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Cello case preference


Jim Bress
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I have a Bam Hightech I’ve been using for 15 years. It cost $1100 back then. I don’t think the exact equivalent is available now, But here’s my advice to my kids:

avoid wheels. They had weight and aren't very useful.

Avoid Velcro bow fasteners if possible. The Velcro wears out overtime and are not replaceable.

Try and find a case that has easily replaceable hinges. The hinges in my case are riveted   in place and can’t be replaced.

I will be interested in what suggestions others offer, Because I used my case for so long and gotten used to it

 

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

I have a Bam Hightech I’ve been using for 15 years. It cost $1100 back then. I don’t think the exact equivalent is available now, But here’s my advice to my kids:

avoid wheels. They had weight and aren't very useful.

Avoid Velcro bow fasteners if possible. The Velcro wears out overtime and are not replaceable.

Try and find a case that has easily replaceable hinges. The hinges in my case are riveted   in place and can’t be replaced.

I will be interested in what suggestions others offer, Because I used my case for so long and gotten used to it

 

Thanks for the tips! BTW, rivets are easily replaced. Maybe I should say that rivets are designed to be easily replaced by people that know how and have the appropriate tools. Any machine shop should be able to drill out and buck new rivets for you when the need arises.

Thanks,

Jim

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Depends on whether you are going to be traveling with your cello and/or where it will live in your house.

I am not a cellist so all my cellos are in racks in the shop and when hand delivering I am very partial to the Bobelock padded bags. I have yet to see a case which will withstand falling from a standing position and the hard cases give a false sense of security. The Bobelock bag provides almost the same protection against nicks and scratches and yet keeps one appropriately aware and careful . If I am traveling by plane I will use a Bobelock hard case with wheels which is a pain to carry due to being quite heavy but in the event that the GD airline idiots demand that it get gate checked then there is at least a chance of it's survival. The wheels allow you to run through the airport for the flight for which the same idiots have made you late. Lighter cases such as Musilia and Bam can be nice for working musician types who need to leave their instruments in green rooms etc. The Musilia is pretty good and I think less expensive although not cheap. The Bobelocks are pretty reasonably priced and well designed but, as I said, heavy. All in all cellos are a PITA to move around . Better to play the piccolo.

Last advice to any and all. Most cello cases have bow holders where to one degree or another the bow head is being slid in and out of a cloth pocket. There is a definite risk of pulling the beak of the tip off the bow in the process. I see this much more on cello bows than violin and viola bows which usually go in the holder sideways. I make sure to mention this to cellists who buy either cases or bows from me in the vain hope they will be careful.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Why don't you like the wheels?

Wheels add bulk and weight and are rarely useful. They stick out and catch on things So things like putting them into the trunk of a car are awkward.

For instance when you go up and downstairs you have to pick up the cello. When you go down or up a curb you have to pick up the cello. Many-but not all- cases with wheels are unstable standing up.

Even at airports with long walkways, they all have moving floors, what are those things called, where wheels are no benefit.

It’s far easier to just sling the strap over your shoulder and carry it.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

Wheels add bulk and weight and are rarely useful...

It’s far easier to just sling the strap over your shoulder and carry it.

FWIW, I've overheard more than one female cellist waxing poetic over a new case with wheels.

I haven't carted a cello around so I have no opinion.

However, I rapidly ditched the original case my bassoon came in for a lightweight gig bag. Thought I was gonna have an apoplexy hauling that deceptively small but heavy case around.  Same issue with the hard cases for the guitars. They really are just too heavy...

...and I'm fairly strong.  If you're a small, less muscley individual it would really be an issue.

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11 minutes ago, Rue said:

FWIW, I've overheard more than one female cellist waxing poetic over a new case with wheels.

I haven't carted a cello around so I have no opinion.

However, I rapidly ditched the original case my bassoon came in for a lightweight gig bag. Thought I was gonna have an apoplexy hauling that deceptively small but heavy case around.  Same issue with the hard cases for the guitars. They really are just too heavy...

...and I'm fairly strong.  If you're a small, less muscley individual it would really be an issue.

Never having been a woman, I can’t comment on that part of it, but I have heard lots and lots of people extolling the virtues of wheels on brand new cases, but I have yet to hear a single person extolling the virtues of wheels on a case once they’ve had it for a year. I strongly feel that it is much more appealing in concept than in actual use

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3 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Thanks for the tips! BTW, rivets are easily replaced. Maybe I should say that rivets are designed to be easily replaced by people that know how and have the appropriate tools. Any machine shop should be able to drill out and buck new rivets for you when the need arises.

Thanks,

Jim

I’ve had my case for 15 years, and no desire to replace it. One of the hinges is broken, but that’s insignificant. The main issue is that the Velcro bow holders Have lost their adhesion abilities, and if I were to replace my case it would be because of that, and any competent designer should be able to fix that problem quite easily

Edited by PhilipKT
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I am very happy with my Accord cello case.

I don't remember where I read that Mr. Ma won't use a wheeled cello case. 

I feel quite guilty putting my cat into a wheeled carrier for the super-bumpy ride over 600 sidewalk cracks on the way to the vet.  I  guarantee that if you took a ride in a wheeled cello case, you would never put your cello in one.  By now, someone's soundpost must have fallen out from the constant vibration  of those (only 2!) cello case wheels...

 

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My local "cobbler" shop does rivets. I also have a rivet "gun" and some rivets, but maybe not substantial enough for this job.

The handle on my BAM Hightech case failed many years ago - not that long after I bought it late in the 20th century. When requested the BAM company sent me (free) all parts of the carrying-handle assembly. Although my rivets did not fail, the handle design is bad and the rivets into the case body would have to be removed and then replaced in order to get the new handle on. So... I simply bought a replacement instrument case handle - the kind one uses for violin cases - to attach to the remaining part on the case***. That's what I've used ever since.

*** This kind of side-mounted handle:

https://www.sharmusic.com/Accessories/Case-Accessories-Parts/Side-Mounted-Replacement-Case-Handle.axd?utm_term=&utm_campaign=Smart+Shopping&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=1032166109&hsa_cam=13392607188&hsa_grp=121809417503&hsa_ad=525907644700&hsa_src=u&hsa_tgt=pla-293946777986&hsa_kw=&hsa_mt=&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=Cj0KCQjwiqWHBhD2ARIsAPCDzanDfb68ssD0UR128qzah6twfND-zNLhwtBVGt04QFGTvq4JMcB-7ToaAq7eEALw_wcB

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This made me nostalgic for my old Jakob Winter case. It was an old design, possibly made of plywood IIRC, and not that protective, but fine for my needs. It was about the most compact cello case possible, and it just oozed "quality". 

Sorry but I have no idea about current cases. 

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52 minutes ago, Royce J. said:

This made me nostalgic for my old Jakob Winter case. It was an old design, possibly made of plywood IIRC, and not that protective, but fine for my needs. It was about the most compact cello case possible, and it just oozed "quality". 

Sorry but I have no idea about current cases. 

I have had a couple Jakob Winter cello cases, one foam and one plywood. The plywood is my favorite balance between compact and sturdy of all the cases I've tried. I don't know they make them anymore though. I got mine for $10 at a thrift store, it works fine but looks a little rough. 

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5 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

You should have lived in the 19thC. where one must have employed a serf (at least one) to carry the bloody thing for you, because it is so heavy. I Illustrated a tailor made one from 1847 here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/346698-alois-engleder-budae-1847/&do=findComment&comment=902032

As the Laird said, when asked how he carried his cello,”…I have ‘people’ for that.”

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2 hours ago, glebert said:

I have had a couple Jakob Winter cello cases, one foam and one plywood. The plywood is my favorite balance between compact and sturdy of all the cases I've tried. I don't know they make them anymore though. I got mine for $10 at a thrift store, it works fine but looks a little rough. 

I had several winter cases and liked them all, but they had incredibly cheap “spinners” for bow holders, they were made of plastic, and once they broke, which was quickly, the cello case was useless.

Even though I’m a little disappointed at the Velcro fastening in my Bam, it has been 15 years, so I don’t have much to complain about

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13 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Why don't you like the wheels?

In addition to Philips comments, wheeling a cello around a city involves inevitable bumps as it goes over cracks in the pavement (sidewalk if you prefer) which will cause the cello to go out of tune. Not a big deal I suppose, but I'd rather just have minor tuning to do on arrival rather than starting with a completely slack string.

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17 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Why don't you like the wheels?

The problem is that if a case has wheels, people tend to use them. Depending on the surface, this can be the most severe jostling a cello ever sees, even if they don't wheel it off curbs (which I have seen done).

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20 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

I need a cello case for the cello I've been making

If this is a cello you will be selling when it is finished I would leave it up to the buyer to pick a case. If the cello is going to be lent out on trial (or shipped on trial) then that may change the equation. 

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