Tonareli cello-shaped violin case HELP

May 12, 2012 at 04:48 AM · I'm contemplating on buying a Tonareli cello-shaped violin case (pink), which is listed as $177 (link: ). I was really happy about the price because when I first thought about buying this case, it was $220+. I'm glad to see that overtime, the price lowered. However, I don't really NEED this case. I just thought I could buy it as my own birthday present for me (coming up). Does anyone in the forum have experience/own(ed/s) this type of case?

My current case is just a standard one that my Luthier gave me when I bought my violin. It's pretty neat in that it has a lot of room, has great protective covers, and hard-case. Like I said, I don't need a new case. I just figured that this could be a similar money binge girls like me treat themselves to (ie designer purses, etc).

So what do you guys think? Waste of money? Is it actually really protective? Is it efficient in what it's supposed to do (ie protecting your violin, and has room for music/rosin/shoulder rest. Well I don't really need a shoulder rest as my teacher is one of those who discourage it)?

Replies (20)

May 12, 2012 at 06:57 AM · Two of my students have them...they look cool and have options that are pretty nice (especially the music pocket). The black carbon fiber one scratches up pretty easily, and unlike the BAM cases it has a clear film on the top layer that can't be fixed up with car scratch remover (I use Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 for the BAM cases with excellent results).

They are kind of heavy though, especially once you have all the music in the pocket. The wheels really do come in handy!

May 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM · I have not seen one of these cases in person.

However, while searching this site for info on cases a while ago, I came across one of Laurie's blogs that you might find interesting:

May 13, 2012 at 01:48 AM · Thank you so much for redirecting me to that post! I am disappointed that they archived that thread, as I would have loved to ask Laurie how her experience with that case went. That post was written when she had just received the case, and never had any bad run-ins/crucial travel experiences to share. The fact that she didn't have good first impressions with some aspects scare me, because my current case absolutely trumps in that section as I always felt secure about it.



I was going to buy the pink one. The fact that it scratches easily makes me even more apprehensive, as I am an absolute clutz.

May 13, 2012 at 07:53 AM · Well, to be fair, the hard-exterior BAM cases scratch even more easily, and I know tons of people who have them.

The issues of the Chinese company using the Tonareli name (in affront to the real Tonarelli luthier in Italy) aside, these "cello-style" cases for violin and viola are interesting, work well from what I've seen, and are a nice change of pace from the standard oblong shape. The wheels work well, and I know too many players who crush a ton of music into their cases and end up carrying way too much weight on their shoulders, and it affects their health and playing long-term.

May 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM · DO NOT GET IT!

I work at a music store, and we were offered to sell these cases. They are made in China, with really REALLY cheap material. They may last for a year, but the clips fall apart, and the seal between the two sides does not stay tight. I have a cello case from the same company, and the seal is not tight (Other cases from the same place have handles that fell off. I ordered a oblong violin case from them, and it actually came missing a ring for a shoulder just wasn't there.

Although the price is inviting, please do yourself a favor, and pass by them. I would save up, and get something nicer like a BAM, or even a plastic student case would be better.

Best of luck!

May 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM · The Tonareli case isn't a bad deal, considering the price. But, you get what you pay for. MSRP on this case is only $225, whereas the bam Contoured case, for example, lists at $596.

The Tonareli is made of fiberglass. The bam hightech shell is a composite, made mostly of ABS plastic, which is much stronger than fiberglass. If you were to drop these cases down the stairs or back over them with your car, the fiberglass shell of the Tonareli would shatter, whereas the bam shell would be much more likely to dent slightly, maintaining its structure and protection. Even a moderate bang or drop would cause the fiberglass to crack, where the bam case would simply get a little dink.

Also, the bam case is lined on the inside with polyurithane foam, which is an excellent insulator and shock absorber. The Tonareli case just has some styrofoam pads to lift the violin off the bottom of the case. So, the tonareli won't keep out the heat/cold as well and won't protect the instrument as well from shocks, bangs, things hitting the case.

With all that said - the Tonareli cases aren't a bad deal, for the price. They look great and are a good option for students with cheaper instruments and little pocket change. They're certainly better than the un-susupended thermoform cases that students often use. But, I wouldn't recommend a Tonareli fiberglass case for a valuable instrument.

P.S. But, if you're looking to buy yourself a present and don't want to break the bank, I'd consider getting a Bobelock silk-lined 1051. It's heavier, but otherwise a MUCH nicer case, and looks awesome on the inside.

May 15, 2012 at 03:12 AM · I think you guys pretty much persuaded me to stay away from Tonareli and lean towards more of the BAM products. However, I'm not going to get any case as the only reason why I was interested is because of the 1.) wheels (which comes with being cell-shaped) and 2.) the color (this is the only case I found which comes in pink that's a hard shell! the BAM ones are only red, white, and black)

However, my current case is like a standard concord violin case that's shaped like the suggested "Bobelock silk-lined 1051," but I doubt it's that high-end considering I got it for free. Would the tonareli still be better than what I have?


Thanks so much for the responses. The information I got so far has been invaluable and is really helping me be less indecisive.

May 15, 2012 at 05:44 AM · Bobelock fiberglass cases come in pink.

Does it have to be hard shell? Bobelock Puffy are wooden cases with nylon covers (also come in pink). They are inexpensive and very sturdy. I have a purple half-moon Puffy case which I really like - it has sustained lots of abuse in the last three years and is still holding up very well - I just dropped it the other day and the violin, everything else in the case, and the case itself were unharmed. I'm not sure that would have been the case if it were made of fiberglass.

May 15, 2012 at 09:12 AM · Not that I want the pink, but I like these cases, There are a few comments about them on the boards.

the lang case store on ebay.

this is a picture of it:


May 15, 2012 at 11:16 AM · GoStrings seems to have a slightly nicer price for that Tonareli case. A couple girls at my precollege program purchased that case (both replaced Gewa maestro cases), but that's the last I've seen of them in actual use.

May 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM · > GoStrings seems to have a slightly nicer price for that Tonareli case

You can get another 10% off if you use the coupon code: May10. This offer expires on May 15th, 2012.

May 15, 2012 at 08:11 PM · Thanks guys. I think I'm a little more settled for this:

Bobelock seems to be a majority choice


the gostring's price for the tonareli case seems nicer, but the link I had included free shipping, and gostrings wants me to pay an extra $15 for a music pocket?! What a shame since those cases looked so cute


Popular opinion seems to be against the hard-shell cases. Are the "puffy" ones that much better? I guess I'm making poor decisions based on how cool things look (c'mon, hard shell looks so much cooler! Haha).

May 25, 2012 at 03:01 AM · I had to respond here since I recently purchased the pink Tonarelli case! I like it, wish I loved it more. Totally cute! I love that it's lighter than most oblong cases and will stand like a cello case (great for trips to the bathroom.) On the downside, the bow placement is funny. The bow will only fit in the bottom holder upsidown, (stick side down)and loosened. (Top holder seems easier to use.) The bow holders are fabric with velcro, which worries me the bow could fall on the violin, but so far so good. (I always use the blanket anyway.) The backpack straps make laying it on flat surfaces slightly awkward. Also, my old case (very light/cheap foam case) had a strap on the handle side so whenever I set it down the handle was up. Not so with the backpack straps, but I'm learning to take it off my right shoulder first so the handle is up. The metal ring connectors for the straps seem very sturdy, better than the plastic ones on my old case (main reason for replacing it.) I don't have the music bag so no comment there, I'm hoping I can get one. As far as scratches, so far everything has rubbed off, no problem. I can't speak for it's safety in protecting the instrument as I don't generally drop my instrument or expose it to heat or cold. I felt like the Bam cases were much heavier, much more expensive, and.. not pink. Like everything, there are tradeoffs, just decide what you value. I think it's rather fun, and don't regret my purchase.

May 25, 2012 at 05:42 AM · > I felt like the Bam cases were much heavier

You mean the foam ones, right?

May 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM · I have the green Tonarelli for my violin. On my way to rehearsal one evening the case apparently shifted in the back of my car. It fell when I opened the back door to retrieve it and landed on the concrete parking lot. Boy did it get busted up. So the poster who said it scars easily is correct.

---Ann Marie

January 20, 2013 at 05:36 PM · Can I just chime in on the durability of fiberglass cases (The crescent shaped bobelock, to be exact)? I'm a Klutz and my poor case has hit every single door and wall I've encountered in my life. The case has only gotten a few scuffs and paint marks which I could've easily taken off, but I covered it with stickers.

I do have some damage in the corner of my Bobelock though. I was getting onto a bus and the driver started driving while the doors were still open and my case flew out of the bus. It was a large bus so I was probably 4ft off the ground and my case was at shoulder height, I am 6ft 2in. The case fell corner first into a ditch-like area that was just rocks. So my case fell a little over 10ft while in motion, the blue enamel of the case chipped off a bit, but the fiberglass weave inside was intact. Not sure if the enamel took the blow or what. My viola made it through without a scratch, one bow was fine. Sadly, the other bow's frog shattered. But I cannot emphasize enough how delicate that bow is, so it was okay.

My biggest gripe about the case is about the weight, I'd love a lighter case, or a better handle. If you get it you may want to wrap the handle in leather now vs later.

January 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM · I can add a word or two about fiberglass as well... There are several types of fiberglassing procedures (hand-laid, chop gun) and the material itself can be with the fibers going every which-way or with a woven mat, which adds strength.

A well-made fiberglass case should not shatter upon impact, and the fibers should prevent cracks from actually opening up. Of course, if during construction the manufacturer used more resin than fiberglass mat, or inferior procedures or materials, then that’s a different story.

January 23, 2013 at 04:24 AM · Mr. Musafia, I didn't know that about fiberglass cases, that's interesting. I could definitely see the weave of the fiber in my case after the fall.

Your cases are amazing, by the way, but I'm sure you hear that a lot.

March 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM · I hope I'm not a little late answering this. I would not go for Tonarelli. They are made in China and quality is not that good. Some made in China cases are not bad by the way, I've got quite a few since I own many violins. For the same quality, you could get cases for half the price on ebay. If you like Carbon Fiber cases, better buy a BAM hightech contoured, which is the real thing. There is also the Alexander made by Bogaro and Clemente. The Alexander model is very pretty if you like cello shaped case. It's not expensive for the quality. It's stylish but not functional.

I have a rectangular with large pockets and they easily get scratched. I wish I invested on a Musafia, but there was not available in the music store I went to. I also have a Lang LP and one from the CK-P series. I feel better with the Lang, since they seem to be temperature resistant, less delicate than the BAM. The price is reasonable and affordable, much more expensive than Tonarelli of course. If you could afford, get a Musafia dart shaped Luxury or Master series case (which is far more expensive). Musafia cases could last you for a very long time, as well as Lang Cases, I believe. Lang cases seem to be sturdy. Negri is also very good, but it's pure luxury for the price of 2100 to 4500 euros. I do plan to get a Musafia. For now I could only afford the luxury. But I want the master series which has everything inside. I'm saving up for it.

May 19, 2013 at 07:58 AM · Patricia, I just wanted to point out that the Bam Hightech does not use carbon fiber. It is made to look like it.

It's a composite material which has both advantages and disadvantages over carbon fiber.

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