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Thread: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

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    Default Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Hey all,
    I suspect "sheet" isn't the right term, but I'm talking about the loose bit of fabric that comes with some cases that lays over the top of the mandolin before closing it up. My question: Do people use the sheet? I recently misplaced mine and am wondering if it's necessary to replace.

    For owners of Pegasus cases, do you use the sheet?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    It's called a "blanket". If you want to know what it's for, ask a classical violin player - I've a feeling blankets started with them. I've never heard a logical explanation for having one unless it's for doing the "big reveal" when you take your instrument out.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Let's say you've been practicing that Tchaikovsky concerto for six solid hours and you need to take a leak. You put your violin in its case and put the blanket over it, so the dust you've been stirring up in the practice room doesn't land on your instrument while you are gone. But you leave the case open, since you will resume practicing when you return.
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    It's just an added layer of protection for the finish, but does very little for the most part. To be really stylish, you need to get one of these: Violin Bag

    I got one for my wife's uber-violin. She doesn't use it.

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Let's say you've been practicing that Tchaikovsky concerto for six solid hours and you need to take a leak. You put your violin in its case and put the blanket over it, so the dust you've been stirring up in the practice room doesn't land on your instrument while you are gone. But you leave the case open, since you will resume practicing when you return.
    I understand that. I was practicing a Tchaikovsky piece called "Osage Orange Blossom Special. Fred Tchaikovsky wrote it. Fred drives a honey wagon in the next county. His motto is "We're No. 1 in the No. 2 business." He writes a lot of music. Nashville called him once. They said, "Don't call us. We'll call you." The last song he was working on was something he came up with when he went fishin' and had a bite. He lost the fish but he still had his cricket. The verses have something about hurting his nose but he can still pick it, getting a Bic so now he an click it and stuff like that. He's gonna finish it when he gets out. The warden won't let him finish it right now 'cause Fred can't have any sharp objects. Fred needs to write it down. He's got a good memory. It's just short.

    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    The blanket that came with my Eastman had the same velour on one side and satin/polyester on the other. I don' think they are meant to provide better padding (at least for the Eastman the cases were built to fit the specs of the instrument.

    Now I have used a fleece scarf as a blanket for another mandolin that was a tad small for it's case. The added scarf material at the tail end kept the mandolin secure in the case.

    Jamie
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    It's a blanket of protection, in the event your violin bows are not securely locked into the the bow spinners, and the frog end of the bow gets loose and falls on the violin top. (marring, denting, scratching, etc)
    Sheryl --- Me

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Or even with the bows on the spinner, depending on the case, the violin can move into the bow. There are soon many violins out there with a bunch of ding from the tip of the frog.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    I read on here not too long ago that the blanket was mainly to prevent rosin dust from falling all over the Violin,but it is added protection from other possible causes of damage as well. My TKL 'American Vintage' case came with one & i used it for several years.
    The inside compartment won't take string sets,so these days the spare strings are in the upper section of the case covered by the folded up blanket to keep them there,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    I've read in several threads in the past that leather straps can sometimes hurt certain finishes on the mandolin if laid across the top of the instrument. The blanket might give protection against this.

    Jack

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    The blanket is there to keep your mando warm when you take a break after playing some hot licks.

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    The only case that I have that came with a blanket [as Jamie described above] was for an Eastman mandola and I use it just because it came with the instrument. I leave my straps on my mandolins and mandola and never have noticed any finish problems from that [varnish or lacquer]...YMMV...
    Mike

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCook View Post
    I've read in several threads in the past that leather straps can sometimes hurt certain finishes on the mandolin if laid across the top of the instrument. The blanket might give protection against this.

    Jack
    I've only ever heard (and seen) about finish damage from Vinyl straps, not leather.

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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    A blanket is very useful inside a violin case, for the reasons already stated. A blanket is completely superfluous inside a mandolin case, though, and probably the only reason it's there in a small fraction of cases is that this is a holdover from the violin world. But if the blanket is one that's easily removed, you can always use it to wipe down your instrument...

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Don't forget, Eastman made violin family instruments prior to making mandolin family instruments...

    Jamie
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Yea, that sounds right, Bows stow in the Lid, and blanket between them and the Violin top..

    I stow Extra strings, etc. in a Crown Royal Bag in the lid of my Mandolin case .. No Blanket in My A5 Shaped Case.

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    I always take it out to put on the table. I assumed they were for when you took it out of the case and wanted to put it down on something that could scratch up the back & scroll. Seems a bit 'precious' for my cheap antique violin, but a new or very valuable one probably merits attention.
    Eoin



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  24. #18

    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    I always take it out to put on the table. I assumed they were for when you took it out of the case and wanted to put it down on something that could scratch up the back & scroll. Seems a bit 'precious' for my cheap antique violin, but a new or very valuable one probably merits attention.
    I have what I think is a Travelite mandolin case and the cloth is attached to the case on one side. That would make me think its purpose is to protect the instrument in the case. I'm not sure why though.

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    From jvkelly - ".....and the cloth is attached to the case on one side..". 'Travelite' cases don't have any cloth,loose or attached. Apart from that,if your cloth isn't removeable,then use it as it was meant to be used,to help protect your mandolin.It can't hurt !,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    In my mind, the blankey acts as an added element within a high-end instrument/case package, sort of like a fashion accessory. My square Calton has one. Necessary? Not really. But, adds a nice finishing touch to the package. Never really thought about placing it on a table to lay the mandolin on, but that sounds plausible. Actually, if I ever lay the mandolin on a table by itself, it always lays upside-down. That way, the only touch points are the bridge saddle and nut; no stress or rubbing anywhere else.

  27. #21
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    The Bobelock that I got with my Sprite has it.

    Yeah, it makes for a dramatic reveal; plus, tucking it in is a nice ritual when returning the mandolin to the case.




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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    One case that I have that don`t have a blanket has dirty marks on the inside of the lid from the strings touching it when the case is closed so I assumed the blanket was to keep the inside of the top clean, I never have figured out which side should be up and which side should be down, I put mine in with the shinny side down...No reason for doing that though...I guess if I would wipe the strings down after each playing there wouldn`t be any dirty marks on that one case lid...

    Willie

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    Registered User Dan Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    Willie has come close to why I think there's a sheet. Years ago I learned from an old mandolin player to wipe my strings down after playing to remove the sweat and grime from my fingers before putting the mandolin back in the case. 'Helps extend the life of the stings, son." For years now I've kept a bandana in all of my cases for just this reason. Best place to store the bandana? On top of the mandolin.
    Play em like you know em!

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    If your mandolin has gold plated tailpiece and tuners, the blanket will help protect those gold plated parts from getting case-burn -- wearing the gold plating off inside the case with the normal movement of carrying the case around with the instrument inside.

    The theory is that the blanket will shift inside the case with the instrument, but won't shift against the gold plated parts or body of the instrument much, or if it does, the satin-type cloth that is against the instrument won't deliver the case burn.

    This can also help protect softer finishes like varnish.

    Case-burn does happen without this blanket, I've seen the results of it with gold plated and soft-finish instruments.

    -- Don

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    Default Re: Mandolin case question -- is the sheet necessary?

    I have one with my case. I can give you my reasons for using it.
    1. mediation of temperature difference. I like to warm or chill my instrument to the room i'll be playing in. My way to do this is to leave the blanket on or partially on with the case open. Sudden temperature changes can and will cause finishes to crack or check.

    2. If I leave my case open with the mandolin in it I cover it with the blanket for some protection. Once I had my guitar in the open case for another song. The tuner I had fell off of the stand and bounced around on the top of the guitar, giving it some "character marks." (which at the time it didn't have any)

    I don't always use it but I DO use it. Losing it would not be much of a loss, but it can be helpful if you are one to care about the above things.

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