Are Drum Cases Necessary?

Fibes

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As stated in numerous replies, it depends on the investment involved, and that should be something that common sense would dictate. Currently, I don't own anything that would be gigged without cases. I don't think there is a type of gig I'd be interested in that would allow a non-cased kit, i.e. a beater kit for a Blues jam, etc. But I could see myself getting interested in one of those late60's/early 70's Slingerland concert tom kits - as long as they are the 3 ply maple with top and bottom re-rings - to be available for the odd week-night jam hosting activity. Those sets are still around in the $400 range (typically sans snare) for a 3 piece kit and you could nest a 12/16/22 into one case OR just throw them into the back seat of a car without cases. I had a friend that used this setup on certain gigs, and he was a fairly prominent name. I laughed the first time I saw him take the kick with the 12 inch tom still mounted, then the floor tom with legs on it in 1 hand, snare in case in the other, lightweight stands in what looked like a rifle bag/case, and cymbals in the other. He was in and set up in less than 15 minutes. If I buy another set, it will be modeled after this.





Back in the 60s when I was starting out, I don't remember any of the drummers in my small orbit having cases for their drums. Even my teacher, a weekend warrior, didn't have cases. We all just hauled our drums au naturel, and I don't remember anyone having a drum damaged in transit. Car backseats are padded, after all.
 

Ncrhythmman

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I absolutely believe in using at least drum bags when transporting drums. Hard drum cases are very expensive & heavier too, but Yes, at Least drum bags...
 

Demonslayer

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Answer is yes.

Just ask my Starclassic snare that rolled down the hill in a drum bag. Strainer got pushed into the wood for less than 1/8". Never worked the same again. Not ever.

Toms and cymbals can get bags, but every snare will require a hard case. No exceptions.
 

TonyVazquez

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I need cases like I need a winter coat. Even if all I have is a cymbal bag,
I must protect my drums from elements, and from careless people, Somehow.

Gigs have been very minimal these days, angry thanks to Rona;
and I'm only playing my kit once a week at band rehearsal.
After we're done I simply store my kit (no tear-down) in the attic
where the temperature is controlled at a decent range all year round.
In that case I don't need to keep my kit cased up all the time.

Before Rona happened, we were busy playing local shows and I just placed
my drum kit (torn-down) inside a hatchback SUV... all of my hardware
fits torn down inside a large wheeled Samsonite luggage bag.
My cymbals have their own cymbal bag; so just my shells are case-less
but I wrap them in moving blankets.
Our gigs have been local within 2 hours travel time, and I ride in the car
with my kit so I'm not bigly concerned about damage when I'm there.

Respect for other people's belongings may have been the popular trend
back in the good ole Andy Griffith/Brady Bunch days,
but in Today's 21st century world the lack of respect for drummers' gear
(and anything else) is so astounding it makes me wanna dropkick "roadies"
who don't handle a drummer's gear with care.

My first-line of defense is that I Never let anyone help me load my gear.
I appreciate their offers to help, and I politely refuse them; if they still
insist on helping me carry my gear then my NO tone becomes more stern.
A lot can happen between the time a helper lifts my drum, and the time
said helper stumbles and trips head over heels with my drum.
 

michaelocalypse

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Outside of accidents happening (I've gotten some knicks and dings), it mostly depends on who is helping you move stuff. I've had to borrow a floor tom at a gig, because mine was damaged in transit. Bandmate was a terrible driver. I bought that kit to gig with instead of cases, and kept my good kit at home because it had been previously left out in a torrential downpour by that same bandmate.

I've had bags for a while now instead of cases, and they've saved me a few times. It comes down to how much you care about knicks and dings, or broken brackets. I prefer to protect things than have to fix or replace them, especially when they cost as much as drum sets do.
 

John DeChristopher

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Do any of you go without cases? Or are they an unnecessary add-on sale that we've been duped into buying?
Speaking for myself, nope and nope.

But I'll elaborate by saying I enjoy gigging with nice drums. I don't play out on a "beater kit" and save my nice kits for home, as I know some do. All my kits are vintage and I get as much joy looking at them, as I do playing and hearing them.

The first couple of years of my teenage gigging years I didn't have bags or cases and as careful as I was, put plenty of scratches on my drums. Not to mention rain and snow. If you can avoid damaging your gear by simply protecting them in bags, then why wouldn't you? Plus, soft bags with handles make carrying them much easier.
 

David M Scott

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Back in the 60s when I was starting out, I don't remember any of the drummers in my small orbit having cases for their drums. Even my teacher, a weekend warrior, didn't have cases. We all just hauled our drums au naturel, and I don't remember anyone having a drum damaged in transit. Car backseats are padded, after all.

As fate had it, I soon chanced across a set of used cases cheap and bought them. They were really lousy cases, just cloth coverings, a few with holes in them and one with a broken zipper. But for the price I figured they were worth it. I proceeded to use those cases for many years and never had a damaged drum, but I have no idea whether or not the cases helped.

Now I once again don't have cases--and don't think I need them. It's not as if I'm hauling my drums anywhere, and I only paid $530 for my drums to begin with. Who cares if one gets damaged? I also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't get your money out of cases on resale. If cases are thrown into a sale, great, but I doubt that buyers pay much more for drums with cases than they pay for drums without them. And selling cases separately is surely tough, since everybody's size requirements are different and nobody wants to pay a lot.

Today though I saw an ad from a local seller offering a set of 5 cases exactly the sizes of my drums for $150 total. The cases don't look bad. There aren't any holes, the zippers all work, and they're even padded. Also, because I don't live in the US or another big market country, buying cases from sites like Amazon, Reverb, and Sweetwater is very expensive as a result of international shipping charges and import taxes. $150 looks cheap for a set of cases.

If I even want cases. Do any of you go without cases? My sense is that nowadays almost everyone has cases for their drums, but I'm not sure they're necessary. Are they? Or are they an unnecessary add-on sale that we've been duped into buying?
I never used cases until I changed to Sonor and Yamaha which have very high polished chrome hardware and hate it to be scratched up. The Sonor black sparkle wrap is also top drawer so really careful with it. So as I wintered in Florida and drove all the way from the Canadian Prairies with a van full drums included I invested in drum bags. If I remember correctly I ordered them from one of the online stores like GC and they are canvas type material, nicely padded with good zippers and zippered storage space on the main zippered top. They have what would be for most kits 8,10 for rack Toms, 14 floor, 20 Bass and 14x6 snare sizes. If Memory serves me correct the whole kit was under $150 (US) delivered to me in Fla. The only Drawback for me was the fact that
Sonor uses a large lock knob on Toms and Bass that sits at right angles.So fitting the Toms and Bass in is tight but for the price and quality I can live with that. I use them whenever I take my kit out and yes, they do a fine job. I guess if I was on the road or gigging a lot with a $2000 kit I’d use hard cases but boy those are
big $$$’s and the canvas bags do the job in my opinion.
 

DavedrumsTX

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Back in the 60s when I was starting out, I don't remember any of the drummers in my small orbit having cases for their drums. Even my teacher, a weekend warrior, didn't have cases. We all just hauled our drums au naturel, and I don't remember anyone having a drum damaged in transit. Car backseats are padded, after all.

As fate had it, I soon chanced across a set of used cases cheap and bought them. They were really lousy cases, just cloth coverings, a few with holes in them and one with a broken zipper. But for the price I figured they were worth it. I proceeded to use those cases for many years and never had a damaged drum, but I have no idea whether or not the cases helped.

Now I once again don't have cases--and don't think I need them. It's not as if I'm hauling my drums anywhere, and I only paid $530 for my drums to begin with. Who cares if one gets damaged? I also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't get your money out of cases on resale. If cases are thrown into a sale, great, but I doubt that buyers pay much more for drums with cases than they pay for drums without them. And selling cases separately is surely tough, since everybody's size requirements are different and nobody wants to pay a lot.

Today though I saw an ad from a local seller offering a set of 5 cases exactly the sizes of my drums for $150 total. The cases don't look bad. There aren't any holes, the zippers all work, and they're even padded. Also, because I don't live in the US or another big market country, buying cases from sites like Amazon, Reverb, and Sweetwater is very expensive as a result of international shipping charges and import taxes. $150 looks cheap for a set of cases.

If I even want cases. Do any of you go without cases? My sense is that nowadays almost everyone has cases for their drums, but I'm not sure they're necessary. Are they? Or are they an unnecessary add-on sale that we've been duped into buying?
It’s all how much you play out and protecting your investment. I still have my 1976 Ludwigs (I am the original owner) and the chrome looks as good as new. I started gigging in my teens and my drums were loaded and unloaded in rain storms and have been thrown into bus storage holes. If I didn’t have cases they would have been trashed. While I still have hard cases, I pretty much use soft Protection Racket cases.
 

TheBeachBoy

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If you have ever had to unload or load in the pouring rain, you will never ask this question again.
When I pulled the wrap off my Pearl Exports and refinished them I actually did a couple coats of Thompson Water seal because I already had it and why not?

My nicer kits get bags. Cases are overkill for my needs.
 

Corbin L Douthitt

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I have a gig set thatstays set up in a location, I load it up in the car to play out.. no cases. paid $200 for 6 drums (TAMA Superstars). I have a Pearl Session Bebop kit- cases. The difference? I have cases for the bebop kit.
 

jhllewellyn

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I used cases when I was touring, but now just doing small local gigs, if I put my drums in the cases I can't fit them in my car. That being said I would prefer to have them protected.
 

RIDDIM

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For a 500 set of drums.. no benefit really.. be careful moving them but cases won’t make them worth more at any point
- If you lose an essential small piece of hardware in transport while saving money on cases, that can really complicate playing. If the hardware falls off in a bag, at least you know where it is.
 

RIDDIM

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I would like to make the comment that you do not have CASES. You have covers. There’s a big difference in the protection covers vs cases provide.
I have made my living as a drummer almost my entire working career over 50 years. I have toured and had roadies. I have been my own roadie.
I have had to load or unload my gear in pouring rain, in snow or even with the sun shining.
In the pouring rain or snow, my drums were protected and got me in and out of the gig safely.
Flying, a hole appeared in one of my cases as the airlines obviously didn’t baby my gear. When the drum with the hole in it came down the ramp, the road manager opened the case, examined the drum, which was fine, and he said “that case just paid for itself !”
I take care of my gear and for many years it has taken care of me.
Regardless of what I paid for a set, I want my drums to be in perfect working order when they get to the gig.
I’m talking fiber cases which were all that used to be available when I started out. Before putting my drums in the cases, when prepping them for readiness, I sprayed them with clear coat “paint” to protect the cases from weather. I don’t know how many times I thanked myself for doing that as my drums would be loaded or unloaded in the pouring rain. So not only were my drums protected but so were the fiber cases. Nowadays with the hard shell plastic cases that spray coating isn’t necessary.
So I learned to take care of my gear, and my gear was always ready to take care of me.
My cases paid for themselves many times over the years.
- Amen on clear coating fiber cases. I've put a few coats of polurethane, sprayed or brushed, on mine over the years. They waterproof and make the cases a bit more rigid. I still have and use those, which date from the 70's.
 

IVER

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Back in the 60s when I was starting out, I don't remember any of the drummers in my small orbit having cases for their drums. Even my teacher, a weekend warrior, didn't have cases. We all just hauled our drums au naturel, and I don't remember anyone having a drum damaged in transit. Car backseats are padded, after all.

As fate had it, I soon chanced across a set of used cases cheap and bought them. They were really lousy cases, just cloth coverings, a few with holes in them and one with a broken zipper. But for the price I figured they were worth it. I proceeded to use those cases for many years and never had a damaged drum, but I have no idea whether or not the cases helped.

Now I once again don't have cases--and don't think I need them. It's not as if I'm hauling my drums anywhere, and I only paid $530 for my drums to begin with. Who cares if one gets damaged? I also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't get your money out of cases on resale. If cases are thrown into a sale, great, but I doubt that buyers pay much more for drums with cases than they pay for drums without them. And selling cases separately is surely tough, since everybody's size requirements are different and nobody wants to pay a lot.

Today though I saw an ad from a local seller offering a set of 5 cases exactly the sizes of my drums for $150 total. The cases don't look bad. There aren't any holes, the zippers all work, and they're even padded. Also, because I don't live in the US or another big market country, buying cases from sites like Amazon, Reverb, and Sweetwater is very expensive as a result of international shipping charges and import taxes. $150 looks cheap for a set of cases.

If I even want cases. Do any of you go without cases? My sense is that nowadays almost everyone has cases for their drums, but I'm not sure they're necessary. Are they? Or are they an unnecessary add-on sale that we've been duped into buying?
 

IVER

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I say buy them. I have hard and soft protection for all my equipment except my bass drum, which is a big (24") Leedy & Ludwig, which I gingerly load when travelling. I no longer tour, so it's vehicle travel only. Besides offering protection, cases with handles are a lot easier to carry than the drums themselves.
 

studrum

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The company appears to be Drum Logos, but a quick google search doesn't turn up anything. I'm thinking that this might be a local guy who makes cases, but I don't know.
Unfortunately, these look like the "super thin ones" I mentioned in my earlier post. Even Tuxedos (not expensive) probably have more padding than these. I bought a cheap Tama bag that looks like what you show here. They are well made but thin as a piece of paper - NO impact protection, though I admit I could evaluate these better if I could actually get my hands on them. Do they feel thin? They do look like it. You can do better for bags/used cases, and I recommend you get them if you care about your drums.
 

studrum

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They are helpful to protect your drums from overambitious people wanting to help loading in and out. You know the type: smiling happily as they hold your bass drum by one spur, snare wires used as a carrying strap, cymbals as a flat cap...
...beer in their other hand, sloshing it around all over... YOUR DRUMS!
 

underratedcowbell

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I use cases or bags with all my drums. Cheap or extensive sets they all have the same attention! I had my share of accidents with drums to skip on something like that. And I agree, toms and cymbals can go into bags but snares, especially those with strainer mechanics that protrude a lot from the drum should always travel in a case!
 


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