As any fan of Portlandia can tell you: Portland, Oregon is a little…weird. The unofficial city motto is: Keep Portland Weird. We have cowboy zombie crop circles, a world-famous donut shop which prides itself on a doughnut covered in Fruit Loops cereal, and a guy who wears a Darth Vader mask and kilt while playing bag-pipes on a unicycle. But all that weirdness occasionally congeals into something cool that the rest of the world picks up on and appreciates. For instance, Portland is a leader in craft beer, with more breweries than any other city in the world. It has redefined the notion of a food cart, with more than 700 located throughout the city. And it is home to the coolest thing that has happened to speakers in a long time: the Case of Bass.
Hearkening to the days of ghetto blasters and boomboxes, Case of Bass is an upcycled party starter and a music lover’s dream. The Case of Bass team in Portland, OR breathes new life into vintage suitcases and abandoned speakers, creating one-of-a-kind portable sound systems. Committed to the tenets of sustainability, Case of Bass masterminds gather and refurbish valuable electronic components, rebuilding them into bespoke sound systems certain to garner attention. “The idea of people sharing their music everywhere they go has been lost with the rampant abuse of the earbud, Case of Bass wants to crush this habit,” said the Case of Bass creators. We are crushing on their vision and sound.p>
Brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt have built a business around the adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Their Portland-based company, Case of Base, repurposes old and discarded luggage to create portable sound systems with classic audio components, powered by lightweight NiMh battery packs. The pieces are categorized into four distinct classes — Courier, Debonair, Diplomat and Swarthy — depending on the case size and speaker capacity. They can also be built to customers’ specifications, including input types, amplifier size, power supply and batteries. Get your hands on your own Bass of Case through the brand’s .
Last year Mr. Simo took the world by storm fusing technology and fusion together for his incredible BoomCase, old suitcases transformed into a modern day boombox. It looks like Mr. Simo isn’t the only game in town though as brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt take their shot at the same concept with the catchy Case of Bass. These devices are more than just a trendy, witty name though. The Case of Base can be built to exact customer specifications, ensuring that there is no other device on the planet like yours. The repurposed old luggage turned audio equipment is powered by a lightweight NiMh battery pack to keep the beat bumping all night long.
Great for throwing a street party or just as a classy retro detail for your house, Case of Bass’s functional boomboxes are a magnificent example of upcycling. Portland-based brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt fit vintage suitcases from across the globe with old stereo parts, combining them into one awesome design. The boomboxes are hand-built, portable, and they give old suitcases a new life. Read more: Case of Bass Turns Vintage Suitcases Into Classy Boomboxes | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building Case of Bass works with local Portland businesses, artists and craftsmen that contribute to the extraordinary good quality and design of their pieces. Each portable stereo is unique and completely made from upcycled interior parts and durable shell. That way, all the energy already invested in making those existing parts is put to good use.
In March of this year, the Cimino-Hurt brothers decided to launch A Case Of Bass, combining two greats: vintage electronics and vintage luggage, to make super sweet boomboxes. While not the first to do this (I blogged about a similar company named BoomCases years ago), these are significantly more affordable.
The Portland-based company, A Case of Bass, creates portable sound systems hand-built to ensure quality and craftsmanship. Each “Case of Bass” is created after scouring the world for the finest unique vintage suitcases (train cases, brief cases and make-up cases, too) and then pairing them with a selection of speakers that guarantee the best combination of sound and aesthetic.
If you thought Case of Bass was just a CD of remastered Swedish pop hits that came with the aftermarket stereo you threw in your ’95 Corolla, you’d be wrong, because it’s also an upcycling-obsessed concern giving you All That You Want: rechargable, portable, reasonably priced boomboxes cobbled together from retro suitcases and “rescued” audio components. The Style: Colorful, mint-condition Samsonites, American Touristers and defunct-brand bags are organized into “classes”, from lunchbox-sized Couriers (the textured blue leather Starflight sports stately white stitching and a handsome red tweeter), to big boy Swarthys like the 200W, 15″ woofer-ed Elmo’s Nightmare, which goes beyond just tickling your ears. The Tech: Salvaged speakers & parts come from brands including Clarion, Bose, Sansui, Yamaha, and Technics, but, as with most things in life, each case is only as powerful as its girth will allow, meaning the expertly installed amps pump anywhere from 25 to 300W, power that could make your eardrums Swedish pop.
Odds are that you’ve probably gotten rid of a couple of old suitcases, and while modern luggage is very functional, some of the older suitcases do look quite fetching. That’s one of the reasons why reusing these discarded pieces of luggage is a smart idea. Converting them into portable speakers, now that’s even better.
I would hazard a guess that most readers haven’t given very much thought to what happens to trusted and faithful luggage when it’s retired from frequent use. If they’re not exiled to the basement for storage of odds and ends, old suitcases could very well end up just being dumped in the trash.
If they’re lucky though, brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt might get hold of them for conversion into stylish and powerful Case of Bass boomboxes.
Whereas recycling breaks down waste materials like plastic and glass bottles, tin cans and newspapers so that something entirely new can be produced, up-cycling gives whole objects a new lease of life as re-purposed products. That’s precisely what Portland’s Case of Bass does. The company brings together classic electronics and vintage luggage to form stunning, hand-built, one-of-a-kind portable sound systems.
Case of Bass was featured in a Playboy.com giveaway and 2012 gift guide for cool OG gifts for the man who has everything. Endorsed by the sexiest brand in the last 100 years Playboy was indeed a feather in the hat of a young company looking to make an impression on those used to using their eyes to make the call. Thanks Playboy for seeing the sexy in Case of Bass.
Original hi-fi controls are used, in this case a vintage volume knob. Control panel positions vary, but can take input from any device using a standard 3.5mm jack or RCA leads ‘Anything to declare, sir?’ sighs the customs officer. At which point the owner of a Case Of Bass boombox grins wickedly as he reaches for the volume control… Old suitcases reinvented as stylish-looking sound systems were dreamed up by cheeky American duo Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt. They call it ‘up-cycling’: the Wombles would call it ‘making good use of the things everyday folk leave behind’. Not only are the cases vintage: the audio components are old-school too. The models, grouped into four ranges, vary in size from a positively dainty briefcase with 50W amp and six-inch woofer to a chunky case with 200W with 12in woofer; the power, however, comes from modern Li-ion batteries. The boomboxes come ready-made or can be customised with the input of your choice: iPod, MP3 or (dare we say it) cassette tape. There’s even one fashioned from an old hat-box (though this may not be the ideal choice for blasting out hip-hop).