Any Ideas for Good Violin Cases?

September 23, 2010 at 09:23 PM ·

 Hello!

I have been looking around for violin cases and have finally come to one which I REALLY like - the Bobelock 1060 - linked here http://www.familyviolins.com/Bobelock-1060-Oblong-Fiberglass-Violin-Case-Family-Violins-amp-String_p_386.html

The only problem is it is expensive! This site also does charge a lot and I can find it cheaper on other sites (but these are the best pictures) I am asking for a case as my birthday present though so I don't just want a really cheap one!

Anyway, has anyone got this case at all? Or can anybody recommend other cases which are just as good?

I want an oblong case, and it has to be waterproof. Something that people cannot really get into easily. Also, preferably a good suspension type? 

The bobelock 1060 seems to tick all the boxes but I just want to make sure it is a good choice. Am I doing right in going for this case or do you think I should steer away? Thank you!

Replies (26)

September 23, 2010 at 09:46 PM ·

 I like the canvas/wood Bobelock cases.  I have one of the new fiberglass/rubber ones and it SUCKS.  It's Terrible!  It doesn't close well, the hinges are out of alignment, it looks pretty but it's worthless.  Cost $360 and it's a piece of crap

September 23, 2010 at 10:03 PM ·

I recently bought myself new cases for both violin and viola, the Bobelock half-moon fiberglass.  So far, I like them a lot.  The suspension is good, the latches work well, they hold the gear they need to. My son has had an oblong fiberglass viola case from them for about two years.  It has held up well, and the kid tends to be hard on cases.

In our house, having everything a different color keeps us from inadvertently grabbing the wrong case on the way out the door.  Also, our cats think cordura is, well, the cat's meow for sharpening claws, and they were really messing up our cases.

As you probably know, they come with removable padded covers that match the color of the case.  These have a music pocket, which I do miss having as part of the case itself.  They also offer some insulation against terrible weather.

September 24, 2010 at 03:00 AM ·

Deleted :-)

September 24, 2010 at 02:48 PM ·

 For the money you want to spend I would check around for JAEGER CASES or the comapany that bought them. A friend of mine may have a few for sale. If interested I can get in touch with him and see what he may have and just get you two to Wheel-n-Deal! ‏ They are in excellent condition and they last! All the members of The Guarneri Quartet used them, and still do!

September 24, 2010 at 03:00 PM ·

http://www.quinnviolins.com/qv_violincases_gewa.shtml

 

Check these out. Gewa I believe bought Jaeger out.

September 24, 2010 at 09:00 PM ·

<<<<<<<<<<<From David Burgess
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 03:00 AM

Deleted :-)  >>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Darn, I WISH I had seen this BEFORE it was deleted, whatever it is.  Just nosy.

 

Anway with regards to cases, I am using two different cases, both rectangular with canvas coverings.  The single violin case is wonderful, unfortunately I have no idea who made it.  I purchased that one so many years ago from a dealer.  The other case I have is a double violin case, which already limits room inside the case..any case.  Musafia has more room, just a little, but for me, unaffordable.  I use a Bobeleck, it's satisfactory and a decent case.  I doubt I could find a better one in that price range (unless someone can point me in the right direction).

 

 

September 25, 2010 at 01:59 AM ·

From Michael Toma
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 09:00 PM
<<<<<<<<<<David Burgess
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 03:00 AM

Deleted :-)  >>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Darn, I WISH I had seen this BEFORE it was deleted, whatever it is.  Just nosy.

__________________

Well, I go back and forth on many issues in life. My initial reaction was, that's a darned high price from an internet seller for this case (since I know how much they pay for them), so I offered to sell a couple of Bobelock cases at my dealer cost.

It's a different deal though for those with a retail shop with a front door. Keep sample cases on hand, spend a lot of time with customers, pay some overhead, and good markups are needed to make it all work.

Accessory sales aren't a significant part of my income, so I thought it would be fun to mess with pricing a little. A few hours later, I had other thoughts, like standing behind the "walk-in" shops who bend over backwards to support their customers, and also how the topic of "an appropriate retail markup" could become endlessly complex.

What the heck was I trying to get at in my deleted post? I'm not totally sure I know, but perhaps it's that if a mail-order seller is charging the same that someone charges who makes it possible to walk into a local shop, physically look at a case, put your fiddle in it and walk around the room with it, I have the urge to mess with the scenario a bit.

September 25, 2010 at 06:25 AM ·

Hm - I have the case and it's very fine! But It smelled awfully for some weeks when it was new (search the archive!)

But I wonder - the price is still 179 EUR here in germany, thats ca. 250$, but shipping, customs and 20% tax included.

September 25, 2010 at 04:18 PM ·

@ David Burgess -

David, you do have to shake things up don't you.?  But your posts aways make me smile or cheer, and are endlessly useful.

September 25, 2010 at 07:41 PM ·

David-  You bring up some good points.  I bought my new Bobelock violin case off-the-shelf from my local shop, and paid a lot less than the website Eloise links to here asks.  I paid the original marked price, too, not the "we can't stand to look at this any more" price, or the "this thing is scratched beyond belief" price, or the "they discontinued this model in 2003" price.  (They did give me the "good customer who is buying two cases at once" price on the viola case I ordered at the same time.)

I work for a small, locally owned business that has to compete with internet sales on many products.  Some high-ticket items are sold by people in their bathrobes sitting at a computer arranging for things to be drop-shipped to their "customers'- they have no overhead, no inventory, no employees, knowledgeable or otherwise, and can afford to make $10 on an $800 item.  Then people who buy from them on-line expect service and support from us, in a local bricks-and-mortar store.  Sorry, but we really don't have the time to spend an hour showing you how to use something you bought elsewhere, and if a part breaks, no, you probably can't go through us to see if the manufacturer will replace it for you.  Please go back to the guy in his underpants you bought it from online.

So, buy the case from someone local if you can.  The price will be fair, and you won't get hit with the bill for shipping, making that internet "bargain" a little less sweet.  Bobelock has a good warranty and sells parts for repair.  Should you need these, it's easier to go through the store across town than the guy (in his underpants) online.  If you live in the sticks and don't have anyone within a reasonable distance, buy from a reputable company who will be there if you need service in the future.

So, what is the answer to getting the acetone-like smell out of the fiberglass cases?

September 25, 2010 at 07:55 PM ·

So, what is the answer to getting the acetone-like smell out of the fiberglass cases?

Time.

;-)

September 25, 2010 at 09:02 PM ·

I was afraid of that.

September 25, 2010 at 11:43 PM ·

 Hello, thank you for your responses!

I am very aware this case is a high price (and as I said in my original post, another site has it for a LOT cheaper), but I really do need a good, durable case. 

My old case lasted and did me well for a good few years (and was pink!!!) but after a recent music tour to Germany with my school, it got ruined (Long story - it got moved around a lot and unfortunately couldn't keep out any dampness or temperature changes which ruined my violin because it then developed mould and the wood ended up warping a lot) and after a new violin purchase, I have to decide on a good, sturdy case that I will be confident in protecting my violin! 

I live in Wales, so the customs and the queen will be definitely wanting their money from the shipping, which is another factor. :( 

And something waterproof - I cannot risk my new (and fairly pricey) violin getting damaged in any way when I just haven't got the money to replace it. Waterproof is what I will need as it is coming up to winter soon and the rain has already started. I will dread the days I have to come home, empty my violin case out and dry it out in front of the fire otherwise. 

I would ideally like to go to a proper shop/dealer near by, but there are literally none around here! The most we get is a small high-street music shop which only sells sheet music and guitars. It is a shame really, because people around here who play instruments just have nothing to fall back on at all in any way.

I think I might go for this case really, (In pink, of course!!) There seem to be quite a few people happy with it. Unless there is another fairly good waterproof case around somewhere, I just can't see myself being happy with any other case at the moment. I get very protective over my violin and I can't risk another mouldy happening! 

Many thanks once again for your replies! 

-Eloise.

September 25, 2010 at 11:49 PM ·

I'm a case addict, and have been for decades. My first good guitar cost $300 in 1968, and I paid 150 for the Mark Leaf case.  Big money in '68.

I have many different instruments, and many cases. Lots of fiberglas cases for mandolins, which have good points (sturdy, waterproof, substantial hardware) and bad (heavy, easily scratched, stinky from glues and solvents, and maybe not as protective as quality plywood). Some cases are foam covered with canvas or fiberglas, some are plywood-based with fabric covers. Some are made, with agonising precision, to fit the odd contours of a specific instrument.

For my violins, I much prefer Musafia cases, which I've obtained from the discount pages of the Musafia site. For the violins that I can't afford a Musafia case for, I'm well satisfied with Bobelock; I prefer their plywood cases, but have a foam-and-fabric case that's OK.

For reasons that I can't adequately explain, I wouldn't own a fiberglas case for a violin. I think the drawbacks exceed the utility; and for me, the ultimate utility is protection of the contents.

 

September 26, 2010 at 12:00 AM ·

You know, back in the day I knew a few people who had Musafia cases (which we called Mafia Cases) they were rather new to the market at that time, but rather good cases!!!

September 26, 2010 at 12:35 AM ·

I own, buy, and recommend some Bobelock cases (I have zero experience with the fiberglass ones, except for the cello cases).

Full disclosure:  I knew Steve Bobelock,  worked in the same "firm" with him for a while, and liked him. I also know and like the current US distributor. I don't think these things influence my opinions, but I'll mention them to aid others in coming to their own conclusions.

Musafia seems like a great and well intentioned guy too. Never met him, just had some text communication.

September 26, 2010 at 08:28 PM ·

If you've got a decent instrument you need to protect, I think you'll find it worthwhile to watch this video. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what makes a safe case, with good thermal and shock protection. The Hiscox cases are inexpensive and very effective, with some nice practical design touches as well. I'm a happy customer, and I know many others. So far as I can see, they offer a better case at a much lower price point than the better known brands.

www.hiscoxcases.com/products_hiscox.htm

September 26, 2010 at 08:48 PM ·

My favorite case for the money is the Bobelock 1017 (Hill-style). The open space in this fiberglass case (1060) will allow you to load lots of stuff into it (once you have filled the closed compartment) and you will have a mess every time you open the case (like the Bobelock 1002 (the same model I got my granddaughter and the same as my viola case). It looks like a beautiful case, however.

I've had smooth-finished fiber-glass cello cases and they scratch easily.

I've had canvas case covers on Jaeger and other shaped leather violin cases, and I have foiund them to be a real nuisance because of the way they slip off.

Andy

September 26, 2010 at 09:33 PM ·

  Thanks to all the people who have replied so far! I have learnt an awful lot about cases and I'm looking into different types at the moment to see what other options are available out there. The Musafia cases look very very good, but with weatherproofing (which is something I would need) it comes at great expense. I can afford in the region of £200 tops for a new case so I'd really like something that both looks visually appealing and is very protective. 

As I've said before, I get extremely protective over my instruments and I really do want top quality but affordable options for a case. I am looking into leather covered cases also, although I would like a canvas cover for those which as Andrew said can be annoying when they slip off. 

Just a question - do you think it would be better for me to invest in a case that fits around the contours of the violin? Also, after a video I watched posted by Geoff, I was just beginning to think that in order to stop so many temperature changes affecting my instrument then I should consider going for more foam insulated cases, or at least cases which are well padded out inside? Thanks!

September 27, 2010 at 12:33 AM ·

Since your major concern seems to be waterproofing, and as you've noted, that is a difficult and pricey option for any hard case, i suggest you consider this option: buy whatever case you like that meets your needs without the weatherproofing, and then, for about 30 dollars, get one of those neoprene rafting bags and pop the violin, case and all into that? There's no way anything inside will get wet, it's cheap, and should you fall into a river you can use it as a flotation device, all the while hanging onto your fiddle, bow, sheet music, sandwiches, flashlight and personal survival beacon, and more.

I have one that carries food. clothing, shelter, firestarting aids, flashlights, whistles, toilet paper, mosquito netting and first aid equipment. Used to pop it into the back of an airplane when flying cross-country; might as well be comfortable while you're waiting to be rescued. Or floating downstream to orchestra practice.

September 27, 2010 at 01:08 AM ·

That's a great suggestion, Bob.

Another thing which works well for rain emergencies is cover the case with a plastic garbage bag. Keep it in the case or music pocket somewhere.

September 27, 2010 at 02:56 AM ·

Eloise, the fiberglass cases have some advantages in rain.  The rubber or whatever along the edges where they close fits well, although it's probably more water resistant than actually waterproof.  Second, the case cover can be used in foul weather for extra protection, then thrown in the clothes dryer when you get home.  (If you have a canvas-covered plywood case it's a major production to remove the cover, if it can be done at all.)  Wipe down the fiberglass, and it's dry.  In the UK or other damp areas, it would take a long time for most cases to dry if they got really wet.  What do I know, I'm a desert rat, although I did get caught in sudden heavy rain with my viola case, and no water got in.

October 3, 2010 at 05:09 AM ·

 I have that exact model of case and have been very happy with it. It now has a crack on one side due to impact damage but it did it's job beautifully and my violin was unharmed.

The only problem I had was after 3 years I had to re-glue the vertical portion of the compartment above the scroll - the adhesive failed and it caused the case to bow outward, thus making fastening the left clasp difficult. But it was easily resolved with a little wood glue and a clamp.

I also like the cordura cover with strap that comes with this case - nice for carrying and keeping your music with you. I would certainly buy this again.

November 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM · I realize that this thread is not new, but I thought I would give my input regarding some of the ideas put forward here about what makes a good violin case. To truly protect your instrument and bows from damage, the most important features of a violin case are:

1) Physical toughness and impact resistance (the ability to absorb impact without cracking or shattering), as well as an extremely soft and shock-absorbing suspension system.

I would strongly recommend reading the warranty disclosures and fine print on the websites of companies that make fiberglass cases. They specifically describe the "special care" required in handling fiberglass cases because, at is it well-known in the engineering world, fiberglass is a "brittle" material. Fiberglass is classified as "brittle" because it tends to shatter on impact, rather than absorbing and dispersing the energy of an impact. Fiberglass is a resin "layup" material, like carbon fiber, and both fall into this "brittle" category. As an organic material, wood and plywood absorb and release moisture in response to changing humidity levels in the surrounding environment (just like the wood in your instrument and bows). As a result, wood can break down over time, and it also tends to crack on impact. I would recommend getting a case with an extremely impact-resistant, inorganic hard shell exterior that will not break down over time.

2) Long term waterproofing and weatherproofing.

Nearly all cases that have an internal wood or plywood frame are covered with a nylon or "Cordura" nylon cover. Some of these nylon covers have water resistant coatings that will wear away over time. Nylon coatings also tend to tear, and cases with nylon covers often have zippers that can break or get stuck. It is better to have a case with strong draw latches that can be locked in order to guarantee that you will always be able securely close your case.

3) Safe, reliable internal temperature and relative humidity control, and a reliable means for monitoring the climate conditions inside the case.

Many cases come with small vials that you can fill with water so that they release air moisture into your case in dry environments. Like the sponge-type devices that you have to saturate with water, these inexpensive devices are designed to release large amounts of air moisture into your case continuously until they dry out. This can lead to dangerously high relative humidity levels, and then relative humidity levels inside your case will become dangerously low again when the device dries out. These types of humidity swings and extremes are dangerous for your instrument and bows, as they will cause the wood to expand and contract, leading to cracks and other issues that can permanently alter the sound quality and reduce the monetary value of your instrument. Many cases now come with cheap hygrometers, which, as David Burgess pointed out after testing many of them, are almost all unreliable. In addition, it is important to remember that "relative humidity" (which you ideally want to maintain in the 40%-60% range) is "relative" to air temperature. As a result, it is extremely important to at least have a case that is very well insulated, if not actively temperature controlled. If your case is not actively temperature controlled (or at least very well insulated), the relative humidity levels inside the case can vary quickly and wildly whenever the case is exposed to changes in air temperature.

If you are interested, I can recommend a case that actively and automatically controls its own internal temperature and relative humidity levels using advanced electronics, and which displays the internal conditions (as well as other important messages) on a waterproof exterior LCD screen. This may be outside of the $100-$300 budget mentioned in the original post, but it provides the highest levels of protection available. This case also has integrated GPS tracking technology that allows you to track its location on a state of the art satellite-based mapping system if it is ever lost or stolen. The case will also send you text messages and email alerts to notify you of important safety or security issues. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information, and good luck with your search!

November 30, 2012 at 05:35 AM · Did they use to humidify violins back in the 1800's

December 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM · I have both the bam and the bobelock oblong case. I recently moved to Bulgaria to play with the chamber orchestra here. I travel quite a bit and needed something lightweight so I purchased the bam shortly after I had purchased the bobelock. Here is a youtube video filmed in Bulgaria about my bam case.

Enjoy.

Happy Practicing!!!

Heather Broadbent

www.onlineviolin.net

www.youtube.com/user/heatherkbroadbent

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