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July 3, 2011 | Bobelock "Arrow" Fibreglass Mandolin Case Review
Click images for closeup
Case design is a perpetual exercise in compromise. Balancing aesthetic with affordability, durability with lightness, let alone instrument fit, with mandolins it's F vs A body and other styles, and through it all, the uber niche market still has to produce on an economy of scale that makes financial sense. (There's certainly no shortage of options for guitar and violin cases...) That's why when we spot a really good case design, as is with the Bobelock Arrow Fibreglass case (1029FBV), we should spread the word.
There is very little we don't like about this case. You can go with something lighter like the Protec Propac or Guardian Featherweight, and you'll get general use adequate protection and less weight, but if you want something more robust and airtight, the Bobelock is the answer. Its fiberglass shell is as peace-of-mind comforting to the player as its inner padding is comfortable to the mandolin. We use it exclusively for a two-point, although it works well with both A and F body.
The outside groove and ridge space-age detailing is dynamic and bright colors add to quote from their website, "a little extra personality to your already fabulous ability to play the mandolin," available in red, blue, ivory, and black. The little things we like, case feet on four sides, make it easy to store anywhere, and in a multitude of positions. The wide grip handle is well positioned and comfortable to the grip.
Some of the other fiberglass cases currently on the market have more than two latches to properly seal on several sides, and in our experience inevitably one gets left open. With the Bobelock, you have just the twin latches and they secure the case's exterior valence closure gasket remarkably well. The healthy clip from the shoulder strap (included) is sturdy and is attached and removed with ease.
The case comes standard with an exterior blanket fleece-lined black travel cover, but we like the looks of the blue so much, we're saving that for winter use, and one less thing to have to close. There's also a healthy amount of room for strap, tuner and strings.
Click images for closeup
Street priced in the mid to upper $100s (list price $242), this case is a bargain for the conscientious mandolinist looking for security in an affordable price range. We give it all thumbs up for its "secure and go" ease.
Posted by Ted at July 3, 2011 5:59 AM
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