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You can test the concept right now without a Gard. Play your instrument normally, while facing a wall about a foot or two away, allowing the sound to bounce back directly so you can hear how your instrument projects. After you are used to the sound, hold the mandolin by the neck so that the back of the instrument is a couple of inches away from your body. Now try playing some chop chords. Go back and forth, against and away from your body, and you will notice a difference. You will hear a difference just hitting one chop and letting it ring while holding against you, then away. (If you don't hear the difference, it's time to visit an audiologist — no kidding.)
An extra benefit is protecting the back of your instrument from wear, dings, and scratches. You can and should leave the Gard on the instrument all the time, not take it on and off. It fits in almost all cases.
Preëminent mandolinists — such as David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Chris Thile, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Statman, John Reischman, Chris Hillman, Roland White, and many others — use and recommend the Tone-Gard™ to get the best possible sound. A Gard improves anything from starter instruments to Loars.
Standard Gards are now made of laser-cut steel with a ceramic powder-coat. They have more pads, which are directly glued on to prevent loss. Vintage, Rigel, and custom Gards are hand-made from mild steel, sprayed with a durable high-gloss paint, and have older-style pads. All surfaces that come in contact with the instrument have rubber and leather pads where needed to protect the instrument’s finish. The only maintenance is occasionally to apply a little instrument wax or Pledge™ or similar product on the rubber-pads to protect from deterioration. The rubber pads can also be easily replaced if necessary.
Thanks for checking out The Acoustic Shoppe's Online store. We are one of the nation’s largest authorized Eastman dealers. All new instruments & accessories come with their full manufacturer’s warranty & every instrument goes through our shop to assure that they are player ready. With 25+ years experience in the acoustic music industry as The Chapmans, our goal is to provide you with the best customer experience possible so we can be your music store for life. Voted NAMM Top 100 Dealer in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & Top 3 Emerging Dealer in '17, ’18, & '19.