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Thread: Case question

  1. #1
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    Default Case question

    If you had a $7000 dollar mandolin and gigged a bit, probably was never going to fly with the instrument and was not concerned about weight or a lot of storage what case would you have? My instrument came with Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	176407 this Superior case. I have been using this case:Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	176408 mostly because I like the rectangle look a little better. I recently just have been wondering if the other style of Superior case provides a bit more protection because of the arched top verses the traditional flat of the rectangle Superior. Also I was wondering if I should invest in a Calton or another brand. I realize it can be a preference and it is up to me on what kind of protection I want and how I want to spend my money, but I am just looking for some advice based on experience. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Adrihan View Post
    If you had a $7000 dollar mandolin and gigged a bit, probably was never going to fly with the instrument and was not concerned about weight or a lot of storage what case would you have?
    My mandolin isn't worth quite that much, but it was close to $5,000 new. I might not ever fly with it, but it does leave the house several times a month for Irish sessions or gigs. So I'm in a similar situation. My choice was a Pegasus fiberglass case. They're priced roughly in the Calton range, made in Scotland, custom orders so you'd have to be patient on delivery time. The owner Sam is a great guy to deal with.

    What I like about the Pegasus is that it's a minimalist, curvy shape that slides easily among other gear on a gig, and doesn't take up too much floor space at an Irish session. The smaller size helps offset the weight of a fairly robust fiberglass shell. Storage is minimal, but there's enough for a packet of strings in the lid under the headstock, and a Peterson Stroboclip tuner and picks in the small compartment under the mandolin neck.

    Best of all, you get a wide range of color options and interior fabric patterns to choose from, so you can personalize the case. I chose a cream outer finish for sun protection, and a tartan plaid interior. Here's what my case looks like:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #3
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    I have two cases...Price Teardrop, super protective, quite heavy. Northfield Airloom, lots of storage, medium protection(seems not to provide enough top crush protection for carefree road gig use)

    Iím planning to get a Hoffee to replace my NF. Itíll save me money in repairs if it protects the top from an accident.
    I gig lots, and haul all the band gear.

    The fit of my Price prevents both my mandos from fitting same case.
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    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    The Bobelock mandolin case is only $300 or so. It is fiberglass and about 8 lbs but it seals like you could float it on the ocean. My wife has a violin case and she makes me carry it, otherwise it would never be used, ha, ha. Seriously, I think it is the best case for the money. There was a discussion about Bobelock cases on mandolin cafe and Ted Eschliman, the Cafe moderator has one.

    And, yes the arched top is stronger than a rectangular 'flat top' shape.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/72322-Who-likes-the-Bobelock-Arrow-Case

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Case question

    Well ….. spending money on a case is akin to buying an insurance policy. You hope to never need to use that policies protections.... but... and there's the rub. Accidents happen , foolishness from unforeseen individuals happens and poof you are out of an instrument or into a large luthier bill. Buying a Hoffee or Calton or Pegasus or like made case is also an investment in peace of mind. So yes the Superior cases are good protection for 90% of the bumps and knocks a case will take. An arched top on a plywood case is indeed a degree or two stronger than a flat top case. I own and use some of these cases. Having a Calton or Hoffee in the case stable is not a bad idea if you can afford the added expense. So you pays your money and you takes your chances. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    John, I'd be inclined to use the Superior. The arched top is definitely stronger than a flat top rectangular case. The shaped case is also a smaller target for getting stepped on. If you're concerned about piles of instruments in a car, or at a venue....it's plenty strong enough. Lots of builders are using Superior/Guardian cases for new build because they're a lot of case for the money. I'ver used a Superior dreadnaught case for my '30s D18 at times. If you'r concerned with external scuffing on a new case, the Calton surface is more robust than the Hoffee.

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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    The Bobelock mandolin case is only $300 or so. It is fiberglass and about 8 lbs but it seals like you could float it on the ocean. My wife has a violin case and she makes me carry it, otherwise it would never be used, ha, ha. Seriously, I think it is the best case for the money. There was a discussion about Bobelock cases on mandolin cafe and Ted Eschliman, the Cafe moderator has one.

    And, yes the arched top is stronger than a rectangular 'flat top' shape.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/72322-Who-likes-the-Bobelock-Arrow-Case

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bobelock cases offer three features that most others don't: a Velcro strap to secure the neck, a blanket to go over the instrument, and a case cover. With all that for under $250, I don't understand why they aren't considered the benchmark.

    While I don't own one of their mandolin cases, I have used Bobelock violin and viola cases for over 10 years now, and they are still in perfect shape, if a little scuffed up. The store where I got them has had two customers run over fiberglass Bobelocks with their cars. (How that happens, I don't understand.) Both times: case trashed, instrument unscathed. YMMV, of course. If/when I need to replace a mandolin case, it will be with a Bobelock.

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    Default Re: Case question

    I've had great service from my Calton for my F5 for 36 years.

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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Adrihan View Post
    If you had a $7000 dollar mandolin and gigged a bit, probably was never going to fly with the instrument and was not concerned about weight or a lot of storage what case would you have? My instrument came with Click image for larger version. 

Name:	F case.PNG 
Views:	30 
Size:	30.9 KB 
ID:	176407 this Superior case. I have been using this case:Click image for larger version. 

Name:	superior rec.PNG 
Views:	30 
Size:	29.4 KB 
ID:	176408 mostly because I like the rectangle look a little better. I recently just have been wondering if the other style of Superior case provides a bit more protection because of the arched top verses the traditional flat of the rectangle Superior. Also I was wondering if I should invest in a Calton or another brand. I realize it can be a preference and it is up to me on what kind of protection I want and how I want to spend my money, but I am just looking for some advice based on experience. Thanks.
    I'm a big fan of Calton and don't really feel like it's ever overkill. Of course, I also have a 3 year old and pets that think things falling over sound neat. But, while the entry cost of Calton/Hoffee/Pegasus can seem high, they do come up in the classifieds often enough that I haven't bought a "new" one yet.

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    Default Re: Case question

    I had my first (UK) Calton guitar case built in 1976 and it’s still going. That was followed by a similar mandolin case in the early 80s and another one in 2008 before Keith Calton stopped producing them. Another of my mandolins came in an Ameritage (the only case I’ve ever had with a serial number!).

    I believe that the current Calton range are supplied “off the peg” rather than custom built so a case for an F or an A could, in theory, be passed on to subsequent mandolins. In my experience, the price of something today will pale into insignificance in ten, twenty or thirty years time so buy the best you can afford.

  17. #11
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    I have both a Hoffee and a Calton for travel with my serious mandolins. I also have a Superior and an Eastman for about town travels and get-togethers with friends. Agree that you should buy the protection that you need, for the circumstances that you use your mandolin.

  18. #12
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    Default Re: Case question

    All of the Caltons I've owned had serial numbers stamped on the name plate.

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    Default Re: Case question

    I bought a Northfield Airloom case for my Fern recently. It is a very nice case but I doubt how well it would hold up to a crushing incident, it also scuffs very easily. I'll probably keep it around for a while because it is a good case but I'm sure I will be ponying up for a Calton or Hoffee in the near future
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  21. #14

    Default Re: Case question

    A Calton for a $7k mandolin is not, IMHO, unreasonable. Probably overkill for your use, but the fluke accident does happen. Think of a speaker stand going over and a forty pound speaker landing on the case. Unlikely for sure, but not unthinkable.
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    Default Re: Case question

    Very happy with my Pegasus, too...

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    Really nice cases.
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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Case question

    Maybe a US thing - non of my three “real” (Keith Calton built) cases or any other I’ve seen have had one.

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  25. #17
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    Default Re: Case question

    I think so... none of mine (UK built by Keith) have either.
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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Case question

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    A Calton for a $7k mandolin is not, IMHO, unreasonable. Probably overkill for your use, but the fluke accident does happen. Think of a speaker stand going over and a forty pound speaker landing on the case. Unlikely for sure, but not unthinkable.
    $7000 not unreasonable?

    Some $300 Bobelock cases have protected instruments from cars rolling over them.

    Any of these high end cases may not do much better.

    So I'll take the $6700 to the bank.
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  27. #19
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    $7000 not unreasonable?

    Some $300 Bobelock cases have protected instruments from cars rolling over them.

    Any of these high end cases may not do much better.

    So I'll take the $6700 to the bank.
    Uh, the hypothetical mando was the $7k item...expensive cases are under $1k.
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  29. #20
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case question

    Yea, I got the figures wrong. That's why I'm not trusted to spend 1K on a mandolin case.
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