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Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:12 pm

I am purchasing a CC 186 from 1971 and will need a hard case before I have the funds, and won't need a hard case again for a long time. In order to get by I was thinking of using the lovely (and unused) Jinbao cloth-covered styrofoam cup that came with my Mack 410 a few years ago.

One can safely assume that the 410, having a bell that is not a clone of the larger Miraphone bell, but that shares the same basic dimensions (rim OD, and - I HOPE - length) that a modern 186 could use this case.

What I do not know and am not willing to simply assume is whether a 186 of this tuba's vintage will fit. The bell has a smaller flare and maybe a more narrow throat, but are the lengths the same? I think the old 186 tubas were wrapped slightly tighter, so the top bow might not reach the top of the cutout, and the bell might be too long.

Has anyone here put a vintage, small-belled 186 in a Jinbao 410 cloth-covered case? I only want to know about this case and this flavor of the 186 CC tuba. I don't really care if you can fit your cousin in the Jinbao case or if your granddad had a Mirafone when he was in the Army. I don't care to hear another retelling of why it is "F" or "PH" or that your 186 fits great in a refrigerator box.

(You have to be this specific on this site, sometimes, you know? HAHAHA!!!)

Thanks for any actual, usable info gleaned from the (probably many) variegated and colorful replies my posts seem to engender. :mrgreen: :tuba:

EDIT: Answer: NO!

A 1971 186 is too tall for the Jinbao case at both the bell and the top bow. The mouthpiece receiver digs very hard into the case shell. The bell of the classic Mirafone, while having a smaller rim, is actually a bit wider where one of the hard "pads" rests against the bell (just below the logo). This prevents you from zipping the bag shut unless you press the case closed.

Normally such differences would not be an issue as the padding would conform to these slight differences in size or shape, but the lining material in these cases is styrofoam. It has zero usable give. The 1971 horn is eggshell-thin, so I believe that it would have received a good bit of damage simply sitting in the case for six hours in a somewhat bouncy car.

I would not do this at all, ever. I know these horns varied in height and width a bit over the years, but mine is not a go for one of these cases, and I believe this would include most of them from 1967-1973 or so. Not sure. I am not a Miraphile but a Mirafan.

:tuba:
Last edited by the elephant on Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:16 pm

*
Last edited by the elephant on Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:56 pm

The best I can do for you is "if/then".

- A couple of months ago, a Schiller/Jinbao sat here immediately adjacent to a 5-valve 1963-vintage 186 C tuba.
- Basically, the footprint was the same.
- Assuming (here's the rub..."assuming") that Jinbao copied a RECENT-vintage 186 C, the brace between the bell and upper bow is NOW slightly wider (186) than in the past, so the ASSUMPTION would be made that the Jinbao is also slightly wider than a "vintage" 186 C. That having been said, the extra width is subtle. It just enough to screw up the mouthpipe geometry, but probably only about 1/4" additional instrument width at that point...not enough to screw up case fitment.
- To my best recollection, the instruments were the same height, and the upper bows climbed up the bells very close to the same heights.
- I can't help but assume (everything else being extremely similar) that a 16-1/2" diameter bell tuba will fit into a case built for a 17-3/4" diameter bell tuba.
- Jinbao zipper cases have a lot of "squishy" built in, which (it seems to me) greatly increases to a likelihood of compatibility.

That's the best that I can do for you.
There simply was no reason to place the Miraphone into the Schiller-Jinbao zipper case.

random unneeded information: A 186 is an inch or so taller than a 188.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:23 pm

The horn has to ride in the back of my Jeep Wrangler for about six hours. The crappy Jinbao case will stand up to that just fine (at least for the one trip) with some additional padding and stuff to keep the case from sliding around.

I also will have other stuff in the bed of the JK. So that is a plus. I know the JK bed accepts this case because I have transported it in the Jeep in the past.

The Jeep has a rough ride, as you would expect, and the soft case would just let the tuba bounce up and down for six hours, and even on additional padding I don't want to risk that.

I will need to pad the case along with all the other gear I will be transporting, which will include a stripped case shell. I really don't want to use the gig bag for this drive, due to years of experience driving this same route in Jeeps and other vehicles.

Also, "stuff" (fairly light) will have to ride on top of the tuba for the bouncy six hours. The styrofoam will hold up to that better than cloth and leather.

So that is my reasoning behind this thread. I need to know in advance because I will not be able to take the case unless I know it will fit or I might end up in the terrible situation of being six hours away from my home with a tuba case that will not fit in my vehicle because the tuba has to ride in the provided gig bag and I have another hard case (or sorts) in the back with it. I suppose I could just rope it to the hood like a deer. HA!

I appreciate the information. The height was my chief concern. I am certain that the top bow of the older horns was lower than the current one, if only by a little, and not the reverse, based on many photos of the horns I have placed side-by-side with the image scaled to be equal in size. If there is a difference, the newer horns are a bit taller at the top bow. The styrofoam in my case has just about zero give, but the older tubas were a smidge more narrow, so that also probably won't be an issue.

I am worried I will taco the bell flare if the case is too short or otherwise tight. It seems like it will be slightly loose, so a blanket will be used to eat up any excess room. I will have my partially deflated soccer ball with me. Life will be grand, so long as I get the horn home undamaged.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:41 pm

Wade,
In the bell-up position (with the bell rim parallel to the floor) the upper crest of the upper bow of the ultra-vintage 186 C is a TAD LOWER THAN 24 inches.
That does NOT include the #5 slide crook sticking up past it. Obviously, that is removable.

I do not know if 1970's versions are different from early 1960's versions.

oh...and this instrument - IN SPITE of being ultra-vintage - features a very LOW-RISE bottom bow keel.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby Radar » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:44 pm

I have a 70's vintage 4 valve 186 CC, If you need measurements from it PM me and I'll do my best to get as accurate as possible measurements for you.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby alloybrass » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:36 pm

I live in Madison, NY and if you're anywhere close, I have a hard case you can borrow. I used it to take my 1980 186CC to England and back. As long as you are handling it yourself (rather than putting your trust in airport baggage handlers) you'll be fine.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:18 pm

Thanks, very much! However, I live in central Mississippi and will be picking the tuba up in the Dallas area, all driving - no airports, thankfully!

To all: The measurements would help if I could get out of town to my storage space to measure the case. However, I won't be picking it up until the night before I hit the road. I am really just looking to see whether anyone has actually put one of these older 186s into one of these Jinbao cases.

Also, these horns had enough variation in them over the years (and I am not really sure which "family" of 186s this one is, but I think it physically matches the horns from 1967-1974 with the smaller leadpipe) that I really just need to see if anyone has one from that era that fits for sure. I am leery of making the drive out there with this tuba case in a tiny Jeep and finding out that the horn has to travel in its gig bag, that I have two stripped out shell halves AND this case to take home. I am pretty sure the gig bag is too long to fit inside the shell halves, so that would leave me putting the horn in its bag upright on the floor of the front seat, which is too narrow for a CC tuba. If it fits in the Jinbao styrofoam case the empty gig bag can just ride on top, flat, so I can see out the rearview mirror.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:20 pm

Never mind. I will just take the JB case. If it fits it fits. If not I may just toss it. I hate that case, anyway. HAHAHA!!!
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby pete edwards » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:28 pm

what really sucks about that situation is not the case but the Jeep. I used to have one & it really was a PITA driving it to gigs because it meant I couldn't stop to get a snack or to pee or anything, as it was basically non-lockable. Carrying a big case into the 7-11 was an option but the optics were bad, particularly in parts of Baltimore.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby tofu » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:25 pm

What about buying a big roll of bubble wrap and wrapping the horn for the ride? Cheap and doesn't take long to do.

Bubble wrap has worked well for tubas & bicycles on planes. I can't imagine your driving skills & the ride of the jeep are worse than airport cargo handlers - unless you're planning on evading the authorities by going strictly off road through forest and swamps.
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:33 pm

Pete - Yep. I have a very stout factory hard top, but only during the symphony season. In the summers I have the soft top on, which can be opened with a pull of some velcro and some zippers. Best practice: take at least a few backroads, and "nitrogenate" the lovely flora on the side of the road when no one is around. ;-)

tofu - The Jeep is actually quite smooth-riding, unless the road is rough. It is made for huge deflections to the suspension - at very low speeds - so the craptacular final hour of the drive could destroy the horn as it would be on a bare, steel bed directly over the rear axle. The other five hours should be just like a car.

All this becomes moot if my friend gets his car back before I have to leave, then I can take the older 2010 Accord he is borrowing. The horn can safely travel in the gig bag and the shell halves can ride in the trunk and front seat, probably the body in the turn and the much thinner lid in the seat. Actually... The lid might fit upright on the floor between the front seats and the rear bench. Hmm. Time to call my friend and hassle him about gettin his car back. (Yeah, I know, he cannot control that. Just screwing around.)

The real issue here, outside of the stupid lack of space, is that the Accord gets 36 mpg on the interstate and the Jeep gets 17. And the Accord is far easier on the ears for a six hour drive. Oy! :lol:
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby pete edwards » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:06 pm

mine got 14, one of the many reasons I no longer own it. I can't imagine a 6hr (one way?) drive in it even without having to navigate safe "nitrogenate" breaks. good luck!
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:39 pm

12 hours, round trip. I grew up in San Antonio, so that is an even longer drive. But normally I would be in the much more comfortable Honda. I have made the drive to SA from JXN a few times in an old 2003 TJ. Now *THAT* was a tough drive, with the top down, no less! Never got above 65 and had 15 MPG the whole way. Took back highways so I would always be near a gas station and bathroom!

Thanks for the good wishes!
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Re: Hard Case Questions re. 186

Postby the elephant » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:35 pm

No, do not do this to your classic Mirafone 186 tuba. Just don't. Read the above edit to the initial post. I am GLAD I did not take that Jinbao case as I would have had to toss it in a dumpster. I would not have had room for the case unless the tuba was in it. Since that ended up not working out I am glad I left it at home.

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