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Musafia Case


kapellmeister
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Having looked at many Musafia cases recently, I can't help but notice that every (used) case that I have seen always has a "bridge line" on the top padding, where the bridge has rubbed against the top half of the case.

Now, from what I understand about "suspension" cases (the Musafia cases included), the point of the "suspension system" is to avoid impact directly on the back of the violin, if the bottom of the case is hit. The suspension system has padding (roughly) around the upper block and lower block of the violin, in an effort to keep the majority of violin back "suspended" above the actual case back.

Getting to the million-dollar question: These suspension systems are designed to have the major contact points be around what I consider to be the "strong" parts of the violin. Now, suppose the violin case back is struck- theoretically, the suspension padding will transmit almost all of the impact to the two blocks and the areas where the padding touches the back of the violin. However, since the crucial, delicate areas (eg. the soundpost area) are not directly touching the back of the case, the impact should not be felt greatly in these areas (once again, theoretically-speaking).

Now, since I have always noticed these "bridge lines" on the padding on the top half of the case (to be specific, the strip of padding that runs length-wise over the violin and carries the brass Musafia label), I assume that means that the top of the case directly touches the bridge. Quite firmly, too, if the bridge rubs hard enough through the blanket to create the "bridge line" impression on the padding.

The million dollar question: The bridge, and where it touches on the violin top, are obviously very delicate parts of the violin. Now, since the bridge touches the top of the case, if the top of the case is struck, won't the bridge (and therefore, the soundpost/bass bar areas of the violn top) absorb the impact directly?

I have been told that it is good to have the padding around the bridge, in order to protect it. But, given how the suspension system works to protect the back, it seems rather counterintuitive to have the top of the case be DIRECTLY touching the bridge for protection purposes.

Am I being paranoid? Luthiers, is the bridge touching the top of the case a big concern for Musafia cases?

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If you press the bridge imprint and feel that the region is soft and gives in some milmiters, there is no problem, but if you press it and you feel it hard it means that an impact can be transmited directly to bridge and sounpost (and from it to the back) and that are bad news.

About supension: I use a relatevely aggressive angle in my necks (Cannone del Gesù and Conte Vitale based Andrea Guarneri viola. I've noticed that due to that, the back of the scroll touches all my cases, and that shouldn't happen.

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I have a Weber case. There's no bridge contact, but I do definitely have an imprint from the back of the scroll on the bottom of the case. Luckily, there's still a fair bit of give there, and no evidence of any hard contact.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
kapellmeister

Am I being paranoid?

I share your concerns about case padding touching the bridge, in any kind of case. As far as I'm concerned, I don't want anything in the case, but air (or maybe a blanket), touching the bridge.

As you've noted, laying a blanket on the fiddle makes the fit between bridge and absolute hard part of top of case even snugger when there's case padding there, too.

Musafia obviously deliberately designed the case that way, because they list, on their website, the padding in the area above the bridge as part of their protection system.

In defense of their design, the padding over the bridge is fairly thick, something around 10 mm, and seems to be fairly squishy. So, there's probably some room above the bridge where the fiddle can move up and down a bit in the case without encountering serious pressure from the padding.

Lucky for us Musafia case lovers (I have two of the Superleggeros), the Musafia super lights (Superleggero) don't have that padding above the bridge. It's just dead air in that 10 mm between bridge top and inside surface of case lid, and that's the way I want it.

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I'm trying to imagine what keeps the violin from moving vertically in the case. I'm thinking there have to be at least two points, unless the restraint is in the exact centre of mass of the violin.

One would be the neck restraint -- e.g. a velco strap. If the other isn't a (hopefully well-padded) contact of the bridge, what is it?

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Victor_Zak

I'm trying to imagine what keeps the violin from moving vertically in the case. I'm thinking there have to be at least two points, unless the restraint is in the exact centre of mass of the violin.

One would be the neck restraint -- e.g. a velco strap. If the other isn't a (hopefully well-padded) contact of the bridge, what is it?

It's the pad built into the case lid at the tailpiece end of the case. When the lid is closed, this pad presses down on the saddle area of the violin. For most violins that means it presses down on the chinrest or part of the chinrest to keep the fiddle in place.

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Skiingfiddler, if I may ask, where and when did you get your Musafia Superleggeros cases? Also, does your case look like this: http://www.musafia.com/S2012RbeigeB.jpg ?

I notice that there is a piece of padding extending a few inches beyond the big square pad that touches the chinrest and hold the violin in place. I'm wondering if this piece of padding is not in your two cases, or if they are, if they just don't extend far enough to reach the bridge. From the picture, it seems like it would, but maybe not so...

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Victor,

I thought your question was a good one. With all the discussion about padding above the bridge, nobody mentioned that the main downward force on the fiddle in the case, besides the neck strap, was the pad at the chinrest.

KM,

I bought my cases 6 and 7 years ago from the Musafia website, from among their discounted cases. The arrangement of padding in the case lid in my Superleggeros is just like that in the dart case you posted, a low strip of padding (about 11 cm long) with a squarish pillow pad on top of it at its end. There's no padding in the lid near the bridge to touch the bridge. That strip of padding does not extend far enough to touch the bridge.

It might be worth mentioning for people who have concerns about case padding touching the bridge, that the Studio cases (which were less expensive than the Superleggeros when I was buying cases 7 years ago) did (still do?) have that strip of padding running the full length of the case lid. The Superleggeros didn't have the full strip, and then the more expensive Musafia cases did, I believe, have a full length strip, like the Studios. Why the Superleggeros got skipped with that feature, I don't know, but I'm glad they did.

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Skiingfiddler, thanks for your response. I'm hunting for a Superleggero, but they seemed to have all disappeared!

Anyway, I'm glad to know that that strip of padding does not reach the bridge. Knowing that, when I look at the picture, that extra two inches (or so) of padding that extends beyond the big square pad seem pointless now. I originally thought it might be there to serve as padding for the bridge, but since I now know that it doesn't, it seems like a rather odd detail.

Oh well...maybe the padding on the other Musafia cases is squishy enough to avoid any real problems with the bridge. Anybody know anything about the other Musafia dart-shaped cases?

I posted this topic in the Fingerboard Forum as well (sorry for double posting, admins- just wanted to get some opinions from the player-side, as well as the luthier-side). It seems like most people aren't TOO concerned, although I have to agree with one of the poster's concerns about the padding affecting sound-adjustments. Just watching the minute bridge adjustments that my luthier performs makes me antsy about breathing on the bridge, much less pressing it with a violin case top, padded or not. Well, I suppose any good knock on the case is enough to knock the bridge out of that oh-so-perfect alignment, too.

Thanks for all the replies...and for any future ones!

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