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Lang Case

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How old is your daughter? Beautiful workmanship notwithstanding, the pink-and-blue model is reminiscent of My Little Pony.

I was going to reply with a Barbie comment for the pink one, and an Audry Hepburn one for the black and white, but held back.

This seems like an upgraded import case with shiny add-ons to make it look modern. I tend to roll my eyes at the price of most new things, so call me thrifty. I think your money would be better spent on a true water-proof hard case (BAM?), not a giant handbag.

BUT... If I were in your position, I would probably get the case for my daughter. :)

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How big are those pockets and what does the manufacturer suggest to put in them? (My idea: foam rubber shoulder pads from grandma's old shirts. Maybe it's a training case. Is there elastic?)

I vote for a good talk with an older female relative: "How much fast outgrowing can we/should we afford?"

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How old is your daughter? Beautiful workmanship notwithstanding, the pink-and-blue model is reminiscent of My Little Pony.

She is 11 turning 18. :) Just bought a new 'old' violin for her and she has been eyeing this case for a while.

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She is 11 turning 18. :) Just bought a new 'old' violin for her and she has been eyeing this case for a while.

Haha... great way to sum up her personality... 11 on 18.

As long as the case isn't the same price as the violin, you're doing well I suppose. I walk around NYC all of the time, and see most musicians opting for slick hard cases, or padded backpack cases. She'd probably prefer the sitcom 18 style over the NYC 18.

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I haven't seen the perfect case yet. I bought the top of the line American case from Shar recently and it is pretty nice. The hygrometer is digital and seems pretty close to reality. It is fitted with a strong magnet to the inside top of the case. There is a good size humidifier. The velvet is a bit thin though. On the other hand how many years do you have left to buy your daughter a girly violin case? Enjoy your kids while you have them, they grow up really fast. My youngest is 22 and makes more money than me!

Dwight

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Dwight, suppose, for a moment, that you had the attention of casemakers. How would you define 'the perfect case'?

Glenn

I just lost my last post, my Mac just had indigestion.

To make a long story short, I wonder about a violin/varnish/bow friendly interior for a Pelican or Storm case.

Foam padding with a microfiber cloth lining(the flannel like stuff) These cases are used for cameras and Olympic quality rifles and pistols. They seal very tight and take abuse.

If I were making a new case I would at least look at using one of these for the hard shell (maybe too heavy?)

Dwight

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Dwight, suppose, for a moment, that you had the attention of casemakers. How would you define 'the perfect case'?

Glenn

If I may be so bold, regardless of other points, all cases seem to suffer from the same weakness, that being bow holders. Most are wretched. One gentleman I know uses a Musafia for a modern Italian and several old French bows, and still had the snout knocked off one from a forward impact during travel, as they can actually slide forward and backward a good amount. Further, the same case cannot hold four bows hair down, as the top spinner location requires the uppermost bow to be facing hair up, to clear the corner, otherwise there is a serious amount of force leveraged against the button. This is absurd, but not limited to Musafia. All spinners are sub par, with sharper edges than are necessary. Some use Phillips screws that protrude and have sharp edges (including Musafias, although I have not seen recent models to see if this is still a problem). These can easily cause damage to windings if bows are not inserted with care.

The bow holders on all cases that I have seen need a good re-engineer. Yes, they hold bows, but not with function or quality remotely commensurate with the value of what they sometimes hold.

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If I may be so bold, there is a sufficient variety of cases available ranging from economic to top flight, and yet all suffer from the very same weakness, that being bow holders. Most are so wretched, one hardly knows what to think.

You are right on the mark!

Bows are really expensive, and really delicate. The spinners need to be adjustable for tension at least. I am thinking instead of trying to store the bows in the lid of the case as we always have it would be better to have the bows in a somewhat wider case lying in the bottom part of the case on either side of the violin. If you used the foam type interior the bow could be put in cut outs in the foam. I think the foam would need to be lined as it may not be varnish friendly.

Dwight

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Dwight, suppose, for a moment, that you had the attention of casemakers. How would you define 'the perfect case'?

Glenn

Can I add to the mix as well? On top of the great suggestions so far how about no zippers, a two piece handle that attaches to not only the bottom of the case but to the lid as well. And a case that is stable sitting on the table with the lid open. Even when there is no instrument in it.

I esp. like Dwight's idea for fabrics. Please no more gastly velvets!

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On top of the great suggestions so far… about no zippers, a two piece handle that attaches to not only the bottom of the case but to the lid as well. And a case that is stable sitting on the table with the lid open. Even when there is no instrument in it.

I esp. like Dwight's idea for fabrics. Please no more gastly velvets!

Velvet is really an awful thing. I know that on newer instruments, and those older ones stored improperly (hot hot hot), velvet invades a soft finish. I hate the plastic velvet that is so common, but people seem to love the stuff (usually draws and audible oo.) I say, keep the velvet for a lazy person's pajamas, and give me a silk lined case any day (if I had the money). The problem with cloth would be the weave pattern, again, might show up on a soft finish.

I agree that storing a bow always seems to be an afterthought with most case designs. Separate bow and music pouches are great, and keep things nicely padded. I store my bows in a separate case, so, maybe I'm spoiled. :)

I also agree that no zipper is a wise design idea; most cases can function without using a zipper. Zippers love to snag bow hair.

The only reason for zippers on most new cases is to cover cheap construction. Cheap hard cases are only truly finished along the lip of the case lid and bottom. Then, a cloth wrap is thrown over the cheaply pressed (from plastic or cardboard) body of the case, to make it appear solidly constructed. The cloth slip is screwed onto the case, and a zipper is added as a “feature” of the cloth, to make it appear functional. Thank you cheap case maker.

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This is all so funny because I am just writing a new chapter on the history of cases and discovered that Humbert-Laberte Freres in 1905 invented and patented an alternative to bow spinners. They are rather neat; the tip holder is a small post with a spring loaded clip that snaps down after the bow has been 'hung' on the post. They make the point that the hair cannot be damaged this way. Thibouville- Lamy responded with an equally thoughtful way of holding the frog without damaging it.

I agree that the bow holders always seem a bit of an afterthought but that goes along with the general view that first comes the violin, next important is the bow and finally, of least significance, comes the case. The fact is that bows are a LOT more expensive than they used to be and all three elements, case, bow and violin, need to be designed and maintained together.

The comments on linings and zippers are also important especially the negativity towards velvet and plush. I hadn't thought much about it before but heat, soft varnish and cloth don't make good bedfellows.

I've always thought suede make beautiful lining material if money is no object. What do we think about that?

Glenn

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Can I add to the mix as well? On top of the great suggestions so far how about no zippers, a two piece handle that attaches to not only the bottom of the case but to the lid as well. And a case that is stable sitting on the table with the lid open. Even when there is no instrument in it.

I esp. like Dwight's idea for fabrics. Please no more gastly velvets!

Darren,

If I knew how to post pictures these days, I would show you a leather case from the 1920/30s with a handle stitched onto the lid and another onto the base so that both are grasped at the same time when carrying.

Whatever happened to these good ideas from the past? I instinctively hold the lid closed with a forefinger when I am carrying a modern case. I just don't trust it to stay closed.

Glenn

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Perhaps a Storm or Pelican case with the violin and bows each in their own microfiber or leather/chamoix/suede slip cases. I like the idea of being suspended in foam as far as shock protection - it's worked for my Leica/Nikon/Canon/Morini/Pardini/TOZ/Etc. for years and years. Maybe I will get one and try it, my wife is a fine seamstress and could easily make the slip cases (seams outside). I am really particular about heat and my instrument, the people at my local stores are used to me having my instrument with me as it is hotter than the hinges of hell for a good part of the year. I am not sure how to test cloth or leather for compatibility with varnish (as if there was one kind of varnish)

Yes, Virginia you can take your violin into Wall-Mart...........

Dwight

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Darren,

If I knew how to post pictures these days, I would show you a leather case from the 1920/30s with a handle stitched onto the lid and another onto the base so that both are grasped at the same time when carrying.

Whatever happened to these good ideas from the past? I instinctively hold the lid closed with a forefinger when I am carrying a modern case. I just don't trust it to stay closed.

Glenn

Hi Glenn

That sounds exactly what I was asking for in a handle. It seems to me like a common sense idea that adds a bit more safety into a case. There's been a few times I've moved a case around the shop, forgetting that the lid is not clasped. I'm sure it's happened to others, as well.

Leather on the outside of a case is a nice look also, I think.

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I thought that I was the only one with an index finger out (holding the case "closed") when walking. It's nice to know that I am not alone.

The dual leather handle (like a doctor/vet house call bag) sounds nice. Maybe it was rejected because it seems too much like a large purse?

It's hard to come up with a material ideal. There is an ideal for archive storage (sitting still in a drawer or display case), and then an ideal for actual daily use.

I did use suede for the storage compartment of an older case that I relined. It seems to work well (easy to cut/fit), but I have no idea how it would react with a finish. I suppose (if someone was actually caring for the instrument, instead of leaving it in an attic) it would be fine.

A silk slip is probably the best thing for a violin (or sheep) within any violin case.

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Cases are indeed a problem. Shar used to advertise one of its cases by telling how it protected a violin from serious damage after it fell off the roof of a car going at a high rate of speed on the interstate. I always thought that was overkill since if you are carfeless enough to leave your instrument on the roof of the car you deserve what you get. As for case linings, if a cased instrument is exposed to enough heat to soften the varnish won't any case lining leave marks on the finish? I also hate the zippers, but I don't trust the latches on cases either. Especially when there is just one center one which seems to be a common type of case now. If the zipper is zipped then even if the latch opens my violin won't fall out onto the ground. Problem is that zippers seem to be the weakest link in the construction. I've had zippers fail way before the rest of the case had deteriorated. When that happens I buy a zippered bag case cover by Mooradian, which provides some extra insulation and padding.

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Hi Dwight, I googled pelican cases. Is this what you're writing about?

http://www.optimalcaseandlights.com/store/Medium%20Cases.htm

Yes, but they look like they would be way too heavy. I will look some more.

DLB

The Storm cases are too heavy as well - Mea Culpa - I just got up from my Sunday afternoon nap, at least my hair looks frightening! Photographers and shooters don't "carry" as much as we do :-) As I think of it, the case for my trap gun is very heavy (yet another brand) Photographers usually switch to a "gadget bag" except when traveling.

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