which case to buy

August 15, 2016 at 06:06 PM · I recently bought my first expensive violin, and I am in need of a new case. Due to low funds currently, I cant get something super expensive.

I am thinking about two case:

-Negri Venezia

-Musafia Lievissima

The Musafia is about $350 more than the Negri.

I was think about getting a refurbished Musafia, but the shipping costs are probably going to be the same price as the case.

Of course I have heard a lot of great things about Musafia, but haven't heard much about the Negri. The Negri is a bit more affordable for me right now, so I want to know if anyone has one and if they are happy with it.

Also if anyone has other suggestions for case around the $500 mark that would be good to hear about too.

Thanks in Advanced.

Replies (36)

August 15, 2016 at 06:17 PM · I bought both of my Musafia cases from a US dealer near me - and even negotiated the price I wanted on the 2nd, more expensive one. You don't have to ship from Italy.

But for less expensive cases, I have been totally happy with the Bobelock cases I own, theye have many practical styles and they come in under your price point.

One other point - an expensive, fancy case is a TARGET! I've seen some pros carrying their violins in what look like $30 cses.

August 15, 2016 at 06:34 PM · My Bobelock oblong, about $500, recently survived a pretty bad fall off my bike (I had it on my back and went down HARD) and the violin wasn't even out of tune. So there is that.

August 15, 2016 at 07:06 PM · I have the JSI Oblong Case from Johnson String, which is made by Bobelock. They have it on sale for $200. It's not elegant, but it seems pretty well built. I give it a B-plus for materials and workmanship. (I have the corresponding viola case too.)

My daughter's case is an even better value. It's the Embassy Courier Case from Shar. It was $150. That one has the leather neck tie, plus the angled layout gives you two nice-sized compartments for your gear. I thought I was getting a better case than hers by spending a little more money, but it didn't turn out that way. She won't trade with me either. :)

Don't spend so much on your case that you can't afford insurance.

August 15, 2016 at 07:19 PM · A Bobelock PLYWOOD shell case with suspension. Best inexpensive protective case on the market, for half your budget.

I second the comment about insurance.

Cheers Carlo

August 15, 2016 at 07:42 PM · The Bobelock cases look great. Only problem is that I would have to order it online, since it doesn't seem like any of my local shop (in Toronto) have any of the plywood bobelock case (the only bobelock case I found was the fiber glass half moon case). This has the same problem in terms of shipping costs.

I have already bought insurance for the violin so no need to worry on that front.

August 16, 2016 at 01:32 AM · I have the Musafia Lievissima case and am very pleased with the quality and construction. I haven't had any accident experience with it yet so can't speak to that part. I bought mine online from GoStrings which had the best price and free shipping at the time.

August 16, 2016 at 03:10 AM · I just checked and Shar offers that Embassy Courier cases with free shipping. If you're in Canada then maybe it could be $20-30 for shipping. When you're talking about maybe buying a Musafia case, it just seems really weird that you need to concern yourself with the costs of courier or freight services.

August 17, 2016 at 01:44 PM · To answer your question about Negri, I have a oblong Negri Milano case. Beautiful and durable workmanship, very strong and a brilliant layout design which places the main storage on the right-hand side, so that the bows can NEVER fall on the violin (even if you accidentally forget to latch them). I got it after mishaps with cheaper cases, and though it is quite expensive, it is well worth the money. I think it is near perfect for an oblong case. Wonderful storage design and it can hold just about combination of accessories. For airline travel, however, these days I have abandoned oblong cases and am using a Gewa Air high tech contoured case -- very light & compact hard shell, well made and designed -- and it fits neatly into the tightest overhead compartments. A much smaller rival to the BAM cases (and in my opinion it looks much better). Great for carrying if you want to enjoy a long walk to a gig and don't feel like lugging an oblong case.

August 17, 2016 at 04:13 PM · I also do not use a rectangular case when touring. I recently commissioned a shaped Timms case. This case is tiny compared to the plastic BAM shaped case.

Cheers Carlo

August 19, 2016 at 12:53 AM · Folks, I'm sorry for my previous style, I'll promise to keep it neat. Especially about recommending expensive things, but a lot of luthiers actually do that, it is just a matter of how being treated.

For criticizing a luthier's work, well, that's different, because it is only an opinion (even if harsh). But sorry, anyway.

I have a hard case (CNB).

August 19, 2016 at 05:18 PM · Another vote here for Bobelock. I have their cases for both my violin and viola. Excellent value for your money.

August 20, 2016 at 12:24 AM · I'm in the market for a case also, I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the cases without zipper enclosure because I have had issues with laptop brief cases with latches.

Also, Musafia cases are unfortunately out of my budget(curses to Monopoly money, I mean Canadian currency exchange rate), but I have been looking at some GEWA cases which were impressive. Unfortunately again, slightly out of my budget.

August 20, 2016 at 12:32 AM · Depending on what I can sell that I don't use anymore, I am leaning heavily towards this one:


if it can hold my shoulder rest also. I will be checking that at the store tomorrow.

August 20, 2016 at 01:29 AM · Steven,

I have a GEWA Jaeger shaped, just like the one you're looking at, and I think it's a great case. It's light, very protective, and not at all ostentatious. And that price your website is listing it for is a bit less than I paid two years ago, and quite a bit less than I normally see them for. There are two caveats though. The case only has one very small accessories compartment, capable of holding rosin, a couple of mutes, and a small tuning fork, or some equivalent of those. It works well for me because I use what Carlo calls the "invisi-rest." But if you want to put any shoulder rest at all in your case, this one won't work for you. I like to think that the case discourages pack-rat-ism, and also discourages keeping your stash in your case which then becomes a slippery slope to personal ruination. (I'm kidding)

One other very minor (for me anyway) problem is that the string tube is positioned in the case so that it rubs against the violin bridge when you close the case, with the blanket between them, and remains touching the bridge, with blanket between, when the case is closed. The result is that it will start to wear and fray the blanket over time, and the blanket is attached to the case and not easily replaced. Again, for me this is no problem at all because I don't use gut strings, and I simply removed the string tube. (Are gut strings still sold straight? It's been a long time for me.)

So there you go, two flaws that were no problem for me, but might be for you. Even if you do use a shoulder rest, there's no reason why you can't carry it outside of the case. I personally love shaped cases because they're smaller.

August 20, 2016 at 01:32 AM · Thank you very much Mark, that is very helpful. The local store has the case, and they have strangely kept the string tube removed. I didn't know why really.

I will try the shoulder rest Tomorrow, and maybe I shall keep looking.

I do keep a lot of things inside my current case, but most of it can be taken out, other than the shoulder rest, rosin and tuner.

August 20, 2016 at 02:08 AM · I'm curious Jim, have you checked out soundpost in Toronto? I've only been to one here in Ottawa.

August 20, 2016 at 03:03 AM · As other posters here, my advice goes towards a Bobelock wooden case.

I have one, of the halfmoon type. Really good case. And it protected well my violin when a couple on months ago my case fell down on concrete. Not even out of tune. And the case was not damaged in any part.

My only recommendation is to secure, as i did after the fall, the latches of the included strap: they tend to open and loosen the strap :)

A bit of adhesive tape, in order to sigillate the latches, cured the problem. I never remove the strap anyway ....


August 20, 2016 at 03:26 AM · Steven,

Sound post does have some options, but in terms of Bobelock cases which most people are recommending, they only have a fiberglass half moon model. They don't seem to carry any wooden bobelock cases at all.

August 20, 2016 at 03:30 AM · I have seen some nice Bobelock cases at different Long & McQuade stores in 4 different spots in Ontario. I have to admit that I am not a fan of their design(carriage mostly). Also, they are at $700+ mostly.

August 20, 2016 at 12:45 PM · About the Gewa Jargar contoured case mentioned above -- I bought one from The SoundPost a few years ago but returned it after a week, because I discovered that when I closed the case, the bows touched the top of the violin. There were also some jagged edges in the upholstery, and the locks seemed slightly mis-aligned. I was told they are made in China. The Gewa Air contoured hard case, which I mentioned in my previous post, is in a different league, high quality fittings, etc., designed and manufactured in Germany. But it is rather more expensive. It is very small but has room for a Kun shoulder rest as well as other essential accessories like rosin, tuning fork, mutes, extra strings, glasses. And plenty of head-room for two bows and a string tube.

August 20, 2016 at 01:07 PM · I ordered my case from:


(i live in Italy).

No problem, with shipping and all.

August 20, 2016 at 01:54 PM · Jim - is there some particular reason why you are considering the two cases you mentioned? They are expensive, and it is not clear what advantages they have over the Bobelocks that I and many others posting here use. I do not think it is difficult to find places online that would ship you a Bobelock if need be. My luthier has a good selection in its online store:


August 20, 2016 at 03:47 PM · Parker, that alarms me! Incidentally I think they had the GEWA Air as well. I will bring my violin and bows to try on both.

August 20, 2016 at 04:29 PM · My GEWA Jaeger shaped case is clearly marked "Made In Germany." My bows don't touch the violin top. And there's only one lock, and no other latches, so it's a bit of a mystery to me how the "locks" plural could be mis-aligned. My lock aligns perfectly. I'll just say again that mine is beautifully made. If you're still considering one, I'd urge you to judge it for yourself.

August 20, 2016 at 05:35 PM · Okay, I just came back from the store with Jaeger. I compared it with AIR for almost an hour. Here are some points:


-seems like Air with cover on top and velvet interior, and without the latches.

-Leather thread to tie the neck

-The version I picked up didn't have a string tube or holder.

-Bow seems to be clear from the violin

-The buckle takes a little bit of getting used to, at first I thought it was locked when I saw it Yesterday.

-Blanket attached to the case


-Velcro pouches for the accessories + velcro straps for holding the neck and the shoulder rest.

-Very clean, modular.

-One downside = Slippery exterior. This is a big no no for me, as I sometimes prepare sitting down with the case on my laps.


-Enough room for tuner, spare set of strings, cleaning cloth, shoulder rest.

-Very nice carrying straps, and lighter than my empty old case while fully loaded.

-No music pocket!

I will upload the picture with previous case then new case.

For now, I am going to have at it with my velcro tapes to keep everything secure.

August 20, 2016 at 05:40 PM · The Old Case:

 photo IMG_0369_zpspi3mp9cd.jpg

The New Case:

 photo IMG_0374_zpscstpswzd.jpg

August 20, 2016 at 06:16 PM · I do seem to get some rosin on the blanket, but if anything I think the bow may be occasionally touching the chinrest.

August 20, 2016 at 06:33 PM · Your violin is a beauty Steven.

August 20, 2016 at 06:39 PM · Thank you Jeff, you should hear her voice ;)

August 20, 2016 at 09:37 PM · I also returned a Jaegar shaped case as the top was hitting my bridge and I felt the lid had too much flex. I did like how it looked when I bought it and the low price made it attractive but I felt it was a disaster waiting to happen.

@Steven. You did absolutely the right thing by taking your violin to the store to check the fit. I ordered online.

Cheers Carlo

August 20, 2016 at 10:17 PM · It's looking great, Steven!

...we should start a thread for people to post pictures of their violins in their cases! ;)

August 20, 2016 at 10:19 PM · I think the best indicator for me for the bridge spot is loosening the wolfnote eliminator a little bit(the screw for it higher than the bridge), and seeing if it moves from closing the case. In(side) my case, I think I have about 1cm clearance.

One big disadvantage that I am now finding out for composite case now is that it is almost air-tight. Very good at keeping moisture out, but the lack of circulation also means that the blazing sun heats it up, and no air gets out. I guess that's good in the winter.

When I opened the case after an hour walk, one of my bows was falling out of its holder. Its hair was so stretched, it was noticeable. Also all of my velcro tapes came apart. I could also tell how warm the case was during the walk.

August 20, 2016 at 11:35 PM · Take some tin foil, crumple, spread out a bit so there is lose thickness, place over the blanket at the bridge and gently close the lid. With luck and some skill, you will have an indication of the clearance.

August 21, 2016 at 11:02 PM ·

August 22, 2016 at 12:20 PM · oops, too late...deleted

September 8, 2016 at 04:30 AM · Jim, what did you end up getting?

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