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I really like my Weber case, both in terms of workmanship and weight (I think the model I got was called the slimline or something like that -- it has 3 interior pockets) It's almost 6 years old and I've had NO problems with it. I really like the thought that went into the design, and the workmanship is very good.

http://webercases.com

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I have a case by Bein & Fushi, and in the 3 years that I've had it, it has stayed in perfect condition. Workmanship seems of very high quality, and my violin has never been harmed--except once. The blanket is velcro-attached, and it was attached at the lower part of the violin, where it made contact with the violin. It rubbed off some of the wood, but it was partially my fault, because I didn't keep my fiddle in its satin bag like the people at Bein & Fushi advised. Regardless, Bein & Fushi generously touched it up in their shop, and gave me a brand new case. Evidently that case was part of a bad shipment, and they've never had that happen before. My teacher also used to have the same case(he now has a Gordge), and his went through a lot of wear and tear during his freelancing years. It still is in tip-top shape, and it safely housed his Strad for many years. And hey, if my teacher, and Bein & Fushi both trust the case to carry their Strads and del Gesus, I trust the case as well!

On another note, if Chicago isn't in your general vicinity, it wouldn't be very practical to get a Bein & Fushi case. From what I've seen with my friends, the Continental seems to be a fantastic case. If I were to go on a case hunt again, I would most likely end up buying one.

Lastly, I would advise against getting a Bam case. I don't know about their new "hi-tech" model, but for their older models, they aren't very stable under pressure. I was considering buying one during my own case hunt, but when I mentioned it at Bein & Fushi, it just so happened that our very own Michael Darnton (from whom I had just bought my violin) was taking pictures of a $200,000-some violin that was completely crushed when the owner fell down a flight of stairs and landed partially on the case. While the violin might have been damaged in a regular plywood case, a high quality plywood case most likely would not have completely caved in and mangled the violin beyond repair.

Good luck on your search,

Dan

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I've been shopping for violin cases recently, and some characteristics have become important to me, although they may be irrelevant for other people:

-- case rigidity. I don't want the outside of case to exhibit noticable deflection.

-- space between top of bridge and inside of case lid. I'd like that space to be as big as possible so that if there is any weight put on the case lid, there is a margin of safety before the lid deflects enough to contact the top of the bridge and push it down onto the top of the instrument, inducing a sound post crack. What I've found is that there can be as little as zero space between top of bridge and the inside pad in the lid on some cases. Other cases have about 5 mm (plus or minus 2) between top of bridge and inside of lid. Is 5 mm enough? I don't know. For my own peace of mind, I'd like to find a case that has about 10 to 15 mm between bridge top and inside of lid. (That's, I'll admit, an arbitrary number, that intuitively seems ok to me.) (The way I measure that distance is to pile, over repeated iterations, very thin (5 mm and less) pieces of easily squashed material -- open cell foam, for example -- onto the top of the bridge and place a small sticky label, sticky side up, on this pile, and then gently close the lid. When the label first sticks to the inside of the lid, then I know that the height of my slowly growing stack of squishy squares corresponds to the distance between bridge top and inside of the lid.)

--pliable cushioning pads. Sometimes the cushioning pads in some suspension cases are so stiff -- because of the hardening of the glue saturated cloth they're wrapped in, I think -- that they don't have enough give, for my tastes, to offer effective cushioning. I like to test each of the pads with a poke of the finger to see that they give readily, and aren't hard. Since I use a very high over-the-tailpiece chinrest, I'm especially concerned about the pad that's in the lid that closes down on the tailpiece. If that pad isn't pliable, closing the lid really does put some unnecessary downward stress on the instrument.

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I've had a Weber viola case for the past ten years & am very happy with it. Mine is by no means "light," however.

I bought a Musafia for my husband, but our daughter absconded with it for the summer. (It is very light and compact, great for traveling)--I suppose I will have to get one for her....

Here's a link to Musafia's "bargain page." Dimitri Musafia is very pleasant to deal with. used & demo cases The shipping is quite reasonable, too.

My youngest kid has the most deeee-luxe case, however. It came with her violin (an eBay pawnshop bargain). It's by Copeland (SW Strings), and appears to be water-proof, impact-proof, & perhaps even bullet-proof. But is it ever heavy!! The interior is beautiful, really high quality w/ lots of storage, but the case cover is what really impressed me: it is nicely padded and has a full-length snap-down rain flap.

J.

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In reply to:

The blanket is velcro-attached, and it was attached at the lower part of the violin, where it made contact with the violin. It rubbed off some of the wood, but it was partially my fault, because I didn't keep my fiddle in its satin bag like the people at Bein & Fushi advised.


Yes. I had this same problem with my Weber: The velcro is placed at precisely the widest point of the instrument. I'd advise against any case that insists on attaching the blanket with velcro.

J.

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I’ve bought 2 cases from Southwest. One was the cool looking crescent shaped foam case sold by a number of shops for just over $100. It’s very handy and lightweight but not top quality. The other was a closeout of a J.Copeland case like the one they are closing out now for $225. It’s plywood, strong, sturdy, nicely finished and built like a tank. It’s good protection at a good price but it’s not a lightweight case. Crazy Jane’s description of this case is accurate.

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Here's another vote for a Copland. Built like a tank. Lots of cushioning. Lots of room between bridge and top. Heavy? No question. But I figure I'm protecting against that once-in-a-lifetime event that the case is really going to make a difference, and I figure the odds are better with the Copland than any other case I know. (the Musafias are beautiful, though, but I don't buy "beautiful luggage".)

Got mine on closeout, too - pink crush interior. I'm man enough for it.

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For you bargain hunters, here's a deal (Southwest Strings):

List Price: $735.00

Our Price: $294.00

Sale Price: $199.95

You Save: $535.05 (73%)

477 - J. Copeland Semi-French Deluxe Violin Case

Description

Beautifully tailored black, screw-attached, Cordura exterior, with weather flap. Full-length zippered exterior music pocket, one large interior end pocket, and two small pockets on either side of neck. Plush German silk interior in choice of burgundy or blue. Case will include Hygrometer, Vaporette, deluxe suspension feature, four bow holders, string tube, matching blanket, and one shoulder strap. 7lbs. 4/4 only.

color>

--No subway straps, however.

J.

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I have a BAM London violin case for about a year now, and I'm very happy with it. It's extremely light, and it protects my violin from climate changes very well (and it was most certainly put to the test with all the college audition trips I took this year). It's an attratctive looking case, durable and the backpack straps are incredibly handy when you need your hands to be free! I got mine for about $180 from a wholesale string company that I found online (sundial, sunlight, something like that). I would highly reccomend it, especially if you do a lot of travelling.

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And while I'm on the subject, let me underscore a point made by Skiingfiddler. My viola was brought to me from Italy in a BAM case. Very light, very handsome, and very dangerous. You could see an imprint of the bridge in the upper lid lining, and the lining was smack up against the thin piece of plywood that was the upper lid.

That case was quickly changed out for one that provides real protection. What on earth are those BAM people thinking of?

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