Musafia, Timms, Negri, Gewa, or GL. Which one?

Edited: July 1, 2020, 4:26 PM · Hello,
1. Musafia, Momentum
2 .Negri Diplomat Violin Leather Case
3. Gewa Original Jaeger Prestige Oblong violin case - leather exterior
4. Timms English Model Oblong - possibly leather exterior
5. GL Quarter Circle Violin Case Brown Leather
Thanks, Dem

Replies (15)

June 28, 2020, 10:28 PM · Those are all great cases. Can't go wrong!
June 29, 2020, 1:29 AM · In my professional opinion, in terms of long-term quality, the Timms and Negri come in first, the GL a close second, and the Gewa a distant and dead last.
June 29, 2020, 4:04 AM · Timberland boots? That brand makes violin cases?
June 29, 2020, 6:52 AM · The "original" Jaeger oblong cases appear to be overpriced, and living under the shade of its past reputation. The construction, while german, is not based on a wooden shell, but rather Gewa's "thermo" shell (which may be better for weather protection, but not as protective as wood, at least from what I know-Mr. Musafia can elaborate further if he so wishes.) Now, I have had a similarly constructed Gewa case, and while my instrument did not have any problems inside of it, I really prefer the wooden shells, and would only recommend them.

With infinite resources, I would get the Diplomat or Timms myself, and would add Musafia to those options as well.

I do not think the Jaeger is horrible, but since it is so heavy while *not* being wooden, and the price is thus so high, I cannot see how it is a "better value" than the Diplomat, Timms, or Musafia options.

(Nothing wrong with loving your own Jaegers, for those who have reliably used them for years.)

Edited: June 29, 2020, 7:31 AM · The basics of this discussion are that Luis Negri and Desmond Timms (or Maurizio Riboni) are actual people who take pride in what they are making, to the point of putting their names on their products. GL Cases is a large corporation, but has a solid tradition and I've seen their cases, they are well-made, I will vouch for them too.

Gewa on the other hand is a multinational with shareholders to account to, and factories in China. I have reason to suspect that they make extensive use of Article no. 60 of the EU Regulation 952/2013, which at point 2, says essentially that a product made elsewhere but “finished” in Germany can be legally claimed to have been “made in Germany”.

"Finished" can literally mean just screwing on the handle:

That in itself means little, but I have been called in as an expert to provide an analisys of a "new" Jaeger after an important instrument was destroyed in it after only a very slight accident, and have come to my conclusions, with more than sufficient photographic proof.

PS. I have two Jaegers in my personal collection, beautiful and solid, but they are the "old"ones.

June 29, 2020, 9:51 AM · I know someone who carries a Strad in that GL case (or at least one that looks like it). A really beautiful case, but I will warn you that it really looks expensive from the outside, so if theft is at all a concern, it might not be the best choice. (i.e. it looks like the kind of expensive piece of luggage that could contain anything of great value, not necessarily a violin).

The Timms and Negri cases I've seen have all looked good, even after years of use. If you are looking in this range, I would look at Riboni as well. (As well as Musafia, of course.)

Edited: July 1, 2020, 8:06 AM · I have had 3 wooden Jaegers; one single violin, two double violin, one a leather-covered "gift" for setting up a friend's cello - this one his father bought in Germany in 1947, while serving in the US Army.

These early Jaeger cases had no real interior cushioning (i.e., "suspension") for the fiddles and rather primitive bow holders. My main objection to them has to do with the rather weak quality of the hinge connections. The hinges on one of my double cases ripped the wood of the case top it was attached to. If the hinges fail in a crushing accident--that's IT!

I vote for Musafia, I've got 2 of them, one Dart-shaped and one oblong, both single violin. Best latch in the business!!! I like the oblong - fabulous and beautiful - Salvatore Accardo model. However it is not something I would leave in public view!

Edited: June 29, 2020, 2:49 PM · Dimitri Musafia, you are such an honorable gentleman. You just couldn’t bring yourself to comment on the relative standing of your own case, even though it’s right up there with the best.
June 29, 2020, 4:12 PM · OP edited their post to mention Musafia, recently; the original did not.
Edited: June 29, 2020, 7:21 PM · OK, but he’s still a gentleman. ;)
June 30, 2020, 4:38 PM · Right now, the Musafia model in the mix is nowhere near as expensive as the Diplomat-- and perhaps the Timms. I'd have to check that. If you goosed up the quality to the Master (or Enigma or Aeternum), you would make it a fairer fight. And I'd almost certainly get a Musafia before the other two. I actually love the look of the Timms above all others, but it is a latecomer to the suspension game and isn't as watertight as Musafia. That is less of a deal in the UK, where humidity is fairly persistent. In the US, though when rooms get bone dry, I'd want something that wouldn't squander the fruits of an in-case humidifier.
June 30, 2020, 6:08 PM · The Momentum seems really good to me, and not too expensive. A bit minimalistic, and more practical. They do not like to make trash products just to cut down costs-even the more affordable Lievissima is well made, and just lacks many of the other bells and whistles in order to get you a lighter case.

If one is going to spend a lot of money on a great case, I would argue the Musafia cases are a really good value. They look and feel amazing, as if nothing could break them, are very refined, generally have a beautiful but not overly luxurious exterior-which may help avoid a possible theft situation, and offer many customization options for those who need them.

(Which is not saying the Timms or Negri Diplomat are not good, however.)

Edited: July 1, 2020, 2:00 AM · Thanks everyone for their kind words! Still, I wouldn't overlook Riboni, here's the website:

And for those who you who are wondering why I praise my colleagues, it's not just because they are all friends of mine. I promote whenever possible boutique makers over multinational plastic case factories because, quite frankly, you get more case for the money.

July 1, 2020, 4:44 AM · Musafia cases are quite awesome.
Edited: July 3, 2020, 6:51 PM · I love the latch mechanism on my Musafia.The definition of " solid".

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