Pedi, bam and bobelock cases

December 25, 2021, 10:45 PM · Hi everyone!

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!


Replies (10)

December 26, 2021, 6:57 AM · 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.
Edited: December 26, 2021, 3:21 PM · 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.
Edited: December 27, 2021, 9:41 AM · I have not had a Pedi or BAM violin case (A BAM cello cse - yes).
David's endorsement should be enough to approve Bobelock cases for safety.
I have 2 oblong Bobelock cases, one violin and one viola. I like them - they have plenty of room for all the stuff I want to carry in my cases (and a little more, too - so of course they are full anyway). I had a couple more oblong Bobelock violin cases, too - but gave them to family members - they were good designs too. Bobelock offers a number of accessory storage options with their different oblong case designs.
I have also had 3 Jaeger cases and they had some poorly "considered" hinges (design/attachment) and the latches were not that great either - but maybe 50 years is too long time to use a case.
I have a couple of Musafia cases and they check all the boxes for the characteristics listed below (except one of looks; the oblong's look is too excessive for #3 - if anyone can spot the value of the case).

1. weight
2. level of accident protection (case strength & hardness)
3. appearance of value (for potential theft avoidance)
4. latch & hinge security (there can be a big difference between case latches and hinge attachments)
5 ease and safety of handling your instrument wrt this case (some case latches have protrusions that "want to" scratch your instrument every time it leaves or enters the case.
6. capacity and ease of accessory storage and retrieval
7. bow capacity

You might google "structural analysis of violin cases" to see if you can find any more clues

Edited: December 27, 2021, 3:13 AM · 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).

I do not see it providing any important increment of protection over a normal polystyrene case, not least because the most vulnerable part of the case is actually the bottom. And their declared resistance of 140kg is easily surpassed by the Toyo Gakki polystyrene model without metal bands.

Polystyrene provides excellent thermal insulation and absorbs bumps and small impacts rather well, but suffers from fatigue, falling apart with use unless very carefully engineered. Arguably the most important aspect of a polystyrene case is the density of the foam used (the higher the better), but no company seems to publish that information.

December 27, 2021, 8:11 AM · 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.
December 27, 2021, 9:22 AM · New Haven was a much scarier place in those days.
December 27, 2021, 1:34 PM · 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?
December 27, 2021, 3:29 PM · 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.

If you really want light there's the Gewa pure shaped cases which weigh 4 pounds and are under $300. It's not made of wood though, so if you care about that then I would skip that case.

December 29, 2021, 2:51 AM · Thank you for all the responses.
December 30, 2021, 8:51 PM · 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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