The Old Guitar Ensemble School

The integral soft case

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This page is from April 2006

The integral soft case

I'm not alone in the UK in suffering a bit with Seasonal Affective Disorder, caused by the limited number of daylight hours during the winter time. Along with many, I find that sitting relaxing under a bright reading light helps alleviate the symptoms - paranoia, a lethargy that I can't shake off, and a morbid curiosity for reading as an excuse not to get up and do anything. In the summer, I'll be out walking the Pennines - the spine of England. And there's a bit of serendipity....

One of my favourite publications is the erstwhile New Scientist magazine and in particular their "Patents Pending" column that shows, once and for all, that although Britain may no longer have an empire to speak of, it still retains that quintessentially British quirk of inventiveness.

Take this April's edition and its review of patent number 4929862. It's an integral soft guitar case. It's based on those pack-away showerproof jackets where the jacket disappears up its own pocket. Here, a guitar soft case is stored inside the soundhole.

The soft vinyl case can be pulled out of the soundhole between the D and G strings to surround the guitar. The zip, of course, is at the back, rather than round the edge.

Apparently, the vinyl case, when stashed in the body cavity, actually lowers the body resonance because of the increased vibrating mass. The bottom resonance - usually around G# on the 6th string - is moved down to the D below, so scordatura music has a richness seldom heard, and tuning right down to bottom C - cello pitch - produces a note with almost a double bass roundness.

And then, in seconds, the guitar can be protected against scratches and safe against damp.

Unlike the walking jacket, stowage is easy because the guitar, being rigid, makes it easy to see what goes where...

A weird idea, yes, but a real lateral thought by British inventor Belton Brasus.

Next page for photos, prices and suppliers...