is such a sweet board, and not too big, so I decided it would be great to use for live recordings. NYCase sells an "ATA" case for the Zed-R16
on Ebay. With the "upgrade" (better latches) it is $150 shipped. I knew this wouldn't be the highest quality ATA case, but since I only wanted it for light local use, I decided to give it a try.
The case arrived about a week after I placed the order, not bad. My first impression was that they must have sent the wrong case, as the box was much smaller than the A&H box. The case itself was of reasonable quality (for the price), slightly flexible but not flimsy, decent build quality, etc. Latches looked good. The inside of the case is lined with thin carpet. The only difference between this carpet and bare plywood is the carpet looks nicer. It isn't going to do anything to protect your gear - so you need to add foam.
Now NYCase provides a roll of foam with the case, but it is of such low density that you can easily squeeze it completely flat between your fingers. Obviously this will not provide any protection to your gear. So budget another $20 or so for a nice sheet of high density closed cell foam. Perhaps the foam provided by NYCase has some practical use, but protecting your mixer isn't one of them.
I happen to have a large 1" thick sheet of Ester foam, so I cut a piece to fit the case. This is when I discovered that the case is not tall (thick) enough to allow 1" of foam on top and bottom of the mixer. Placing the mixer on the floor of the case, the 1" foam in the top showed slight impressions from the knobs when the lid was closed. Looks like 1/2" foam will be required. 1" foam was also too thick for the sides of the mixer, so you will need 1/2" foam there too. Pretty marginal.
Mixer cases like this are typically designed so you can place the case on a table, remove the top, and use the mixer sitting in the case bottom. Unfortunately with this case, the mixer must be raised off the bottom by 1" before the power cord, firewire, and ADAT ports will clear the case. Since 1/2" foam is the thickest you can get by with on this case, the cables are not going to clear and you will have to lift the mixer out of the case for use. What a pain.
My final gripe is the handles. While they are of reasonable quality, they are positioned on the short sides of the case (what would be the sides of the mixer). This is fine if 2 people are carrying the case, but spread too far for one person to comfortably carry. A single handle on the front side of the mixer would have allowed a single person to carry the case like an over-sized brief case.
Bottom line - you get what you pay for. $150 is pretty cheap for a ATA style mixer case, and the price/quality ratio is OK. A few changes (like allowing more clearance for foam) would have made this a much better solution. As is, I would only recommend this case if ALL The following apply:
1. It is for very light use
2. you are willing to spend the time/money to obtain and install proper high density closed cell foam.
3. you can keep and store the original shipping box for any service requirements.
4. you are on a tight budget.
If I had it to do over again, I would have spent $350 or so and purchased a higher quality case. Unfortunately at the time I ordered, this was the only case I saw that fit the Zed-R16