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Flightcase Warehouse Spider Series
Published in PM April 2008
Reviews : Guitar: Accessories
Spider pedal cases offer some of the most economic solutions to the problems of storing and transporting stomp boxes.
F lightcase Warehouse are a UK company supplying all kinds of cases to suit virtually every task. The music-related section of their comprehensive catalogue includes a sizeable selection of pedalboard cases. Situated at the most affordable end is the Chinese-made Spider range, exclusively imported by Flightcase Warehouse and spanning two distinct design lines.
The Budget series comprises the least expensive Spiders and spans three models (Small, Medium and Large), the latter being the review model. This employs the same specifications as its two smaller siblings, but accordingly offers extra space to pack in a few more pedals.
Construction is in keeping with price, and proper flightcase quality shouldn't be expected for the meagre money involved. Build is actually very much like that of those lightweight cases made for carrying cameras or CDs. Thin, black-finish, metal-faced panels are edged with extruded aluminium strips, while plated metal protectors reinforce the rounded corners. The end result is certainly light and reasonably rigid, although the large area means some flexing is apparent. The case feels somewhat insubstantial, but it's robust enough to weather normal wear and tear.
Overall depth is made up of a shallow base that allows easy pedal operation, while the lid is high enough to clear most standard-size stomp boxes. On the front, a chunky chromed plastic handle is flanked by latches that keep the two sections secured, with two lift-off hinges at the rear making attachment and separation very simple. Unfortunately, the base is bereft of any rubber feet, so an owner mod is necessary to keep things creep-free.
The interior of the lid is lined with reasonably deep foam, while all sides are thinly padded. Those in the board section are similarly treated, and the base is covered with black carpet. As usual, this material provides a firm fix for the hook side of the supplied adhesive-backed Velcro tape. The latter is large enough to equip most effects pedals, and also included is a similarly sized strip of the corresponding eye type, although this seems somewhat superfluous in view of the aforementioned carpet covering.
This method of fixing should be sufficient to secure most standard-size stomp boxes, but anything bigger might require firmer fixing. The thin case base precludes the use of screws so suitable nuts, bolts and brackets will be necessary to do the job.
This series offers much meatier looks and construction to match. Again, these cases come in Small, Medium and Large sizes, each bigger all round than its Budget equivalent, but I tested a fourth variant, 'XLarge' , that offers even greater capacity.
The Standard Spiders follow a similar shallow-base/deep-lid format, although construction is considerably upgraded to full touring flightcase spec. Black-finished laminate is used throughout, along with sturdy aluminium extrusions, hefty knuckle corners and additional reinforcement plates all round. Big butterfly catches recessed into the front hold top and bottom in place, while sizeable lift-off hinges help ease separation and reunion. A large sprung metal handle is covered with comfort-conscious plastic, and big rubber feet keep the base in its place. All this metalwork helps put on the pounds and the case is quite a lift, even without its contents.
Interior surfaces are lined with a thick layer of high-density foam, while the softer, egg box variety adorns the underside of the lid, providing ample protective packing for pedals. Large-size Velcro strips are again supplied to fix effects, but this time the all-over foam lining means both types are necessary.
A separate board is included as an optional pedal platform that can be lifted out or left in place as required. This extra comes in quite handy because the case's heavy-duty hardware determines the depth of the base section and sides are actually too high for many pedals positioned nearby, impeding on/off operation, unless they're mounted on this additional 'packing piece'.
The Spider range provides pedal cases for different purposes and purses. Build quality of the Budget model matches its title, with a few corners cut concerning construction and components. Even so, it does the job for minimal money and should prove suitable for anyone seeking something lightweight for home or studio use. However, it's also still well up to scratch for on-stage duties and will withstand the normal rigours of the road if treated with some respect.
The Standard Spider case is a much tougher customer all round — it's substantially heavier and also more expensive, of course, but if strength is a priority, then the extra muscle power and outlay are warranted. 0
Published in PM April 2008
Spider Budget Large £39
Spider Standard XL £89
Made in China, Spider's Budget series of pedal cases is light on both back and wallet, while the Standard versions should appeal to those who want a stronger and heavier alternative that still doesn't break the bank.
+44 (0)1827 60009
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