What is a MUST in a violin case (besides build quality, materials...) for you?
Hi, I wanted to know what you guys can't "live" without in your cases. This topic must focus on the size, space you want inside, if you need 2 bow holders or 4, if you need a score compartment or you prefer a separated backpack, etc...
Leave aside the security aspects, the materials and the built quality. Just focus on what you need for practice, travelling... Also, I am not asking you to name what you carry inside your case. That would sum up to "I need plenty of space so these skinny cases don't do it for me".
I'm sure many of you have used over the years plenty of different designs and you've been reaping all the different things you find very useful in a case.
I will start with... I have pretty much only used oblong "large" cases because they have plenty of space to put scores, pencils, strings, SR, clean cloth, rosin... they are huge and you don't have space problems. However, I've been thinking for months or years that I could "upgrade" to a one that's way thinner, compact and lighter, such as half-moon shaped or contoured hard cases.
I've find many times the large oblong case quite inconvenient for traveling (through the city) because it's heavy and it's quite large. I've just discovered that you can buy cushions with pockets for scores and install them in these hard cases, so the only thing that I was thinking that it would be annoying (no space for scores) is solved with that.
I like the storage compartment to be big enough for my shoulder rest or a packet of biscuits or both - I hate the idea of keeping the shoulder rest next to the scroll where a bump might make them collide. Two bows are enough. A case has to have music storage - music can be heavy, and carrying it on your back is easiest. I don't care if that storage is separable or not.
A place to put the violin!! A lot of violin cases come without a place to put a bigger violin!
I prefer a leather tie to a Velcro strap. There is an inexpensive case called the Embassy Courier that is very nice and it has good compartments and a leather strap. I made the "mistake" of giving it to my daughter thinking I would prefer a brand-new Bobelock case, and there's nothing wrong with the Bobelock case, but the Courier is more elegant.
I am finding that, except for double cases, there really isn't good music storage to be had on a case unless I'm just walking short distances. Parts are too large, case is too narrow. For now, I'd use that compartment for extra strings, programs, maybe a checkbook if needed, etc.
For me, being able to fit all the things I need in my case is essential which is why I prefer oblong cases. I have 4 bow holders in my case, but honestly I only ever use 2 bows, so in that sense a shaped case would probably be fine and would be lighter which is also a must for my case which is the only reason I don’t use my wooden case. I could probably switch to a shaped case if I found one that I liked enough to figure out what I can and can’t fit in it.
String tube, bits-and-bobs storage, and an elegant design.
I am one of those people who carry a lot of stuff inside their case, and I value multiple compartments for accessories in order to be able to better organize those things. Indeed, I sort of wish that my case had specific quick-access places to clip a pencil and a mute. I also want a place to store strings in their paper envelopes without putting them in a string tube.
Good point. If I were to get another Musafia for any reason, I'd want to have a digital temp/RH gauge mounted somewhere, probably the lid. Velcro would be fine if we were worried it might break or go obsolete.
I'm considering replacing my current viola case, because the attachment points for the shoulder strap came out a long time ago. Even though the case is otherwise in pretty good shape and offers all the protection and storage space I need, it's inconvenient to lug around with no shoulder strap.
After sturdy, light, sun resistant and most important, safe I have very few demands. My case can be smaller as I don't use an SR. I only need 2 bows and the end pocket holds all the accessories that I really need (indeed, having a smaller case makes you only lug that which is essential).
Lydia wrote, "I also want a place to store strings in their paper envelopes without putting them in a string tube."
I like oblong cases because of the extra room; string tubes, 4 bow holders preferably, and of course solid support and protection for the instrument. Ideally the label should say Musafia also :)
Edit: I did not read the OP properly, so my previous answer further below is off topic. I prefer 4 bow holders, but two are fine. Do not like "external" bow holders to "save space". Decent amount space for rosin, cloths, and a few strings, if not enough space for a shoulder rest im the case, hopefully enough space on the cover pocket. I do need a space for my SR. String tube welcome, though not essential.
I'm pretty much limited to oblong cases for their ability to store sheet music. Plus they allow for compartments for shoulder rest, rosin, tuning fork, and some clips to hold the music down when playing outdoors.
Thank you, this helps to shape the needs that one might now know exists until you experience them, AKA discovering things that you didn't thought were useful.
During the previous "fire season" here in California I added the capacity for a 5th and 6th bow into the inner lid of my oblong double case (for 3 violin bows and 3 viola). I suspect every double case has room to do this.
In a violin case, it may be quite good to have a violin - though certain Italian gentlemen in Chicago may have had other ideas.
For me the purpose of my violin case is first and foremost to safely store and transport my instrument and 2 bows. Hence I use a shaped case with little to no space for storing anything else, which keeps it very light. I might put a rosin cake, mutes, spare E string and occasionally small tuner in the zipped accessory pouch, but that's it. Other than build quality and good design, I don't need anything else for my case. All my other stuff (pen, stand pen holder, eraser, shoulder rest, music sheets, stand light, cleaning cloth, metronome, spare batteries, nail clipper, water bottle) are in a separate bag.
A case that suits my sense of style and my aesthetic tastes.
The replacement case cover for my Musafia case I bought on ebay for $200 just arrived from Italy, so I'm jazzed
A small/tiny compartment to hold mutes, chinrest adjuster, and other small items without excessive movement during transport.
A tiny compartment for small things would be nice. I got around that by buying a small container (probably isn't much more than 1.5 in x 2 in) for about 85 cents and put it in the accessory pouch that came with my Bam La defense. Works like a charm.
Room for a shoulder rest and multiple secure latches. Too many low end cases use velcro and a zipper.
Beauty. If I ever get another case, I'll be tempted to get one of those cases that are said to say "steal me - I have/am something great", which I was advised against and regrettably heeded.
My teacher deliberately chose a viola-shaped case, so she could keep it between her legs on public transport.
@Lyndon, if you have any issues fitting it one please email me! Although I assume you have more than enough know-how...