Durable double violin case

July 29, 2009 at 03:39 AM ·

Does anybody have a recommendaton for a good double violin case for a young player who does over 200 performances a year all over the US and Europe?  Perhaps something less expensive than a Calton case, but equally durable?

Replies (20)

July 29, 2009 at 04:35 AM ·

Musafia will make a double case, and give you a guarantee, but it won't be cheap.

It will, however, be considerably lighter than a Calton, I should think.

Musafia cases are the gold standard for protection and elegance. They put a lot of effort into design for protection and portability. I have several (single) Musafia cases, and recommend them highly. They are, however, pricey. Also a double case would be a special order; I don't know how long it would take to build one; then there's shipping (from Italy).

I suggest a thorough look at their website, musafia.com. Their customer service is second to none, and they are prompt to respond to emails.

July 29, 2009 at 12:39 PM ·

I have a Musafia case, and the cover fell apart after about a year of light use.  Their customer service has been nonexistent.  I couldn't even get them to replace one of the feet that fell off in the first few days.  Plus, it weighs a ton compared to my other cases which have held up much better.

Wouldn't a CF or fiberglass case hold up a lot better?  200+ gigs a year involves a LOT of handling and abuse.

July 29, 2009 at 01:29 PM ·

Jaeger makes a standard double-violin case and has for decades - I even have one that was bought new in Germany by a GI in 1947. It cleaned up very well - especially with a final touchup with leather dye. The old Jaeger cases had no real restraints or "suspension" for the instruments, however.

Andy

July 29, 2009 at 01:44 PM ·

have an "American Continental Double Case" from Shar...solid like a tank, no wear whatsoever in 17 years...but no longer offered

also have a Jaeger, pebble grain finish...nice and plush, beautiful to store and display the goods  but not nearly as rugged as above

July 29, 2009 at 02:48 PM ·

 I have a Hill double case that I purchased in 1980.  It has traveled all over the world with me and while the  cover shows wear, the only part of the case that doesn't look new is the handle.  Of course it weighs more than modern cases, but it is a beauty.

July 29, 2009 at 03:44 PM ·

I love my Bam double!  *changed my mind* Buyers remorse 

July 29, 2009 at 05:11 PM ·

Thanks for the replies so far.  I'm looking into Jaeger and American Case.  Hill seems to be a non-starter.

Do any of you hit anything in the area of 200 cities a year?

How durable is that Bam double? Haven't seen one yet.

July 29, 2009 at 08:38 PM ·

I am amazed at the experience you had with Musafia.  Dmitri has been nothing but top notch with my correspondence.  Upon asking him for an accessories catalog (wanted a new strap) he asked for my address and sent me a fantastic padded strap free of charge (not even shipping.) 

Also, my Musafia (Master Series) case is 15 years old, traveled all over the U.S., Taiwan, China, Japan, West Indies, etc. and the only problems I've had with it is that the leather on the handle has become unstitched and the bow ribbons sag in humid weather.

Is yours a higher end Musafia or one of the cases they buy premade, outfit, and sell at a lower price?

July 30, 2009 at 12:20 AM ·

To be accurate, it is a Musafia Studio Series, rather like this one:  [img]http://www.musafia.com/C92012.jpg[/img]

I bought it maybe three years ago from Musafia North America. It arrived without one of the little rubber feet which I could never get replaced, and within a year of taking it out of the house once a week or less, a seam started opening up, and within a few months was open the whole length of the case.  By then, I didn't have the purchase records any more, and due to the lack of any kind of help on the earlier issue, I retired the case to sit on a bookshelf, holding my second violin.

I'm glad that you have had good service from Cremona.  My experience with Musafia North America has been less than satisfactory.  I would expect a case that retails around $500 to hold up better than an $80 Chinese case, which it hasn't.  One of my colleagues has a $200 Bobelock case that's over ten years old.  He just replaced the cover recently and the case still works like new.  I was expecting something like that level of quality form Musafia, even on their less expensive cases.  Pretty case, though.

 

 

July 30, 2009 at 04:55 AM ·

One of my Musafia cases is a Studio series. They are made in China or someplace like that, and are of considerably lesser quality than the Italian cases. Of course, I was aware of that going in, and the fact that it cost $99 was also kind of a tipoff that it wouldn't be the creme de la creme. Nevertheless it is well worth the hundred bucks. I believe they warrant the case for a year; the Italian cases have a lifetime warranty, excluding parts that are expected to wear out, like the cover (which they'll be glad to replace for a reasonable fee).

I've never had any issues with the company, and their customer service has been exemplary.

I have a Calton case for a single mandolin. It's built like a tank, and is about the only fiberglass/carbon fiber type case I'd consider. However, it weighs 12 pounds with a (lightweight) mandolin inside. I can't imagine a double Calton being portable unless you have a squad of roadies to help with the heavy lifting.

 

July 30, 2009 at 12:50 PM ·

$99.00?  Studio Series cases list for $450 - $500.  The one in the picture I referenced lists at $475 and is on sale as a closeout for $375.  Even if mine had sold for $99, I would still be disappointed, because cases retailing for $59 at Shar generally hold up better than it has.  My situation may well be an exception, since there are a lot of satisfied Musafia users, but my experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. 

The question is moot anyway, because the young man in question isn't likely to pay $1000 or more for a case to transport his instruments.  Even though he performs almost constantly, he doesn't have a lot of discretionary income.  Such is the life of a young working musician.

I like the testimonials I have read about the American Continental cases, and their prices seems to be in the range he can afford.  They seem to be a good value for a working musician, and it will be disappointing if they are no longer offered.  I'm still curious about the Bam doubles and whether they hold up well. 

Any additional suggestions would be welcome.

 

July 30, 2009 at 01:47 PM ·

My wife has an American Case Co. case.  It has held up extremely well and she appreciates the generous storage space inside (3 large compartments.)  It is actually a matter of contention, because she would like a new case, wants something different, but wants equivalent storage.  She also has a quirk for symmetry, so she doesn't like the new cases where the violin is canted. After several years of searching, I cannot find such a case. 

July 30, 2009 at 03:42 PM ·

Yup, $99.00.  From the discount page; it was one of many used to transport Cremona violins on a promotional tour.

Sorry you've had such problems.

I don't know if Bobelock makes double cases, but they're the best of the crop at their price point; if a Musafia is out of the question, they're my go-to brand.

July 30, 2009 at 04:59 PM ·

I agree.  Musafia is my gold standard for cases.  But if Musafia is too expensive, go with Bobelock.

July 30, 2009 at 08:55 PM ·

Bobelock does make double cases, and they look very good for the money. Well laid out, but not much internal storage. I was hoping tio find something with slick, hard outer surface, because the case is going to be routinely packed in with other gear, and I'm concerned about fabric not being able to take the wear and tear. The Bobelock cases and bags I have seen have been very good, and durable in normal use, but this situation is pretty extreme.  On the other hand, it doesn't cost much to replace the cover, and the price is in the range he is loooking for.

I'm still curious about the Bam double, and am waiting to hear from American.

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

August 3, 2009 at 11:44 PM ·

So if the fabric may not stand up to the wear and tear, why do you think a plastic/composite hard exterior isn't going to get majorly scratched and scraped?  Fabric covers can at least be replaced at a reasonable cost.

August 9, 2009 at 02:09 PM ·

 

Ray - sorry I missed your post.  I'm thinking this guy needs something like a road case that's used for packing amps mixers, and other gear.  Something that won't snag and tear when being packed and unpacked with all the other gear. Exterior appearance is secondary.  It's gonna get a LOT of wear and tear.

I did get a private Email from Dmitri Musafia this morning, offering to make things right, so apparently he is as concerned about his customers' satisfaction as his reputation would indicate.  All my dealings have been with the U S office to date.

 

November 7, 2011 at 05:08 PM · Yeah, I'm with the Musafia fans. Dmitry goes above and beyond and ALWAYS gets back to me when I contact him. Great guy, great company, AMAZING cases.

November 8, 2011 at 07:07 AM · I just sent Dimitri my Master Series violin case for repair; it was scuffed up and just beaten to heck from hauling it halfway around the planet and back.

They're re-finishing the entire case for less than 15-20% of the original cost, and I am entirely thrilled with my customer service experience. I would put Musafia in the category of companies that actually make the effort to satisfy their customers, regardless of their playing level.

November 8, 2011 at 01:13 PM · I have 2 super solid doubles from a Chinese dealer - no name brand - as well as others. The only problem is that they are heavy - about 8 pounds empty. Add 2 violins, 4 bows, music and assorted cr** - and you're doing Olympic weight-lifting!

I've back-ordered through my maker, Ed Maday, from Howard Core (they don't deal with retail customers) a high-tech double that looks very good and is only supposed to weigh 5.5 lbs. I'll see how that works out.

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