Adam Butler

Portabrace AO Organizer Bags: Modifications - Brainstorm Frenzy!

193 posts in this topic

Haha, I wish I could. I'll be contacting Trew and see if i can expedite the order their way. 

No thanks. I am not buying a bag based on a few pictures and no review by an actual beta tester that I can ask specific questions.

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No thanks. I am not buying a bag based on a few pictures and no review by an actual beta tester that I can ask specific questions.

Suit yourself. Just trying to help.

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I bought a Porta Brace AO-1.5XB. I was shipped an AO-633 by mistake. Never mind. I am sending it back tomorrow and not asking for a replacement. Here is why:

 

- The bag sits lopsided. I opened it up to get to the plastic frame to see why: The frame is just one piece of plastic bent into 3 to make a U shape. This has been done badly: one side has not been bent enough and the other too much so that the whole frame is wonky. It couldn’t be corrected as I would/might then tear its covering fabric.

 

post-8064-0-24910700-1422951893_thumb.jp

 

- Also, the copper colored fabric on the frame has been glued haphazardly and really rather badly and is already peeling off or crumpling together in the bent joints and hanging off the plastic frame. It won’t last.

 

post-8064-0-95898100-1422951894_thumb.jp

post-8064-0-89553600-1422951896_thumb.jp

post-8064-0-53526000-1422951899_thumb.jp

 

- The cable holes are just that: holes punched in the plastic and the copper material cut to let cables through. No double sewing of the material to avoid rips etc.

 

post-8064-0-54197400-1422951901_thumb.jp

 

- The long dividers are again just a piece of plastic, very badly covered with a black material. No double sewing or extra joints or plastic supporting strips to stop the material from peeling off over time.

 

post-8064-0-07139800-1422951903_thumb.jp

 

And the worst (which I unfortunately couldn’t take a convincing photo of!):

- The top opening of the bag is smaller than the base. Putting the 633 into this bag made its base slip inwards towards the back (body) side. It just wouldn’t sit vertically without Velcro.

 

The other parts of the bag were all OK. For the premium price charged for this bag here in Europe the quality control and/or workmanship are a joke.

 

Sorry to be so harsh but you are catering to a professional market.

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I think the AO 1.5XB and the AO633 are technically the same bag other than the name(marketing?), Adam can clarify though.  It is unfortunate about the quality issues you experienced.  Porta Brace is a good company, i'm sure if you contact them they will rectify your problem.

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thanks Brian.

 

but on the Porta Brace site the sizes for the two bags are slightly different: the AO1.5 is apparently sligtly wider (width) and that is why i ordered it. it is also supposed to come with 4 extra dividers.

 

and yes, i have owned several Porta Brace bags over the years and they have been near immaculate. that is why i was so disappointed this time.

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Sorry to be so harsh but you are catering to a professional market.

Thanks for sharing. No need to apologies. This can only lead to improved portabtace products.

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I took a chance recently on an AO-1x for nomad bag set up. The inner construction of the frame portion and dividers are indeed, well, kind of quickly put together looking lets say. Siddho is correct in that, for the professional market, and at that msrp, they could have spent more time on the finishing. Like, 5 more minutes per bag? But, I disagree with Suddho's opinion that it's less durable due to this. It's really only cosmetic, and even then it's a stretch because the areas in question are covered up 99.999% of the time.

great bag overall. Very well thought out and light. It's an improvement over the trusty petrol model.

Very sturdy, won't slip or slide on any surface and will not tip over. very well designed by Adam. Solid 8.5 - 9 stars.

Would be much improved if there were more proper pen/pencil/screwdriver holders in the front pocket...Seriously we need this.

And a zippered front pocket is much safer and quieter than a flap of material and a big strip of Velcro. Those two things I very much miss from my petrol. And unfortunately, were left off this design. hope Porta brace will reconsider this...

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thanks Brian.

 

but on the Porta Brace site the sizes for the two bags are slightly different: the AO1.5 is apparently sligtly wider (width) and that is why i ordered it. it is also supposed to come with 4 extra dividers.

 

and yes, i have owned several Porta Brace bags over the years and they have been near immaculate. that is why i was so disappointed this time.

Hi Sidho,

My name's Chris and I work here at Portabrace in Vermont.  Thank you for taking the time to put together the post, I’ve printed out a copy of your comments and images and shared them with our design team so that we can begin to determine if there are any areas of improvement for our next generation AO's.  I also shared with our President, please look for his comments later this week.

As you probably know, we’ve been producing high-quality cases for the film and video industry since 1972.  We’ve shipped thousands of AOs over the years and received a lot of positive feedback on their durability in the field.  If you’d like to know more about our cases, please feel free to check out the “Why Portabrace?” section on our website, here:

www.portabrace.com/about/why-portabrace

Regarding your case, we’d be happy to work with you and your local dealer to ensure that you get the best possible solution for your gear.

Thanks again for your time and feedback.  Please feel free to email me directly at chris@portabrace.com with any additional questions or suggestions.

 

-Chris

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thank you very much for taking the time and replying to my post Chris. i hope my comments might help improve your new AO bags.

 

i have already sent mine back and am waiting for my refund. i think i will stick with my trusty old Petrol 602 until something better (and readily available here in Europe) comes along. but still, i have to stay, that i was/am very taken with the design and the concept of the AO1.5, if not with its execution. i hope you will improve the production quality and then i will certainly try again.

 

all the best and please, no hard feelings!

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No apologies necessary for harsh reviews, it’s only with straight feedback from the pro production community that Portabrace® has succeeded these past 40+ years at providing the highest function, highest quality field cases and covers.  We constantly improve our designs, and your post will contribute to our continuous-improvement efforts.  Sincerely, I thank you on behalf of the entire Portabrace team.

If I understand your post, it communicates only a concern for the potential for reliability issues with this case, but does not document an actual field failure?  If so, then I hope this post proves reassuring.  With regards to the AO, this is a case with a 30-year success record in the harshest field conditions.  Portabrace® has delivered thousands and thousands since their introduction, and a review of our QC records indicates we’ve received less than 5 units back for repair for any reason the past decade (repair is a service we are proud to provide by the way- field conditions can be punishing and unpredictable, and accidents seem to happen more often than we’d care to admit).  The global pro audio community relying on Portabrace® for field durability and performance is confident through experience in Portabrace® cases’ unmatched performance year after year.
 

1.jpg

The durability of all Portabrace® cases and covers is achieved three ways:

- Highest quality materials:  from the 1000d Cordura® brand fabrics, to the 8MM heavy duty resin frames and heavy duty bonded threads, YKK® brand zippers, genuine suede handles and straps, solid steel connectors- the sheer number of parts and components / case required to achieve Portabrace® performance and field function is staggering.  We design and construct for performance first, style and cost last.   The material advantages are too numerous to fully list here.

 

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- Long experience of the craftspeople hand-producing each case in small lot sizes:  Portabrace® craftspeople have an average 10+ years of experience in our production facilities alone, with many enjoying decades of experience producing Portabrace® products to the highest quality standards.

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- Proven production methods:  balance the need for both unmatched durability, as well as field performance flexibility and customization.  Go ahead, stuff that AO!  It will not fail to protect your gear, it’s has been triple back-tacked, over-connected, flame-“welded” by hand, and in the process, it is designed to “breathe” a bit.  We realize that your kit requires room to “grow” with your project demands, and know that many of your colleagues will contact us for customized versions- requests we are always happy to consider and accommodate whenever feasible.

 

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The importance of this last benefit cannot be underestimated.  Portabrace® users know that there are more than one alternative brand of case options which some might suggest offer a bit more “style” and perhaps the appearance of a more refined finish.  Alternative brands are often mass-produced in luggage factories, where higher volumes can incorporate the finishing to which you refer.  Dedicated Portabrace® designers design for durability and function before “style”, designing for flexibility and customization before finish.  Dedicated Portabrace® production facilities in Vermont, USA incorporate by choice fabrication methods and equipment which allow frequent design updates, line extensions, and rapid customizations.  No other brand can even imagine offering such a breadth of field solutions.   Even so, we recognize Portabrace® may not be for everyone, though we always certainly hope so!

Portabrace® produces to order, the only possible way to respond quickly enough to the equipment, production technique, and technology changes which occur with such speed in the professional broadcast, cinema, and audio fields.  As a result, most other branded field production cases have come and gone (how many still remember Kangaroo?).  Despite style and flash, on the whole all these alternatives over the long term have failed to meet professional demands in the aggregate.  Buyer beware, legacy and history are your best assurance for performance and support.  Portabrace® is frequently imitated, but never matched.
All Portabrace® team members take immense pride in every case and cover that leaves our production facilities only after the scrutiny of careful 100% inspection by experienced craftspeople, including the unit you’ve dismantled in this post.  Each Portabrace® team member understands thoroughly the importance of our products’ field reliability- no second chances in field production.  

5.jpg

There is no product, no matter how “premium”, that once dismantled will not appear much less than the sum of its parts.  Expensive vehicles, clothing, electronics, fine watches, even a gourmet meal, all appear little more than bits and ends once carved to pieces.  There has always been something special in the sum of the Portabrace® parts, and we hope you will one day come to know that same satisfaction of producing the finest field work with Portabrace® cases.  We welcome you, as we do all our users and fans, to visit us in Bennington Vermont should your travels ever bring you nearby.  We are delighted to host our many frequent guests from the professional community, and it would be my pleasure to personally guide you on tour.  I’ve not doubt you too will come to appreciate the unrivaled value of a Portabrace® case, and join the PB family for the long term.

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Finally, in the event you are not aware, all Portabrace® Audio Organizers are currently on special promotion, and represent even greater value at a historically low price right now.  As a result, we are currently shipping thousands of organizers across the globe, to both seasoned and new fans.  Thank you again for choosing Portabrace®, and thank you for your feedback.  We can’t do it without you.

Sincerely,
Gregg Haythorn
President
Porta-Brace, Inc.

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That's great.

Any thoughts about adding more "Loops" for pen/screwdrivers, and offering a zippered front pocket? Expensive things have the potential to fall out presently.

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Actual Promo is 209 $ including harness.

 

The dividers have been like this before - there should be a Velcro to cover the open end and have a double velcro to stick to the side.

 

The cable holes have been like this 10 years ago and have never been a problem of damaging my old bag. I haven't used them anyway.

 

The bad glueing and not proper folding is a concern to me. I hope that is a onetime problem.

 

Nevertheless at that price I will give it a try. 

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That's great.

Any thoughts about adding more "Loops" for pen/screwdrivers, and offering a zippered front pocket? Expensive things have the potential to fall out presently.

Guess not...

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Guess not...

 

Hi there, 

 

I apologize for not responding to your previous comment. Your suggestions are going to be added to the future line of AO bags. 

 

Thank you very much. I appreciate your feedback and your comments. 

 

Adam

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On 29/04/2014 at 2:57 AM, Adam Butler said:

 

I absolutely agree, I think the AO-1 and 1.5 work really well for people using the 633 with multiple wireless. But the idea of a solid, strong framed structured AO MINI Sized bag for mixers like the 633 and maxx is a project that I'm suggesting currently. 

 

Thanks!

Dredging this one out from the past... Adam, did you get anywhere with an AO-MINI? I was wondering about asking about one as a custom order

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Richard, I apologize for my delayed response. We didn't go ahead with the AO mini in the end. Although I would still love to see one. 

Im considering making an AO custom 688SL6 also. 

Standing by to see what they have at NAB this year. 

Thanks

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