Pedi, bam and bobelock cases
Does anyone know anything about the pedi steel shield violin cases? Is it actually stronger than a normal polystyrene case? I currently have a gewa shaped 1.7 case to protect my circa 1750 English violin and want a second case that has more storage than my gewa, but don't want to spend nearly as much money on a decent case. How does the pedi case compare to the bam stylus case? They seem to be made out of similar materials. Or would it be better if I simply get a bobelock case!
Your question is not an easy one. I am a great fan of Bobelock cases and have no experience with the other two brands. Your luthier might be the best source of advice. It seems as if you are trying to balance several considerations, including protecting what is probably a valuable violin and storage space. Your luthier might be able to suggest either one case that would fit your needs very well or some other way of protecting the violin. However, I may not have totally understood what is at issue, for example the scenarios you fear for your violin or exactly how much storage space you need.
In extreme risk situations, like shipping, I am still using the Bobelock cases. Though they may not be the be-all in protection (a private charter flight might involve lower risk), they are really good bang-for-the-buck, in my opinion.
I have not had a Pedi or BAM violin case (A BAM cello cse - yes).
To put it politely, Pedi's "steel shield" is a misnomer, because it's not a shield at all. They simply took a polystyrene shell and placed five metal bands across the lid (only).
One of Andrew's "characteristics" - appearance of value (for potential theft avoidance) - reminds me of a funny story one of my violin teachers told me. She studied with Oscar Shumsky at Yale. She said that, in order to avoid theft of his Strad, he would always come to the building with his violin in a beat-up old case, and he would be wearing a ragged raincoat. One day at the beginning of a school year, one of the new students who did not know who he was, saw him, went over to him and asked him if he needed any assistance.
New Haven was a much scarier place in those days.
So, if you were buying a moderately inexpensive (under $300) case where low weight and easy portability were the most important traits, what's the best case you can get currently?
Probably a Bobelock 1007 Shaped wooden case. Bobelock protection with suspension and comes in at around 5.3 lbs. There's also the Bobelock 1002 wooden Oblong, but it weighs about 7 pounds. Both are under $300 though.
Thank you for all the responses.
Another case that I really like, which is a little lighter maybe than the standard Bobelock oblong, is the Embassy Courier. I don't know about impact tests, but I have had one for 10 years that is now my daughter's violin case. I gave it to her thinking I would treat myself to a new Bobelock, and I'm happy with the Bobelock, but the Embassy Courier case's interior storage setup is designed a little better, and it has a leather tie for the neck instead of the clumsy velcro strip that you get with the Bobelock. The Bobelock seems a little sturdier -- it's a tank.
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