Re: [Harp-L] Custom Harp Cases

 I too recommend Hal's cases, pretty much for all the
reasons mentioned by everyone else here.  
Hal is a first rate guy, with a great product,
made custom to your specs to please the customer.




-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thu, Dec 2, 2010 8:38 am
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Custom Harp Cases

michael rubin wrote:

<My Hal Iwan case is the best case I have ever owned!  Some

<affiliation, Hal is my friend, but the opinion is my true feeling.

Hal Iwan <haliwan@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> A friendly reminder for those who may be on the fence about getting a custom 

harp case in time for >Xmas. There is only a week left to place an order to have 

a shot at a completed case with your <custom foam layout and choice of covering. 

Why carry around a black box maraca/shaker -- say no to <the rattle box !! The 

idea is to protect your $180 Harrison harmonicas and your $300 crystal bullet 

<mic and if you want, you can do it in style as well.


> Off list please and happy holidays to all.

I bought a Hal Iwan case at SPAH, configured to hold 34 diatonic harps and two 

12-hole chromatics, one a CX12.  I've taken the case to a few gigs, and it's 

everything I hoped it would be.  I wanted something that was:

- lightweight

- held a big enough collection of harps for a typical gig, including one of my 

solo performances

- small in size

- sturdy

- professional-looking

The Iwan case fulfills all these requirements at a reasonable price.  It doesn't 

hold every diatonic in my collection, so it's not my first choice for a 

recording session where I don't know what's going to be requested, and so have 

to bring a much larger set of diatonics.  However, 34 diatonics is plenty for 

the vast majority of gigs--it gives me room for full sets of standard and 

natural minor harps, with space left over for a few dorian minors, melody 

makers, country tuned harps, etc.  It's a LOT more than the 14 I was able to 

squeeze into my soft Lee Oskar and Seydel cases, in a form factor that's still 

very convenient, and it protects the harmonicas much better than the soft cases.

The case positions diatonics in an upright (i.e. standing on end) position, 

which is the most space-efficient design.  I bought a couple of sharpies, one 

black and one silver, in order to label my harps on the ends--otherwise you 

can't really tell what the key or tuning is when the harp is in the case.  

Didn't take long, and now I can easily tell what harp I'm reaching for, even in 

poor light.

The look of the case is very pro, and when I open it up on a gig, the other 

musicians are clearly impressed.  First impressions matter, and the first 

impression when I open that case is "Wow, this guy is ready to rock."  The 

case's small size means that it doesn't use a lot of onstage space, which is 

very helpful in tight quarters.  I can easily close and open the cover, too, 

which helps protect the harps from spilled drinks, curious onlookers, etc.

Hal was tremendously attentive before, during, and after the sale.  He made a 

point of asking me what harp models I was going to put in the case (so the foam 

could be cut appropriately), to which my answer was "pretty much everything", of 

advising on progress, and of following up after delivery to make sure that the 

interior design was working for me.

There are less expensive ways to get a usable case.  I've seen Brendan Power 

with a case made of a small camera bag with two videocassette boxes inside, with 

the harps standing on end in rows inside the videocassette boxes.  Plenty of 

harp players use tackle boxes, and I used a briefcase for years with its 

interior divided into compartments with wooden slats.  The Iwan case is in a 

different class, and it's very good value for money when compared with other 

purpose-built harp cases, especially if you care about the impression your case 

makes on other musicians and your audience.  

Summary: highly recommended.

Regards, Richard Hunter



author, "Jazz Harp" 

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