Just a quick post to let everyone know about this new double clarinet case I got. It’s the Protec “Double Clarinet Pro Pac” case. I’ve had ZERO success finding a good case for my A and Bb clarinets. That’s because they are both “Full Boehm” clarinets, meaning (among other things) they go down to a low Eb, so the lower joints are longer than their “normal” counterparts.
So I decided to try this Protec case, because the Protec site has nice big pictures of it, and it looked like I was going to be able to modify it to fit my oversize clarinets. You see, the case is designed to hold two barrels for each of the clarinets, and the barrel slots sit right at the end of the cutouts for the lower joint of each clarinet. So I figured I could carve out some material at the end of the existing lower joint slots, sacrificing one barrel slot for each clarinet.
Here’s a shot of the case after I removed some material. I used a little X-Acto hobby knife to slice through the blue felt layer and cut away foam. It was really easy to do. The blue felt is bonded to a layer of dark, soft, bendy foam, and then this felt/foam layer is somehow bonded to the white, denser foam underneath. (Ignore the white at the bottom of the picture; that’s just a couple of Q-tips.) You can see that just north of each bell section there is an empty round indent in the blue felt, and those are the two barrel slots that I sacrificed.
And here is the case with everything in place. You can see there were a few extra pockets inside the case that allow me to keep four barrels inside the case even though I had to sacrifice those two barrel slots.
I’m really happy to finally have these horns safe inside a great, lightweight, compact case. I’m very happy with the quality of it, especially at the price I paid (a bit over $80 on Amazon). I have some dark satin material left over from a previous case-building project, so maybe this summer I can glue that over the exposed white foam. But it works great now, as is. Be forewarned, this is not a hard shell case, and it looks like it could get crushed if you put something really heavy on top of it. But for normal use, this will be a perfectly safe and protective case, hopefully for the lifetime of me or these clarinets – whichever ends first.