View Full Version : Calton case owners beware

Mar-03-2004, 12:54am
In the thread "WinterGrass pix" on the second page is a picture posted by Spruce of Pete Martin's mandolin with a broken peg-head scroll. Pete could fill in the details but basically the case hit the ground narrow side down and the scroll was snapped off. Spruce said, "Calton case owners beware!" and I agree, but didnít give the reason why.

I have two of these cases #2802 that came with a mandolin I ordered in 1993 (delivered in 1997) and #10028 delivered with a mandolin a few days ago (ordered 2002). On the older case the hinge at the peg-head end is barely noticeable and has about 1/2-inch padding on the side. On the newer case the hinge is very pronounce and there is almost no padding. I canít quite tell if itís a different hinge, but I think so. Iíve also noticed that the mandolin sits in the case with the peg-head scroll almost touching the side of the case.

There seems to have been some design changes over the years and not for the better. I personally know of another mandolin that was broken under the same circumstances and heard rumors of another. So be sure to heed Spruceís words.


Michael Lewis
Mar-03-2004, 2:18am
All too often Calton cases are blamed for problems that they may not be responsible for. All F5s are not exactly the same, and unless you specify measurements for your instrument when ordering a case you will get the F5 case for the traditional Gibson design. By the way, not all Gibsons are the same shape either. But the point is that many makers just assume their mandolins will fit just fine in any F5 case, but it ain't neccessarily so. Several years ago I re-made my body forms to conform with the Gibson standard for just this reason. I can speak only for the Calton cases I have received, but they all have been consistant in fit with the scroll of the headstock near or barely touching the padding.

Scotti Adams
Mar-03-2004, 7:38am
..I brought this topic up a few months ago...it was a hot item...I ordered a Calton back in '94...called them and gave them the measurements of my 1980 Gilchrist F5...per their request...that peghead rested up agin the side of that case...yes indeedy... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-03-2004, 9:02am
That has always been a concern for me. I finally switched to a Pegasus.

Mar-03-2004, 10:39am
how much more is a Pegasus vs. Calton?

Mar-03-2004, 10:50am
Pegasus last time I checked was like 480 plus shipping which was like 100 bucks I believe. Remember they come from Scotland.

Big Joe
Mar-03-2004, 3:41pm
I have used Calton for over a decade and have never had a problem. I have seen a couple that had an ear broken over the years, but not many. The problem is usually not the case, but the mandolin. They are designed for the Gibson f5 and if you only order a standard f5 case that is what you will get. If you have a Gilchrist, you need to let Al know so he can make it to work with your mandolin. One of my Caltons was built for a Gilchrist and I use it with one of my Master Models and there is plenty of room. The other was made for Gibson and it is also fine. I do not anticipate a problem with them. We have a new Gibson Calton case we are working on and should be available in a few months. You will like it. It will have plenty of room with all the structural integrity of the current cases. You will have room for all the goodies you like to carry and it looks KILLER!!! Anyway, another fine product to come down the line in the foreseeable future.

Mar-03-2004, 11:13pm
Is the case only available with a mandolin purchase; and when is the demo going to appear. Of course, pictures of the demo will appear here first, right????

Ken Waltham
Mar-05-2004, 10:04pm
I carried my Loar to every show in a calton, for nearly a decade.
It, and another went to Australia in a Calton, with no problems.
I still consider them to be the best in HSC's.
They are, however, getting expensive, and the wait has increased.
BTW, never had, or saw, a broken peghead from one.

Lynn Dudenbostel
Mar-05-2004, 10:23pm
That is my old Gilchrist that Pete has. He e-mailed me after it broke. Said he dropped it 6 inches. That's a tough break, no pun intended. I've been advising customers shipping F-5's to put a bit of extra padding on the treble side of the peghead to provide a bit more support on this side. NOT between teh big scoll on the peghead, but below it around the tuners. I've seen quite a few Caltons with wear where the scroll rubs going in and coming out of the case, and a few with no wear at all. Other than that, it's a fine case. This, however, is one area where the Pegasus is clearly superior. lots of space in the peghead area!


Mar-05-2004, 10:32pm
Ya'll may call me crazy, but I think the FQMS-style Supercase I've got offers better protection than the Calton I had. For one thing, the body is snug enough in its compartment that the mando will not move at all, and surely wouldn't fall out even if the case fell open. There is plenty of room around the headstock, and the surrounding material is soft and compliant anyway. I'm not sure what the stuff is that the frame is constructed from, but I have used the case on its end as a stool for picking and it didn't flex a bit under my 200 pounds. For all tests except maybe the ever-popular elephant-stepping-on-case test, I think it offers superior protection. If I ever move to the Congo I will have to reconsider a Calton. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif I am sure a Pegasus would shatter if a freight train hit it, but I think my Supercase would just bounce off like a little marshmallow. Poooo!