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Thread: Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

  1. #1

    Default Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

    Hi all. Been a while since I've logged-in (been focused on guitar), but last spring I bought Eastman MD515, MDA315, and MDO305. The 515 mandolin came with a hard case, but the mandola and octave mando came with gig bags. I inquired directly with Eastman about hard cases, and their response was pretty much "We don't make them. We get them from someone else. We won't sell you one. You'll have to go looking for them yourself." Not helpful at all.

    Thankfully their instruments are of better quality than their customer service, so all three instruments have been excellent. But I'm getting tired of the gig bags and would really like better protection for my instruments than a soft cases. Most of my guitars came with hard cases, and the ones that didn't, I quickly bought hard cases for. So far, my luck in searching for hard cases that fit the F-style mandola and A-style mandolin hasn't been too good. Since they're not expensive instruments, I wouldn't likely want to spend too much more than a $100-150 for each case. I do have cases that cost $200+ (SKB iSeries, Hiscox, etc), but those are for guitars that cost over $2K. Has anyone else found good hard cases for either of these two instruments? Thank you for any tips on finding cases you might have. I've done some searches on ebay and some of the major online retailers. So far, no luck.

    P.S. I just ran another search on ebay for these cases and stumbled upon a Michael Kelly mandola case this time, so that may prove fruitful (if it fits my Eastman). Still not seeing anything for octave mandolin though.
    Last edited by Red_Label; Nov-20-2019 at 5:18pm.

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

    Eastman mandolas used to come with a violin-style hard case; I owned an MDA615 for a few years, since traded in, and it had one of those rectangular, cloth-covered, latch-and-zipper cases with an internal "blanket" over the instrument. (As an aside, the zippers on the Eastman case covers were really lousy; I have had at least two where the pull-tab came off, or the glider broke. Wake up, China –– make better zippers!)

    So there's a (remote) possibility of finding an Eastman mandola case used, if it somehow got separated from its original contents. You may luck out on the MK case, though I doubt there's real dimensional uniformity for F-model mandolas.

    As for the OM, you well could find a tenor banjo case that will accommodate it, and there are scads of used tenor banjo cases around. (This occurs after enraged audiences smash the tenor banjos to smithereens, leaving their cases intact [jus' kiddin', folks!]) I'd check with any dealer in your area that handles a volume of used or vintage instruments. Eastman deliberately declined to furnish cases for their OM's, which I thought was really cheesy; they're nice instruments, and I'm sure many Eastman OM owners take them out to perform, jam, whatever. They deserve decent cases.

    The other possibility is to look at Gold Tone; they make a wide variety of instruments, and cases for them, and your Eastman might well fit into one. I've found their customer service to be pretty decent.
    Allen Hopkins
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

    Thanks for that info Allen! I'll check it out.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

    Dennis at The Mandolin Store sells a case that is not a perfect fit but he thinks it’s close enough for the octave. I think it’s a TKL tenor banjo case. It might have a little slop but you could contact him for details.

    Don’t know about the Mandola.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Hard cases for Eastman mandola and octave mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Dennis at The Mandolin Store sells a case that is not a perfect fit but he thinks it’s close enough for the octave. I think it’s a TKL tenor banjo case. It might have a little slop but you could contact him for details.

    Don’t know about the Mandola.
    Very cool! I'll contact him about it. Thank you for the heads-up. A little bit of slop doesn't bother me with instruments this small and light. The bigger concern is if the instrument fits in there too tight. I've had limited luck over the years... with reshaping the inside dimensions.

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