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Thread: Black carbon hoffee case

  1. #1

    Default Black carbon hoffee case

    I am going to buy a hoffee case and am leaning towards the black carbon/blue interior. Does anyone here have that combo? Any regrets? If you have any photos of this combo, I'd really appreciate it if you could post them because there aren't many photos of this color combo available online.

    Thanks everyone,

    Andy

  2. #2
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Dark cases tend to store heat more than lighter colors but, all cases are black so, there you have my take on it.
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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Hoffee cases are available in white and silver. The dirt and dings tend to show a bit more on light backgrounds, but then again, they reflect the heat much better than dark cases, so your mandolin will stay cooler for much longer in the sun. This can be a factor of two longer, that is, significantly longer! Please consider that before you buy a black case.

    Also, Hoffee cases are available with an option of a Thinsulate lining, placed between the outer hard case and inner fuzzy lining, which is a proprietery "space-blanket-like" product from 3M that offers additional thermal protection.

    A Hoffee case in white or silver with the Thinsulate option has some of the best protection available, and this can be an instrument-saver on occasions where you travel and the instrument winds up staying inside a locked vehicle in the sunlight for an hour or two .. or three, despite your best intentions otherwise.

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    plectrist
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    What Tim said. There's a YouTube terror test of Hoffees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc2fspfvz1g. This shows the effect go the added insulation, but if you talk with Jeff he'll suggest White for temperature reasons.

    Ryk
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    I have that exact combo with thinsulate and leather handle. It houses my 1967 D28. Just try and rip it out of my cold dead hands.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    The nice shiny surface that you see on any 'composite' case,is the resin / gelcoat layer that the mould is first coated with prior to the laminates being layed up - that surface is hard,brittle & susceptible to scratching. However,Hoffeee did the right thing in combining Kevlar into the case layup to reduce possible impact damage as evidenced bythe test carried out. You wouldn't have liked the result without the Kevlar addition - i've seen far too many impact tests sans Kevlar !!. To keep the outside of the case in good order,go for a case cover. If the outside is subjected to any severe scratching,the brittle carbon fibers will break & weaken that area to a degree. There's a big difference in strength between impacted/re-inforced CF & CF with fibres that have been cut/broken.

    I have to say that my own favourite case type,the Travelite,was subjected to an un-wanted test of that type by accident a couple of years back. A Cafe member had his come off the back of his motor cycle on the road. The case hit the road hard & skidded along the it for some distance. The case just got dusty & the mandolin inside was 100 % fine !.

    Also, any severe scratches will be pretty hard to cover up without returning the case to the makers. So,for a superb case like a Hoffee - buy a case cover & keep it that way.
    Ivan
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    Registered User pit lenz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    I have a black and red Hoffe mando case . Saw it and fell in love.
    -Yes, exposed to direct sunlight a lighter case would be better, but if you have it in a hot car, just cover it with something light, a towel or shirt and there'll be no difference.
    -(light)scratches on the surface do show quickly but I cover them with a black sharpie and my case still looks almost new.

    I do like it a lot!

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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    I have the red shell with black lining, and thinsulate. I doubt I will ever need the thinsulate, but for the few extra bucks it seemed crazy not to get it, just incase. The Hoffe videos showing the torture they put the test case through sold me. Also has plenty of storage. I got mine through Vernie at Bluegrass Mandolins, good guy to deal with and the best deal I found.

    I don't believe you can go wrong with a Hoffe. Black with blue lining should be pretty sharp.

    Adam

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Just to expand upon one topic touched upon. White/Silver vs Black and heat.

    1. There is an enormous difference in how a white/silver case reflects direct radiant heat vs. a black one. Black cases 'soak up' radiant heat at a quite alarming rate, effectively turning into an oven quite rapidly. Even internal insulation or padding only slows this down, but eventually the interior will try to equalize with the exterior:

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    2. This does only apply to direct radiant heat, however (and then only at certain points in the thermal spectrum). It has minimal effect upon heat from other sources, ambient, convection, and especially conduction, etc. So - inside a boiling hot car having a white or silver case will not do you a lot of good as it will acquire heat from the ambient air temperature and from conduction with the car seat, trunk bottom, etc. It will still reflect and direct radiant heat better, say, sunlight through the windows, but the hot air in the vehicle will still heat it up rapidly.

    Worth knowing, as otherwise you might get a false sense of security.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    IF you need to leave an instrument inside a car that's going to get very hot,buy a cheap duvet cover & wrap the case in it. Air is a very poor heat conductor & surrounding the case with 1000's of pockets of air will help to keep the heat away from it. I've done exactly that with my banjo case left in the boot (trunk) of my wife's car. We insulate all sorts of thing to keep heat in - well,you can insulate things to keep heat out.

    As for 'case testing' - most cases (& lots of other products), are tested within parameters that will show the case in ''good light' ie consider the 'standing on the case test' that Hiscox did. That didn't prevent a large chunk of the Hiscox case belonging to a Cafe member being knocked off it when it was dropped from an aircraft baggage hold. The Hoffee case was impacted on the edges,usually a strong,but 'maybe' brittle point,but stand the case on it's side & impact it hard on the top - what would the outcome be ?. Maybe not so favourable. I'm certainly not dissing the Hoffee cases - no way - i'd love one !. They seem to me to be a very well designed & manufactured case - but,unless a case is tested in several different ways,it's true strength is purely conjecture.

    All cases are only as good as we allow them to be in any set of circumstances,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Is there any readily available instrument case out there, that can guaranty that your instrument will be 100% safe from every possible situation. No, but based on the Hoffe demonstrations of their case. Plus some of the features like the extra padding under the head stock, and the thinsulate. I feel it's a pretty good bet to protect my mandolin. I don't expect my instrument to ever see anything close to the abuse demonstrated in the videos. Sometimes things happen, things get dropped or fall, or stepped on. With the Hoffe I feel like it will cover most of the situation I am likely to encounter. If per chance my instrument did get damaged, I gave it my best shot.

    Adam

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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    I would like to see a real test of airline baggage handlers on the high dollar cases. For instance the ones like Samsonite luggage use to do.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-e96m4730
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    When I first got my Hoffee, I took it to a jam. A guy saw it and said "You know, if you take a nail and hammer it into the case, the whole thing shatters."

    I looked at him, paused, and said "I'll try not to do that."

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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Quote Originally Posted by mgap View Post
    I would like to see a real test of airline baggage handlers on the high dollar cases. For instance the ones like Samsonite luggage use to do.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-e96m4730
    Not so sure that was a "real test," but I get the point. Minor correction: that famous commercial was for American Tourister, not Samsonite. Not that that makes any difference.

    Many of the case tests are really apples and oranges comparisons. Some cases are intended to be "sacrificial," in the sense that they protect the contents (mandolin) adequately but, by doing so, fail to protect themselves. The Travelite hard foam cases, and their ilk, all fall squarely into this category: the hard foam exterior crushes easily, but it still protects. If necessary, you just buy a new case after a bad incident, but the cost of the new case is minimal. And harder, so-called flight cases made of fiberglass or carbon fiber-Kevlar composite surrounding softer foam will develop the occasional chip or ding while protecting the contents. They are not cheap to replace, but they are generally more durable and expected to last longer, at least in the face of normal insults, before requiring replacement. Plus, they do afford additional impact resistance against certain kinds of shock and especially steady stress. But not all. No case is perfect, and a genuine, really strong flight case, similar to the type taken by roadies on tour with rock bands, is much too large and heavy to be practical for the rest of us. Besides, it would never fit in the overhead bins of an aircraft. Compromises must be made! And, as someone pointed out, proper headstock protection is vital for a mandolin, irrespective of the type of case preferred. That is the weak point of the instrument.

    But for me, an important aspect of all this is thermal protection. The ability to withstand an extra hour or so out in the sun (say, left out by a baggage handler on the airport tarmac, or imprisoned inside a locked van while the band has lunch on the road, or has momentary trouble checking into a hotel) is really important to me. I am therefore grateful for the Thinsulate lining in my Hoffee case. I can carry it around in a festival and leave it nearby on the ground (even in direct sunlight, which I try to avoid) but not worry about thermal shock to the precious contents. Waterproofing is another consideration: I sometimes find myself out in the rain with my case, at least for a few minutes, with no cover nearby. I want my case to have a decent water seal.

    As others have pointed out, you can get similar thermal protection from a Thinsulate-lined case cover, instead of inside the case itself. This is a slightly bulkier and more cumbersome solution, in my opinion, but it is perfectly workable. Too bad the Colorado Case Company, which made such covers, has recently gone out of business. They made an excellent product.

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    When I first got my Hoffee, I took it to a jam. A guy saw it and said "You know, if you take a nail and hammer it into the case, the whole thing shatters."
    I looked at him, paused, and said "I'll try not to do that."
    There's always one guy in every crowd, eh Alan?

    For what it's worth, I love my 2 totally white Presto cases. People always notice them and they stand out in the crowd when I'm keeping an eye on them when I set them down (rarely).
    Of less importance, but more fun, white cases are great to personalize with strips of colored gaffer's tape which makes them even more recognizable and the decoration is completely and easily reversible.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    The R-value (thermal resistance) of 'Thinsulate' is approximately 1.6X the equivalent thickness of natural down. Hence, a 'thin' layer of 'Thinsulate' does not provide a terrific amount of protection, and it is less protection than a thicker layer of many other materials. Ivan is quite correct in saying that (basically) you need a lot of trapped air to provide a really effective level of insulation. So, 'Thinsulate' does provide very good insulation for a thin layer material, but it is all relative. For high levels of protection you will need more.
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    The R-value (thermal resistance) of 'Thinsulate' is approximately 1.6X the equivalent thickness of natural down. Hence, a 'thin' layer of 'Thinsulate' does not provide a terrific amount of protection, and it is less protection than a thicker layer of many other materials. Ivan is quite correct in saying that (basically) you need a lot of trapped air to provide a really effective level of insulation. So, 'Thinsulate' does provide very good insulation for a thin layer material, but it is all relative. For high levels of protection you will need more.
    All perfectly true, but it does buy you some valuable extra time -- up to an hour or so, in my experience. That extra time can be the difference between damage and no damage. Furthermore, as you correctly pointed out, a reasonably thick layer of trapped air (trapped in cells ~1 mm across, to suppress convective heat transfer, which is basically what goose down does) is among the best insulators available -- not quite as good as a vacuum, which is what a Dewar (thermos) achieves, but pretty good, nevertheless. The problem is that this trapped air layer needs to be thick. In terms of a case, it means that the case needs to be significantly larger. As I wrote, all cases represent compromises. You can easily have much better thermal insulation if you're willing to lug around a much larger case (or just wrap your case in a down sleeping bag)! But if you want a smaller, hard case (say, optimized for those overhead bins in aircraft!) and still have some decent thermal protection, it's hard to beat Thinsulate and materials like it. I think we're on the same page.

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  23. #18

    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Thanks for the comments and discussion on pros/cons of black versus light. I would never leave my case in a hot car or even in direct sunlight - ever. That is not an issue. What is an issue is shock protection, which the Hoffee case seems to have covered. If anyone has any photos of their black case with blue interior, I would really appreciate it if you could post. Thanks.

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  25. #19
    plectrist
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Andrew,

    If you go to the Hoffee site and click on their Gallery: http://www.carbonfibercases.com/gallery.html there are photos of black cases (guitar acoustic and electric) with blue interiors.

    Ryk
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    "I'm convinced that playing well is not so much a technique as it is a decision. It's a commitment to do the work, strive for concentration, get strategic about advancing by steps, and push patiently forward toward the goal." Dan Crary

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    From AlanN - "....if you take a nail and hammer it into the case, the whole thing shatters.". Alan,i very much doubt that 'the whole thing' would shatter. The laminates would hold the main case structure together,but,i could see where the outer, shiny gel-coat layer might crack to a degree. Hammering a nail into a Hoffe case would simply punch a hole in it ,& as i mention,crack the outer gel-coat. As you say - don't do that.

    THE materials for withstanding high impact conditions,are those which have been designed specifically for that - high impact resistant Polycarbonate plastics - think Police riot shields - but they don't come cheap !. We used to use Lexan PC sheet bought from DuPont in the USA in the manufacture of our aircraft interiors. The were used to make the lower (foot level) dado panels, & had to be impact resistant, as passengers usually kicked the bejeesus out of them. However,at £850 (back in 1990) for a 6ft x 8 ft sheet of 3 mm thick PC,as i said it wasn't cheap. However - that material was 'Aircraft specific' & required a high flame resistance,hence it's expense. 'Lesser' PC's might be much less expensive these days.

    I've mentioned once before on here that at one point,we were approached by the Japanese Mitsubishi Co.to make interior decor panels for a new version of the Shinkansen 'Bullet train'. We also manuufactured a new nose cone for it. We were visited by several Mitsubishi reps. & demonstrated just how tough PC's were by manufacturing some panels for them. The reps. were given a heavy hammer & invited to hit the panels (1.5 mm PC) as hard as they liked. They did so without leaving a single mark on the PC - it's that tough !!.

    Several panels, along with the new nose cone,were crated up & shipped out to Kobe in Japan - arriving just in time for the massive 1995 earthquake !. End of story.

    The materials are there to manufacture a truly tough case shell,but,the biggest problem is the interior design,not the shell,& all current designs,are not that good - even the very best of them. The interiors need to be very impact absorbent.
    The most impact absorbent materials i can think of, are those used when transporting extremely high value objects such as fragile,antique porcelain etc. - Polystyrene granules / chips etc.,but you'd need a decent thickness of those around the object to protect it. So,even a high impact resistant outer shell might have to be pretty large in order to contain enough interior 'padding' to protect the case contents. Such a case could be designed & manufactured,but i think that it would be very bulky,heavy & impractical for most events,& massivley expensive,as the shell would have to be designed to be 'rigid' ie. crush proof, as well as impact resistant.

    So - we'll have to live with our current 'compromises',some good,some not so good,but all,mostly only as good as we allow them to be,
    Ivan
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black carbon hoffee case

    Well I used to have a white 1973 Plymouth Duster-Oh why did I sell that baby! Dirt would show up more on that than a 72 Black Nova I had, I always have had black exterior mandolin cases but use Small Dog covers so no worries!

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