Musafia Cases- are they worth it?

October 22, 2008 at 07:14 AM · I'm considering purchasing the Musafia Master Series "Exclusive" case. The thing is that it's a third of the price of my violin.

Is it an investment? Will I still be using it in years to come?

I just wanted to know how many of you have them, what your opinions are etc. Also, are there any really nice cases in the 500-700 dollar range? I don't really like the BAM France cases though.

Thanks.

Replies (95)

October 22, 2008 at 12:22 PM · I have a Bobelock case. Their cases are very good and cost around $200. My violin has been appraised at $6000. I see no reason to spend more on a case unless you have a really expensive violin, and even then, . . . . Musafia cases are supposed to be very good, but why do you need one?

October 22, 2008 at 12:49 PM · Paul,

I have a master series and its well worth the money. Its not just great protection, its a work of art. The quality is excellent. I wouldn't consider it a monitary investment. The quality of the materials stands out. I just decided one day to treat myself as normally I'm rather frugal. I also considered that it has a lifetime guarentee and I would never need another case.

Lifes short, enjoy a little.

October 22, 2008 at 01:08 PM · Watch their discounted cases page. If you're patient, I'm sure a suitable case will turn up and you'll save some money.

October 22, 2008 at 01:28 PM · The url for the discounted cases is:

http://www.musafia.com/discounted.html

October 22, 2008 at 01:50 PM · I'm one that has not been too impressed with the Musiafia cases--primarily due the their prices. For an alternative case, try the Weber Case Co. Their cases are much more affordable than the Musafia, highest quality, handmade in the USA, and you can customize your own fabric and design. They use the finest quality latches, handles, zippers, and accessories, so you won't have a problem with stitching pulling or zippers breaking. I've owned and used a Weber case for nearly 20 years, and the only thing that I've done to it is remove the cover for cleaning--I've not even needed to replace it yet.

Weber Case Co: http://www.weberscases.com/

October 22, 2008 at 02:23 PM · Musafia makes very nice cases. Whether or not they are worth the price depends on how you value your money and what you think you can afford

I have their Salvattore Accardo case (in brown) and also one of their shaped "dart" cases. Both of these casee have room for more paraphenalia than their cases that enclose the scroll and pegbox more securely. I bought the Dart because it offered more interior room with the smallest case exterior I could find. I bought the SA for the design and for my own snob appeal.

The best unique mfeature both these cases have in common (in my opinion) is the latch mechanism. A Musafia latch can be opened or closed with one hand, and any violinist knows what an advantage that can be. Also, the latch will hold the case closed very securely, even if you forget to zip it.

I also have Jaeger and Bobelock cases. In my opinion, for the money, you can't beat a Bobelock case (especially the semi-french design), but you don't get the Musafia latch.

Andy

October 22, 2008 at 02:35 PM · Excellent cases- a lifetime investment and a lovely thing to own.

October 22, 2008 at 02:47 PM · I am fascinated by some of these responses. If I had lots of money, I might make a different choice. But I would rather spend the money I have on a better instrument or bow (or something unrelated) than on a case with a lifetime guarantee and a special latch and which may or may not be a work of art. I expect my Bobelock case to last for many years (it has already lasted more than 10), and, if I have to get another, they are relatively inexpensive. There are old threads on cases, Paul; go have a look and see what other cases people recommend and why. Maybe it makes more sense to get a discounted Musafia, but I still would not allocate my limited $$$ in that way. Just my $0.02.

October 22, 2008 at 03:17 PM · I can see both sides of this argument. I got a lovely Musafia case off their discounted items page and it is great - giving me plenty of confidence that the violin is very well protected against any accidents. I absolutely adore the Italian "style" that is written all over the case's construction and design. It is gorgeous.

However, having said all that, I doubt if I would have spent such an amount of time prowling around the Musafia discounted items page waiting to pounce on my prey if I hadn't recently bought Johannes the Violin. Personally I think I'd feel a bit silly spending even the discount price for a beautiful Aeternum Musafia case if I didn't really NEED it to protect the financial investment I have made in buying Johannes. I'd have rather kept the money in the bank, or for a better bow or even a trip to Cremona!

It really is a matter of personal opinion and taste, I guess!

October 22, 2008 at 05:32 PM · One of these days I'm going to invest in a nice violin case; I happen to like the look of the Riboni cases even more than Musafia. I guess it's just me, but I love the look of a beautiful, artistic case. My main gripe with most cases is they're so ugly; the makers seem to go out of their way to make them black, black ,and more black.Some of them do offer a very small selection of cases in other than black, but they are usually very bland, at least to me. I know the function of the case is to protect the fiddle, but I don't see why attractiveness should be mutually exclusive. The problem with Musafia and Riboni, is that their prices usually hover at around $1000.00, and go up from there. I really think this is a market waiting to be tapped, if someone were to start offering cases that were visually appealing, but for half or so the price of the Italian cases, I know I would be in line to get one.

October 22, 2008 at 06:20 PM · Has anyone tried the Musafia International cases? I'm assuming they're made in China(?)... How is the quality?

October 22, 2008 at 10:57 PM · We have 3 Musasfia cases, all bought off the discount page, one for only $99.

My reason for purchasing Musafia cases is the level of protection they provide, which is affirmed by the actual testing they do to assure that their claims are valid. (I know the 99 dollar case is NOT of the same level of quality or protection, but I needed a cheap case for instrument storage).

The fact that they are very attractive is a plus, but not the primary reason for purchase. Even though our violins do not approach the high values of the old Cremona violins, they are the best I can afford, and it is my intention to protect and preserve them as best I can. From what information is available to me, no other case is comparable in regard to strength, insulation, weight, and guarantee period.

I had considered BAM CF cases, but they seemed to have no thermal protection, and I understand that they have melted on occasion; without integral music pockets as well, there seemed to be no comparison.

I have a few Bobelock cases as well. (Too many violins!). The half moon case is quite nice for the price. Another, which seems to be fabric-covered rigid foam, is roomy and light, but does not offer impact or crush protection and does not close well unless completely zipped up.

For any sort of demanding travel environment, the Musafia cases will be my first choice to transport my instruments. I fully expect that they will retain their utility for what remains of my lifetime.

The cheap Musafia case is easily worth its cost, but is nowhere near the quality of the real thing. You get what you pay for.

Several decades ago I purchased my first good guitar. At the time, I also purchased the best case the market could provide. The guitar cost $300, the case, $150. Today the guitar's value has increased tenfold; the case value has easily tripled, though it is no longer in production. The guitar looks new, and I have no regrets regarding having paid as much as I did. BTW, it took nearly a year to complete the purchase, bringing in $20 every time I could spare the money.

October 22, 2008 at 06:28 PM · Bob - what is the source of your information on the testing? Thanks.

October 22, 2008 at 06:32 PM · All the testing info is from the Musafia site. Perhaps prejudiced in origin, and to some extent a bit hyped, it nevertheless demonstrates to me that the company is interested in constant refinement as well as absolute strength and maintaining instrument integrity. I have no doubt that Sr. Musafia is seriously attempting to build the most protective case possible, and is continually working to improve his product.

I should add that customer service is excellent. I wanted a case with thermal protection, and they were willing to add this while rebuilding the cases that I ultimately purchased, at the current cost. Further, when I indicated interest in a speciific case model, they were kind enough to alert me when they received one that matched my needs. That's a big advantage that your typical large corporation is not going to provide. I like small companies that focus on quality and personal service.

October 22, 2008 at 07:35 PM · I have a Musafia case - oblong Master Series Exclusive in crimson red. It is drop-dead gorgeous. I have an extremely fine violin, and it certainly deserves to be kept in this case. And I have peace of mind because my violin is very well protected. I would recommend a Musafia to anyone who has a very fine violin and wants a fine case. Yes, of course it is costly, but it's a worthwhile investment, and I can guarantee that you won't be sorry. On the contrary, you will delighted with it.

October 22, 2008 at 08:50 PM · Cheap cases are a waste of money unless it's for a middle-schooler to take on the bus every day. I just picked up a $200 case and already the glue failed on the handle and it split apart.

October 22, 2008 at 08:51 PM · (For those who asked) "Why do I need it?"

The answer is that I really don't need one of this high value (at the moment), but i would want it of a high quality when I upgrade to an instrument in the 15k range in a year or two.

For anyone women or men who don't mind femaminine colors:

http://www.sharmusic.com/lang.asp

I found these amazing cases at a low price. You can tell they're high quality, I just wish they had them in some different colors- but hey, you take what you can get.

October 22, 2008 at 09:36 PM · Ditto Bob.

I love my Aeternum. It protects my instrument, is beautiful--and will last many times the life of most other cases. The last alone makes them "worth" the extra money.

PS-Bob, what CF made case does BAM offer? I used to hace one of their black "hightech" jobies, that was only a PVC shell with a CF looking sticker on top of it...no thermal protection and wouldn't even sit flat with no music in it....it also fell apart after only 2 years.

October 22, 2008 at 09:43 PM · No one "needs" a Musafia case, but they are a nice to have. At $800-$1400 they wouldn't provide an upgrade over my current bow or violin anyway, even if it would, I wouldn't want to sell a violin and bow I love because I want a nice case, the logic is flawed IMO.

After trying out like four different cases and being dissapointed in the overall quality I splurged on a Musafia case and found what I was looking for. I would rather pay $1000 for quality that I'll have forever, than $300 for junk I'll be done with in a few years.

October 22, 2008 at 11:01 PM · Marc, I guess I was fooled by the exterior appearance of the BAM. Looked like CF; I never got beyond looking online, especially once I heard about the melting. (I think I read that on this site. Someone left the case near a lightbulb, which wrecked it in a short time).

I highly recommend the Musafia discounted cases. I never paid more than 7-800 for really nice cases, augmented as I mentioned with extra thermal protection.

Sort of sounds like I'm a flack for the company; truth is, I believe in supporting outstanding products, as they have a tendency to disappear. I now swear by the maxim that if you find something you really like, buy a lifetime supply while you have the chance. Now that I'm getting antique myself, it may be less necessary, but old habits die hard.

October 22, 2008 at 11:11 PM · I've never, ever been impressed with any case I've seen by BAM. Cheap socialiste junke.

Give me Jaeger or Hill. Period.

October 22, 2008 at 11:40 PM · I second the BAM opinion, I had mine for a day and it quickly went back, total junk, I tried three different fiddles in it and every one hit the bridge and pressed down on it.

Bobelock's were O.K. but nothing special and mine was huge, it could second as a truck bumper.

October 22, 2008 at 11:41 PM · Why spend $1000 plus on a case when you can get something equally or more protective for half the price? Well, I guess for the same reason some people will spend $500 on a pair of Prada shoes rather than a well made pair without the designer name and look. That's your call. I'm just as happy with my American Case Company case, which is just about as protective as it gets - without the glamorous name, look, and price tag. A good friend of mine, who also has an American Case Co. case, had a drunk driver drive through her living room one night, hitting her violin case and sending it flying some 20 ft. across the room, where it landed upside down. Her violin wasn't even out of tune. And American sent her a new case (just in case the impact had caused cracks in the case), no questions asked. You can find similar stories on their website. Their top of the line model is just under $500, comes with a lifetime warranty, and can be bought from Shar music or the American Case Company website. If you have the money and you really want the Musafia look, then go for it. But if all you really want is an affordable case that will really protect your instrument, then check out American Case Co. - and I'm sure if you ask around you will find that there are are other protective cases out there for similarly reasonable prices. Hope that helps!

October 23, 2008 at 12:29 AM · My son has 2 musafia cases and I have one. They really are lovely, but they are heavy. That said, I would probably not have bought one on my own, but two of them came with our violins; the other we bought from the discount page. My son's violin case has seen very heavy use and the nice thing about it is that you can send it back to have it spruced up so that it is like new, so hopefully it will last him a lifetime. In any event, he loves it and it is good protection for his instrument.

October 23, 2008 at 01:25 AM · Greetings,

no criticism intended, but don`t rea dinto the above that Musafia cases are all heavy. It depends which one you buy. One of the bets aspects of them is that they are extremely strong and (at least the ones I`ve seen -lighter- than most.

Cheers,

Buri

October 23, 2008 at 02:54 AM · Ditto what Kylie said - my American Case is bombproof ($500 4 years ago).

October 23, 2008 at 03:11 AM · My biggest Musafia, a Master series, complete with violin, shoulder rest, rosin, two bows, extra strings, shoulder strap, and all the junk that the case typically holds, weighs in at under 8.5 pounds on an accurate scale.

Hey, buy whatever you want and/or can afford. I don't think anyone makes a better case than Musafia; there may be cases that are equivalent in protection, I don't know.

I have a Hardanger fiddle; all the fancy drawing and carving is there, according to the makers, to show respect for the violin. I can understand that, and I think Sr. Musafia has a similar concept. Tell the truth, I hardly noticed all the fancy extras, focused as I was on the protective aspects of the case, until one day I opened the case in a violin shop, and saw the violin in there, gleaming like a jewel in its setting, and I was totally taken aback. What a gorgeous presentation.

October 23, 2008 at 09:28 PM · Well, thanks to who posted the discounted price page, I contacted them about a certain case that I found on there for $319.00, and it looks like I'll be buying it.

I'm going to also get a cushy case cover for when it snows here, we don't get that much rain. Does anyone think I'll need it when we go to SF for the tour in March? I don't know of the weather there because I've only been to LA and Anehiem.

October 23, 2008 at 09:28 PM · Well, thanks to who posted the discounted price page, I contacted them about a certain case that I found on there for $319.00, and it looks like I'll be buying it.

I'm going to also get a cushy case cover for when it snows here, we don't get that much rain. Does anyone think I'll need it when we go to SF for the tour in March? I don't know of the weather there because I've only been to LA and Anehiem.

October 24, 2008 at 03:04 AM · It rains a bit in San Francisco.

Not to worry. Keep a garbage bag in your music pocket, and put it over the case if you're outside in the rain.

An added plus is that a violin in a garbage bag is a theft deterrent. ;)

October 24, 2008 at 04:04 AM · especially if she can punch....

October 24, 2008 at 09:46 AM · David said: "An added plus is that a violin in a garbage bag is a theft deterrent. ;)"

Especially if the garbage men toss it into their truck as you leave it unattended for ten seconds... No chance of it being stolen from the innards of the garbage truck! ;)

October 24, 2008 at 12:05 PM · Leave your violin unattended?

People do that????

In that case, must avoid garbage men and the bomb squad. ;)

October 24, 2008 at 01:03 PM · I absolutely ADORE my new musafia case!

And it's ridiculously light too!

I bought a PROTOTYPE Ultralight Europa mod. U3012 Luxury on their discounted cases site-

I LOVE it so much!

It's absolutely worth every dollar!

It's stunning to look at, VERY sturdy, I feel safe moving my violin in and out of extreme temperatures, and I don't worry anymore about things happening.

DO IT!

October 25, 2008 at 10:37 PM · I got a musafia case for my viola. It was made to perfectly fit my 16.5" viola with a minimal frame. The case I chose is oblong and not heavy at all. As far as viola cases goes, it is the smallest one I've seen. It's a unique green/blue colour which sets it apart. You simply cannot find better construction on a case. At first, I ordered a simple fabric and then after thinking about it for a month I emailed Dimitri and asked him to add the Enigma velvet. Am I glad I did. This case will last me a lifetime and is as unique as its owner.

My husband thought the case was a crazy investment until I used this argument, "you put your $50 cigars in a $600 humadore, and my $10 000 viola doesn't deserve a $1000 case??????" I got the case,...for my birthday and every time I open it it reminds me of him. :-)

October 25, 2008 at 10:53 PM · I have two Musafia cases, both purchased in Cremona at least 10 years ago. Their cases are without peer, on so many levels. It's like comparing Wal Mart shoes to a hand-made pair from Milan. You feel the difference the instant you put them on your feet. The few people I know that play original Strads, Guarneris, etc... transport them in Musafia cases. When you have a violin worth millions, spending another $900-$1000, to provide maximum protection, seems like a reasonable thing to do(Instrument insurers will agree). By the same token, you don't need this kind of style, and level of protection, to transport a < $10,000 instrument.

October 25, 2008 at 11:18 PM · I'm not sure I go along with the argument that a $10K violin doesn't deserve a Musafia case. That's a lot of money for the vast majority of people and such a material financial "investment" surely deserves the best protection? Yes I agree that spending $800 on a case for a $1000 violin might seem extravagent, but - you know - the more I think about it, the more I realise how much our violins mean to us in different ways... We might not own a Strad or Guadagnini but we still want our "fiddle friend" to have the best we can afford, don't we?

October 25, 2008 at 11:56 PM · IMHO,... in a word.. NO.

Alternatives are available. Mustafia lasts a lifetime? I have yet to see this, and wear very much depends upon the abuse/use the case receives. For gentle handling, very many cases can protect. For really heavy use, the M cases do wear out.

The criteria I use is: can the case withstand airport check-in luggage handling, repeatedly? So far, only the Calton case has proven sturdy enough, in my real-life adventures. I have heard of a case from Sweden, also, but I cannot recall the name.

For a case that can withstand medium abuse for a long time, consider Rodin from Taiwan.

October 26, 2008 at 12:13 AM · It's not the case whose survival I'm interested in, it's the contents. I know folks who've spent 6-700 on a Calton case for a mandolin, and have had the peghead broken inside the case. The Musafia can be broken, but it will go further than any other in protecting the instrument within.

October 26, 2008 at 12:26 AM · They do wear out, but how many case companies refurbish their cases to look like new? I think my son's case cost about $150 to refurbish after several years of hard use and hopefully it will last him a long time to come.

October 26, 2008 at 12:49 AM · My wife bought a coach purse for some ungodly amount of money. To me a purse is a purse, you can get them a kmart that work just fine. Try explaining that to my wife though. That being said, different strokes for different folks. If you enjoy it, Musafia makes a wonderful case. Quality of manufacture, design and status with a pretty hefty price tag.

Think about how often people pay some fat check for a new set of golf clubs, or golf bag, etc.

The argument goes round and round! If you enjoy opening a wonderful case and seeing your instrument wrapped in luxury, then buy it. I'd get one, if my wife hadn't spent all the money on handbags!

October 26, 2008 at 01:11 AM · Last season driving home after rehearsal I almost hit a deer. The brakes worked exceedingly well. Car stopped NOW, the Musafia kept going, of course. The case and violin are just fine. Musafia offered to check over the case for free.

October 26, 2008 at 05:16 AM · John. Dude. You are so wrong about a purse is a purse...I mean, a fishing rod's a fishing rod. A car's a car. A fiddle's a fiddle.

Noooooooo! ;)

October 26, 2008 at 06:31 AM · When I got my viola in 2000 I decided to get a good case for it. The local luthier showed me a Riboni case saying someone could stand on them, so he put it down on the floor an stood with both feet on it. Sometime later going into the Metro system at Chatelet I had the case slung over my back, and somehow with too much congestion the case got caught behind me and both of the sliding gate doors slammed shut on it. It took two people to pull the gate open to free the viola case. The case and viola were fine.

October 26, 2008 at 07:21 PM · Which Musafia case is good for general use? They have so many models and they all look good.

October 26, 2008 at 07:39 PM · Which case? Depends on the mission, and the amount you wish to spend, I imagine.

If weight is a concern, the ultralight is indicated. If you're out to impress and amaze, the Enigma is the top of the line. (I think the lighted accessory compartment is a neat idea; it's available in the higher-dollar cases). Some are smaller, which may make a difference to air travellers. If your case is subject to a lot of abuse you may wish to opt for extra strengthening measures; if you live in a very rainsome area the edge seals would be useful; if your case is subject to temperature extremes extra insulation would be called for.

If you can't make up your mind, an email to the company would no doubt bring a more informed response.

October 27, 2008 at 02:48 AM · Laurie, so I have learned... same with shoes. Apparently they aren't just to protect your feet!

October 27, 2008 at 04:06 AM · Greetings,

Ray if they had offered to check over the deer I would have been more impressed...

Cheers,

Buri

October 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM · Or the car break. I am sitting on the fence on a Musafia case. I can't erase the feeling that all this is more hype and doesn't justify the price. Discount price isn't really all that discounted.

October 27, 2008 at 03:39 PM · All hype? I don't think so. Some hype?

Sure. Driving a car over a case DOES happen in the real world, but I don't think even a Musafia will save your violin in that case.

The money goes into attention to detail. For example, I doubt any other case maker is going to put splinter netting into a case, to protect the instrument from being damaged by the shattered shell of the case when it is impacted strongly enough to smash the plywood.

Extra insulation, interior lighting, and so forth, are frequently useful additions, but not for everyone, so you have the option. But you won't find that level of detail available anywhere else, I think. And making cases that are extremely customisable is a complex endeavor, not the sort of thing that can be done on a mass-production process.

By all means, buy what you wish. But Sr Musafia's interest in making the most protective case possible, and the process of continual refinement toward this end, is what impresses me.

October 28, 2008 at 04:57 AM · I own three Musafia cases -- one of which is a one-of-kind custom case.

I don't know of a case that is more protective than a Musafia. Musafia continues to make incremental improvements to better protect the instrument inside the case from temperature extremes, humidity, rain, as well as physical shock. And if the case does get hit so badly that the case suffers damage, Musafia has put a lot of effort into minimizing the damage that the instrument will suffer -- better that the case absorb the blow then the instrument inside.

And in addition to that, the degree of customization you can get to precisely suit your needs is amazing. The cases really aren't significantly heavier then BAM's -- you just have to decide what protective features you're willing to forego to obtain that lower weight.

The third case I have is an absolute work of art. Dimitri Musafia and I collaborated on the design. It's also amazingly functional, protective and the styling was picked to better suit the community of musicians that I tend to play music with (traditional music players, not classical).

Dimitri was so impressed by the results that he featured the case on his web site for a while. A short version is still up -- http://www.musafia.com/spotlight1.html.

He's a joy to work with and his prices are very reasonable. Every case is hand-made so as long you're willing to wait for the case to be built, you can get any option added to any case. And highly customized cases don't really cost that much more then a normal case as long as the changes you want are something that the artisans there can easily figure out how to do.

My case for example is an Aeternum+ that Dimitri has been thinking about putting into production (better protection on the end) but the "crush weight" of the case was increased from the standard Aeternum level to that of the Enigmas. If memory serves, we went french fit around the body for better protection but wound up leaving the scroll area open because the french fit there didn't improve things that much in his opinion and the stylistic cues worked better with an open scroll. I wanted the box under the neck for more storage. And Dimitri made a lot of small artistic decisions about material choices that didn't change the cost but makes the case just stunning if you really sit down and look at it. The pictures are good but really don't do it justice.

Musafia's are great cases -- they're more protective than anything I know of, incredibly customizable, and works of art on top of that.

You pay for all that but if you have a violin worth a reasonable amount of money, a Musafia case is a very very good investment from a pure protection standpoint and an absolute bargain if you appreciate the artistic value.

- Ray

October 28, 2008 at 06:03 AM · I've just decided that I have to buy a violin case from a company that runs it's cases over with a car. The photo of the case floating in a harbor also was fantastic. While it sounds like a silly reason, a company that is so enthusiastic about trying to destroy their cases so that we can't has the right attitude for me. They also guarantee workmanship, so if the lid starts to come lose, I know they'll fix it.

October 28, 2008 at 03:23 PM · It's interesting how different people draw opposite conclusions from the same fact. Going over the case with a car or floating it in the water is what makes me think it's more hype than anything else. Even a paper bag floats in the water for a while. So should I pay $1000 to wrap the violin in paper? And the picture of a car on the case, I felt, was deceiving. Any civil engineer knows a stationary weight requires much less stringent load requirement. A typical car weighs about 500 kg. The weight on the case is not much although it looks dramatic. If you are driving at 60 mi/hr and have to break suddenly stopping the car over 2 meters or the length of the car, the impact from the stop is about 10 times greater. So should you feel safe because you can stand on a case?

October 28, 2008 at 02:37 PM · I bought my Masterseries from their discount site. There was something not quite right with my case, they said, but it was fixed and is better and stronger than other Masterseries cases. Go to the used nd seconds site on their website and see if you can find one there you like. They put new ones up every few months. As mentioned before, I am extremely happy with this case.

October 28, 2008 at 03:25 PM · Ray, I am sure they are good cases. I am tempted. I would have bought except for what I perceived empty rhetorics. Why didn't they submerge the case under the water and show it stays bone dry a day later. Or drop a weight from high onto the case and show the case/violin survives. If you look at specs on climbing ropes their load bearing is much greater than the weight of a car. I am sure their engineers knew that. I am still tempted. It would have been easier for me to get it if I didn't see those pictures of the mercedes and a floating case.

October 28, 2008 at 04:53 PM · I suspect you will not me able to get over your fear about being taken in by Sr Musafia. I have never read any comment by a Musafia owner that indicated dissatisfaction that was not remedied by the company in a timely manner. If your reservations are so strong you'd probably be better off just getting a mass-produced case, and invest the money you saved in a fund to replace your violin when it gets run over by a Mercedes and tossed in the river.

October 28, 2008 at 05:42 PM · I agree with Ihnsouk on the car thing.

They didn't run over the case with a car, they jacked the car up, and lowered it onto the case and blocks. pretty clear from the photo. To me, if you want to see how a case holds up against a car running over it, why not just run a car over it? Why bother jacking it up, and lowering it?

I love the look of the musafias, I think they are one of the best available cases on the market. I just don't think that I'd feel safe if a car ran over my violin in ANY case, musafia or not.

October 28, 2008 at 05:49 PM · What is this rash of anxiety over violins being run over by cars and plunged into rivers? I only know of two people who have had their instruments backed over, and no one whose instrument has been carried away by rapids. But lots of musicians seem to leave their instruments in the back seats of taxicabs. Maybe we should purchase handcuffs for our cases instead.

October 28, 2008 at 06:43 PM · What E. Smith said. Anyone who pays the extra freight for a Musafia out of fear that some day a car might run over the instrument and that some other case might not protect the violin has issues other than case choice, IMHO, unless the violin is quite valuable. Apologies in advance to anyone who might be offended by this opinion.

October 28, 2008 at 07:22 PM · You all totally missed my point. It has to do with the attitude of the maker. Any company that gleefully tosses their product out the window of a speeding Porche is tops in my book! I think it's brilliant!

As for practicality, I live in Rainy, Wet, Windy Seattle. Last year I literally had to wade waste deep in water to get to my front door. Literally! It was not fun. A violin case that can float on water is important to me. To you it might seem like show, but to me it is a practical application.

As for force of impact, a violin case weighs 2-5kg while a human being weighs 200kg. It is F = m*a people! In a 30mph impact, the case is only going to experience 25lbs of force which is well below tolerence range. So, yes, your violin will be protected in a fender bender. If the car is totalled... well... no one would expect the violin to survive that. Do the math before posting.

October 28, 2008 at 08:23 PM · Joy - I have lived in Rainy, Wet, Windy Seattle. How in the world did you end up having to wade in waist-deep water to your door? Do you live in Lake Washington or something?

While you may like the attitude of the company, it comes at a price here. I suspect that my Bobelock would float (and, that, in fact, most decent cases would unless specifcally dunked in and held under the water), and I have no idea of what would happen if a car ran over it. But, I am careful enough to avoid falling in rivers with my violin and to avoid leaving it where a car can run over it. Indeed, I suspect most violinists are. If I had to wade in waist-deep water to my door (which I have never had to do yet), I would simply hang the violin over my shoulder or hold it over my head. I am sorry for the rant, but I do not understand the concerns that would lead someone to spend the money.

October 28, 2008 at 10:52 PM · Apparently hyperbole is no longer a recognised rhetorical device, at least on the internet.

October 28, 2008 at 11:09 PM · Greetings,

thats because the last six letters are an anagram of Bolero,

Bleeeeugh,

Buri

October 28, 2008 at 10:51 PM · I think people should think about what kind of protection they need for their instruments. That's really going to vary depending on how you use it and transport it. A lot of people are ok with just a basic case. That's a good thing.

Others may not be.

One person may need good protection against getting caught in a sudden downpour. If you have to walk a lot with your instrument outdoors in places where it rains a lot or rains hard, this is an issue. Musafia can give you that -- total waterproofing of the wood and a seal that has better rain and water leakage resistance are both options.

Others may want better thermal insulation for very hot or cold climates to help slow the rate of temperature change inside the case. Musafia offers improved thermal insulation as an option.

Are you worried about falling onto your case because you climb lots of steps? (I believe someone broke a Strad that way.) If you ask, Musafia can increase the crush weight of the top and the structural integrity of the case.

And yes, the car thing is kind of hokey but case manufacturers seem into that kind of thing. I've seen those same type of pictures up at different times on other manufacturer's web sites (as well as pictures of trucks on cases, people standing on cases, people sitting on cases, etc.).

What I've noticed about Musafia is that he consistently tries to improve the protectiveness of his cases and he does ongoing real-world testing ranging from throwing cases out of the back of speeding cars (Aeternum crash-testing), to pressure testing case tops by putting weights on them, running them over with cars, weather-testing case covers, temperature testing the inside of the case, etc.

He's not making a stylish case. He's making a very protective case that is also stylish and he tries to improve that protection whenever he can.

And yes, you do pay for that design focus, the fact that each case is hand-made by experienced craftsmen (it's a small workshop), and the style.

I think it's up to each person to decide if it's worth it for them. But I think that for a great many professional and amateur musicians, the cost is clearly worth the benefit.

- Ray

October 29, 2008 at 04:57 AM · Tom, have you ever been to the Rainier Valley? Right where Rainier and MLK meet next to the high school is a low point. I lived just up the back side of Beacon Hill. The bus dropped me off at the stop and I literally had to wade waste deep (I'm 5 foot 2) to get across the street. There were cars stuck. It was insane. That was the worst, but it wasn't the only time we had serious flooding in that area and the roads had to be closed.

I will never forget the experience. I am also insulted that you question my honesty. Maybe you lived in the nice parts of town up on a hill where the drains work. I didn't.

October 29, 2008 at 01:35 PM · Joy - I am sorry if you thought I was questioning your honesty. I was just surprised to hear about your experience because I could not imagine it in any of the parts of Seattle I lived in or went to other than very near Lake Washington. I did live at the top of a hill (at what is now 128 33rd Ave. East). However, I went to an elementary school (now the Martin Luther King day care center or something) at a low point, and even there, I never saw anything like what you described.

October 29, 2008 at 08:44 PM · I just purchased a Musafia case directly from the website. I paid a discounted price in the section which lists used, demos and show cases. I paid under $325 plus shipping. Musafia is easy to work with. I will recieve the case in two weeks and will post a review. I own a Bobelick. It is a top of line case and very good.The price was similar to the Musafia.

I think most know about the discounts through the manufactuer. It certainly puts this brand affordable if you go that route.

November 1, 2008 at 05:06 AM · My wife bought me a Musafia case from the demo and seconds page for a Christmas gift for the same price I was going to pay for a Bobelock. I'm sure I would have been quite happy with the Bobelock. But it would not have the style, cachet and panache of the Musafia. If I wanted pure protection I could get a BAM and then wrap my fiddle in bubble wrap before putting it in there, but I want style with my protection. My wife jumps out of helicopters under fire in Iraq with 70 lbs of GPS gear costing $60,000. The cases are incredibly strong, but look like plastic milk crates on steroids. I would like something with more class for my fiddle and I get that from Musafia.

November 1, 2008 at 01:02 PM · It's all about perspectives. I'd rather buy two of these - one for each of my sons - when they play full size, than one Prada bag for myself. But that's just me.

November 4, 2008 at 01:19 AM ·

Musafia is no doubt a great case, but also learned that the discount ones, has NOT all have the Lifetime warranty, that's the "little catch" there, so be careful when you read those description, most of the discounts has LIMITED warranty. That's my 2 bits.

November 4, 2008 at 08:41 AM ·

I don't believe there is any catch. The "Musafia"  brand (the ones made in Cremona) have  the same lifetime warranty whether they are discounted or regular production, whereas the "Musafia International" brand (the ones that are produced somewhere other than Cremona) have the same  two year warranty whether discounted or regular production.

November 4, 2008 at 01:55 PM ·

I have a Musafia Master series that I purchased used in 1999.  It was 6 years old when I bought it.  15 years later with 3 international orchestral tours, twice as many US tours, and the normal day to day lugging to local symphonies and gigs, the only thing wrong with it is that the leaher handle has come unraveled. 

I have to say that one of the best features of the case is the piano hinges on all of the interior pockets. Previous to purchasing the Musafia, I could keep a case for a maximum of 4 years before the fabric hinges on the interior storage areas wore out. 

The customer service is impeccable.  Dmitri sent me a matching wide, padded shoulder strap free of charge when I emailed him about mine "curling." 

I do plan to send mine in for a tune up - the draw back being that it will cost me @ $300 to pay for the service and shipping from Atlanta to Cremona.  But when you figure I bought the case for $500 15 yrs ago - I think it's worth it.  Would I have paid $1400?  Probably not - but not because it isn't worth it, I just can't afford it!

It definitly is the finest case I've ever owned or seen.  My college professor kept his Storioni in a Gorge if you are looking for other options.  I have never seen a Negri in person nor heard of their durability.  Weber is here in GA and is semi retired, but they are rather expensive - and you supply the fabric!

In my eyes, their are two drawbacks to buying a Musafia.  The price, which can softened by buying from the discount page, and turn around time and expense in shipping for repairs/tune up.  Of course if that just needs to be done every 15-20 years, it's a livable inconvenience IMHO.

November 4, 2008 at 06:53 PM ·

I own an Aeternvm since 2006 and am kind of disapointed. The case looks cool, seems to be  safe & stable and "balances" very good, carried by strap or handle, but the "true" brass metal parts are peeling like mad or oxidizing. OK I've lived in a very humid place (Lima / Peru) and now (Manaus/Amazonas/Brazil) it's even worse, it's even more humid and HOT... But IMO a real quality product should resist to even this kind of "torture"...  

November 5, 2008 at 07:22 PM ·

Hello Paul,

I was going to invest in a Musafia case myself before this incident happened to my friend. I have to share a story with you. To begin I have to saw.. DO NOT get a Musafia case! A friend of mine bought a Musafia case a couple of years ago. He mailed them a check and then deposited the money instantly, yet it took A YEAR for him to receive his case. I am not joking nor making this up, this is abosolutely true. Everytime he would try and contact them to try and find out what the reasoning was behind this no one could tell him anything. When he finally received the case, strings where hanging off of it, the braided rope on it was loose from the case, and a couple of other things where wrong with it. He tried to get a refund but of course they wouldn't do it. He had to pay to ship the case back to them! They sent him another one and after maybe a month and a half, one of the latches broke. He will no longer be dealing with them. I hope this helps in your decision.

Best Wishes,

Gerome

November 5, 2008 at 08:54 PM ·

Mr. Stewart,

I would like to see you back up your claim with some facts, because I am unaware of this problem and yet I am the owner of the company. My policy is much different from what you recount.

Thank you, I look forward to your reply.

Dimitri Musafia

November 5, 2008 at 09:18 PM ·

Mr. Musafia,

I do not know if this particular incident was some rare occasion or not. I certainly hope it was. All I know is that I saw the case with my own eyes that my friend purchased. So that is what I based my previous post on. I am not trying to slander your business put state an event that I know to be true.

-Gerome

November 5, 2008 at 09:24 PM ·

Mr. Stewart,

I realize this is not the place to conduct this sort of correspondence. But please supply names and dates. I follow up and am responsible for my work, despite what you say. My name goes onto my cases, and my soul into them. If you cannot back up your statements with facts it is slander indeed. 

Dimitri Musafia

November 5, 2008 at 09:43 PM ·

I'm waiting.

November 5, 2008 at 11:13 PM ·

So, funny how things can change quickly... My Aeternvm continues to be a cool case, still "balances" very well and seems to be very stable (I hope never to know really about it...) and I've just got a kind mail from Mr. Musafia offering me to send the parts I've complained about... Great service and thanks a lot! Under this conditions I can only recommend it... And, for instance, also being a member in V.com...

November 6, 2008 at 01:02 AM ·

As I've had occasion to write before,  I have three Musafia cases, no problems with any of them, and I've been favorably impressed with the level of customer service I've recieved. More than impressed, actually. I feel Sr Musafia and his staff have bent over backwards to accomodate my wishes, and after all, I was buying all of them off their discount list.

I've recommended the cases wholeheartedly, and expect to continue to do so.  The firm has a deserved reputation for service, integrity and quality, and their cases are second to none in their mission: to protect the violin within, at the state of the art, and to do so with elegance.

Thank you, Sr Musafia.

November 6, 2008 at 01:27 AM ·

Greetings,

I too have experienced only good things with Musafia cases and heard about the service. I hope this hiccup is cleared up t the satisfaction of all as quickly a spossible.

Cheers,

Buri

November 6, 2008 at 02:01 AM ·

I got a musafia for my birthday this year, a luxury ultralight. It's very beautiful that's my favorite thing about it. It makes me happy to look at it whenever I take out my violin. I also really like the humidity gauge because it is very easy to read, as well as the humidifier, which really works in the dry winter climate I live in. It is also a very light case, and much smaller than my last one, so it fits easily into the overhead compartment on planes.

November 6, 2008 at 02:22 AM ·

I absolutely love my Musafia Enigma case.

I always feel that my violin is safe and enjoy the luxurious feel and appearance of the case.

The company was very helpful keeping me up to date during the construction and delivery as one of their workers had an injury and a small delay resulted.

Regards,

David

November 6, 2008 at 04:51 AM ·

I had given Musafia cases glowing praises in previous threads years ago, and now take them all back. Musafia cases DON'T last a lifetime- mine lasted maybe five years!

Both straps have broken off- I used to wear my lightweight musafia like a backpack. then, when one strap broke, I wore it over one shoulder. Then that strap broke just as I was exiting a train on the way to a competition. I had to get an emergency sound post adjustment from a luthier i didn't know at all.. and my fiddle didn't sound like itself until I came home and had my luthier tamper with it again. The nails have come off of the accessory compartment hinge thing so that's useless; one of the screws for the humidifier clamp came off the first year I owned the case; and the major kicker is that one of the two main hinges for the case has come come undone (it's no longer attached to the case) so the case is basically useless. There's also a huge rip in the seam near where the strap is attached to the case.

Beware of this 'lifetime warranty'- it's not like buying a $1000 purse and all you have to do if something malfunctions is bring it back to where you purchased it and the company whose product has malfunctioned will take it back and fix it for you at no charge. All I've heard from Musafia and the place I bought it was talk of estimates of how much it would cost me to fix it and how much it would cost me in postage and taxes to send it to ITALY to get it fixed.

It got so bad that I gave up and bought a tiny gewa case that was about an eighth of the cost of the musafia and I'm so much happier.

November 6, 2008 at 02:01 PM ·

Hello, first I would like to thank all those who had kind words about my work. I really do appreciate it!

 While I did not join this board to talk about my work (it wouldn’t be good taste now, would it?) I *must* at this point underline that Mr. Stewart’s post above was untrue.
 
Not only did he not back up any of his complaints by facts, but:
 
1)     We do not usually accept checks as payment (we did, up to last year, but only for discounted cases);
2)     When ordering a custom case we only request 50% down, not the whole amount;
3)     The order is shipped within 6 weeks, 8 max (he said a year???);
4)     My staff and I ALWAYS answer e-mails promptly;
5)     If someone wants a refund they get it promptly, no questions asked – and we put it in writing;
6)     “One” of the latches broke? Musafia cases *have* only one…
7)     Even had all this really happened, I would have remembered the issue, and I don’t.
 
If Mr. Stewart is being honest about his “friend’s” mishaps, then I think maybe he was dealing with another case maker, not with me, and got confused.
 
I rest my case!
 
Dimitri Musafia

November 6, 2008 at 05:06 AM ·

I can back up one of Mr. Musafia's claims: They do answer emails promptly. When I emailed them, it only took a day to get back, and that's considering the time differences.

I won't be buying a Musafia case now, but when I upgrade to a more expensive violin, I will get one.

November 6, 2008 at 11:32 AM ·

Dear Ms. Lee,

 I’m sorry you’ve had this problem – let me see if I can help.
 
The straps: as it says on our website warranty, they must be inspected periodically and substituted if showing wear. They will in fact eventually wear out – and we supply new ones free of charge too. BTW, we upgraded the snap hooks in 2004 and have had no more reports of them breaking.
 
I can’t say anything about the breakage of the case itself without seeing it. But if you still have it, it’s more than worth the while of sending it to us. It costs only about $40 to send the case back to our Cremona workshop by U.S. Postal Service, and WE pay the import duty and taxes in Italy. We perform warranty repair free of charge.
 
To all: if you have a question about your case, write to me privately, the e-mail address is on my website, and the problem will be resolved. I do care! 
 
Dimitri Musafia

November 6, 2008 at 04:07 PM ·

wow, that was a quick response.

I will email you. thanks.

November 6, 2008 at 05:39 PM ·

The fact that the owner himself takes the time to adress issues here in person really makes me convinced that this is absolutely the company to go with.  Not only are the cases beautiful, but they provide great protection, and have excellent warrenties. 

Spending extra cash is worth it for a product that will last you a lifetime instead of one that will need to be replaced again and again.  The customer service also can't be beat and that is something we Americans do not cherish as much as we should.  A company that treats you well is worth a lot more than one that doesn't care.

November 6, 2008 at 06:43 PM ·

I got a Musafia violin case on sale about 12 years ago.  It was $318 at the time and I really like it.  It's still in excellent condition--although that could be partially because for 8 of those 12 years it was sitting in a closet, unopened.  

I also have a Bobelock viola case that came with my viola as part of the outfit, which I like too and would recommend (it IS cheaper, around $200 rather than $318), but I prefer the Musafia case.  It is made of lighter materials than the Bobelock but is still strong (I know, it's lighter because it's a violin case, but it's also the styling and materials).  It has a royal blue cover and a different matching blue inside with details I think are pretty.  It stands out among the sea of black cases at orchestra rehearsal without being gaudy or obnoxious.  

I bought it back then as a little treat for myself and because it seemed like a relatively good deal on sale.  (Also, the case it was replacing had come to the end of its natural life and I needed a new case quickly).  In that sense, I think it was worth it.  

November 6, 2008 at 11:16 PM ·

My gosh......I want an Enigma.  Haha.  However, the $1600 price tag is a bit much.

Does anyoen have tips for buttering my mother up? :)

November 6, 2008 at 10:59 PM ·

Just be happy you have a mother to butter up. We adults have to balance the budget ourselves and somehow find that $1600 on our own.  =) 

November 6, 2008 at 11:17 PM ·

Oops....typo in my post.  It's not $160, it $1600.  Haha. I'm fixing it now.

November 8, 2008 at 04:12 AM ·

I have a Musafia Luxury Dart with the Enigma silk.  It is beautiful and you can see it if you click on my name.  It is evident that Dimitri Musafia is passionate about his product.  How many companies do you converse and order with the owner?  I wouldn't hesitate to order another one again.  Let us not forget that these are CUSTOM cases and as such, you must expect to pay more for them.  Additionally, can we really expect them to not be prone to the typical wear and tear problems any product would experience over time?  The fact that Dimitri will comp shoulder straps is phenomenal in itself.  You don't get something for nothing.  If you want a cheap case go out and buy a cheap case.  If you want a one of a kind quality case, you're going to have to pay for it.  If you don't want to do that, fine, move on.

Lisa

November 11, 2008 at 07:30 PM ·

In follow-up to my previous post on this subject, I just recieved my discounted case directly from the manufactuer.  It took exactly 7 days from Italy to Los Angeles.  It was packed very well and the case was in perfect condition.  The people in Italy were easy to deal with.  The case is well executed and is a quality item.  The interior was carefully thought thru and designed so that my violin virtually sits on air inside the case.   I am very pleased and would repeat as a customer.  

 

 

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