Getting an extra review in this weekend due to the Easter holidays, so today we look at a ukulele case in the form of the 'hard case' from Tiger musical instruments.
Tiger are a brand that make a range of value accessories and value ukuleles too, and this one caught my eye. They bill it as their 'hard case' but as you will see it's not a hard case in the normal sense. This one is a soprano case, but they are also available in concert. They are also extremely cheap as you will see.
The case is attractive ukulele clamshell type shape and is formed from a hard foam moulding. Like I say above, this is not a hard case in the sense of wooden or ABS construction, so that foam is not completely resilient and made the same sort of stuff that pod cases are made from. The whole thing is then covered in a taut grey woven fabric which I think looks rather neat, but of course will stop you applying stickers to it!
Rather than true hinges the case is held shut by way of a zipper that runs around most of the edge. The zips are strong and good quality, but my gripe is that there are acually two and you have to open both to make the hinge fabric work and the thing actually open. You have a longer zip running around the side of the case that opens then a shorter one on the hinge side. It's fiddly having to do both, but I can see why it's needed. I just keep forgetting to close up the side zip!
You also get some D rings on the back for attaching one or two of the included adjustable shoulder straps and these are attached firmly.
Likewise, the quality and sturdiness of the handle and attachments points is also pleasing, something that often fails on ukulele cases.
Inside you have a plush black interior which is more like a velour rather than deep pile, but it's soft and won't mark your instrument. The bottom part of the clamshell is nicely padded with foam to protect the sides of the instrument it cossetts, but strangely the top half seems much less substantial and is more simply a lid.
Also inside is a cavity that will hold a tuner or picks, though it doesn't have a lid so could see items go rattling when you carry it. You also get a neck rest and a velcro attachement to hold the neck down which is nice to see.
And all in this is going to set you back about £25 for the soprano version, and the concert seems to be the same price.
Overall the quality feels good, particularly in the tactile outer finish and the attachment rings / zips / handle. But I do worry about just how 'hard' this case is. Because of the way the zips hold the thing together when you squeeze the case you can feel the top depress into itself, meaning that crushing protection is going to be minimal. Less than a full hard case and probably a bit less than a pod case too. Still, I do like the way it hugs and supports the instrument so makes for a nice level of protection from knocks when being carried and certainly better than a soft gig bag that so many ukes come with.
Size wise, it's always difficult to advise whether something will fit every model as there is so much variance. For reference though, in the photograph is a very standard soprano (Famous / Kiwaya) which has dimensions in every department as something like a Martin soprano. Very standard indeed. This ukulele fits perfectly, but for those that like measurements, the internal cavity is 22 inches from tip to tail and about 7 inches across the lower bout.
One other thing I really DO like about this though is the weight... This is lighter than any other soprano hard case I have ever picked up and there is something to be said for that. You really don't know you are carrying much at all.
Overall, so long as you don't rely on this for crushing protection or big drops, and use something like this for day to day light transport and knock protection, I'd happily reccomend it for that purpose. Certainly at this no brainer price.
Good quality fitments
Fitted design is attractive.
Not as reliable as a full hard case for crushing protection
Fiddly zip / opening set up
No lid on accessory compartment
© Barry Maz
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