Opinion from Gewa Maestro violin case's owners

December 30, 2014 at 05:14 AM · Hi !

I decided that my Jacob Winter oblong violin case (760) is not enough when we talk about thermal protection. Both in summer and winter (i live in northern Italy). Otherwise i like it for suspension, facilities, etc...... but i need that help to insulate my beloved violins some better ... :)

I searched for info and opinion on the web and also here in violinist.com

Right here, i found the useful suggestion of a Gewa Maestro case. But i read discordant opinions (some good, some bad ones).

In particular, i'm interested to collect opinion from real users.

I, please, need to know it the thermal insulation that is listed among its feature is really true or not.

Another secondary subject is: does really that neck suspension sistem (with no laces) work? I see it's common in other cases in the Gewa's line.

Does it really keep the violin firm when the lid is closed?

Thank you very much in advance to everyone who will help me.

Greetings.

Replies (39)

December 30, 2014 at 06:51 AM · On the other hand, you can look at the Mooradian case cover, the thick foam provide extra protection from impacts and it serve as thermal insulator too.

December 30, 2014 at 08:18 AM · In terms of heat/cold insulation, the best case is one with a wood laminate shell, eventually with a padded cover (such as the Mooradian). Wood is in fact a poor heat conductor compared to rigid plastics. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_thermal_conductivities

Not all suspension systems work, and sometimes a particular violin will require a different height calibration due to its arching. To make sure a suspension system works for your violin, place it in the case and check that there is space under the back and scroll. Then check that you have sufficient clearance at bridge height within the case. This is easy and quick to measure.

Lastly, a neck support without any form of restraint (ties, Velcro) means that if the case lid pops open for any reason while you are carrying it, the violin will fall out.

December 30, 2014 at 02:09 PM · Dimitri !

You put into my mind a horror movie scene with the lid opening and the violin falling (because of no laces) !!!!!!

I didn't consider this .......

Gewa is loosing many points, at this stage .... :)

December 30, 2014 at 02:41 PM · Not my intention to create a horror scene, for sure! But I do suggest you consider an artisan-made case in addition to those produced by a multinational.

Caballero (CH), Negri (E), Riboni (I), T.A. Timms (UK) all make excellent cases and these makers likewise take special pride in creating a work that bears their name. Cheers!

December 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM · Thanks for the suggestions.

I searched for info about Caballero , Negri, Riboni, T.A. Timms cases.

Apart Riboni, none of these builders talk about thermal insulation (it's my main need). Riboni has a page with a thermic test. Anyway i don't particularly like the internal layout of his cases.....

And i don't dare to ask for the prices..... I can't see public prices anywhere in their websites.....

I appreciate ALL the advices people give to me. I always consider them, with critical mind.

Anyway, i don't need boutique products. Especially "italian style" boutique products, nor instruments..... etc :)

I have already wrote my mind in this forum regardind the overpriced "world" that is common in places like Cremona, et similia .... :)

Instead: anyone here owns a Hiscox violin case?......

December 31, 2014 at 12:25 AM · Marco,

I have an economy class violin Gewa case and their double violin case. The first I have been using for a few years, some travelling to Montreal and overseas. The second, rarely used outside my home. The main issue has been with the screws securing the snaps. From day one they started falling apart and I lost one by one. Luckily there is a zipper and a lock for double protection.

They are quite reliable for their price; nothing fancy, but a good working horse. (Check for my posts regarding cold weather in Canada - Mooradian winter cover is a must here, plus other layers of insulation. )

Regarding the neck strap - long time ago I was a whiteness of an incident when my school mate forgot to close his case and broke the top plate on a great violin. It was not a Gewa case.

Have no idea why Gewa does not have them - inexpensive and no-brainer indeed.

If i were you and living in Italy, I would save Euro by Euro until I had a Musafa case.

December 31, 2014 at 03:00 AM · Was it a "Maestro" case? or some more economy class case?.......

Anyway, this fact of the neck not kept by laces...... mmm...... it's convincing me it's not a good idea at all ..... :)

December 31, 2014 at 05:42 AM · Musafia said:

"Then check that you have sufficient clearance at bridge height within the case. This is easy and quick to measure."

What method do you recommend?

December 31, 2014 at 07:44 AM · To Marco: the reason why I mentioned those case makers was that they use wood laminate for their shells, which conducts heat less than plastics. I don't know exactly what tests, if any, they do with their cases. Their price ranges are about EUR 400-1.300 and you do indeed get more for your money than you do with an industrial product.

I am likewise quite familiar with Hiscox cases, as my company first introduced them to Italy 25 years ago and continues to import them. We have been however unsuccessful selling their violin cases, primarily on account of their weight and quirky design. But if that's not a problem for you, you get an extremely robust and probably the most insulating violin case for a quite reasonable price. Just be careful when you place the violin in the case because the perimetral metal valance can scratch the instrument if handled carelessly.

December 31, 2014 at 08:00 AM · To Mr. Nelson: In 2012 I was asked to inspect a new, famous-make case in which a 1700s cremonese violin had been severely damaged after an apparently minor bump. It turned out that the case had serious multiple design flaws. The suspension pads were too low, meaning the violin back rested onto the bottom panel of the case, which wasn’t even padded. The lid was too low, meaning that the bridge had insufficient clearance within the case.

The simple bump that the case had received resulted in compression between bottom and top that destroyed the violin.

It’s really rather astonishing that many case makers don’t pay any attention to the safety of the instrument to be contained within, but that’s how it is. Here is what you can do:

1) Place the violin inside its case and secure it, if there is a tie or Velcro restraint.

2) Check under the scroll and under the back of the violin. There should be at least 3-4mm between these parts of the instrument and a hard surface. The more the better.

3) Take a ruler and balance it straight and level across the bridge, perpendicular to the strings.

4) Take another ruler to measure the distance between the first ruler and the leading edge of the bottom portion of the case: that’s the height of your instrument that projects into the lid of the case.

5) Now, place the first ruler across the lid of the case and the second one inwards where the bridge is accommodated, pressing into any eventual padding. The resulting measurement should be at least 5mm more than that of the bridge projection into the lid.

If your case passes this test, then it is providing at least basic protection to the instrument. If the case fails any part of this test, then your instrument is at risk.

December 31, 2014 at 05:03 PM · @Dimitri:

i am currently using (since several years) a 760 model of a Jakob Winter case which is made of wood laminate..... Yet it is not enough insulating .....

So, are there different "wood laminates" ? .....

Regarding the clearance for violin height's: this summer i bought a second cheap case, a Roth&Junius made like a flight case: well, i can use it with only one of my 4 violins. With the others, the bridge is lightly coming in contact with the felt upper inside the lid.......

December 31, 2014 at 08:15 PM · Marco, yes, it appears to be a "Maestro" case.

Quick and dirty way to check if the bridge is touching the lid: apply some chalk on the top of the bridge. If you see it transferred, look for another case.

January 2, 2015 at 10:52 AM · To Marco: yes, there are many types of wood laminate, with three, four, and even six layers. Different kinds of wood are used as well.

I mentioned that wood laminate is good for making heat-resistant case shells because this material conducts heat less than any plastic (with the exception of polystyrene) or carbon fiber. That means if, for example, you inadvertently place the case in contact with a hot radiator in your home, the case will warm up more slowly. Ditto for a case which ends up in direct sunlight.

To increase the heat/cold insulation properties of any case, put one of the those padded covers mentioned previously on it and you'll easily double the resistance to heat and cold. It will also add protection against bumps.

January 2, 2015 at 12:16 PM · I'm seriously starting to change my mind, and considering the usage of an added soft case around my oblong case, like a Mooradian ......

Thanks for the suggestion(s).....

Aside the Mooradian, any other similar product to consider?

Many thanks !

January 2, 2015 at 12:36 PM · Shar sells a cover under the "Cushy" brand.

Cushy Cover for Violin

I have one. I can't compare it to the Mooradian but it is very thickly padded. And only comes in black but it's half the price.

January 2, 2015 at 08:23 PM · Thanks, i didn't know that brand.

Did you experience if it's enought isolating, thermally speaking?

January 2, 2015 at 10:19 PM · I'll bet it's the same as the Mooradian as far as insulation and protection, but again, I've never handled the Mooradian. The Cushy is very well made and the pockets and straps are useful.

January 2, 2015 at 10:55 PM · Re case covers. I currently use Cushy and am satisfied. But it is relatively heavy and bulky - though indeed, cushy! I started to do some research on other types and found 2 that sounded impressive. I put a decision on the back burners, partly because I wasn't sure at the time which of my many cases would be my main gig case, as these covers below are more form-fitted. Anyway:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Colorado Case Co. Sorry for our late reply. Please

send your pictures to this email address. All your features are custom

options we can work into your case. To give you a price estimate, we would

start with this product from our website:

http://coloradocase.com/customviolininsulatedcasecover.aspx and add in

padded backpack straps at $24.95, studded feet at $15.00, and extra handle

at $15.00. Estimated price would be $244.90. Not including shipping, please

provide us the shipping location and we can add it to your final invoice.

Estimated weight would be around 3 lbs. Let us know if you have any other

questions. Thank you for your interest!

-Chad

Customer Service Team

Colorado Case Company

1713 East Lincoln Avenue, Suite A6

Fort Collins, CO 80524

800.340.0809

FAX 970.266.1905 (More to come. will submit this as is before it times out)

OK, here is the other, "Altieri"

Raphael,

Please go to the Order Form on the website for pricing. You need to order the #77 ($205 + shipping) and please request a sleeve for a rolling cart. You can use our cart ($65) or use your own rolling cart. Our cart is 2.2 lbs and will fit inside pockets. Also, follow the directions on the Woodwind Order Form for tracing your case--we need to make a custom pattern for your case.

Thank you and we await your order,

Altieri

As to cases, themselves, always hoping to find a double that is light, strong - and at least reasonable, thermally, and came across a brand called IKA (not IkEa!) As to singles, I've heard very satisfied feedback re Artonus.

IKA Violin Cases

These new and innovative cases from the Czech Republic are unique in the protection and improvement they provide in three areas. First, they feature a thermal seal that will protect the instrument from any extreme of temperature or humidity. The temperature and humidity level is retained upon sealing. Second, they are made from an unbelievably hard material (hard shell), that makes checking them, if necessary, on air flights worry-free. Finally, they are extremely lightweight.

shaped-violin-1SHAPED VIOLIN CASE

total thermal and humidity protection, waterproofed

string tube & lock included, spinners for two bows

suitable for higher archings

weight: 3.5 Ibsshaped-violin-2, very light

size: 31.5 x 11 x 6.25 inches.

OBLONG VIOLIN CASE with one or three inner pockets

oblong-violintotal thermal and humidity protection, waterproofed

spinners for four bows, string tube & lock included

backpack straps, one or two pockets, textile cover

weight: 5.3 lbs

size: 31.5 x 11 x 6.25 inches.

TWO-VIOLIN CASE

total thermal and humidity protection, waterproofed

two-violin-1

spinners for four bows, string tube & lock included

backpack straps, two accessory pockets, textile cover;

two-violin-2

weight: 5 lbs;

size: 31.5 x 11 x 6.25 inches.

Twice I asked BlueDanubeWaves, who carry them some follow-up questions w.o. a reply.

Back to single cases, anyone have experience with Pedi cases? The problem is that if one likes them, does that makes them pediphiles? :-D

Anyone heard of any of the above?

January 2, 2015 at 11:16 PM · More on Altieri covers:

String Bags

Violin/Viola Casecovers

Violins and violas need the ALTIERI 4 layer insulation more than any instrument – hardshell cases do not protect from all the dangers of temperature variables, but inside an Altieri casecover your strings can sing.

Outer shell of Nylon Packcloth

Moisture vapor barrier

Heat/Cold Reflecting MYLAR—the material of a space blanket.

Dacron batting for cushioning

Thermal ultrasuede lining on the top, inside layer

With an accurate tracing, careful measurements of your make/model, we custom make each cover, whether shaped, triangular, or rectangular, to your specifications.

Available Models

#25 – Backpack Violin/Viola Oblong Case

#26 – Backpack Violin/Viola Shaped/Triangle Case

#43 – Double Pocket Violin/Viola Oblong Case

#44 – Double Pocket Violin/Viola Shaped/Triangle Case

#75 – Deluxe Violin/Viola Oblong Case

#77 – Deluxe Violin/Viola Shaped/Triangle Case

Order via our Online Order Form. Altieri String Casecovers are available in the same three styles as our Woodwind Casecovers:

Casecovers are available in three models

String Gigbag

ALTIERI is happy to custom make a gigbag for your guitar, electric bass, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, Celtic harp, and just about any instrument with strings. Your wish is our command.

#61 – Backpack Guitar Gigbag

Order via our Online Order Form.

String, Percussion, and Miscellaneous Order Form

January 2, 2015 at 11:18 PM · More on Colorado covers:

Violin

We make a wide range of stock case covers for most popular violins. We also make custom violin covers if you have an unusual case, or simply want something more unique and distinctive.

We make and distribute violin case covers under the brand names Colorado Case Company and Cavallaro. Colorado Case Company is our premium brand. Colorado Case Company covers are engineered and tested to provide maximum thermal protection. The covers are made of heavy duty Cordura, which is also water proof. These cases come standard with a large pleated pocket, removeable shoulder strap and heavy duty zippers. Our Cavallaro brand has a Nylon outer shell, a smaller zippered pocket and a removeable shoulder strap. The inside of the Cavallaro covers are lined with a synthetic shearling material. The shearling cushions your instrument while also providing protection from temperature extremes.

Custom violin case covers are available in a wide range of colors, and they can be modified for different pocket or strap configurations. Custom violin case cover orders will require a tracing of your case. Making a tracing is a very simple process with complete instructions on our main page, or you can call us for assistance.

January 3, 2015 at 01:04 AM · I live in Italy.

I tried to search online the all the covers you all wrote (i thank everybody for their help).

In particular i like the Cushy and the Altieri model.......

But i could not find any importer to Italy.

When ordering direct from the US (for example: the Altieri models) i have to add 50$ only for shipping.

Aside that, i have to add around the 25-30% of the entire value (included shipping cost) of added cost to the dogane taxes.

This is the sad reality when buying stuff not from the european community........

So, i'm trying to search these same products from some european store or seller. I didn't find anything yet.... :)

I'm going on searching......

In the meanwhile: thank you for all these ideas and brands, that i hadn't even considered..... :)

January 3, 2015 at 02:36 AM · Take a look here:

The Sound Post Toronto

... or you can find a taylor and order a cover custom made in Italy!

Seriously, it is not such a big deal - I tailored one myself as a teenager and my aunt just helped me assemble it. The only challenge might be to find a good material.

January 3, 2015 at 02:40 AM · someone who does upholstery would probably be able to do a good job in creating a thermal insulating cover for your violin case and have all the materials and tool necessary to make one.

January 3, 2015 at 05:50 AM · Marco,

I suggested the Mooradian right after reading your initial post because I've been through the same dilemma - while my case is still useable but not providing sufficient protection, instead of buying a new case which can cost quite a bit more, I opted for the case cover. I don't have experiences on other case cover but the Mooradian is surely solidly built. Huge heavy duty zipper, water resistant fabric (water droplet will actually float on the fabric), even the backpack straps are made of the same material of car seat belts so you can imagine the durability.

Best is if you know you don't need the extra protection, you don't need to put on the covers. Or next time if you decided to upgrade your case, you can still use the cover.

All the best!

January 4, 2015 at 12:41 AM · Dimitri Musafia,

Thank you for a good explanation of a way to measure the clearance of the case top above the bridge. There are a few things that need to be factored in with that method, as you would obviously know, that can contribute error. One is that where the case lid meets the base it is not flat on most cases, like mine -- e.g., there is a ridge around the lid edge that fits into a groove in the bottom edge (or vice-versa). Another is that it is not completely trivial to make the ruler balanced on the bridge parallel to the bottom. These things can be dealt with, but given the small distances, it needs care. Finally, the foam in the two halves of the case pushing the violin top and bottom has a rather hard-to-calculate effect on the position of the violin. Think of the chunk at the saddle end, whose effect depends on the chinrest, foam stiffness, etc.

Frankly, if I were making a case I would drill a hole in it, and poke one of those things in it like the doctor uses to give you a colonoscopy, to see what is really happening in there when the lid is down. I would not be surprised to hear that you do this, as you seem to take your work seriously.

January 4, 2015 at 01:36 AM · @Marco

"Aside that, i have to add around the 25-30% of the entire value (included shipping cost) of added cost to the dogane taxes.

This is the sad reality when buying stuff not from the european community........"

Does that tax also apply to "gifts" you receive from "friends" who live outside the EU?

January 4, 2015 at 08:58 AM · for Mr. Nelson: I gave the short answer, to help one quickly to obtain a reasonably accurate idea. More precision regarding the projection of the bridge into the lid, for example, can be obtained through using one ruler balanced upon the bridge and two rulers on the case edges, averaging the two resultant measurements.

During case design, none of this is necessary. An experienced designer who has instrument safety as a paramount value will have time-proven violin models to work with (if he doesn't make the case to precise fit for a particular violin) and the internal case measurements, densities of the foam and padding, flexibility of the panels, etc. etc. should be all well-known by him and taken into due consideration.

Cheers!

January 4, 2015 at 01:13 PM · @Eric Spritzer:

Yes, the italian dogane applies the taxes (25-30%) to everything in entrance from countries outside the EU.

In the years, i had several experiences. First, not "every" item is processed (sometimes little packages were not even considered..... maybe the officers had "a lot of desire to work", that day..... :) ). Further, i don't know how it works for people who receive stuff professionally on a regular basis (companies, etc).

And, yes, writing "GIFT" in document papers and in the package didn't avoid the added costs at the dogane. It happened several times.

Once, a shipping package was a real gift from a dear friend living in the US. The dogane wrote to me by paper mail, asking me to declare the value of the object. I had to specify the value and sent it to them **BY FAX**. It took something like a month and a half.....

So, declaring an object as a gift will not work. At least, not for me ..... :)

January 4, 2015 at 03:21 PM · Branco, if you get the gift package outside of the EU it is sufficient for the sender a) to declare it as a GIFT b) to declare the value of the gift on the package c) to declare the contents of the package (book, cd, etc..). Then the customs let it pass without a wink. Of course it is customary x-ray checked but paperwork is nil.

January 4, 2015 at 10:47 PM · Do you live in Italy?

Did you ever live in Italy and received something from extra UE?..... :)

I did.

January 4, 2015 at 11:07 PM · No I don't live in Italy but went through the same situation a year ago. The sender outside EU sent a gift without the declared value. The customs wanted me to make the sender provide necessary information. Knowing the sender's efficiency at paperwork (sarcasm implied) I rather made a signed statement declaring the contents and value of the parcel. Scanned copy sent by email replaced the possible fax. The sender was instructed accordingly and any further packages went through without any problems.

January 5, 2015 at 12:20 AM · The problem is on the italian side.....

You can write or declare "GIFT" wherever you want, but here it works the way i described (as far as i have experienced)......

Little digression: Italy is obviously not famous for clearness of its laws and for zeal to apply them ...... :)

January 5, 2015 at 01:35 AM · I don't know if this helps or not, but the Cushy cover is available on Amazon.uk. UK is part of the EU, right? It's out of stock now, but it won't be forever.

January 5, 2015 at 01:36 AM · Yes, thanks...... i had seen previously ..... but, in fact, it's sadly out of stock .... :(

June 28, 2015 at 11:11 PM · Anyone have a Gewa Air case?

June 29, 2015 at 09:18 AM · Bridge clearance?

I put a large blob of Blue-Tack on the the top of the bridge, and close the lid. On opening, I can see how much it has been squashed.

Neck support?

I think the neck should be free, with padding under the upper block. Otherwise, certain shocks could break the neck.

June 29, 2015 at 09:21 AM · Bridge clearance?

I put a large blob of Blue-Tack on the the top of the bridge, and close the lid. On opening, I can see how much it has been squashed.

Neck support?

I think the neck should be free, with padding under the upper block. Otherwise, certain shocks could break the neck.

June 29, 2015 at 10:33 AM · I have the Gewa large oblong case (quite heavy) and there is clerance of about 7 mm or more, and it has a tie.

I did the test with the blue tack on the bridge (thanks Adrian for a brilliant idea) and it was fine. Probably 5-8 mm clearance with a Guarnerius del J - copy by Ricardo Bergonzi. Of course the fiddle sounds even better outside of the case ...

June 29, 2015 at 12:40 PM · I've had my Gewa Maestro for about 5 years now. While it doesn't do a whole lot of traveling, it does get a round a bit, and has held up terrifically well. It even took a fall from a first floor balcony onto cement (we shan't discuss how THAT happened). The instrument received no damage whatsoever, with only one peg knocked a little loose, a tendency of this particular peg anyway. I also really like how the bow spinners are over the accessories compartment rather than the body of the violin. I've read of horror stories, and it's not a Musafia we're talking about here. I'm a big fan.

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