We are reviewing the deluxe wood case from the Journeyman series by Gator Cases, a traditional sturdy wood case with antique brass hardware and a royal blue crushed velvet interior in which to lovingly house your instrument.
When looking for a mandolin case, there are several things to consider. There are two styles of cases including hard shell and soft shell. Hard shell cases are good for long term storage and transportation with several other instruments. Soft shell cases, also known as gig bags, are good for those who use public transportation or need to walk a long distance with their instrument, as these cases typically come with shoulder or backpack straps for ease of carrying. They are usually lighter in weight than hard shell cases, but they don’t provide waterproof protection, nor do they serve much purpose if the bag gets dropped.
The Journeyman series by Gator is a line of beautiful cases with vintage stylings and incredible functions to ensure your sense of style doesn’t disappear once your instrument is in the case. There are such beautiful features as rugged handles, velvet interior, antique hardware and burlap exterior. This company takes extra care to craft cases that protect the instrument by which the musician lives. The tool of the trade must be protected!
This case will fit both F and A mandolin styles. There is a large interior storage compartment in the neck area, where you can keep a strap, extra picks and strings and other accessories. Setting these cases apart from others on the market is the sheer beauty of them. They are designed with vintage styling in mind with burlap exterior and espresso trim. Inside, the royal blue crushed velvet interior provides a safe and soft spot in which to nestle your mandolin, where it will fit snug as a bug and won’t jostle around. There could be nothing worse than to show up to a gig to find your instrument was damaged on the way! Protect it right with a Journeyman case.
Every case in the Journeyman series is rugged, dependable and designed to be as unique as the musician who carries it. The vintage appeal of the cream coloured exterior won’t go out of style, and will complement the instrument it houses. The bronzed, antiqued hardware keeps the case tightly closed during transport and gives the perfect final finish to the overall aesthetic.
The exterior is not the only part of the case with a classic look and feel. The interior is beautiful and fitted with a generously sized accessory pocket for slides, picks and strings. Beneath the velvet is rigid foam to secure the instrument in place and protect it during travel. This tough wooden case gives outstanding protection and the interior fits the mandolin perfectly. The pebble-weave burlap exterior boasts an old-school look to turn heads. All of the hardware is heavy duty quality and accents the burlap perfectly in an antique brass finish.
The case also comes with lock and key to prevent tampering and theft of your beloved instrument.
The interior dimensions are as follows:
Body length 15”
Body height 5.25”
Lower bout width 14”
Middle bout width 14”
Upper bout width 14”
Overall length 41”
The look of the burlap fabric gives a very clean appearance. The closures work well and hold the case tightly closed. The foam is thick and high quality, so it won’t wear down or cause your mandolin to become loose over time. There is more than 1” of soft padding around the rims and to match the contour of the arched back.
We always recommend a gentle approach to handling your instrument no matter the case you have for it, but we recognize that that is not always feasible. Sometimes you’re tired after a gig and just want to toss your instrument in the back of the van.
When you receive this case and open it up, you will notice how off-center the handle is. Do not be alarmed, as this is done intentionally by the manufacturer Gator Cases. The off-center handle is in such a spot as to balance the case properly when loaded with a mandolin and being carried. Try it and find out! You will see how the location of the handle enables the neck to be uplifted, thereby creating an easier carrying experience for the user.
Overall, the look of this case sets it apart from others on the market. However, matched in superior quality is the wooden construction and sturdy, heavy duty hardware. This is a case you can rely on to protect your mandolin from damage during transport, and you’ll look exquisite doing so
The Journeyman GW-JW mandolin case, with burlap exterior and blue velvet interior, sells for around $90.