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Thread: Italian Bowl back case

  1. #1
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Italian Bowl back case

    Anyone seen these before? I've just been asked if they're any good so I thought I'd ask the folks that know

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    John: I haven't seen one in person but I would be wary of the two measly clasps to hold the cover closed otherwise you might see a bowlback bouncing down the stairs. Luckily you know someone who can fix them. Frankly I like my lightweight foam cases I get from a Chinese importer in Texas who goes under ebay name violinking. I wonder if anyone is importing those into the UK.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    John: I haven't seen one in person but I would be wary of the two measly clasps to hold the cover closed otherwise you might see a bowlback bouncing down the stairs. Luckily you know someone who can fix them. Frankly I like my lightweight foam cases I get from a Chinese importer in Texas who goes under ebay name violinking. I wonder if anyone is importing those into the UK.
    I don't believe so - the only ones I know of in the UK are the plywood ones that Hobgoblin sells - or else the fibreglass ones that violinking has - but the postage on those is as much as the case!

    For the record, here's the one I linked to:

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    A lot depends on how well made it is: my Hiscox case only has two small catches, but it's so well made it would survive a fall down the stairs while dodging a nuclear blast

    Here's the Hobgoblin one for comparison:

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    I was also asked about this gig bag, any thoughts (I'm generally not taken with gig bags, but you never know...)

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    At least the zip should stop anything from falling out, but it looks a little flimsy to me...

    BTW I am actually looking for a decent case in Italy as that's where the instruments been sent...

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    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Jim, the Chinese case you recommended appears to be a copy of the Dogal mandolin case from Italy. I got one last summer in Padua, but a quick web search isn't finding dealers. Maybe you could get one from Bernunzio? They have Dogal strings. They also have these roundback cases from Eastman:
    http://bernunzio.com/product/eastman...itan-mandolin/
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    Jim, the Chinese case you recommended appears to be a copy of the Dogal mandolin case from Italy.
    Maybe John could contact Dogal?
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    Registered User Marc Woodward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    I've got a Gewa case which I'm happy with. Check out www.gewamusic.com -I bought it from Greenhalgh's in Exeter (John will be familiar with the shop but this won't mean anything to the rest of you!) where it had been unwanted and gathering dust...
    I guess there must be a uk distributor..?

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  7. #7
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Woodward View Post
    I've got a Gewa case which I'm happy with. Check out www.gewamusic.com -I bought it from Greenhalgh's in Exeter (John will be familiar with the shop but this won't mean anything to the rest of you!) where it had been unwanted and gathering dust...
    I guess there must be a uk distributor..?

    Marc
    Thanks Marc, it's on the Thomann site, but a quick web search didn't show up much in the UK. There are some Italian sellers that carry it though which may help my correspondent.

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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    I bought one very similar from Hobgoblin for 59.
    The one in you pic looks better though as the trapdoor faces away from the body and looks likely to give support to the neck.
    I'm unsing a rolled up cloth until I've finished adapting mine.
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    Red's cool interior colour too.
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    Registered User Margriet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Anyone seen these before?
    Carlo Mazzaccara (Modena) recommended me once. He has contact with the maker.

    I was also asked about this gig bag, any thoughts (I'm generally not taken with gig bags, but you never know...)

    Attachment 103022
    I have two of such Rockbags, already for years. I like them, they are very thick.

    Margriet

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  11. #10
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    My Italian correspondent just found this RockBag which looks rather good:

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    Can't find many places that carry them other than an Italian eBay seller.

    BTW I note that the Warrick/Rockcase catalog has cases for all sorts of bowl backed instruments - some of the lute and ude cases look ideal for bowl backed mandolas. No idea where you would find them though...

  12. #11
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Update: Warwick has an online store, with bowlback gigbags and hardcases both listed.

    Prices are pretty extortionate compared to regular retail prices though

  13. #12
    Registered User aliparla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    There are many threads about bowlback cases, I decided to update this one as the Dogal is mentioned. I just bought one, so I can add some info and photos:



    I'm not sure if is discontinued, I only saw them in two stores in Italy (miletti.it and milettiantonio.it) and is not in the Dogal website. Maybe contacting Dogal will clear things up.

    The outside dimmensions are more or less:
    lenght including metallic feet: 71cm (28")
    width at the greatest place: 25,5cm (10")
    height at the bottom: 21cm (8 1/4'')
    height at the top: 15,5cm (6")

    The inner dimmensions of the down half (without pressing the 1cm (0,4") foam):
    lenght: 65cm (25 5/8")
    width at the greatest place: 20cm (7 7/8")
    height at the bottom: 13cm (5 1/8")
    height at the top: 6cm (2 3/8")

    Details of the outside cloth and feet (4 on bottom, side and back):


    It has two straps in the back, which look solid:


    Top (with one strap side) and lateral handles and key lock:


    The inside looks like velvet:


    It comes with a 2cm (3/4") padded piece to adjust for different mandolin sizes:


    Velcro to hold the neck and avoid any movement:


    And a pad that presses on the same spot:


    Nice pocket, roughly 10x10x5 cm (4x4x2"):


    And a hygrometer:



    As Joe Bartl was looking for a case for his Pecoraro, I took some pictures with my Embergher. It fits perfectly using the additional padded piece. Without it, it moves a bit back and forth, but with it there is no movement at all:


    And the headstock don't touch the pocket (which is padded by the way):


    I really like it, It feels very solid, well made and easy to handle. It does not weight much, probably about 1,5 kg (3,3 lb), hard to tell. The inner cloth is very soft, and the mandolin fits perfectly thanks to the padded piece, and the velcro and top pad avoids any movement on the inside. I thought the inner bottom will be more padded, but i guess is ok. The outside cloth looks very good and durable, as the straps, handles and zippers. I'm not sure if the higher handle material will crack with time. Another thing is that when is open without the mandolin, it does not fall due to the weight of the cover, as do other cases i had (Gewa, for example).

    If you have any questions or want any pictures, please tell

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    aliparla: where did you buy yours? miletti.it says not available (Non disponibile). The other store you link to says available in 1-2 weeks. Price is not too bad though I have a feeling shipping to North America might be prohibitive, like adding at least 50% to the price if not more.

    I was very lucky to find some really nice foam bowlback cases from a Chinese importer (see post #2 above) on ebay many years ago. I think I bought about 4 of them. I am surprised that we can't find them any more. The other alternative was the Eastman fiberglass cases of which I also own three and which are no longer imported here.

    It would be interesting if Dogal will sell to distributors in the US. I guess there is still little market for these in the US.
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    aliparla, Thanks for the incredibly thorough review and pictures. I've emailed milettiantonio.it asking the cost of shipping to Maryland. I'm not hopeful that this will be reasonable. On the other hand, the only bowlback case I've been able to find that would be readily available here is an inexpensive one at Amazon ... and I've hesitated about that because I'd really like to get something more substantial. Meanwhile, I keep hoping something will appear here in the classifieds. Again, thanks for the great review.

    Joe

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    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    I have one of the Dogal cases -- carried it everywhere, many airplane miles, with hardly any wear. Found it to be sturdy and light, and fit my Italian concert mandolin well. The hygrometer in mine never worked. Otherwise, the only downside was it is a bit bulky, and slightly bigger than it needed to be. But OTOH the straps are sturdy and that makes it easier to carry.

    However, about three years ago while visiting Italy I searched widely for the Dogal cases and was not able to find them in stores. While visiting the Dogal factory in Venice I asked them if these were available -- the Dogal people at that time said they did not have any more in stock, but were considering placing another order with the manufacturer (who was in Korea). I have occasionally seen identical non-Dogal cases in use in Italy, and presume they were made by the same Korean manufacturer, but have never seen these for sale. Maybe they'll come back into stock some day but I'm not optimistic.

    Meanwhile, another good option has become available in the USA: Thomann is carrying the Gewa cases, which are a bit more sturdy than the Viking case over at Hobgoblin. I have used one of these for years (it fits my 1902 Calace well), and have traveled much with it also. I recently bought three of these from Thomann UK, and with all fees they came to $105 each, including shipping and all expenses. I haven't actually seen them yet (since they went straight to my restoration guy), but the one I have seems identical to the one in the above-linked photo.

    One thing I really liked about the Gewa cases is that they are a good size and shape for Italian mandolins, and also antique American bowlbacks. Eastman tried a one-size-fits-all approach, so their cases are big enough for German bowlbacks, but leave most of my mandolins swimming in extra space. Sure, you can put extra padding in, but if I'm paying for a high-end case, I'd rather see a good fit that also reduces the overall size and weight.

    I hope this helps!
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    However, about three years ago while visiting Italy I searched widely for the Dogal cases and was not able to find them in stores. While visiting the Dogal factory in Venice I asked them if these were available -- the Dogal people at that time said they did not have any more in stock, but were considering placing another order with the manufacturer (who was in Korea). I have occasionally seen identical non-Dogal cases in use in Italy, and presume they were made by the same Korean manufacturer, but have never seen these for sale. Maybe they'll come back into stock some day but I'm not optimistic.
    Thanks August, that explains a lot.

    I bought mine from miletti.it, and it is possible that it was their last one lying around.

    Maybe the korean manufacturer is still selling them to another brand.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bartl View Post
    aliparla, Thanks for the incredibly thorough review and pictures. I've emailed milettiantonio.it asking the cost of shipping to Maryland. I'm not hopeful that this will be reasonable. On the other hand, the only bowlback case I've been able to find that would be readily available here is an inexpensive one at Amazon ... and I've hesitated about that because I'd really like to get something more substantial. Meanwhile, I keep hoping something will appear here in the classifieds. Again, thanks for the great review.

    Joe
    You have a pretty valuable instrument. You might consider one of the custom makers like Cedar Creek or Ameritage. Of those two American companies I believe one of a friend of mine ordered a solid custom bowlback case for his Embergher 5bis—perhaps Cedar Creek? I think they may have inherited Harptones molds. I have two hardshell bowlback cases from Harptone from years ago. In any case you might inquire at either.

    Years ago when I was at my wits end with this same question I even consulted Kingham in the UK. They make excellent cases and will make cases for just about anything. They are a bit expensive but very high quality.

    Here's an example of one of their bowlback cases:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #18
    Layer of Complexity Kevin Knippa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Calton Cases has made cases for bowl backs. You would probably spend around $900 to have one made, though.

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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Knippa View Post
    Calton Cases has made cases for bowl backs. You would probably spend around $900 to have one made, though.
    I have never heard that or ever seen a Calton bowlback case. Can you post a picture? I may have even contacted them years ago.
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Thanks to aliparla, August, and Jim. I've not heard back from milettiantonio.it. My Gewa case arrives tomorrow -- I'll use this for my Vega. And I've ordered a Kingham case for the Pecoraro ... just have to do the drawings they request. Nice to get this settled! Thanks.

    Joe

  25. #21
    Layer of Complexity Kevin Knippa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    I haven't seen one, but they used to list a pattern they described as a bowl back. I don't know which shell they would use and they have recently modified their website so I can no longer find a reference to it. I would imagine it would not like a typical bowl back case.

  26. #22
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Knippa View Post
    I haven't seen one, but they used to list a pattern they described as a bowl back. I don't know which shell they would use and they have recently modified their website so I can no longer find a reference to it. I would imagine it would not like a typical bowl back case.
    I assume you are referring to Kingham? If so I posted the photo of their bowlback mandolin case above from their web site on post #17.
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  27. #23

    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Since this conversation has wandered a bit, my friend Tip makes occasional cases for me. Early in his case-making career, he made one for my ca.1835 Neapolitan mandolin. More recently, he made one for my ca.1890 mandolino toscano/bresciano.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Nice looking case, Eug. What's it made out of? Hopefully, not what it looks like....
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Bowl back case

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Knippa View Post
    I haven't seen one, but they used to list a pattern they described as a bowl back. I don't know which shell they would use and they have recently modified their website so I can no longer find a reference to it. I would imagine it would not like a typical bowl back case.
    Whoops! I just realized you were talking about Calton not Kingham. I am pretty sure there were no bowlback cases at least not in regular production and I am sure I contacted then and asked.
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