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Accord Flight Case

Postby John Banther » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:42 pm

Hi Everyone,

I always felt there was way too little info/pictures about the Accord case. Joe Exley's has been the only one I have seen.

My Accord flight case came in the mail a couple days ago. I got it in "3D blue," as I really like the natural carbon look, and it is supposed to show less wear and tear from flying. The blue looks a lot darker/subtle in person.

So far, I love it! It definitely needs more of the velcro padding, I contacted them to get some more.

It is light, really really light! This will be replacing my gig bag I think 99% of the time. Although it is bigger than I expected, I thought they would trim it down for my F tuba. But, if it really is like everyone says, free to check, then that is fine with me!

The Fiedler backpack straps are great as well, very comfortable. I actually took off the padding and music pocket, it feels perfectly fine on my back (so far).

Highly recommend it!
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bisontuba » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:27 pm

Hi-
What are these cases running price wise these days?
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:31 pm

I looks like they may (??) be interested in adapting their 186-sized shell for as many models as possible (rather than custom-designing glove-fit shells for various models).
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby John Banther » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:49 pm

They are around $2,200 without Customs/Shipping.

Yes, it's the same shell for all tubas. But, they are now in the process of creating a new mold for 6/4 tubas, if they get enough pre-orders/interest.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby itai » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:24 pm

Looks really great!
May I ask you (as I am interested in one for a long while now)-
- how long did it take from the moment you ordered until the moment it arrived?
- do they really come with back straps? (I heard that they recently cancelled that option)
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby John Banther » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:35 pm

I ordered it the beginning of November, and it got here December 30th.

I wrote Lance at Quality Strings (the importer) an email, and the next day he called and told me what to do, I ordered it that day. He said it would most likely be here by January, so he was spot on. But he did not guarantee, as sometimes they take longer.

I asked for the backpack system, and it came like that. The backpack is not something Accord makes, it's by Fiedler. Even if they said they wouldn't do it, you can install it yourself.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bisontuba » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:09 pm

Even with tubas varying widely in sizes, if someone has the skill and knowledge of making molded forms or cases like this, at the price of the Accord cases, this field is wide open to a talented entrepreneur(s) here in the States.....
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Dan Schultz » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:31 pm

Thanks for posting the images. The fact that the leadpipe is on the hinge-side of the case is a new one on me. I've always thought the horn was oriented with the leadpipe toward the handle so it's not apt to be exposed if the case is set down hard on the bottom.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aaron Tindall » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:36 pm

Accord has not produced a 6/4 case - until now.

Aubrey Foard and I have teamed up recently and managed to convince Accord to produce a 6/4 case that's made to fit both 5/4 and 6/4 tubas. Through Accord's exclusive U.S. distributor, Quality String Imports, we've set up a path for anyone who's interested to easily purchase a 6/4 case. In order to do so, simply follow this two step process:

1.) Go to: http://accordcase.com/model.asp?m=3.18.2, then download and fill out the measurement form.
2.) Send the measurement form, your preference of color, and a deposit check for $1,450.00 to:
Quality String Imports
203-04 32nd Ave
Bayside, NY 11361
*be sure to include "Accord 6/4 Tuba Case Deposit" in the memo line
(If you wish, you may email the measurement form and color preference to qualitystrings@yahoo.com, with a cc to bestqualitycases@yahoo.com)

The deposit is fully refundable if requested before the production of your case has begun. The price for each case is $2,150 - you pay the remainder of your balance once your case is ready for delivery. That may seem like a steep price, but the average overweight fee on an airline these days is $200 each way. If you get dinged for oversize as well, it's even more! With a 6/4 Accord case, you'll make up the cost of your investment in just five roundtrip flights.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays,
Aaron Tindall and Aubrey Foard
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Principal Tuba & Faculty - Eastern Music Festival
Assistant Professor of Tuba/Euphonium
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby jonesbrass » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:48 pm

Sweet!
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby tofu » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:56 am

John Banther wrote:They are around $2,200 without Customs/Shipping.

Yes, it's the same shell for all tubas. But, they are now in the process of creating a new mold for 6/4 tubas, if they get enough pre-orders/interest.


Nice! Please keep us posted on your experience with it. What is the width of the bell of your Miraphone in the case?
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bort » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:12 am

Case blah blah blah... :D

...that is a SWEET looking F tuba! Firebird? What's the 7th paddle for?
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby John Banther » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:47 pm

It has 8 paddles in total.

Valves 1-5 in right hand
6 valve in left + 2 triggers for valves 1 and 2
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Just to further back up what Aaron already said and what John can now testify to: Accord produces an exceptional lightweight flight case. I've had two 4/4 Accord cases that I bought in 2008 and flown 100,000+ miles per year with them since then. The cases have held up remarkably well, I've avoided damage, and I've not paid a single oversize or overweight charge since receiving them (the cases with tuba inside range from 43 - 46 lbs). The problem has been traveling with my 6/4 tuba (I play a MW 6450 " Baer"). As many of you are well aware, you're given a choice of: a.) buying a seat for the 6/4 or b.) having a large flight case weighing, with tuba, over 70 lbs ($200+ fee each way) and being clearly oversize ($150+ fee each way).

The big news is that Accord has agreed to produce a flight case that will fit 6/4 tubas. Now, it will be possible to travel around the world, taking auditions and playing in orchestras, without having to pay so much as an extra dime to check your horn! The price for the 6/4 case is even the same as the 4/4 at $2150 before shipping and customs. That may seem like a lot, but you'll end up saving money in the long run by not giving it to the airlines (which, by the way, make close to 100% profit off of your overweight / oversize fees).

Interested? To get started, simply follow the instructions that Aaron provided below. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post here or email me off-board.

Aubrey Foard
Principal Tuba, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Lecturer of Tuba and Euphonium, University of California, Los Angeles

Aaron Tindall wrote:Accord has not produced a 6/4 case - until now.

Aubrey Foard and I have teamed up recently and managed to convince Accord to produce a 6/4 case that's made to fit both 5/4 and 6/4 tubas. Through Accord's exclusive U.S. distributor, Quality String Imports, we've set up a path for anyone who's interested to easily purchase a 6/4 case. In order to do so, simply follow this two step process:

1.) Go to: http://accordcase.com/model.asp?m=3.18.2" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank, then download and fill out the measurement form.
2.) Send the measurement form, your preference of color, and a deposit check for $1,450.00 to:
Quality String Imports
203-04 32nd Ave
Bayside, NY 11361
*be sure to include "Accord 6/4 Tuba Case Deposit" in the memo line
(If you wish, you may email the measurement form and color preference to qualitystrings@yahoo.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank, with a cc to bestqualitycases@yahoo.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank)

The deposit is fully refundable if requested before the production of your case has begun. The price for each case is $2,150 - you pay the remainder of your balance once your case is ready for delivery. That may seem like a steep price, but the average overweight fee on an airline these days is $200 each way. If you get dinged for oversize as well, it's even more! With a 6/4 Accord case, you'll make up the cost of your investment in just five roundtrip flights.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays,
Aaron Tindall and Aubrey Foard
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:51 pm

bloke wrote:I looks like they may (??) be interested in adapting their 186-sized shell for as many models as possible (rather than custom-designing glove-fit shells for various models).


That's essentially how it works. My understanding is that Accord uses a mold to produce all tuba cases: they heat the carbon fiber and Kevlar composite until it's pliable, shape it to the mold, then wait for it to cool. I believe they have to do this several times to get enough layers so that the case is as strong as advertised. Up until now, they've only use one mold - for the 4/4 tubas - to produce their flight cases. As I wrote above, they've agreed to produce a mold that will create a shell large enough to house both 5/4 and 6/4 tubas. For all tubas, you send in a measurement form and they provide high density foam that is meant to fit specifically to your model. The foam is modular - it attaches to the shell via Velcro - so you can rearrange it however you'd like to ensure maximum protection while in transit.

TubaTinker wrote:Thanks for posting the images. The fact that the leadpipe is on the hinge-side of the case is a new one on me. I've always thought the horn was oriented with the leadpipe toward the handle so it's not apt to be exposed if the case is set down hard on the bottom.


My experience has been that the luggage handlers and TSA don't really pay attention to what side the case should be placed on. :?

That said, there is a retaining strap that helps to keep the bell in place and you can use the modular foam padding to insulate the leadpipe from the side of the shell. For me, the danger has been primarily with the horn shifting up and down (towards and away from the valve section) rather than side to side in the case. So, you want to make sure the tuba is really snug in that sense.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:09 pm

Curmudgeon wrote:There's two dimensions labeled "E" on that sizing form. Throat diameter and body length are both "E."

http://accordcase.com/documents/TUBA-MeasurementForm.pdf


Good catch - that's a typo on Accord's part. I would suggest placing a large "X" over the first E (midway up the bell diameter) and then writing in X with the measurement in the left column.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:43 am

Airline fee savings are one thing, but I don't see anything in the internal padding design that offers any better strategy than any other case regarding preventing bell creases when others slam the bell end of the case against a hard surface.

French horn players solved their airline problems by cutting their bells, as did Øystein Baadsvik. I wonder if it's time to drop superstitions regarding external bell tenons "affecting the sound". It seems that many players have overcome the "mouthpiece that looks like the end of a large summer sausage" superstition.

Obviously, the weight factor - combined with a hard shell - is alluring.

Are there any player/sales representatives associated with this company?

How much would a well-made (mass-produced plastic molded) 6/4 "body-only case" weigh with a 6/4 body in it ?
With half the case gone and 1X% of the tuba's weight gone, would it slip in under the 50 lb. threshold ?
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby the elephant » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:53 am

bloke wrote:Airline fee savings are one thing, but I don't see anything in the internal padding design that offers any better strategy than any other case regarding preventing bell creases when others slam the bell end of the case against a hard surface.

French horn players solved their airline problems by cutting their bells, as did Øystein Baadsvik. I wonder if it's time to drop superstitions regarding external bell tenons "affecting the sound". It seems that many players have overcome the "mouthpiece that looks like the end of a large summer sausage" superstition.

Obviously, the weight factor - combined with a hard shell - is alluring.

Are there any player/sales representatives associated with this company?

How much would a well-made (mass-produced plastic molded) 6/4 "body-only case" weigh with a 6/4 body in it ?
With half the case gone and 1X% of the tuba's weight gone, would it slip in under the 50 lb. threshold ?


You could then wear the flare as a nice hat. No restrictions on headgear - yet...
I have no comment at this time.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby jacobg » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:06 am

French horn players solved their airline problems by cutting their bells, as did Øystein Baadsvik. I wonder if it's time to drop superstitions regarding external bell tenons "affecting the sound". It seems that many players have overcome the "mouthpiece that looks like the end of a large summer sausage" superstition.


I've been using two different trombones with cut screw bells and tiny cases for the past 4 years. It's baffling to me why more tuba and trombone players and manufacturers don't adopt these as standard - the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Also, of all the things that are made more cheaply in Asia, lightweight tuba cases seem like they would be a no-brainer. Surely these cases are simpler to manufacture than the tuba itself.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:09 pm

bloke wrote:Airline fee savings are one thing, but I don't see anything in the internal padding design that offers any better strategy than any other case regarding preventing bell creases when others slam the bell end of the case against a hard surface.

French horn players solved their airline problems by cutting their bells, as did Øystein Baadsvik. I wonder if it's time to drop superstitions regarding external bell tenons "affecting the sound". It seems that many players have overcome the "mouthpiece that looks like the end of a large summer sausage" superstition.

Obviously, the weight factor - combined with a hard shell - is alluring.

Are there any player/sales representatives associated with this company?

How much would a well-made (mass-produced plastic molded) 6/4 "body-only case" weigh with a 6/4 body in it ?
With half the case gone and 1X% of the tuba's weight gone, would it slip in under the 50 lb. threshold ?


A lot of aspects of the Accord Case prevent bell damage:
1.) When the case is closed, the kevlar and carbon fiber composite makes it incredibly strong. You would literally have to drop it from the roof of a three story building to damage it.
2.) The bell side of the case is actually at a moderate angle, preventing direct hits to that part of the shell.
3.) There is a built-in foam padding that's shaped to the bell to absorb any impact that may occur.

In addition to John's pics, you can see the Accord Case in action at Joe Exley's travel blog here: http://www.tubajoe.com/tubajoe/accord-case/

I can also testify that I've not had any bell damage since receiving my cases. Prior to receiving the Accord cases, I did travel with molded plastic cases and they were - to be frank - problematic. They were easily damaged by moderate impact and did not absorb the full force of all impact, thus transferring that motion to the tuba. This resulted in a lot of repair bills over the years and a lot of damage to my instruments.

I think it's worth noting that I think it would be disingenuous to say that the Accord Case is a 110% guarantee that your horn won't get damaged while in transit. However, I believe it is the best flight case on the market right now: it offers the best protection for your tuba while being very lightweight. In over 600,000 miles of commercial flight in the past six years, my Accord cases have withstood the worst baggage handlers and TSA agents and come out the other end without damage to the tubas inside. If you buy this case, are you guaranteed to have the same experience? No. But I'd say the chances are above excellent that your tubas will emerge unscathed (as mine have) after years of use.
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