Global Bass Online June 2001
PRO TEC International – Bass Double
Gig Bag and PRO TEC PRO PACs
gigging and recording bassists… I LOVE gear!
Also, like many other players, I openly admit to giving myself over to
the glorious moment (that is nothing short of lust) when it comes to the cache
of accessories that daily allows me to get to the gig and do my job with the
most ease. Along with the necessary
collection of basses, cords, straps, strings, repair kit, and with mental
faculties all in tow, I arrive to studio and stage on time, in tune, and ready
many years of ongoing research that goes into the consideration of which
instruments and accessories to use, I have found a number of pieces that will
forever be a part of my cartage. In
1993, I found a 14" 4-Space “soft rack” unit with a shoulder strap at
one of the local music shops around Boulder, Colorado.
It was a piece the store had received by accident, and it took days
before the store found the retail price of the unit, and could tell me where it
came from. I bought it, and it
immediately showed itself to be a boon to my load-in needs.
As in every
case when I find something special, I
immediately began telling and showing all my friends the codura covered rack
that carried my pre-amp and effects units!
I carried that thing around for years, and eventually sold it with a
multi-effects unit to a good friend who soon afterward relocated to Seattle.
months ago, I was talking with my friend and remembered to ask him if he still
had that rack – as I hadn’t found another one since selling that first piece
to him. I was also leaving the
world of the combo amp, and I was deep in the midst of rebuilding the most
portable rack-type modular system allowable by law. He still had it, and he
still used it regularly. Yes!
given the name of the manufacturer, I promptly jumped online to search for PRO
TEC International. While I was at
their website I also found a pair of incredible double gig bags for my four main
6-string basses! So… Today, we’re looking at a couple products from PRO TEC
Cases International that include that company’s Bass Double Gig-Bag, and PRO
PAC Portable Rack Mount units.
PRO TEC International was founded over 20 years
ago, and is based in Fullerton, CA. PRO TEC has been making a full range of
quality cases, briefcases, accessory cases, and gig bags - that range from their
“Extra Economy” line and through their incredible “Deluxe” line - for
over the past decade.
PRO TEC uses a 1000 denier nylon exterior on their "Deluxe"
gig-bags and PRO PAC's. When
combined with brass hardware and YKK© zippers, it's obvious these cases and
bags are built to last. Each case and bag comes with a 5-year warranty, which
covers both materials and workmanship. With
zippered exterior pockets, padded shoulder straps, and cord-filled handles, PRO
TEC's products are designed for musicians on the go!
First, the Bass Double Gig Bag… Which, is made from tough, snag-proof nylon and codura with a pair of huge YKK© Zippers and lined with soft velvoa inner lining. The zippers on both units are some of the toughest, and top-rate I’ve ever seen, and I don’t fear that they will wear out anytime soon!
The CF-233D Bass
Double Gig Bag lists for $84.00 US, and is perfect for those who need to
carry more than one axe. The bag
was designed for musician's, by musician's.
This heavily padded bag has exterior pockets for carrying other
accessories. On the inside, the divider, which separates the basses, is
very heavily padded and also has a headstock guard.
Again, PRO TEC makes the transport easy with backpack-style straps.
immediate draw is the roominess of the bag’s two separate compartments, and
the number of pockets and panels on the outside of the unit.
I greatly appreciate the fact that PRO TEC chose to make a ‘true’
double gig bag, by building the two housing pieces – instead of putting a
floppy, and eventually useless (if not torn to shreds) divider in a larger
version of a single bag.
impressive feature of the double gig bag is how
it sits on the body, when in transport. The adjustable straps of the bag are
double/double stitched and show no immediate signs of ever giving ‘way –
thus, plummeting your prized, vintage J Bass to the floor of the smoky, grimy
bar where tonight’s Bay City Roller’s Tribute Band gig is being played!
certainly experienced other bags that fall to one side (or the other) just at
the time when my arms are loaded with the other outboard gear I’m carrying,
while reaching for the my house, after a long night of gigging.
Not so, here!
sits in the very middle of the carrier’s back (when using both straps!)
and doesn’t move. This is thanks to a wonderfully designed wider body portion
of this particular bag. Other manufacturers tend to streamline the bag into the
straightest line possible… Which doesn't provide a stable foundation for a
body in motion.
neck/headstock area of the bag isn’t overly long, and the straps themselves
sit in a more reliable position on the bag itself.
We’ve all dealt with bags that place the straps in a lower position
that causes’ walking through doors more a matter of flexibility, than
convenience! Finally, the carrying
handles and straps are incredibly tough, and they aren’t sheathed in faux
leather – which will eventually wear out and cause other problems.
only thing I would change about the bass double gig bag is to include, perhaps,
a third “supporting strap” over either the right or left existing strap. Or,
perhaps a belt-type strap that fits around the waist. The fact that this unit doesn’t include such a thing is
hardly a design flaw. However, I
have noticed that an increasing number of stringed instrument players have made
“enhancements” to their gig bags over the years since it’s become possible
to leave one’s cases at home and opt for the convenience of a well-made gig
currently in the process of replacing all my double, and single, gig bags with
PRO TEC gig bags, and giving my old bags away to students - and those friends
who haven’t already begun contacting PRO TEC’s for bags of their own!
Next, let’s take a look at the 118-R4 PRO PAC Rack Mount lists for $109.00 US and like other PRO TEC products I’ve used, this unit also sports a useful pocket and a heavy-duty carrying strap. The PRO PAC is covered in snag-proof codura over a very light wood inner shell. I was immediately impressed that I could literally stand on the unit – which, is the first thing I did upon taking it out of the box! After a quick visual walk-through of the product, I felt comfortable enough to begin loading my precious pre-amp and power amplifier into the large 18" 4-space rack mount. The unit is large enough to house the longest tube amps in the business! And, it’s certainly tough enough to provide the protection that those expensive pieces of gear require! Each PRO PAC case combines the strength of wood with lightweight shock absorbing foam.
The zippered front and back enclosures are easy to flip under the case
when the gear is in use and it simply doesn't wear out… unlike other rack bags
that use Velcro. The large exterior
pocket is great for carrying cables, peddles, DI boxes, and other gear.
I’ve commented about the double gig bag, I would include another carrying
strap to the PRO PAC that would provide cautionary support to the existing
strap. Again, the matter that one
doesn’t exist is, once again, not a design flaw. My only other comment would be to request a 6-space or
8-space rack mount. Currently, PRO TEC doesn’t make a larger unit than the
4-space rack, in the 18" size.
double/double-stitched loop and a brass D-Ring connect the large, adjustable
strap to the body. This works well,
and is a great addition to the bag – instead of a stitched strap, or a strap
that incorporates a plastic ring, or clasping piece. Certainly, when carrying something as a heavy as a power amp
(and its accessories), employing a plastic piece at the unit’s most stressful
point would be a bad idea in my opinion.
Both ends of the PRO PAC unzip to allow airflow and easy access. It might be a good idea to use a paint pen to mark the front of the unit, for fast load-in. Once unzipped, the contents of the unit are in full view, and ready to rock! I like the fact that the unit doesn’t ‘hide’ the contents, once opened, and access is as easy as if the amps weren’t inside a rack at all. Also, both unzipped portions fall downward, instead of upward – as in the case of other rack mounts I’ve seen.
So far, I’ve outfitted both my Aguilar units into one 18" 4-space rack, and a Line 6 Pro unit into another identical rack. Both PACs participate in live performances, and make load-in a breeze. I couldn’t be happier with the PRO TEC products that are an essential part of the ton of gear I carry around town!
check out PRO TEC Cases International at: http://www.ptcases.com/
I’m not sure why most players I know haven’t been introduced to this very
able product line. But, I think
more of them will hear about them in the near future.
REVIEW SPEC SHEET
Bass Double Gig Bag
Large exterior pocket
Adjustable shoulder strap
Zippered front & back enclosures
PRO PAC Rack Mount
25mm heavy padding
Large gusset pocket
Additional strings pocket
Soft cloth lining
Attached backpack straps
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