Yet another case advice request
Hi. I’m looking forward to get a case that meets the following requirements, or most of them, so I ask for your wisdom:
1. Backpack straps (as silly as it sounds, this is essential).
2. Contoured/Arrow shape with room for a Forte Secondo SR.
3. Light weight.
4. If possible, an additional pocket in which I can fit some little things like a tie or a spare set of strings.
5. A reasonable protection for my current beginner instrument or intermediate one (for when I upgrade it).
Not necessary at all:
1. Combination locks, hygrometers, GPS tracking or anything of the sort.
2. Fancy colourful look (I just don’t mind the external aspect).
3. Music sheet pockets.
4.An expensive price/best quality available (there’s no point in using a great Musafia case for an €400-€2000 instrument).
If by contoured you mean not oblong then I know some really great cases that check all your requirements. You can't go wrong with Bobelock cases. I recently just got the puffy 1047 case by bobelock after coming from their corregidor 1051 case. I wanted a lighter case since the corregidor is 8 lbs empty. The 1047 case comes in different styles I just got the puffy because I wanted something more colorful after having nothing but black cases for 9 years. The case I have is 6.5 lbs which is 1.5 lbs lighter than my last case. If you want lighter you're probably going to have to go away from wooden cases, but wooden cases are nice and protective. That doesn't mean fiberglass or other materials aren't protective either, but wooden cases are tried and true. I know people at my college who swear by their bam contoured cases and love them. It's just preference. I dropped my corregidor walking up the stairs (had too may things and tripped) rather hard and when I checked my violin it wasn't even out of tune. So I can attest to the durability of Bobelock cases.
Thank you Christian. Yes, I meant 'not oblong' but I didn't know how to say it so I used that word. Do you know if Bobelock are sold in/shipped to Europe? I can only find them at US webpages.
I live in Italy and 3 years ago i bought from Quinnviolins (USA) a Bobelock 1047 Puffy case:
Miguel, how light weight do you have in mind?
I don't know of any distributors in Europe, but I'm sure some of those sites ship outside the US including quinn violins. I bought mine from Johnson Strings because they had cheaper shipping than quinnviolins. Only $4.00 compared to $18.00 at quinn. Then again I am in the US. Shipping for Quinn international starts at $48.95 for first class then goes all the way up to $115 for express. As for Johnson Strings you would have to call or email, but they do ship outside the US. One thing to think about is that the bobelock case that Marco and I were talking is on sale at Johnson strings for I believe $158 while Quinn is at the original price of $189. That's why I bought it from Johnson strings.
My Bobelock is very secure but too heavy I think for me to cycle with. I am very happy with my Bam Connection half-moon which is only 5lb and has loops for backpack straps - though it is definitely more expensive (ad here $600). One important factor to think of is temperature: most composite cases get very hot inside very fast in the sunshine - which is where wooden cases perform much better. The Bam has a thick polystyrene insulation under the shell but I have not tested its resistance to sun.
I'd say Bobelock or Gewa. Chinese knockoffs seem good value, but my experience with Chinese cases led me to distrust their hardware, particularly shoulder straps and ties. Metal fittings are cheap and brittle, and break under the slightest tension.
My instruments are in the €4000 range, but they are all I've got, so I protect them well...
For a $500 instrument, as mentioned by the OP, I would think it wouldn't make sense to spend more than $100 on the case. I'd go with the Chinese knock-off at that price point.
Lydia got it right. My instrument only holds some sentimental value since it was a gift from a very close person. But it’s a raw beginner instrument that just comes with an unbearable case. I think that there’s no point in getting a case that is more expensive than the instrument to protect which along with the new bow I got is still worth less than €1000. The only doubt I have is if it could make some sense to get a slightly better case than a Chinese knockoff that could still be useful for when I upgrade my instrument. I’ll probably upgrade it when my teacher tells me to do so. But the one I own is enough for me to learn how to play a double stop or where to put my fingers at the 2nd position. Its sentimental value also holds me a bit and makes me want to lengthen its useful life a bit, if that makes any sense.