gigbags are nice, but sometimes you need a bit more protection for your instrument – and all over sudden you find yourself looking for a real hardcase which doesn’t break the bank. initially i was looking for a thin case for my kala travel soprano, but as i had another regular soprano incoming i pulled the trigger on the kinsman case (ordered it from amazon for a little more than 30€). thin hardcases seem to be non-existent these days, i haven’t found one yet; kala themselves used to sell/produce some in the past, but those are no longer available 🙁
if you know a source let me know in the comments below.
the regular kinsman got some reviews complaining about it being a snug fit – which i can confirm. a makala soprano fits in just right (see title image) and sits so tight it wouldn’t fall out on its own; if the instrument is slightly bigger you’ll probably have a hard time squeezing it in.
- length: 53,5cm (~21″)
- lower bout width: 18,5cm (~7″)
- upper bout width: 13cm (~5″)
- body length (heel to bottom): 26cm (~10″)
- headstock length: 12cm (~5″)
- headstock width: min 9cm (~3½”), max 12cm (~5″)
- height: ~7,5cm (~3″) (the case itself is ~6cm (~2.3″) deep)
note that my micro headstock tuner didn’t fit when it was clipped on at the nut where i usually have it.
the accessory compartment is way smaller than it looks: only 6,5×6,5cm – enough for a small tuner and the case keys, but not much more. it definitely looks bigger from the outside. its lid is “hinged” only by the interior fabric, not by any mechanical means – we’ll see how long that is gonna last…
some reviews claimed a disgusting chemical smell – i cannot confirm that, the whole case arrived odorless at my doorstep.
sides are nicely padded all around, just the top and bottom padding is reduced to the bare minimum; any less and you couldn’t really call it padding any longer. the bottom padding is basically only a diamond-shaped piece of soft foam under the plush lining; the top has a rectangular foam padding where the strings are. as said: it is fit for purpose, but not more. i roughly outlined the padded sections in the pictures below.
in case you didn’t stumble over the interior depth, let me come back to that point. in fact it makes the bottom case padding pretty much useless: the neck rest in the case is roughly 6cm (~2¼”) higher than the case bottom. i have never ever seen a soprano uke with such measurements… (put your soprano on a flat table and measure the distance between table and neck, you’ll see what i mean.) thus the instrument doesn’t even touch the case bottom, there’s plenty of air underneath. the whole case could have been built almost 2cm lower without compromising on protection or overall fit. unfortunately the space is too small for standard-sized folders (be it letter format or common A4) – in other words it is pretty much wasted. the neck rest feels like styrofoam under the plush lining so it might be possible to deepen it a bit for a better fit.
nothing spectacular on the outside: the wooden (according to seller’s description) frame is covered by some leathergrain vinyl material, 3 silver catches (1 lockable), 2 black plastic feet on the side and a black plastic handle. nothing to complain, but not exactly overwhelming either. length 58cm, width lower bout 23cm, width head 15cm, height 10cm.
as you can see on the last picture the manufacturing quality is acceptable, yet one of the less good examples for “made in china”.
considering the pros and cons for myself i finally decided to return it.