Cases

November 8, 2018, 11:02 AM · I Know this is a common topic on this site, but I need some guidance.

I have a very expensive violin (between 7,000 dollars and 11,000 dollars, I don’t want to say the exact price)and don’t know how much I need to spend on a case.

I live in a place that’s really cold in the winter, and really hot in the summer. I do have to drive with my instrument to and from my lesson. Which is about a 20 minute drive on the highway, and in a busy town.

I’ve heard bobelock cases are good. I think I’m stuck between a Bobelock Corregidor and a Musafia case.

I know that Musafia cases are top of the line, and am wondering if a musafia would kind of be over kill.

I know a lot of people have more expensive violins, and they use cases that are even cheaper than a Bobelock.

At the end of the day I love my violin, and just want it to be safe.

Replies (21)

November 8, 2018, 11:09 AM · You have a modestly-priced violin. Bobelock suspension cases are perfectly functional and good value for the money, and should be perfectly fine for ordinary use.

For actual very expensive violins, I'd go with a Musafia. Think of the case price as being a percentage of the cost of the violin. As violin value goes up, the relative cost of the case goes down.

(I had a Bobelock when I had a violin in your price range. When I upgraded, I got a Musafia.)

November 8, 2018, 11:12 AM · I suspect a Bobelock case will be fine. I am not sure, given your circumstances, what extra benefit you get by having a more expensive case. Such a case will not really make much difference with regard to the cold winters or hot summers, and it sounds as if your instrument is mostly in your car when you are taking it places. So, it seems to me that you do not need a more expensive case. I have a violin which is worth slightly less than yours, and I have a Bobelock which has worked well for the past 15 or so years. I also live in a climate with a hot summer and cold winter (although perhaps not as extreme as where you live). I also take my violin to lessons and orch rehearsals in my car. So, that's my $0.02. Good luck!
November 8, 2018, 11:27 AM · The only trouble with carrying a Musafia case is that knowledgeable people will think you have an expensive violin in it - including knowledgeable thieves. Several of the people I know with very nice sounding instruments that they carry around a lot have them in cases that look like junk.

Personally I have Musafia cases and Bobelock cases. Lately my Musafia cases do not leave the house very much, but my Bobelock and even less expensive cases do. My cases do not get much public viewing at all - so I don't worry about it either way.

November 8, 2018, 11:30 AM · I have a violin that's worth about $8K and I carry it around town on the bus and the subway, so it gets a good amount of bumping. Right now I have an Ambassador case that I bought a couple of months ago for about $250. Before that I had a Heritage case for over a decade until it began to fall apart. The Ambassador seems pretty sturdy; I could probably beat a bear to death with while the violin was in the case. It's heavy, though, so I'm glad there's a backpack strap option.

I'm not really sure there are benefits for most players with good-but-not-priceless instruments to having very expensive cases, though I would like something that weighs two pounds and is impregnable, with built-in humidity and temperature controls.

November 8, 2018, 11:35 AM · I don't think the exteriors of Musafia cases are attention-grabbing, actually. They are recognizable to people who know what a Musafia looks like, since the brown-trimmed cover is fairly unique to the brand. But otherwise they just look any other case from the outside.
November 8, 2018, 12:17 PM · I have a violin in a similar price range. I use the Gewa air case (oblong) I love it. But if I were to buy another case, I would buy the shapes Gewa Air. It is light and very reliable.
Edited: November 8, 2018, 12:37 PM · Have you considered using an insulated case cover like a "Cushy" cover over an ordinary case like the Ambassador case mentioned above? That adds an extra layer of insulation for cold weather. A "Cushy" cover costs about $75.
November 8, 2018, 2:11 PM · Bobelock, the wood frame ones, are great cases at any violin value. If you don't think they are fancy enough for you, they protect Hilary Hahn's Vuillaume and Itzhak Perlman's Strad.

That's not to say that Musafia cases aren't very nice -- they are exceptional cases. If you can afford one and feel like being fancy, go for it.

I'm less tied to the theory that a case should be a percentage of the cost of the violin, though if you have a $500 fiddle in a Musafia Enigma, your priorities might need an adjustment :-D

November 8, 2018, 2:37 PM · Doesn't Perlman use a Timms case?

Hahn's interview on v.com that mentions she uses a Bobelock is an interesting one, in that she watches for hot/cold spots and buffers them with a jacket or the like. I've found that my Musafia Enigma can handle little temperature variances like that without an issue -- no change in the case environment. (This is, in fact, the biggest change going from my first-gen Aeternum to the Enigma, which has more insulation.)

November 8, 2018, 4:09 PM · All good advice above. In Chicago, I prefer the foamy zippered cases when it gets really cold. I play instruments that are about 100-150 years old and leave them at home if it is really brutal.
Several people I play with like the covers- Bobelock, Mooradian, Cushy.
My poor bass and cello just have to suffer transportation.
November 8, 2018, 8:10 PM · If you are transporting the violin/case in a car, the thermal isolation is not so important. You are going to be in a controlled environment most of the times by AC/heater.
Pick one that you like. You don't need to overthink it. It will be fine even if you carry it in a pastic bag.

The checklist of capacity, thermal/humidity isolation, and resiliance is more prioritary for students that walk a lot (or bike) with the violin and get bumped in public transportation.

Edited: November 8, 2018, 8:55 PM · Lydia, what is the rationale behind the idea of getting a more expensive case for a more expensive violin, provided of course that the older case is as reasonably secure as the new? I can understand that in the context of bow hunting but it doesnt seem as functionally valid here. Unless its exclusively for the added Musafia features. .but then its not about just any costly case or percetange of cost.
November 8, 2018, 9:06 PM · Go for a refurbished Musafia. You will get an excellent case for 1/2 price.
November 8, 2018, 9:39 PM · Better cases have better protection against all manner of possible harm and stress to the instrument.

Figure that the damage protection is worth X% of the violin, in terms of the way it's cost-justified. A $300 Bobelock is worth 3% of a $10k violin. A $3k Musafia also worth 3% of a $100k violin. Obviously there's a point of diminishing returns, too.

November 9, 2018, 5:46 AM · I understand that but I do not know if it would be as formulaic as that. At OP's price range I would want a case that protects the violin just as it would a more expensive one for a richer person say. 1. If the violin is destroyed,,all its value is gone..not a percentage of it. 2. The value of a violin is relative to a persons wealth.

So if Bobelecks were not deficient a propos the health of the violin relative to Musafias ...why wouldn't they be just fine for finer violins...clearly others do use Bobelecks for much finer violins. Converesely if Musafias were better, structurally and in terms of longevity, than the rest, why not for a violin in OP's range.


So the idea of applying percentages between violin and case seems to me to be questionable. This is my rationale so far of course, correct me if I am wrong.

Personally I did exactly what Rocky suggested, a refurbished Musafia (the small dart shapped one..so not the more luxury models) with added features. My violin was cheaper than OP's (its a cute armenian made violin) and I was living in a very humid hot place at the time and that tipped the scales for me. Having said that, it is not just that the case is solid ...but its finishing, trimming, hinges are all still 100% fine...no unravelling, no dysfunctional hinges, etc.

Edited: November 9, 2018, 1:29 PM · Lydia said: "Doesn't Perlman use a Timms case?"

Maybe. When I last saw him backstage he had a Bobelock. To be fair, he has several violins and probably several types of cases.

Lydia said "Better cases have better protection "

Better does not mean more expensive. Bobelock is a great value in that it provides better protection than many cases that cost more money.

Musafia cases are really nice, too, and if the poster wants to spend that amount, they should not feel bad because their violin is only XXXX dollars. Get a case that will:

1- Protect your instrument,
2- You find appealing
3 - Fit your budget

November 9, 2018, 9:53 AM · I just wanted to second the mention of a cushy cover for your case for winter. Where I am in the winter it can be in the -30’sC for weeks on end. Before I got one even if just running from the warm house/into freezing air/into warm vehicle/ back into freezing air then into a warm building, my violin felt very cold to the touch once getting to my destination. That kind of drastic temperature swing cannot be good for anything made out of wood!!! Since using a cushy cover in the winter my violin is still warm when I get to my destination with it. It’s my violins “winter coat”.

Edited: November 9, 2018, 11:10 AM · I just got one of those cool fiber-carbon polyrazmataz little violin cases and a bobelock cover for winter. Those new cases seem about as insulative as a fiberglass kayak sitting outside on a rack in the arctic in January. I wouldn’t use my shiny new bling case without a foamy cover. It is sort of ironic that my old-well worn faded violin sits in such a shiny plasticy thing.
PS, I did get one that has a foam lining
November 9, 2018, 11:58 AM · I do love the Musafia cases -- I don't own one and can't afford one, but they do everything you need and then some, so who cares about overkill if you can swing it financially and you love your violin? That said, the Bobelock cases seem fully functional for your needs, regardless of your violin's price. I know someone who uses a Bobelock with their Scarampella.
November 9, 2018, 3:01 PM · Tammuz, because at a certain point of time, the value of the case starts getting absurd relative to the value of the violin. Realistically one can feel that a violin is "priceless" but frankly not want to spend a large amount of money protecting it once you get to some "pretty good" level of protection.

The higher-end Bobelock suspension cases deliver excellent value for the money. But none of the Bobelocks offer the kind of protection that a Musafia Enigma does, for instance. But it'd be tremendously silly to spend $3k on a case for a $7k violin.

November 9, 2018, 4:08 PM · I was thinking of much cheaper Musafia models all of which are fine at protecting more or less expensive violins.Im not sure whether a considerable part of the Enigma price goes to the supplementary aesthetical luxury aspect. However generally I get your point.


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