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Thread: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

  1. #1

    Default Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    Hey everyone,

    I'm a longtime lurker here on the cafe. I've bought and sold a few things in the classified section but now I've finally gotten up the gumption to post here on the forum. Baby steps!

    Recently I've been trying to get a couple of good cases while trying to avoid the big-$ names. The options are pretty wide for an F-5 but my F-4 has the traditional shorter neck so it's more of a search to get a case to fit.

    After trying quite a few I've come down to the Ameritage ones and now finally my two mandolins have homes - the contoured case for the F-5 and the rectangular one for the F-4. I would have been happy with two of the contoured cases but the F-4 doesn't fit in there since the neck support in that case is too long. Either F-4 or F-5 fits in the rectangular case though since that has a much shorter neck support.

    These Ameritage cases seem very good - the best of the traditional wooden construction I've seen so far with high quality construction and hardware, good suspension and padding, arching, etc. A downside is they're quite heavy. 10 lbs for the contoured one with the F-5 in it and 15 lbs (!) for the rectangular one with the F-4 in it. I don't carry them around much so it's not too big of a problem - but of course if you do carry them around a lot they are heavy so that could be a downer.

    Anyway, I don't have any financial interest in the company, just a happy customer and glad their cases have worked out for my F-4 and F-5 mandolins. I'll attach a few photos so you can see some of the details.

    Enjoy!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Aaron Bohnen; May-25-2019 at 7:40pm.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    My Girouard mandola came in one of those cases. I'm very impressed with it--no worries about the mandola being protected.

    BTW, beautiful pair of Gavin Baird mandolins there. Exceptional mandolins.
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    BTW, beautiful pair of Gavin Baird mandolins there. Exceptional mandolins.
    Oh yeah, Gavin is the man. I hope he's doing well! Lovely instruments you got there.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    With the two different cases, you will never take the wrong mandolin with you. Big plus factor. That rectangle case does give you a lot of storage.
    Silverangel A
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    Thanks you guys. And yes for sure on the storage in the rectangle case - there's a ton of room in there. I'm happy with the cases and I think they're good value at $270 for either style. Particularly considering what it takes to get appreciably better (at least for my uses) and being mindful of the difficulty of fitting the shorter neck of a traditional-style F-4 in some of the alternatives.

    Thanks too for the nice comments on Gavin Baird's work. Indeed both mandolins are just fantastic. Like many people here I've had quite a few along the way including several A bodies, some vintage Gibson As, several modern and vintage F-4s and several F-5s including Flatiron, Gibson and others. Gavin's are in a different league than the others I've owned.

    I don't know of many other Gavin Baird mandolins on the cafe here - I guess his total output was low, maybe just 60 or so instruments. I've seen one or two of his F-4s on here over the last couple years but no F-5s. Anybody else have one?

    Enjoy!

    A
    Last edited by Aaron Bohnen; May-26-2019 at 11:45pm.

  7. #6
    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    Austin Clark ships his instruments in Amertiage contoured cases and that's how I came into mine. They're neither sexy nor waterproof, but for essential internal protection I'm convinced they offer the best protection-to-cost value on the market. They should be more prevalent than they are.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    don't know if they still use Ameritage, but for years Santa Cruz guitar company used them. very very nice cases. those mandolins look amazing! love the headstock shape. first I've seen of Gavins instruments.

    thanks for posting the pictures
    d

  9. #8

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    They look nice. Decent price compared to the high dollar cases. To bad they don't make one for an A style.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    My Mowry Guitar-Body Octave Mandolin came in a contoured Ameritage case. GREAT case in terms of both appearance and protection--very well made (with classy materials) inside and out. I just weighed my Ameritage case with the OM inside, and it clocked in at 18 pounds...which was a surprise in that I assumed it was closer to 200 pounds (that's what it feels like sometimes, anyway). Regardless, no complaints--again, it is a GREAT case.

    Re. Gavin Baird mandolins, over the years I have owned an F4 and an F5 of his (both long-gone). Those two mandolins were really something. I was inexperienced and foolish then, otherwise I would still own that little bird's-eye-maple F4. It is very possible that the stark-white binding on one/both of your Baird instruments above could actually be wood; the stark-white binding on my F4 was wood, although I must have owned the instrument for about a year before I learned that its binding was wood (Holly maybe, I don't recall). The closer you look at a Gavin-Baird mandolin, the more you can appreciate Gavin's stellar and often uniquely-detailed work. Surely the exquisite tone of my Gavin-Baird F4 will haunt me for the rest of my days.

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  12. #10
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    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    The company is GWW and they made custom cases for me that were not as fancy as the Ameritage line but basically in the same box. I was able to select exterior and interior colors and hardware options at a totally reasonable price.
    Then when I first made octaves they really came through with a custom sized case made to the specs of my instruments.

  13. #11
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    I got an Ameritage case for my old F-2. It's built like a tank and weighs about as much. Great case though. Very classy looking.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  14. #12

    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    Hi Daryl - I agree with you the cases are great, although heavy. You mentioned these are the first Gavin Baird mandolins you've seen. I guess that's not too surprising - they are rarely mentioned here on the Cafe. Gavin retired from building about ten years ago and also I believe his total output was maybe just 50 or 60 instruments in the ten or fifteen years previous to that.

    Hi Potosi - they are really something. I know there are a lot of incredible mandolins out there from the many great well-known makers and of course all the newer makers too. There's such a renaissance happening right now in the world of luthier-built mandolins. Like so many of the smaller-volume builders I do think Gavin's work deserves to be better known than it is. His unique headstock design and finishes are unique and his mandolins were beautifully made with a remarkable attention to detail, fit and finish. All woods are exquisite, workmanship is impeccable and details such as the scrolls, neck heels, holly wood binding, etc. are perfectly executed. Unique design, construction and finishes for sure. Sound is hard to describe but here's what they sound like to me:

    The F-4 has a wonderful voice with a sparkly high end and warm, resonant midrange. Very sophisticated, complex and evocative tone. The bass is surprising - very deep and authoritative without being tubby or hollow-sounding. I've never played another mandolin that managed to be so serious in the bottom register. The F-4 is fun to play, really rewarding and my favorite sitting-on-the-sofa mandolin for sure.

    The F-5 is tougher to describe because it doesn't really behave like other F-5s I've had. It's also very sophisticated - articulate and gutsy but still very elegant at medium volumes. That is until you put your foot down - then hold on because the power and dynamic range are right up there and it manages to retain the elegance and articulacy even at full volume. (It has a European spruce top so that may have something to do with the articulation?) It outclasses the other F-5s I've owned - just a great instrument.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Aaron Bohnen; Sep-07-2019 at 12:32am.

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  16. #13
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    Default Re: Praise for the contoured and rectangular Ameritage cases

    I love to hear mandolin players talk of heavy cases must be a bunch of wimps. I've played mandolin for years, Dad played banjo, as he got older I would carry his banjo to and from the car when we played a show. Do that if you want to know heavy. Eighteen pounds will seem like nothing.

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