View Full Version : Soft-shell cases ?

Jun-28-2006, 7:40am
I am evaluating a 1923 A-4 that I found for sale.

Almost all of these I have seen with an original case came with it being a hardshell.

Would an A-4 ever come with a soft-shell case originally? Age and condition-wise, it looks original to the instrument.


Jun-28-2006, 8:30am
Most likely the A4 would of had a hardshell case. It was the top of the line for the A style. Original hard cases are available from time to time. They sell for about $200-$300. Is this a snakehead A4 you looking at?

Jim Garber
Jun-28-2006, 1:54pm
Anything is possible. Is this one of those canvas-covered chipboard things with the galosh closures? Some poeple might have spent a wad in 1923 and decided to save the money on the case, figuring they were not going to take it anywhere much.


Bob Denton
Jun-28-2006, 3:55pm
In 1963 I convinced my parents to spend $275 on a Martin D-28 but they wouldn't spring for a case, so I walked out of Sam Ash in NYC with the guitar in a paper bag.

S**t happens!

(Still have the guitar)


Jul-17-2006, 9:45am
Take a look. I bought a wonderful A-4 and it came in this case. The instrument came from Idaho on consignment. Little old lady brings in the late husband's mando to be sold........you know the story. Guitar Center had offered her $250.........CASH even!

The case's latches have a logo "G & S". Any chance this case was bought WITH the A-4? It had some old string packets in there and a great little pitch pipe........in its original box.

http://community.webshots.com/photo....SFFRHe# (http://community.webshots.com/photo/552321989/2257128270046560072SFFRHe#)

Jerry Byers
Jul-17-2006, 9:51am
I'm missing something here. The photos shows a normal vintage hardshell case.

Darryl Wolfe
Jul-17-2006, 9:59am
The case appears period original, although I have not seen one like that with a high end Gibson before.

Jul-17-2006, 10:03am
I'm missing something here. The photos shows a normal vintage hardshell case.

It is soft-shell for sure. Flat top and back.


Thanks for the reply. I hope to have some photos for the archive soon. The A-4 is a real beauty. Ser. # 729xx.

Another question. How do you go about tightening the finger rest attachment?

Jul-17-2006, 10:09am
Jerry, I am sure that the mandolins were sold without cases, with soft cases, and with hard shell cases. Gibson wouldn't walk away from a sale because the person buying didn't want the case. If the case looks to be the same vintage, most likely it was original (or added soon after the purchase).

Darryl Wolfe
Jul-17-2006, 10:24am
The outsidfe lever of the clamp turns. Move it to a right angle postion and the clamp will lengthen, turn it back and it will tighten. There are brass notches and pins on the back for more drastic adjustments.

There should be a 7298x-73001 or so batch of paddlehead A-4's. I briefly had 73001

Jerry Byers
Jul-17-2006, 10:42am
I guess when I think of soft-shell cases, I'm thinking along the lines of a gig bag.

Were the vintage cases (with purple lining) sold as both a flat top and arched top?

Darryl Wolfe
Jul-17-2006, 10:54am
The vast majority of all vintage mandolins (aside from Gibson) came in soft-shell "chipboard" cases. They were flat top and back and were significantly less costly than hardshell cases. Finding a nice original hardshell case for an old Martin, Weymann, Supertone, Howe Orme ect is a daunting task.

Jul-17-2006, 11:05am
If it has an arched top it's probably more a hard shell case han a soft.

Jul-17-2006, 11:08am
"Chipboard" would accurately define this case.

Darryl Wolfe
Jul-17-2006, 11:27am
"Chipboard" would accurately define this case.
Yes, usually a grey cardboard material (like the back of a legal pad of paper) sandwiched between felt and some type of econo tolex or canvas material

Jul-17-2006, 11:39am
The Factory Order Number is 1182(6).

It is a paddlehead.

Sounds sweet, too!