Good quality LIGHTWEIGHT violin case recommendation?

November 13, 2007 at 02:43 AM · I am looking at getting a new LIGHTWEIGHT violin case because I've got tendinitis in both elbows and try to avoid carrying anything at all! Next week I will be in Paris and will have to carry the fiddle EVERYWHERE. So, what do you recommend, and why? I see a fairly interesting one on SWStrings--the Artonus (I think) and know that Shar has several. Which ones do you prefer? Any ones not recommended? I don't want to "go cheap" because I don't want it to fall apart! Whatever I get, I need to order it in the next couple of days, so don't be shy with your responses. (Oh, and FYI, if I buy a new case, I'll have a lovely gently-used, bean-shaped Bobelock for sale!)

Replies (20)

November 13, 2007 at 03:27 PM · I have a Concord luxury case that I use as my summer case. It's very light,looks good and was cheap. (In the winter I use my Jaeger eventhough it weighs 5.5 kg)

November 13, 2007 at 03:59 PM · I was going to suggest the Concord case as well. That is what I use on all the violins I make as a standard case. Very well made, lightweight and has removable backpack straps. I have a standard size ,4/4, in stock if you need it quickly.

November 13, 2007 at 04:11 PM · Bam Hi-Tech contoured. It weighs almost nothing, literally, and is very protective--I think you could almost drive a car over it. Several of my customers have them and love them. It weighs 1.4Kg!!

November 13, 2007 at 06:41 PM · Bam inside a cushy cover with backpack straps. This way you wear it like a backpack, no strain on your elbows.

Works for me.

November 13, 2007 at 08:11 PM · According to Amazon, the Concord DeLite (I assume it's their lightweight model) weighs 6 pounds. I'm looking for something lighter than that, as my Bobelock weighs in at 6.5 and it hurts! I'll check the Bam cases. Any opinion on that Artonus?

November 13, 2007 at 08:32 PM · Ok this might sound like a stupid question, but how do you fit two bows in the BAM case? Both my bows fit in the bottom holder, but neither fits in the upper one. Actually they'd fit if I put them in hair -up, but I don't want to do that...

November 13, 2007 at 09:56 PM · you should always store your bows hair up though... its a lot easier to replace hair than a warped stick

November 14, 2007 at 06:58 AM · I have the Bam Hightech Carbon with the large music pocket. At first I was concerned that it wouldn't fit a standard bow in the case, so I borrowed one from the Codabow booth at NAMM and walked over to the Bam France booth. Fits fine. I usually carry two bows in the case and it feels fine. The high tech case does take a beating and protects the instruments fine. I had mine drop 6 feet and it put a slight dent in the case, but everything was alright and still airtight. One word though, any case that has a shiny finish like the high tech carbon ones will scratch easily when you tab a wall, chair etc. Expect that. If the mark is more than you can bare, then carry stickers in your bag. I've got Lake Tahoe stickers all over my case now;)

Barry

November 14, 2007 at 07:26 AM · Kristin - I would be VERY interested in your Bobelock case! Is it the half-moon one (you're calling it bean-shaped)? What color inside and what color outside? Does it have the string tube, etc. that the current ones have?

My e-mail is prmschulz@comcast.net

November 14, 2007 at 12:09 PM · What about the The Shar SL Oblong Violin Case (http://www.sharmusic.com/search.asp?skw=sl200)? Does anyone know it?

November 14, 2007 at 07:17 PM · First I would check into why your elbows are hurting and fix that.

November 15, 2007 at 01:38 AM · re: the comment above, sadly I know why my elbows are hurting. I have a combination of golfer's elbow/tennis elbow/cubital tunnel syndrome (bilateral) with a smidgen of thoracic outlet syndrome thrown in for good measure. (I'm an overachiever.) I am taking PT from a hand specialist 3x/week with (so far) cautious optimism. At least the stabbing pains have stopped, for the most part. Seriously, I'm trying to "play smart" but I can't just *not* play at all. At my advanced age (!) I might never get back to it, so I'd rather do what I can for as long as I can and try to control the factors that are within my scope. Hence, the new case.

November 15, 2007 at 03:01 AM · If you're fighting medical issues, here's a hint: the string height that's usually used for violins is used for technical playing issues, to provide resistance, not for technical making issues. You can lower the strings quite a bit and they still won't buzz, but they'll be a lot easier to play. I once had a customer who got nearly immediate relief from carpal tunnel syndrome when I lowered her strings for her. Of course, she wasn't over-achieving. . . but it still might make things easier for you. The violin won't snap back at you so briskly, but you may not miss that, under the present circumstances.

November 15, 2007 at 02:31 PM · I don't have a lightweight case, but I do use the Neoprene Stretch Case Strap, available from Shar. It is really comfortable, and makes the case seem much lighter than it really is.

November 15, 2007 at 07:44 PM · Here is another choice for a environmentally "green" case. Jacob Winter Case. The bottom case on the web link below weighs only 1.65 kg (4.1 lbs).

I really like them.

www.jakob-winter.com/Streicher/violine-greenline-formetuis.htm

November 15, 2007 at 10:05 PM · Have you considered just using a piece of regular luggage, that has wheels built into the bottom? You could use one big enough to put you're existing case in, and just wheel around the streets of france! ( might look like a lost tourist, though :) ) At least this would take all of the weight off of you're shoulders. Or , if you don't want to look like a tourist, how about a baby carriage?

November 16, 2007 at 12:03 AM · re. above comment: I can't pull my suitcase to begin with, as that requires me to use my elbows! So putting the case in luggage isn't going to work. (Plus, I don't think I want to advertise myself as "HEY FRANCE! I'M AN AMERICAN TOURIST!!!") I'm interested in those neoprene case straps, though. Wonder if I can get one delivered here before next Tuesday without paying an arm (or an elbow) and a leg in outrageous shipping costs? Maybe I'll just make my husband carry everything for me... ;-)

November 16, 2007 at 02:03 AM · If your looking for a lightweight case, I would go with BAM France, but one the downside they are a bit pricey

November 16, 2007 at 06:05 AM · I had an American Case Company Dart case for ages - I loved it but it recently died so I spent a lot of time looking at small lightweight cases that had adequate protection for a very fine violin. I travel extensively so it was important to me that it be both light and sturdy.

I ended up getting a Musafia Superleggero dart and I really love it. I was hesitant because of the price, but it was definitely worth it. I also considered the Bam hi-tech shaped case, but I've had colleagues with Bam hi-tech cases that practically fell apart so I didn't want to go that route.

Somewhere along the way I saw a miniscule little shaped case with no frills - it reminded me of a stripped down honda civic. It weighed NOTHING - and was very cheap - but I felt in the long term it wasn't sturdy enough. I'm sorry I don't remember where I saw it - it might have been at Bien & Fushi in Chicago (I remember picking it up so it wasn't online). Something like that might be good for you if you know the thing will always be with you and you're not super clutzy or anything. I didn't feel comfortable with it, but it did have a decent suspension system.

The thing I've found helps the most is to not put ANYTHING extra in my violin case. Strings, rosin, a mute and shoulder rest - that's it. My old dart case didn't have a zipper pocket on the top and I found that by putting my music, etc. in a backpack I really saved my shoulders and arms from getting sore.

Have a fantastic trip to Paris!

Cecily

December 1, 2007 at 02:09 AM · UPDATE!! First of all, let me thank you all for your responses to my question. After seriously considering the superlight fiberglass BAM case, I decided against it because it has basically no storage. If I were to have gotten a great-feeling lightweight case, I probably would not have wanted to go back to my old case after traveling. In the end, I settled on the Artonus, which was the original case I considered.

So, how did it work, you ask? It was fabulous. I put the backpack straps on (but for the future, I intend to get some gel straps) and walked all over Paris with the fiddle on my back. I almost couldn't feel it at all! The only slight hangup I had was that they wouldn't let me walk through the Louvre with it on, and I was loath to check it with the coats. In the end I signed it over to the security people who promised me blood samples and first born children in exchange for its security--and it was just fine.

I'm very happy with the case and will enjoy it "for everyday" now. Oh, and thank you to violinist.com for providing, unintentionally, a buyer for the gently-used Bobelock! :-)

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