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Thread: Gator GL Mandolin Case

  1. #1

    Default Gator GL Mandolin Case

    After the zipper broke on my Travelite case I decided to try the Gator GL mandolin case. I have a Gibson F5 Fern and a Collings MTO (“A” style with an oval hole). Neither fit in the case.
    If you go to the Gator web site (https://www.gatorcases.com/products/...e-gl-mandolin/) you’ll see this picture:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice how the mandolin sits flush with the case at the tailpiece and how the scroll sits above the case. It’s held at this height by the neck cradle, and both my mandolins fit the same way. I can quite easily fit my fingers underneath the scroll. In addition, I have to push the top of the case down more than I’m comfortable to zip it closed.
    I looked at some old Mandolin Café posts on this case, and I’ve read reviews on Amazon. No one mentions this issue. I reached out to Gator, and they think my mandolins just don’t fit in this case, even though the web site says they fit “F” style and “A” style mandolins.
    I’m curious if others have had this same experience or not, and I’d be interested to hear from folks who have mandolins that fit in the case better than mine do.

  2. #2
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I had one of these cases several mandolins ago, though I do not remember which mandolin. The case was a little long so I cut a piece of some type of foam and covered the foam with a terry cloth tennis racquet grip cover. I then used Velcro to stabilize the pad to the case. The mandolin then fit snugly.
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for pointing out this issue. I would definitely not be interested
    in a case that fit like that. I would return it.
    Thanks,
    sounds_good

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    Timk 

  5. #4

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    I had one of these cases several mandolins ago, though I do not remember which mandolin. The case was a little long so I cut a piece of some type of foam and covered the foam with a terry cloth tennis racquet grip cover. I then used Velcro to stabilize the pad to the case. The mandolin then fit snugly.
    Thanks for the response. My issue is a little different. Because the neck cradle holds the mandolin up, there's no support where the neck meets the body. Then, I have to push the cover down to zip it, which puts pressure on the mandolin in that location.

  6. #5
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I had one of these, and also a bunch of the Gator PVC-covered styrofoam cases; the styrofoam is composed and shaped the same among them all. The styrofoam that is used in these cases compresses nearly permanently. The point being that if you find sections of the case that are too tight, you can apply pressure with your hands or with smooth tools, and those sections will for the most part stay compressed... For example, if you compress the neck cradle area just enough, it should stay compressed enough to allow the scroll to lay more deeply into the case.

    I'd suggest doing this compression with a rubber sledge or something similarly smooth shaped, and do it just a little at a time so you get the fit you want for your mandolins.

    I keep my F-9 in my Gator PVC case, and it fits properly, with only a little bit of compression, because my mandolin has a Tone-Gard, a pickguard and a armrest on it.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
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    2002 Gibson F-9
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    [About how I tune my mandolins]
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I briefly had a Gator GL case and let it go when I sold a mandolin to a friend. He has to lug a lot of equipment for his band and also likes to do festivals so the light weight and shoulder straps were a plus for him. The two shortcomings in my eye were the lower bout cavity was more than 1/2" too wide for a standard F-5 body and the the thin web handle is off center so it doesn't hang straight down, feels a little weird. A rolled hand towel (good thing to have handy anyway) takes care of the extra space and if your using a shoulder strap most of the time, the handle becomes a non issue.

    Another cheap, lightweight alternative for casual use is their Journeyman series. The only place the top contacts the instrument is with a soft foam pad in the lid that contacts the strings/neck right over the yoke. The foam padding inside is squishy foam rubber but a snug fit. The instrument does not shift at all in this case. There's also extra padding that supports the heel and the outer wings of the back. The case is larger than the other standard Canadian plywood cases I have, but it is quite light and the leather handle is the most comfortable of any case I own. The one real downside is that the case is covered in an unprotected cream burlap that picks up dirt easily and offers no water protection. I'm getting ready to coat it with some left over catalyzed varnish to remedy that. Also no attachment for a shoulder strap, but for around the house and local jams it works fine.
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    I had one of these, and also a bunch of the Gator PVC-covered styrofoam cases; the styrofoam is composed and shaped the same among them all. The styrofoam that is used in these cases compresses nearly permanently. The point being that if you find sections of the case that are too tight, you can apply pressure with your hands or with smooth tools, and those sections will for the most part stay compressed... For example, if you compress the neck cradle area just enough, it should stay compressed enough to allow the scroll to lay more deeply into the case.

    I'd suggest doing this compression with a rubber sledge or something similarly smooth shaped, and do it just a little at a time so you get the fit you want for your mandolins.

    I keep my F-9 in my Gator PVC case, and it fits properly, with only a little bit of compression, because my mandolin has a Tone-Gard, a pickguard and a armrest on it.
    Thanks Don - I might be able to drop it a little doing that, but pretty quickly the lid for the little storage compartment will get in the way.

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    That’s too bad. I use one of those Gator cases for my Sparks F5 and really like it. Nice and light, plenty of storage space.
    Soliver arm rested and Tone-Garded Northfield Model M with D’Addario NB 11.5-41, picked with a Wegen Bluegrass 1.4

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    The shell is pretty much the same thing the old Stew- Mac cases used but they had a totally different interior with a nice satin cloth and it fit my A just right. When they discontinued them I tried a Gator but instead of a handle it had straps and the mandolin fit very loosely inside so I returned it and went to Travelites.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by MediumMando5722 View Post
    That’s too bad. I use one of those Gator cases for my Sparks F5 and really like it. Nice and light, plenty of storage space.
    Thanks Medium Mando5722. Does the entire body of your instrument lie flat on the bottom of the case?

  13. #11
    Registered User rnjl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I have a Parsons A model (long neck oval) and a Flatiron A model and they switch off between the Gator and a tweed wood case. I stuff some soft cloth in the hole where the scroll would go and that keeps the mando from shifting around enough for me. I've never noticed too much pressure downward but I guess now I'll go check!

  14. #12

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Timk View Post
    Thanks Medium Mando5722. Does the entire body of your instrument lie flat on the bottom of the case?
    I’ve never really paid any attention, but I know my dad agonized over stuff like that. I bet he would’ve returned the Gator if it didn’t fit properly, but I’ll check tonight. The Sparks lives on a hanger in my bedroom, doesn’t get much case time
    Soliver arm rested and Tone-Garded Northfield Model M with D’Addario NB 11.5-41, picked with a Wegen Bluegrass 1.4

  15. #13

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by rnjl View Post
    I have a Parsons A model (long neck oval) and a Flatiron A model and they switch off between the Gator and a tweed wood case. I stuff some soft cloth in the hole where the scroll would go and that keeps the mando from shifting around enough for me. I've never noticed too much pressure downward but I guess now I'll go check!
    Thanks - I think I'll try Don's idea to lower the neck cradle, and then stuff foam underneath the mandolin where it's in the air, which is where the neck joins the body, to give it some support there.

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  17. #14
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I have one as well and use it for both my Jacobson and my handmade pancake. Works well for both of those, but they are both a little smaller than average and both A styles.

    It seems a little tight on my SA, but I really like the Superior case I carry it in. I like the Gator case for the back pack ability it presents.
    aka: Spencer
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  18. #15

    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I just checked, and my Sparks does lay flat in the case. It's not a super snug fit, and I should probably put a microfiber cloth under it.
    Soliver arm rested and Tone-Garded Northfield Model M with D’Addario NB 11.5-41, picked with a Wegen Bluegrass 1.4

  19. #16
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gator GL Mandolin Case

    I have one of these cases, which usually houses my Morris flattop. I took my Kentucky KM200S with me on a trip last week and swapped cases. The Kentucky was a little tighter fit in the Gator case, and I did notice I had to push the cover down just a tad to zipper it. I don't have to do this with the Morris.

    On the plane, it did fit nicely in the overhead compartment with my backpack and my husband's in front of it. In the rental car (a Toyota Rav4) it fit nicely behind the back seat and in front of the suitcases, and it did not get warm at all. It came home with a bit of a dent in the outside on the headstock end. I'm not sure how that happened, but everything was copacetic with the mando.

    I was happy to have the mando with me, but a little nervous about traveling with it. I was glad to have a reasonable travel mandolin and happy my Strad-O-Lin was safe at home (though I missed it). I wouldn't travel with a good mandolin in this case, unless it was a road trip and the car wasn't too stuffed.
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; May-20-2021 at 2:49pm.

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