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WTB cronkhite gigbag for vintage alex

Postby Alecgrinage » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:24 pm

I'm sure this is a longshot. But I'm looking for a used cronkhite gigbag that might fit my vintage Alexander 163. It's 42" long with about a 17" bell.
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Re: WTB cronkhite gigbag for vintage alex

Postby the elephant » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:07 pm

I used one of his Miraphone 186 bags for my 163 for twelve years. It was leather, so it took some time to stretch the small amount it needed to fit well, and it was *always* a little tight on the leadpipe side of the bell rim, but it fit nicely and was a generic bag size that is slightly more easily found than a lot of his other more specific bags. I would suggest you look for one of those.

When I purchased this bag (1996 or so) he would not make a bag to fit my Alex unless I brought the horn to him. His story was that older 163s were so inconsistently made and had such a tall "shoulder" (the corner of the top bow where the bag wraps between the bell and the bottom bow) that most of his very few bag returns were from Alex owners because his pattern did not match their particular horn. So he would get their specs, make another pattern and a new bag. The next Alex owner would get a bag, and it, too, would not fit. He made the 186 bag with a shoulder that is too tall for the 186 BBb (much taller in this regard than the 186 CC) I think to make it something an Alexander 163 could fit in (in most cases). That was what I purchased, and he was correct in how tightly it would fit the bell, but that it *would* stretch out over time to fit the horn perfectly.

Also, lower in price (if you can find one) are the Cronkhite-made black Cordura bags with TUBA EXCHANGE branding outside, but "Reunion Blues - San Francisco" on a tag inside near the bottom bow. These sold really cheaply and do not seem to vary from his custom bags except for the leather patch with the TE logo and the fact that they purchased them in bulk at a special price from GC. I have one that fits my 186 CC perfectly and that I think was one of the first add-on sales items for the St. Pete tubas back in 1989 or 1990. Mine is that old and is still in excellent condition, especially the straps.

I think you would have an easier time locating an affordable, used Cronkhite-made bag for your 163 by looking for his 186 bags, either as the TE-branded bag or one sold under the GC name. I do not think you will find one made on a pattern for a 163 for sale anywhere, though you may find the 186 bag sold by an Alex owner as an Alex model.

If you get one, please post photos of it with the horn in it to show where it is tight or loose, how much you paid, and whatever anecdotal info you get from the seller. Alex players with the older versions of the 163 have a hard time finding stuff like this that is not some sort of compromise these days.

Good luck!

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Re: WTB cronkhite gigbag for vintage alex

Postby Tim Jackson » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:28 pm

I have a used/but mint black leather cronkhite bag I am not using. It fit my 1960 miraphone.
I can measure if you still need one. Very nice bag.

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Re: WTB cronkhite gigbag for vintage alex

Postby Alecgrinage » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:37 pm

the elephant wrote:I used one of his Miraphone 186 bags for my 163 for twelve years. It was leather, so it took some time to stretch the small amount it needed to fit well, and it was *always* a little tight on the leadpipe side of the bell rim, but it fit nicely and was a generic bag size that is slightly more easily found than a lot of his other more specific bags. I would suggest you look for one of those.

When I purchased this bag (1996 or so) he would not make a bag to fit my Alex unless I brought the horn to him. His story was that older 163s were so inconsistently made and had such a tall "shoulder" (the corner of the top bow where the bag wraps between the bell and the bottom bow) that most of his very few bag returns were from Alex owners because his pattern did not match their particular horn. So he would get their specs, make another pattern and a new bag. The next Alex owner would get a bag, and it, too, would not fit. He made the 186 bag with a shoulder that is too tall for the 186 BBb (much taller in this regard than the 186 CC) I think to make it something an Alexander 163 could fit in (in most cases). That was what I purchased, and he was correct in how tightly it would fit the bell, but that it *would* stretch out over time to fit the horn perfectly.

Also, lower in price (if you can find one) are the Cronkhite-made black Cordura bags with TUBA EXCHANGE branding outside, but "Reunion Blues - San Francisco" on a tag inside near the bottom bow. These sold really cheaply and do not seem to vary from his custom bags except for the leather patch with the TE logo and the fact that they purchased them in bulk at a special price from GC. I have one that fits my 186 CC perfectly and that I think was one of the first add-on sales items for the St. Pete tubas back in 1989 or 1990. Mine is that old and is still in excellent condition, especially the straps.

I think you would have an easier time locating an affordable, used Cronkhite-made bag for your 163 by looking for his 186 bags, either as the TE-branded bag or one sold under the GC name. I do not think you will find one made on a pattern for a 163 for sale anywhere, though you may find the 186 bag sold by an Alex owner as an Alex model.

If you get one, please post photos of it with the horn in it to show where it is tight or loose, how much you paid, and whatever anecdotal info you get from the seller. Alex players with the older versions of the 163 have a hard time finding stuff like this that is not some sort of compromise these days.

Good luck!

Wade


Interesting! I never would've guessed. Thanks.
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