Violin cases

September 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM · I've been using a pretty cheap case from Shar for about two years. It's nearly falling apart and I don't quite trust the protection it gives - as a student I travel with my violin frequently and I need a reliable case.

I've decided to take the plunge and invest in a higher quality case (my parents have agreed to pay for half of it as my birthday present and I'll fork over the rest). Can anyone recommend a good case under $1000? I'm looking for one that's fairly lightweight and can be carried on my back.

I was looking at the Musafias and they seem like great, durable cases but I'm wondering if there's anything below that. I was also considering a BAM dart shaped case but I don't like the fact that it doesn't have a zip pocket to store music and whatnot.

Thanks!

Replies

September 17, 2012 at 03:44 PM · For the money Bobelock probably gives you the best bang for your buck. I wouldn't bother with a Musafia case, in a few years it will look beat up, in 10 you will be replacing it, same as the Bobelock.

September 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM · I agree with Raymond. I've got a Bobelock too. You know, it's nothing special to look at, it's just a damned violin case. But I do feel that my violin is very well protected, and it has the storage capacity that I need AND it's got the zip pocket that you want for your music. One thing is that if you want to put four bows in there, you've got to line them up a certain way. But once you figure that out it works fine.

Buy the less expensive case on your own and maybe you can take a rain check on your parent's willingness to go halfsies -- for when the extra money could make a big difference like a new bow.

September 17, 2012 at 06:13 PM · Samantha,

you need to be more specific about what "under $1000" means. Does it mean your limit is $999, or does it mean $299? I recently acquired a Musafia, and my model goes for just over $1000. There's no comparison with the cheaper cases, and will last longer than other cases. One only has to look at things like hinges and hardware. If you can swing just over $1000, that's what I'd suggest.

Scott

September 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM · I've owned a Musafia and I do take issue with this:

"I recently acquired a Musafia, and my model goes for just over $1000. There's no comparison with the cheaper cases, and will last longer than other cases."

In my experience the Musafia was not going to last longer, it is made of canvas and wood, same as a Bobelock, in ten years in most situations both will desperately need to be replaced assuming heavy travel and use.

Structurally I found no advantage of the Musafia over the Bobelock, the Musafia definitely gets style points.

September 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM ·

September 17, 2012 at 07:29 PM · My Bobelock half moon plywood case arrived a few weeks ago week and I have to say that it is a very solid piece of kit. I doubt that you will get anything better to protect your violin.

As others have said, save the money and put it towards a good bow.

September 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM · I own a Negri Milano case, in your price range, which I am very pleased with. Plenty of storage space, in a highly original interior design, with excellent hardware. Straps are designed to carry it on your back. Zippered pocket for music and papers. The craftsmanship, evident in the stitching and upholstery, is superior to most other cases I have seen. The instrument is snugly secured and protected in a suspension system. Main storage compartment is on the right hand side, so your bows cannot damage the top of the violin if they accidentally come loose. Reasonably light, easy to use, and strong for frequent travel. Classy looking, too.

September 18, 2012 at 03:02 AM · Negri is now making carbon fiber cases that are the same weight as their wooden cases (and they look identical on the interior, and have the traditional canvas cover, so you can't tell they're carbon fiber), but can withstand 150 kilos of crush force on the lid. Not at all cheap, though..

September 21, 2012 at 01:39 AM · Thanks for all your responses! I'll definitely look into the Bobelock cases :)

September 21, 2012 at 02:11 AM · I own a Bobelock Corregidor. Bobelocks high-end model. $278 at stringemporium.com. I recently had an incident with wind. Was walking into the music building at school and had my case on my shoulder. My case got blown off my shoulder and on to the cement. Violin was still in-tune!

Also, check out Shar's Continental Case. I had one for a while but it had some design flaws. This was right about when they took them off the market and redesigned it. Other than the issues I had, It was a good case. Still, nothing beats and older original American Case Co. case. A friend bought one from Shar a long time ago that was reconditioned - $500 bucks. This was probably 4 - 5 years ago. Still has it. The case itself is probably 15+ years old and looks great!

September 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM · http://www.violinist.com/blog/caseguy65/20123/13255/

Above link is a blog posted by Dimitri Musafia about what to look for to make sure your case is safe for your violin. I found it useful when deciding whether to replace my old case.

September 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM · I am becoming a big fan of the Pedi-Cases that Nova-Strings is carrying. When I am shipping my instruments across country or internationally that are coming off my bench I am using these cases. They are "steel shield" reinforced. Not carbon fiber or as expensive like the others but its a good middle ground. Very light, very very strong. - Luxury models have digital hygrometer and thermometer.

http://www.novastrings.com/apr09/PediModel11100.html

I dont like cheap cases for important instruments. All it takes is once for a case to fail to cause extreme damage to an instrument.

October 30, 2012 at 03:47 AM · If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive case that will last for a few years, you should consider the cases mentioned here earlier. As others have mentioned, you should keep in mind that many cases with a wood / plywood structure and nylon outer lining tend to break down relatively quickly as the nylon can snag and tear, seams can come undone, and water-resistant coatings can wear away leaving the inner structure of the case exposed. Zippers also tend to break on cases with nylon exteriors, and the wood can break down due to impact and environmental exposure (similar to the wood in your instrument). These types of cases tend to provide poor insulation, however, and they generally offer little protection against weather extremes and temperature and humidity swings. I would recommend an impact-resistant hard shell case with a waterproof seal and good insulation that will provide good protection against environmental exposure. You should also be careful about bow spinners on inexpensive cases and make sure that they will not scratch your instrument.

If you play a student level instrument from which you plan to upgrade relatively soon, you might not be as concerned about damage that can be often repaired, such as cracks and shifting of the neck, although that type of damage can change of tone quality of your violin and make it more difficult to play over time. If that is the situation, a number of cases under $1000 that will provide similar levels of protection. If you play a higher level instrument with significant monetary value that you plan to play professionally, you might be more concerned about the long term effects of temperature and humidity changes, damage from possible impact, and especially theft and loss. If you are looking for an advanced case with an impact-resistant hard shell exterior that is a bit more expensive, but which will hold up over time and will give you the highest level of protection against temperature extremes, humidity swings, and theft, please feel free to contact me. Good luck with your search!

October 31, 2012 at 05:56 PM · I have the black BAM carbon fiber case and have used it heavily for 7 years. It has held up well. My only complaint is that there is not a lot of padding on the inside, and not that much room overall in the case. It is meant to be lightweight and serves that niche perfectly if your moving the instrument case around a lot (backpack straps for the win). I think I paid about 800 US for it.

November 5, 2012 at 12:49 AM · I have both the bobelock and a bam case. The bobelock is sturdy and beautiful and HEAVY!!! I love the case but for me it is completely impractical for being an on-the-go musician. In this video I discuss the Bam case. I hope to have a video soon with my beautiful pink bobelock case. Like I said the Bobelock is absolutely beautiful in every way, but for me way to heavy to carry anywhere.

Happy Practicing!!!

Heather Broadbent

www.onlineviolin.net

www.youtube.com/user/heatherkbroadbent

November 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Gabriel,

Those Tempo cases are quite the engineering masterpiece. Everything has been considered. Sort of creates a perfect world for the violin.

November 7, 2012 at 05:56 PM · Anybody who's looking to buy an expensive case should consider the custom-made Musafia that I'm selling right now. :)

November 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM · In "case" you didn't hear enough approval for bobelock cases I will throw in my support as well. I've had one for about 5 years and it's holding out very well. It's functional and although not nearly as over the top as a musafia it is great for the price range. I think I spent $500 on mine which would save your parents contribution for a later date. Maybe on a new bow :p

June 12, 2013 at 08:45 PM · Arnie, thank you very much for your comments. I have been very busy and unfortunately have not had a chance to log in here recently, but I certainly appreciate your feedback. We did our best to address every possible need of the modern violinist when we were designing the Prodigy Case. If you would like to know more about the new case tracking and monitoring app that we will be launching for smartphones and tablets later this month, please feel free to email me directly. Please let me know if you have any other questions or feedback, as well.

June 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM · "We did our best to address every possible need of the modern violinist"

Well... almost, IMHO. Mr. Gunsberg, please allow me to suggest financially supporting this website ;-)

June 13, 2013 at 01:18 PM · @Gabriel. I would only consider a case made from plywood, lined in a natural fabric, and with a cover. I believe that no case made from synthetic materials will provide enough protection, insulation, or a humidity buffer. I have had in the past, cases made by Gewa and Bam, that fell apart in a short time. I'll stick to wood for my cases, violins, and bows.

With regards to electronic controls, I had never had nor do I know of any computer device or smart phone etc, that does not go wrong at some point. I do not want to reboot my violin case.

On a lighter note, or perhaps not, I was sitting on a runway at Gatwick when the pilot announced that the lights and aircon would switch off for a time as he was rebooting the plane...

Cheers Carlo

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