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Thread: Collings F Mandolin Case

  1. #1
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Collings F Mandolin Case

    This is in part a tribute to Bill Collings. 3-4 months ago I ordered a Collings F mandolin case knowing they were backed up on orders. Like a few people, I knew he had struggles with cancer but was unaware where it had headed of late. Sadly, as someone who has lost more than my share of close musician friends to this horrible disease I can't say I was surprised. Shocked, yes, but it's a horrible disease. Period. When it decides to take you, it will.

    The case arrived shortly after Bill's passing, so it caused a bit of reflection. It's a thing of beauty, function and design like I've never seen in a case, and I've owned more than my share. As many mandolins pass through my house, so do high end and low end cases. It was another reminder of the fiery passion the man had for doing things the way he wanted them done, and so many of us are so happy as a result.

    The case is everything I want and anticipate, and more. It's balanced like no other case I've ever owned. It feels better in hand. The handle is of better quality than any other case I've owned. My Nugget Deluxe F sits in it like it was custom designed for only my instrument, but we took no measurements. The latches are Collings manufactured. They couldn't find one that measured up to Bill's standards, so they took the most cost ineffective step possible: they researched and designed their own, and it *is* better. It's neither flight case nor your everyday case so many mandolins reside in, including more than a few I've owned. It may look like your standard black case from a distance - it is not, and photos can't do it justice. The interior isn't a garish color or texture, but the exact bed you want your baby sitting on. Oh, and it doesn't flop backwards when you take the mandolin out. For someone doing local gigs, not playing music for a living, it's everything I want and then some. It's comparable to other high end cases in price, and yet for my tastes it's a bargain. I can't imagine desiring another, and it's the first high end case I will not buy a case cover for. It's that beautiful.

    Most of us play music because it gives us sheer joy and makes the tough days a lot better. So imagine that. A products that not only makes you happy, but exceeds your expectations at every turn. Isn't that a hell of a deal? Thanks, Bill.

    Collings F Mandolin Case

    Collings F Mandolin Cafe

    Collings F Mandolin Case

    Collings F Mandolin Case

    Collings F Mandolin Case
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jul-25-2017 at 2:24pm.

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  3. #2
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I really want one too! I really hoped the a-model cases would be thousands less than their f-model counterparts though. I mean, there's no curly bits, eh?

    Just joking. . .

    May start saving, but really love this concept and remain unsure what draws me to such flamboyance!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  4. #3
    Natural Born Tar Heel Perilous Deep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    The only thing that has held me back on this is that I wish it had D-rings for a shoulder strap. It doesn't have any way of connecting a shoulder strap, right?

  5. #4
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I bought the prototype from Elderly when they were first available. The only difference that I can see between the prototype and the production case is a vintage style center latch on the prototype. I call it "THE" prototype, but I 'm not sure that it is the only one. If it is, than it is the case that Bill is holding up at a NAMM show in the picture that has been posted here a few times. I agree with everything that Scott said about these cases. I have owned lots of cases too, high end, low end and in between. This is, for me, the best and nicest case I have ever seen or owned and I feel privileged to have it. I also have a Nugget F5 deluxe and the case fit is perfect (as it should, because Mike Kemnitzer shared his Nugget drawings and dimensions with Bill and helped him get started building mandolins. Every instrument and case that Collings made or will make is perfection and a tribute to Him. RIP Bill

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I think Will Kimble contributed a lot of his mandolin knowledge to Bill's efforts in building mandolins, as well as Tom Ellis. I have an F case, and am expecting to receive my A case this week sometime.

    As for a strap, I have my F case in a Small Dog case cover. It is a little big but still very functional. I plan on doing the same thing with my A. I was very sad to hear about Bill last Saturday morning.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  8. #6
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    am expecting to receive my A case this week sometime.

    As for a strap, I have my F case in a Small Dog case cover. It is a little big but still very functional. I plan on doing the same thing with my A. I was very sad to hear about Bill last Saturday morning.
    Are they making an A case in the new vintage style? If so, please post pictures when you get it.

    I have my F5 case in a Colorado case cover which I had them make from my drawing. That solves the strap problem. I don't care if the cover hides the case from others. It keeps the case like new and I can take the cover off to admire it's beauty anytime I want.

  9. #7
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I think Will Kimble contributed a lot of his mandolin knowledge to Bill's efforts in building mandolins, as well as Tom Ellis.
    You're probably right, I'm just saying that he used Mike's drawings (hence the perfect fit for a Nugget).

  10. #8

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Yes, they are. There is a pretty long wait on these cases, but the beauty of being a serial Collings buyer, and generally shopping in one store brings some advantages. They treat me very well.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  11. #9
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Thanks. I need to get one on order

  12. #10
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Nice review. I will hopefully be ordering one soon.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  13. #11

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I didn't really get how great these cases are till I saw a couple in person at the Ellis shop. The pictures really don't give you the full tactile sense of quality that these cases project. Just amazing.

    There are versions of these cases made specifically for Ellis F5 and A5 mandolins also.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

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  15. #12
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I think Gryphon has an A case in stock, NFI. Free shipping too. Or maybe I should get it. . .
    Michigan Triple A's: Northfield, Nugget/Collings, Newson

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  17. #13

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    BradKlein
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  19. #14

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Aren't they amazing! My new Ellis came with one. The "standard" Collings vintage case fit OK, but an Ellis F5 is just a bit larger than a Collings for which the new case was designed, so Bill made a NEW mold just for Ellis! The badge is embossed "Ellis Collings."

    These Collings vintage cases are sturdy as heck and work perfectly with superior hardware and ergonomics, (and provide the humidity and temperature buffering of wood which I seek), but I can't get over how sexy they are! Truly. Like a skin-tight Maserati wrapped around your precious instrument.

    The Collings vintage dreadnaught case is smaller in every dimension than a TKL OM case! From the outside, it seems like magic that a guitar fits inside, so accustomed are we to bulky foam-corpulence (which Bill despised).

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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    "There is a pretty long wait on the cases". A negative that speaks to the positive attributes of the case. Maybe sometime down the road.
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  22. #16

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    I noticed that about the dread case the other day. Amazing, and so kind to your back.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  23. #17

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Perilous Deep View Post
    ...wish it had D-rings for a shoulder strap
    You ask, Bill provides! Hangs perfectly.

    Note three feet--can't wobble (as does my otherwise-terrific Austin C...n with four uneven rubber stubs).
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    Last edited by MandoAblyss; Jul-26-2017 at 11:27am.

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  25. #18
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Thanks for that MandoAblyss,i was going to post exactly the same thing. I used a shoulder strap in that way on my massive Mark Leaf banjo case.The case's 'D' rings were too far apart to get the strap to hang properly without sliding back & forth. I'd use a strap in that way on my TKL rect. case if needed,
    Ivan
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  26. #19

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    I wonder how well an A-4 Snakehead would fit in there. That is much nicer than my origami 20's A shaped case.
    '02 Gibson master model #70327 02-01-02
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  27. #20

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    The oval hole mandolins don't fit in the new cases (F or A). I am not sure about how a vintage mandolin would fit, but you can call Gryphon and ask. I'm sure they have a snakehead somewhere in the shop.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  28. #21
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by carleshicks View Post
    I wonder how well an A-4 Snakehead would fit in there. That is much nicer than my origami 20's A shaped case.
    Yeh man these new Collings are for sure nice cases, way better than those old sloppy Geib Gibson type cases but where are all the kool colors like Geib did for Gibson That would pry cost some cash to do runs like that?

  29. #22

    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    If you've haunted the Cafe long enough you'll have read about various searches for the fabrics that exactly match different periods and brands of case production. I remember that someone (the OP?) located a closely matching red silk velvet. It could be imported for hundreds of dollars per yard!
    BradKlein
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  30. #23
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    If you've haunted the Cafe long enough you'll have read about various searches for the fabrics that exactly match different periods and brands of case production. I remember that someone (the OP?) located a closely matching red silk velvet. It could be imported for hundreds of dollars per yard!
    Yeh I'm a case geek also, and have some neat ones, I like the old different interior colors, like the green,red,limish green,blue etc...I even have a pretty kool M&W rectangular case from 1916 I think with a red corduroy interior, It is for an H-4 mandola I believe cause a shortneck and F-5 fits real sloppy in it. I have a handful of Paganoni F-5 cases with different colors from the 70's to newish ones with different interior colors all but the elusive blue But I was told there are only a couple of those and the owners sure aint sellin!

  31. #24
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    We really need some kind of SNELL or UL type rating system for instrument cases. I'd love to see how different cases protect the same instrument in a variety of different scenarios (1-meter fall, application of 100 lbs. of weight, etc.).
    PJ Doland
    1923 Gibson Snakehead A

  32. #25
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings F Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ Doland View Post
    We really need some kind of SNELL or UL type rating system for instrument cases. I'd love to see how different cases protect the same instrument in a variety of different scenarios (1-meter fall, application of 100 lbs. of weight, etc.).
    Well that would be a kool experiment but when ya have cases that are worth more than some instruments I don't think I'll volunteer any of my instruments/cases.

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