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Strad-broke!


matthew tucker
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It's hard to imagine it being in anything other than top of the line. It would be very interesting to know what kind of case it was in. It might have been a fortuitous marketing opportunity for the case manufacturer had the violin suffered such a violent fall without sustaining damage. Instead, I think most will want to know what brand it was in order to avoid buying it.

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A friend of mine once slipped on the ice and landed on his fine Italian baroque cello, in the case. The soundpost was driven through the top and much other damage. The same cello once flew off the end of the stage or something similarly spectacular, and was extensively damaged. Both times it was beautifully repaired, but the player was heartbroken. Still sounds lovely, though.

I once tripped on the stairs, carrying my old violin in a case with the strap over my shoulder, and it bounced down end over end and smashed into the wall below. I felt like I killed it. The marvel was--only about 4 in. of seam came open. No other damage, and it wasn't even out of tune. It was an old SKB-style black plastic rectangular case, which I still vouch for! Every student used to use those, and I love them.

Now I use a hard shell Gator inside a Mooradian soft shell for touring. Weighs a ton but will stop a tank, and still fits under my bunk in the bus. I have to fly with a feather-lite case because of size requirements, but I guard it with my life on plane trips. Much rather take the bus!!

Rose

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I have a customer who has a case he is particularly fond of. He is an older gentleman and is perhaps a bit forgetful, so everytime he sees me (or anyone else), he gives the same demonstration by standing on it with the violin inside! Even though the show is always successful, I cannot help but wonder whether mechanical fatigue from all the demonstrations might set in one day and render the case and violin... well... you know

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quote:


Originally posted by:
apprenticerose

I have to fly with a feather-lite case because of size requirements, but I guard it with my life on plane trips. Much rather take the bus!!

Rose

Rose,

What case do you use for plane flights?

The shortest case I have that will hold a bow along with violin is the Bam Hi-Tech oblong (rectangular) case, which measures 30 1/4 inches (measured across the outside of the top). It's actually shorter than the Bam Hi-Tech shaped case, which has a length of 31 inches according to the Bam website.

I'm looking at half-moon cases now. (The case pictured on David Garrett's website is a half moon case.) They may be shorter than the Bam Hi-Tech oblong, and because of the half-moon shape, their volume may be less than the Bam Hi-Tech oblong.

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The last time I flew, in Nov., the airlines gave me such a hard time over size requirements when I called, that I took the tiniest case I had on hand--a cheap no-name basic fabric-covered light case that came with a student instrument. It was really a catch-22 situation, because they wouldn't guarantee that I'd be able to take it as carry-on once I got there, even though it was cleared for security AND airline regulations as carry-on luggage! Then they said that even if I was allowed to carry it on the first plane, they might not allow it on the transfer flight. It was the craziest thing. No one I talked to made any sense at all! There was NO way I was going to ship it as checked baggage, so I packed light and prepared to fight for it as carry-on. And then, after all the fuss, no one gave me any trouble at the airport itself! I was wishing for my Gator the whole time. It wasn't the first time I'd flown with my instrument, but I don't know why they gave me such a hard time this time around!

I do like those Bam cases, though. After that whole mess, I may just get me one. The violin I was carrying in Nov. had a soundpost crack and other extensive repairs, and I was worried about further damage. My current stage violin (as of Jan.) is much more sound, so I worry about it less. All of mine are now solidly insured, also, with Clarion.

I remember sleeping on an airport couch with my arms wrapped around it and one case strap hooked to my belt loop. Fiddlers do desperate things when short on sleep.

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Rose,

Thanks for the info.

Your experience confirms what others who have posted and I have experienced, namely, because a case for violin and bow will be longer than the 22 inches (some airlines allow 24 inches) in the length dimension that is allowed for carry-on, you're at the mercy of good hearted airline personnel in bringing a 31 or 32 inch violin case on board as carry-on.

There is the option of using a violin only case for carry-on. They can be as short as 25 inches for the Bam Overhead violin only case. Bobelock has a 26 inch shipping case for violin only. You can carry the violin on, and pack the bow (preferably a carbon fiber bow) very securely in your check-in luggage.

By packing a bow securely for check in I mean putting a bow in a single bow case, and then inserting bow case, wrapped in some bubble wrap, into 3 inch diameter plastic sewer pipe about 34 inches long. Pack this 34 x 3 inch tube into a long duffle, clothes all around it. This should survive any impact.

The danger would be that airlines start inspecting your check-in luggage and see, in an x-ray, this 34 inch tube that looks like a bomb or bazooka and need to take it apart. So you'd want to pack bow in bow case and then bow case in sewer pipe so that it could be easily opened and repacked by the less than careful people that do that kind of inspection.

After doing all this packing of your bow for check-in, your violin alone in a 25 or 26 inch case would still, technically, not be short enough to qualify as carry-on, but it would be many inches shorter than a case that holds both violin and bow.

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I feel so bad for the guy. My husband slipped and fell with his violin years ago (yes, in the case) and it took several years to complete the restoration.

Checking a bow is risky. I suppose it depends on the bow. I barely trust the airlines with my luggage, so a good bow would be out of the question. And I for sure would not want security handling or repackaging them.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Erika

Checking a bow is risky. I suppose it depends on the bow. I barely trust the airlines with my luggage, so a good bow would be out of the question. And I for sure would not want security handling or repackaging them.

Erika,

I agree with all of the above.

But I may check in a bow on an upcoming flight. It will be a carbon fiber bow or a cheap wood one, packed in bow case, then in 3 inch ABS plastic sewer pipe, then in a hard bottomed duffle bag. I honestly believe that if the plane exploded in mid flight, with that packing, the bow would survive, when nothing else would.

I don't understand why airlines offer such poor service for luggage. Why do they have to load and unload luggage like dirt from a dump truck? Why can't they offer special handling for some check-in and maybe ask $10 or $20 as a fee for guaranteed safe and intact arrival of a check-in piece? Or why can't they allow, for a reasonable fee, some kind of pre-registration of a piece of carry-on that might exceed allowable limits a bit, but by pre-registering and paying the fee, you would be guaranteed the right to carry on? This relying on the good will of airline personnel to bend their rules in order to carry on a violin is really nerve racking.

By the way, what have your or your husband's recent experiences been in flying with violin and bow?

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Years ago, I had my violin with me at a large music camp in the southwest. I had a case that for that time, (mid 80s) was considered decent, although it was NOT a full suspension case. I had it strapped to a collapsible luggage trolley, to wheel it over the asphalt-paved 1/2 - 3/4 mile distance from dorm room to rehearsal area. About the 2nd or 3rd day there, I opened the case to find the bridge was flat. Trying to put the bridge up and re-tune, I broke the bridge through the middle. (THATS when I realized the sound post was down too). Thats when I gave up trying on my own, and had to borrow a second instrument from another player. Repairs were not too cheap, but thats also when I had the first informal appraisal of it since my dad had bought it in 1974 for me. It had only gone up in value something like 6x in the time I had had it. Now, it has doubled THAT amount, which I found out after another, MUCH more painful injury to my "baby" about 3 years ago. This time, I got a full suspension case, with humidity gauge.

SHAR catalogs used to feature a real-life story of a violinist from a major chamber group who accidentally left the cased fiddle on the roof of the car, after loading other stuff. It fell off the roof, several blocks later, at highway speed, and the player claimed the fiddle was completely unharmed, due to the case it was in. Now I've lost 2 purses that way, (one permanently), but a great violin? SCARY!!!

BTW, I've traveled twice with my fiddle since 9-11, and had NO trouble with taking it on any of the flights involved. the Lima Peru folks, however, DID confiscate my VERY round-tipped, very dull kindergarten scissors (for cutting fingering tapes for beginning students) after Denver and Miami had no problems. Go figure!

HOWEVER- in the light of United's recent announcement regarding smaller luggage allowances, I will NOT plan to fly with them again. Since I am rarely encouraged to practice violin on a flight (NEVER), and almost never have been able to sleep on any airplane, I need more to entertain myself on the long ones than what I can fit in a Bobelock case. Books, Laptop, stitchery, deck of cards?

Keep your fiddles safe out there! :-)

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