Cases

October 24, 2011 at 05:04 AM ·

 I need to buy a new case for my violin. Any suggest? Thank you

Replies (24)

October 24, 2011 at 06:06 AM ·

 This really depends on what sort of quality case you're looking at and how long you want it to last. I bought my violin and viola cases from www.violinslover.com and have found that they're pretty good, although they're of the average range of cases. I suggest that you look around your local music stores and ask fellow musicians or your teacher (not sure where you are on the scale of music!) for ideas on cases. Usually you can purchase a case through your nearest music store and with the help of an experienced musician you'll be able to find the case best suited for you. Cases can range in price from $20 to $1000, so if you were to state what sort of a case you were thinking of, that would help. You can also purchase cases with hydrometers in them, though this is more of a novelty than actually useful unless you live in an extreme climate!

All the best with your music!

October 24, 2011 at 08:10 AM ·

 Cases are a bit of a toughie, because it really depends on what you want them to do for you. I have a heavy case from GEWA and a very lightweight case from a no-name brand. The GEWA case (at least, back when in the 90's) were so sturdy you could drop them and the violin would be fine (luthier's story, not mine). But they're so heavy you literally feel like you are carrying a very small person on your shoulder. I generally use lightweight case for inner-city and campus traveling, and the sturdy big one for international travels. 

BAM cases are well made, but I find them very heavy as well. That, and they're expensive. Unless you do a lot of air travel and always check in your violin as a luggage - why would you do that? You aren't a bassist - most larger cases stand weather and some beating quite well. 

Places like southwest strings deal in cases, as well as Shar music. I do suggest getting one that isn't strapped to one side, but the type that you can carry like a backpack, because that's just easier on your shoulders. Shoulder-pads also help. 

October 24, 2011 at 01:46 PM ·

Bobelock makes good, relatively inexpensive cases. 

October 24, 2011 at 02:46 PM ·

Just remember the little humidity gauge that comes pre-mounted in your case will be a piece of worthless junk.  Speaking of junk, make sure your case has room for yours (your tuning fork, your metronome, rosin, cleaning cloths, extra strings, pencil holder and pencils, pencil sharpener, shoulder rest (gasp!), pictures of your family, couple of dozen bows ...

October 24, 2011 at 04:31 PM ·

How valuable is your violin?

How do you use your case? (Do you travel out and about, or does it never leave the house?) Do you find yourself on aeroplanes?

Do you have violin insurance?

What is the climate where you travel most often?

These are pertinent questions, because the best cases start at about $800, and the cheapies are $20. The difference is huge, but there are times when the $20 case is sufficient (for instance, never leaves home, or only in very controlled conditions where the fiddle is never exposed to third party handling at all).

To me, a "good" case has to be strong, but perhaps more importantly, rigid enough to prevent the top of the case from caving in when someone sits on it.  Styrofoam cases sch as the basic ones (the cheapest ones offered) at violinslover.com have no resistance to weight. However , they are very good at creating a thermal insulation system because they are light styrofoam.

If you are a frequent traveler, or you are in an orchestra where you have to put your violin down more or less in a pile, then I recommend nothing less than a god Bobelock, and the top would be Musafia. You need a really strong, and rigid box for orchestra--there are too many opportunities to crush the thing.

If your fiddle is only worth $300 then it might be overkill to have a $200 to $300 Bobelock...then again, if you have no insurance and you have very tight resources, can you afford to have to replace it?  Yes--if you keep the $300 in reserve. If your fiddle is $4000 it changes the situation, yes?

Boebelocks, and Musafia are "suspension" cases.

October 24, 2011 at 04:35 PM ·

My violin shop recommended that I made sure the violin is 'floating' in the case.  That means it is supported by the neck and also by a raised panel at the end button.  These are the strongest points (the latter is where the end block is) so that if the case is jarred the violin does not strike its back. 

Perhaps luthiers would comment...

October 24, 2011 at 06:52 PM ·

I think the technical name for what Elise is recommending is a suspension case.  She is correct that this is a good idea.

October 24, 2011 at 08:56 PM ·

 http://www.sharmusic.com/2011-Shar-Email-Offers/New-Cases/Eagle-Violin-Case-Hill-Style-by-American-Case.axd I currently own this one from Shar, just ordered it and it's the ideal case. Fits in your budget ( the bobelock are okay in price and material, but in my opinion this one is a little better than Bobelock) A feature in this is that the Shar company made the American Case Company and has a hygrometer that changes, so its not a piece of junk. It has a plywood shell, ( there may be cases that look alike but the material is different. plywood protects better) 2 Compartments, sometimes people have to many extra stuff in their case ( I mean seriously? Tuning forks, strad pads, metronomes, rosin, cleaning cloths, pencils, mutes, bridges. That is too much)  but i carry a metronome tuner Yes! Shar has them 2 in 1, rosin, shoulder rest, and cleaning cloth. Humidifier, that's important in the winter. And has 4 bow holders, for all those bows, so this is the ideal violin case. I mean there's also Musafia, the are the strad's of cases but the cost up to $900  and over. Bams a good company, but their cases are overpriced.

October 24, 2011 at 09:48 PM ·

Patrick, I hope you won't assume that just because a hygrometer moves, it gives useful or meaningful information.

Check out this photo of hygrometers side-by-side. All the hygrometers move, and most of them claim to be highly accurate. Care to guess which one is right?

 

October 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM ·

If I were to buy a case today it would be the Bobelock half-moon.  It's smaller and lighter than the oblong, has the accessory pocket on the frog end of the bow, and has locking bow-spinners.  

I had an American Case Company "continental" and loved the thick, firm, satin covered suspension cushions and highly arched top (I think the eagle has neither), but it was extremely heavy, the bow-spinners didn't lock, and the back (not arched surface) was surprisingly frail.  I have to also say that the magnetic rain-flaps were a nice design!

October 24, 2011 at 11:36 PM ·

59% is correct:-)

October 25, 2011 at 01:38 AM ·

I did not see among the hygrometers a picture of two thermometers, one with a dry bulb and the other wetted with a damp cloth.  I would have picked that one.

October 25, 2011 at 04:33 AM ·

I just purchased a case for my hand made violin about a month or two ago. I chose the Ambassador Violin Case Gray Purple Paisley 4/4 Size from Shar Music and have not been happier. I did want the brown paisley but they were out of stock and had a red paisley ready to ship. It turns out that the red paisley isn't as gaudy as I thought it might be and again I'm happy with the color scheme too.

The case will hold four bows, has a hygrometer and thermometer, humidifier (that I will never use), string holder, and two large storage compartments for accessories. Mine came with two sets of shoulder straps but I only use one. The handles are leather and there are two on the side where the latch is located and one on top to carry it vertical.

There is only one customer review in which the reviewer said hers was poorly made. I don't buy it. Mine is very well made and I've had no problems whatsoever with it. The latch works perfectly, the zippers work perfectly, the stitching is top quality inside and out, and the case provides the protection I wanted for my violin even though it doesn't weigh like a concrete block. It's light, and the perfect size overall. I would purchase this case again if I needed one and if I acquire another acoustic I will do just that.

Here's a picture of mine:

October 25, 2011 at 11:45 AM ·

October 27, 2011 at 07:26 AM ·

Mr. Boone, is it true that the top AND bottom are arched on that case as Shar advertises? 

October 27, 2011 at 03:22 PM ·

I just read that the suspension provided by a suspension case is useless.  However, because buyers think it's a good idea, and won't buy a case without the feature, the manufacturers have caved and have incorporated it.  Anyone know if this is true?

I've been using a very cheap, lightweight case to take my instrument to rehearsals, lessons, etc. and have had no issues.  I've been using this case for about 6 years now.  However, my new spare violin came with a 'better' Eastman case and I do like the more expensive lock.  It's more secure should you ever forget to zip up the case.

Secondly, the cases with the violin opening that's angled (like the picture above), have more room inside which is handy...

I also prefer a larger music pocket.  The cheaper case has the better sized pocket. 

 

October 27, 2011 at 09:01 PM · N.A Mohr, suspension case are useless, the spongy part at the end keeps the violin back, should you forget to use the neck strap, and the bottom keeps the violin suspended in the event the top pushes down. Any way into looking for a case, you should look for material, lock, and your liking

October 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM · Suspension prevents shocks from travelling directly into the back of the instrument, instead redirecting the force into the more structurally stable end blocks, preventing what could be very serious damage. Some case makers, such as the late Michael Gordge, didn't believe in suspension and refused to incorporate it in their design (only later Gordge cases had suspension). However, all the best cases that are made today have full, thoroughly-tested suspension systems.

October 28, 2011 at 02:58 AM · There is slight arching of the case, but it's not significant that I can tell.

October 28, 2011 at 03:04 AM · "I just read that the suspension provided by a suspension case is useless. However, because buyers think it's a good idea, and won't buy a case without the feature, the manufacturers have caved and have incorporated it. Anyone know if this is true?"

_____________

It's far from useless, if it's done right. This doesn't rule out the possibility of some manufacturers incorporating it in the description, and it being of little value.

October 29, 2011 at 07:12 AM · Indeed, instrument suspension is indispensable, on the condition that it be done correctly, with proper heights, clearances, density of the pads, and other factors.

If the suspension system is correctly designed and built, it will provide additional protection to the instrument in case of impact or even intrusion of a blunt object into the case.

On the other hand, if the suspension system in a case is just a copy-cat exercise without giving the issue the proper attention, yes, then it's useless.

An improper design of the suspension system can be actually damaging, when a case is chosen because on the basis of it having suspension in view of professional use: frequent knocks, bumps, etc., because it will NOT provide the protection expected.

This summer I was called upon to examine for possible defects a famous-name violin case in which an important Italian violin from the 1700s was literally crushed to bits.

The owner had purchased this rather expensive case in part because of the name and in part because it had suspension.

I was horrified to see that the suspension pads were entirely useless and that the back of the violin actually rested on the inside of the shell of the case - which wasn't even padded! Of course the violin got demolished!

For this reason I now know that there are potentially thousands of these cases out there, waiting to damage other violins, and while feel ethically responsible to tell the world, from a legal standpoint I have to shut up.

October 29, 2011 at 03:06 PM · Than again there's also Musafia cases ( made by Dimitri Musfasia ) the strads of cases. I heard they could hold 200 llbs of pressure. I'd would love to get one. Well now I know what to save up for.

October 31, 2011 at 10:13 AM · I can't see any reason to look beyond the Hiscox cases. They more than match the protection offered by expensive cases, at a fraction of the price. They are convenient and absolutely bomb-proof. I know many people who use Hiscox for violins and guitars, and no-one has a bad word to say about them.

Visit their their website, and you'll find a video that explains in detail why their technology offers superior thermal, impact and crush protection.

No connection with the company - just a happy customer.

October 31, 2011 at 11:05 PM · Please at least consider mine!

Best wishes,

Desmond.

T.A. Timms & Son.

www.TATimms.com

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