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Thread: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

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    Default HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    After reading thru lots and lots of old informative threads in the archives about alternative cases for Martin A style mandolins, I'm wondering what cases have done well over the years and if there's anything currently made that is a good fit in a HSC.

    Or maybe, just maybe someone out there has one in good shape they would like to part with.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    When I bought my Style A a few years ago, the dealer sold it in a sturdy wooden hardshell case with green plush lining and very thick padding. The only marking it has is a "Made in China" sticker. It's not a perfect fit -- a bit too large in the body -- but the padding's so thick I don't worry that the mandolin isn't held snugly.

    Wish I had more info as to the brand. I'd try a variety of A-model cases, if you can get to a dealer that stocks them (or will take an A-model out of its case so you can try it), and see if there's one that's adequate if not exact.
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    I was in a similar situation. A local music store had a case with a bit of extra length in the headstock area. Great padding and a very protective fit. They thought it was unsold Mid Mo stock. Later I purchased a period correct HSC through Elderly. Usually I use the newer case as it’s a more secure fit. My suggestion is to keep looking and keep up with new arrivals on the web. Expect to pay signicantly more for a period correct case.

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    I have a 1929 Martin Style 20. It came in a modern case, which does not bother me at all . . . except for the fact that the case is a bit too long. The mandolin measures 25", but the case is 28". I would gladly welcome a non-period-correct case, as long as it fit properly . . . or at least reasonably better.
    I recently finished a new homemade 4-song EP of original solo acoustic songs; (sorry, no mandolin content this time). If you are interested in a FREE copy, feel free to send me your address via Private Message, and I will be glad to send you one. Trust me, it will be worth the price!


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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    So I called TKL, which owns Cedar Creek and Harptone. Turns out the office is in Oilville VA, which isn't very far from where I live. The nice lady told me that Harptone cases are being made again, and the guy to talk to is in Ruckersville VA, which is 15 min up the road. There is a Harptone website that shows lots of new USA made vintage style cases. This seems to me their niche and was great news to me.

    Tom and I e-mailed, and he wants me to call him on Monday to set up a time when he can photograph my '56 Martin A and take measurements. He seems optimistic the old forms may be lying around. I explained some about the mandolin size and what makes it so different from the standard Gibson A size, and also a little Martin mandolin history. I'm cautiously optimistic about this myself, and let him know there are quite a few Martin A owners that need a good fitting case and are looking for the real deal. Maybe this is right up their alley.

    I also stumbled on an old reverb.com ad with pics and measurements of a vintage Harptone case to give him. Maybe sufficient interest can be generated on the Café to motivate Harptone/TKL to add to their vintage product line or at least make a run of them.

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Here's mine. Exactly as it was when it arrived via USPS with the Martin inside. Cheapo case. Ragbag face towel. Seems to have worked just fine.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Quote Originally Posted by dan in va View Post
    So I called TKL, which owns Cedar Creek and Harptone. Turns out the office is in Oilville VA, which isn't very far from where I live. The nice lady told me that Harptone cases are being made again, and the guy to talk to is in Ruckersville VA, which is 15 min up the road. There is a Harptone website that shows lots of new USA made vintage style cases. This seems to me their niche and was great news to me.

    Tom and I e-mailed, and he wants me to call him on Monday to set up a time when he can photograph my '56 Martin A and take measurements. He seems optimistic the old forms may be lying around. I explained some about the mandolin size and what makes it so different from the standard Gibson A size, and also a little Martin mandolin history. I'm cautiously optimistic about this myself, and let him know there are quite a few Martin A owners that need a good fitting case and are looking for the real deal. Maybe this is right up their alley.

    I also stumbled on an old reverb.com ad with pics and measurements of a vintage Harptone case to give him. Maybe sufficient interest can be generated on the Café to motivate Harptone/TKL to add to their vintage product line or at least make a run of them.
    Dan--

    Nice work! If they were to offer a case designed for a Martin, I would buy one--and I'd bet there'd be others as well. Please let him know.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    My 57 came in an original case, very nice fit I'm lucky to have it. My computer is down at the moment, but if you need I can take a pic and measure. One nice feature is an extra latch opposite the one in the middle. Another is a pad on the top that comes down on the tailpiece.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Thanks for your post, Rob. Maybe there will be some more Cafe goers will take notice, too.

    pops1, i'll send you my e-mail addy by PM so you can send me the the pics. This is the time to get the details right. Will show him both the Martin A in its (likely) original brown and cream soft case and the Stanley A5 in the TKL case. This ought to be a good demo.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Dan, good timing I just got my computer back from the shop. The case is Black, but a nice case with a good fit and some extras that I wish more case makers would use. I try and get them to you soon.
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    So the plan is to call Tom on Monday and i'm hoping to meet with him Friday or another weekend day. Looking forward to the pics, but there's plenty of time for your computer to get back up to speed. i have no idea who made the nifty brown and cream soft cast this '56 model came in, but all the Harptone HSC's i've seen for this Martin style A have been black. Their website kind of takes one back to the day when Les Paul's and such came in the brown case.

    This little fact popped up somewhere in reading: The price of a good HSC back in the day was about half the price of this mandolin. Small wonder that we don't see many Harptone HSC's!!

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    I have gotten Harptone cases decades ago for different instruments and usually paid around $100, which I thought for a case made to a drawing of your instrument was a good deal. If memory serves they sent me a bari-uke case for a small guitar I had that fit perfectly.
    My banjo is still in the Harptone case I bought 40+ years ago.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a photo of my mandolin and case. If you look closely you may see the latch centered on the back, a nice touch. Another is the pad for the tailpiece to keep the mandolin secure in the case. I wish they all had that.
    Last edited by pops1; Nov-24-2017 at 1:06pm.
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Had a good conversation with Tom Nicholson, the Harptone case guy today. He may stop by this Friday to measure, take pics of the Martin style A, etc. There's talk of him borrowing it for the day to take to the TKL office this side of Richmond...i'd rather not, but it might be necessary. Tom said that TKL has all the old Harptone forms, and a special run of cases might be updated somewhat instead of making exact vintage copies. He calls on the big vintage dealers for the new vintage cases and has an understanding of that market.

    Pops1, i've printed your pics for him, and i have some other pics of a vintage Harptone that was sold on Reverb.com in May. Thanks for your help.

    It may help persuade Harptone if more interest was shown here, if all y'all know what i mean, Vern.

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Well, I am interested. To whom do I express it?
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    i'll pass it on, HH. i doubt the cases will be inexpensive, but not Calton, etc pricing.

    Do understand that i have zero financial interest, but i am indeed interested is getting these made for the Martin A owners. And i'm not taking orders, just trying to stir TKL's pot.

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    good-o, dan.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Dan anything else I can do just let me know. k
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    pops1, i think we're good for now. i appreciate your interest and how you've helped. It's looking like December is busy enough for Tom that he thinks it best to wait until January to pick up the mandolin to take it to Oilville for pics and measurement and return it later in the day. So i'll post what happens on this forum. Meanwhile, i hope more Martin A owners can learn about this effort.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    dan, I have a friend with a Martin and said he would be interested in a case if you would like to start a list of possibles.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    my Beltone looks just like your Martin. I would love to have a case like that also.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    There is a recent classified with OHSC Martin A Koa. The case is probably worth a couple of hundred. Someone should grab it’s it appears to be a decent deal.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Wow, fantastic. I did not look at this thread since I don't have a Martin A mandolin, but am glad to hear that Harptone has been resurrected. They were the case back in the 1980s and earlier. I still have a few of them. And they were one of the few folks who made a hardshell case for bowlbacks. I have two of those still and they are super-solid.

    In fact I contacted TKL years ago to see if they would make me one but they were not doing that kind of work at that time. Glad tosee they have decided to manufacture again.
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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mace View Post
    There is a recent classified with OHSC Martin A Koa. The case is probably worth a couple of hundred. Someone should grab it’s it appears to be a decent deal.
    I am working on acquiring that AK hands off ...but the 20s cases are thin and un-padded, leather over chipboard. Also they are old. (well, duh.)
    I would love a properly fitting, modern, solid case that I could carry my '29 style B in to jams, and hopefully for when if I were to get any other old Martin mandos... definitely interested. Can provide dimensions.
    thanks!

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    Well, the work on the Martin A is just about done. The Nugget TP should arrive tomorrow and i'll contact the rep in a few days. Details on the run of Harptone cases will be posted as i get them, so all y'all who are interested in one for your Martin flat back mandolin stand by.

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    Default Re: HSC for Martin A style mandolin (update)

    This is exciting, I will let a couple friends know that they may be available soon. Thanks, Dan
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