A Case for Sound

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By Dave Kastner


What do you get when you cross an old suitcase and a Gladstone bag with state of the art wireless speaker technology? Melbourne Vintage Audio V-Cases and The Original Gladstone Speaker Bag! These portable sound devices are no joke. Serious thought and effort goes into each creation and no two cases are ever exactly the same. The brainchild of owner Zane Wilson, Melbourne Vintage Audio has been located at 39 Station Street, Malvern, for almost three years now, after starting off selling their suitcase speakers at markets and online.

Zane got the idea for these creations after visiting his brother in California, where they went to a local a market and saw a stall selling kids lunch boxes with inbuilt radios. Inspired by that Zane decided to take the radio lunch box idea to the next level. In an age where almost everyone has portable music players, he decided to tap into the wireless speaker market. While there are plenty of ready to buy V-cases and Gladstone Speakers Bags already in the shop, the team at Melbourne Vintage Audio specialise in custom designs and can transform your own vintage suitcase or Gladstone bag into anything from a 25watt single channel case, to a loud 300watt stereo speaker case with backlit VU meters, Volt meters, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an independently powered subwoofer. The Bluetooth/Wi-Fi option enables you to play music wirelessly from your Smartphone, tablet or iPod. All cases receive built-in, rechargeable batteries, which can last up to 12-hours or more per charge (depending on the size of the case). With the option to have a preamp, providing inputs for a guitar and or microphone, complete with reverb and gain control, these babies are perfect for guitarists and buskers of all styles.

Melbourne Vintage Audio is the only place in the world that makes Gladstone Speaker Bags. The briefcase-like leather bags, named after William Ewart Gladstone, 4-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, date back to the late 1800s and are also known as doctor’s bags.

Melbourne Vintage Audio also sell turntables and is a great place to find a special Christmas present for that hard-to-shop-for loved one. They pride themselves on finding the right components for each case/bag, focusing on sound quality and battery life, as well as the overall aesthetics. Finding suitable suitcases and speakers takes up a lot of Zane’s time. He spends two days a week shopping around Victoria and going to retro/vintage auctions. Melbourne Vintage Audio likes to recycle as much as possible. When shipping cases they recycle cardboard boxes from the local area and use pink batts instead of Styrofoam for packaging so you can put the pink batts straight into your ceiling for extra insulation. They source most of their speakers from old wooden speaker boxes and will also reuse the wiring, switches, crossovers, nuts, bolts and screws from the old boxes if they are in good enough condition. Zane’s motto is, “If it’s usable we use it.”

Visit the Malvern shop to have a listen, or have a look at their website www.vcase.com.au

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