oh, props, to Dave at drummers lounge. TKL wouldn't budge, but he is willing to reimburse my shipping because he wants me to be a happy customer. That is GREAT service.
User avatar
By bops
#10030
I've had a TKL case for several years that has withstood a great deal of usage (2-4 trips per week) and is still in good condition. Hardware is starting to fall apart a little, but that's to be expected.

On the other hand, a friend of mine recently ordered a TKL bag, and his is a complete PIECE of crap. Shoulder strap pulled off right away. He sent for a new one, paid return shipping etc. The new one came and did the exact same thing.

I suspect that something changed in their production of those bags. It's as if the new ones are not from the same place as the old ones. Too bad. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't order a new one.
User avatar
By michi
#10031
I suspect that something changed in their production of those bags. It's as if the new ones are not from the same place as the old ones. Too bad. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't order a new one.
Hmmm... By the sounds of things, that seems to be quite a common experience then. You are not the only one who has reported something like this. Looks like the TKL bags may not be such a good option then, at least not the ones made more recently.

Michi.
By bubudi
#10035
Dugafola wrote:the other change is the 2nd pocket and the gaudy logo on the side. i hate that logo. they know i hate it too.
yea that fugly logo was the first thing that hit me.

when i bought my cases from the skulls 4 years ago, i made sure to get the one with the african colour stripes on the pocket as those had a very subtle logo on the velcro flap at the front. those have held very well for me except for the crappy plastic hardware. that model (maybe all of their models) includes a shoulder strap and backpack straps. the hardware on the shoulder strap broke the second time i used it. my friend however had his zipper break a year after he got it. i guess i'm a lot more careful with mine. apart from the crappy plastic hardware and the lack of hard tops on non-custom models, the skulls have sold the best djembe cases i've seen. more padding on those than any of the competition, even on their older models.
By snargle
#10981
michi wrote: Looks like the TKL bags may not be such a good option then, at least not the ones made more recently.
I got a TKL bag 3 or 4 years ago and I'm really disappointed in the quality. It's not been used that hard, but it's showing a lot of wear and tear, stitching pulling loose, etc. Last summer, I got one of the "Africa Heartwood Project" cases from djembedirect.com and I'm really happy with that...it's a much nicer bag. The TKL bag is mostly used now for storage or carrying a back-up drum.