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Lately I've been thinking of upgrading my viola case, as the one I have I believe offers not much protection. It is one of those cases made of natural fibres, the top used to press onto the bridge (I subsequently pushed inside the foam in that area to provide some clearance) and also the suspension system I believe is flawed, or it would only work with a smaller viola than mine (mine is 16.5'', the case supposedly fits all sizes), considering the base of the neck does not rest on the cushion (it is too low), resulting in the scroll resting on the bottom instead of being suspended in the air. When I bought it I didn't know and I had limited choices... For a month or so, I had been carrying the viola in a cardboard box with a DIY strap! I even got it on the plane like that. :lol:

Anyway, that's a big enough prologue. Do you have any recommendations for good quality cases, preferably dart-shaped or viola-shaped, and definitely light-weight, for a 16.5'' viola? Not too expensive, I definitely cannot get a Musafia, but you could mention anything that comes to mind. Anything easily available in the EU is a plus... I can't seem to find Bobelocks, for example, around here and I don't think it's a good idea to order from the US, due to the added costs. I have no need for much space inside, I do not use a shoulder rest.

Also, I'd like to mention that I have read the posts on the 'other site', written by Mr Musafia, regarding carbon fiber cases, which really shattered my view of them, but I still haven't ruled them out as I can't seem to find a good dart-shaped case. 

Sorry if the topic has been beaten to death, just looking for new ideas!

 

EDIT: Dart-shaped & viola-shaped. Anything not huge.

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Rue   

I agree that you need to get rid of your current case!:huh: Bonfire! ^_^

I just bought my first dart shaped fibreglass case for my spare violin. If I find I prefer it I can always use it as my go-to case too.

I got it to see how it works for outdoor workshops. Hopefully it's easier to keep clean than a cloth exterior.

I understand Dimitri's concerns about cases but those do depend on use patterns.

I never travel by public transport. I rarely walk with my case very far. I don't worry about being jostled and bumped or about weather extremes.

If I did I would have to rethink my case.

I always carry the case with me (a decent shoulder strap is important for me).

I think any mid-price case you can buy will likely be okay if you are careful.

Edited by Rue
Fibreglass - not CF.

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I totally agree on Mr. Musafias views on CF cases, at least most of it. I have seen a fine Italien cooked to death in one. 

T.A. Timms makes a nice dart shaped, it is in the region of Musafia though. You can get lucky finding a Livissima as a second hand or a display piece on Mr. Musafias site. 

Other than that I would strongly suggest looking for a laminated one. Bobenblock is sadly not available here as far as I know (at least never saw one). There was a dart shpaed one by Gewa, didnt see it in a while. 

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2 hours ago, Rue said:

I understand Dimitri's concerns about cases but those do depend on use patterns...

I agree generally, but some things worried me, such as the fact that a sudden impact would bend the case enough to, say, snap a bow in half or break the bridge - I mean, it doesn't happen often, but it only needs to happen once - and also, seeing as I live in a very hot and quite humid place, this statement really worries me: ''the relative humidity inside the CF case jumped from 47% to 76% in only 10 minutes!'' 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WorksAsIntended said:

I totally agree on Mr. Musafias views on CF cases, at least most of it. I have seen a fine Italien cooked to death in one. 

T.A. Timms makes a nice dart shaped, it is in the region of Musafia though. You can get lucky finding a Livissima as a second hand or a display piece on Mr. Musafias site. 

Other than that I would strongly suggest looking for a laminated one. Bobenblock is sadly not available here as far as I know (at least never saw one). There was a dart shpaed one by Gewa, didnt see it in a while. 

I think it says on the site that the Lievissima is only for the violin. ''Oblong and dart shape. Available for violin only. '' I agree it is the one I liked the most...

GEWA has a few, but I'm not sure about the quality. Any testimonials? I don't want to buy another without any clear advantage to mine. 

 

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Why dart and not shaped? I'm a violinist, not a violist, but I have two violin cases, both shaped, and I prefer them because their outside dimensions are even smaller than darts. I'd value that quality even more if I was a violist. I don't use a shoulder rest, so I don't need the space for it, but even if I did use one I think I'd prefer to carry it outside the case so I could enjoy the spacial economy of a shaped case.

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18 hours ago, MarkBouquet clearsky said:

Why dart and not shaped? I'm a violinist, not a violist, but I have two violin cases, both shaped, and I prefer them because their outside dimensions are even smaller than darts. I'd value that quality even more if I was a violist. I don't use a shoulder rest, so I don't need the space for it, but even if I did use one I think I'd prefer to carry it outside the case so I could enjoy the spacial economy of a shaped case.

Um, well, you are right. I did not think of that special 'case'. :) Yes, by all means, shaped or dart-shaped, anything not as bulky as the usual rectangular ones. 

EDIT: Looking at the Bobelock viola-shaped case, though, I do not see any suspension system, unless I am mistaken. The arrow-shaped seems to have one.

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Also, while not really the size or shape I'd prefer, due to the relatively low price I was intrigued by a Pedi rectangular case, which mentions an aluminium alloy outer layer. Is that a good idea?

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8 minutes ago, thirteenthsteph said:

@WorksAsIntended The only GEWA ones I can find mention a thermo shell or composite shell. Nothing about plywood/laminate... 

Thats why I wrote there was. I myself wont consider any other shells on the market available right now. Maybe time will bring something new. 

 

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Rue   
23 minutes ago, thirteenthsteph said:

I agree generally, but some things worried me, such as the fact that a sudden impact would bend the case enough to, say, snap a bow in half or break the bridge - I mean, it doesn't happen often, but it only needs to happen once - and also, seeing as I live in a very hot and quite humid place, this statement really worries me: ''the relative humidity inside the CF case jumped from 47% to 76% in only 10 minutes!'' 

 

 

There you go then! You shouldn't be considering CF at all!

BTW - rightly or wrongly - the value of your violin does dictate the value of the case. I have an outside/spare violin just for that purpose. If someone happens to sit on it I will be upset but not devastated. If the new case falls apart - ditto.

If you want the security of an elephant- proof case - even for a less valuable instrument then expect to pay for it.

My odds of winning a lottery are probably about the same as my less expensive violin AND case both getting damaged while out and about - provided I am taking reasonable care. 

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1 minute ago, WorksAsIntended said:

Thats why I wrote there was. I myself wont consider any other shells on the market available right now. Maybe time will bring something new. 

Oh, yes, I see. Well, it's not like my instrument is particularly valuable, it's a Jay Haide, but I'd still not like to waste my money, so I agree.

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I have a dart shaped adjustable viola case by bobelock.  It is much better than I had hoped and is less than three hundred dollars.

 

DLB

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5 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

I have a dart shaped adjustable viola case by bobelock.  It is much better than I had hoped and is less than three hundred dollars.

 

DLB

Bobrelocks do seem sturdy and reliable. However, I cannot find them in Europe and I'd like to avoid the added costs that ordering from the US would entail, as I imagine they are going to be quite significant.

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https://www.sharmusic.com/Cases-Bags/Viola/?ShowProducts=True#page_no=1&fq=ATR_Brand%3aGL\+Cases&ShowProducts=True

 

Maybe a GL case.  This one seems kind of nice but I have no seen it in person.  I don't really know what it's made of.  I have looked at some of the less expensive Bam cases that seemed nice.  Bam are not carbon fiber despite appearances .  They are synthetic though.

 

DLB

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1 hour ago, Dwight Brown said:

Maybe a GL case.  This one seems kind of nice but I have no seen it in person.  I don't really know what it's made of.  I have looked at some of the less expensive Bam cases that seemed nice.  Bam are not carbon fiber despite appearances .  They are synthetic though.

DLB

I'll check if I can find them anywhere in Europe. But the website says they use a plastic shell, (ABS or PC).

Regarding BAM... I thought it was carbon fibre, but it seems they use some kind of composite? In the materials page they mention ABS, but it's not completely clear to me what exactly the shell is made of in every case model.  So... which cases is Mr Musafia talking about in his articles? I thought he meant BAM. They also claim 'excellent resistance to shocks and temperature changes' (Hightech model), but, well, of course, they would. I'm confused once again.

EDIT: One article talks about high-tech plastics, which I guess includes BAM, whereas the other says 'carbon-fibre'.

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The Riboni is a good case! I know two people owning one, both professionals that take their instruments daily with them. It seems to be durable. 

BAM would be on my not to buy list. 

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1 minute ago, WorksAsIntended said:

The Riboni is a good case! I know two people owning one, both professionals that take their instruments daily with them. It seems to be durable. 

BAM would be on my not to buy list. 

It seems to be quite expensive as well, though. It does look great. I sent an inquiry for their price list. 

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Also, seeing that the cost to have it sent from the US is not as much as I thought, I am also looking at the shaped Bobelock cases... Does anyone know any more details about the Shaped 2001 model, such as whether it actually offers suspension, or (asking too much :)) the internal dimensions? I am not sure if my Maggini model will fit width-wise in the regular 16.5'' case. Although, it probably will... right?

EDIT: Suspension?  

bobelock-shaped-fixed-1001-viola-case-7.gif

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