As I was looking over the stats for this blog, I noticed that one of the search phrases which led a reader here was “Reviews of Thompson Edition Horn Cases.” At the time this made me curious because I don’t have any posts related to Thompson Edition cases, or horn cases in general. However, as a longtime satisfied customer of Thompson Edition and the owner of two different models of horn case produced by them, a review of their products did seem like an excellent idea for a blog topic. So I owe a thank you to whomever generated that search. Anyway, on with the review.
I purchased my first Thompson Edition case in 2005 for my Yamaha 667v fixed bell horn, the Case for fixed-bell horn, black, pictured below. [Images obtained from Thompson Edition’s website, http://www.thompsonedition.com]
I wanted something similar to a Marcus Bonna MB2, but without the hefty price tag. At less than $250.00, the Thompson Edition case fit the bill. I still have the case, which I use every day for my main instrument. The quality is excellent, and the case is light and strong. The included pocket will hold plenty of music, as well as a small tool kit with extra string, screwdrivers, etc. My only complaint with this case is that the small plastic bumpers on the bottom of the case gradually came loose and fell off. However, the case will still sit up just fine without them. As for portability, the case is a little larger than the MB2, but will still fit comfortably in most spaces. As for flying, you won’t be putting this case, or any other fixed bell case for that matter, in an overhead compartment on any airplane. [Ok, so I definitely overreacted on that statement! See the update in the comments section below.] However, I have been successful in fitting it far enough under the seat in front of me to satisfy flight attendants. I’ve also gate checked the case several times, and my horn has thus far not been damaged in any way. If you have the money the MB2 is worth it I’m sure, but if you are on a budget the Thompson case is also a very good way to go.
I also own one of Thompson Edition’s new detachable bell cases, the Ultra-flat case for detachable-bell horn, black (see below).
I purchased this case last year for my wife’s horn. She had been using a Protec detachable bell case, but it was a bit unwieldy. As with the fixed bell case, this one is very well made, only with a much smaller profile. On airplanes this case will fit in all but the smallest overhead compartments, and will also fit completely under the seat in front of you as long as the passenger beside you allows you to put the case under both seats. I think my case was supposed to be supplied with backpack straps, but for some reason they were not included. Rather than contact Thompson Edition I just used the straps from an old MB1 case. I’m sure Thompson Edition would have supplied the straps had I contacted them about the problem. This brings me to my next point. I have occasionally seen complaints about Thompson Edition voiced in various places, but speaking from my own experiences with the company they have always been easy to deal with and provided excellent service. I don’t disbelieve the complaints I’ve heard, but that has not been my experience with this particular company. My advice would be to give Thompson Edition a try and see what you think. If you aren’t satisfied there are plenty of other retailers out there.