CARBON FIBER, WOOD, FOAM, OR PLASTIC?

There are a wide variety of materials used for both the outer and inner shells of the case.

Plastics and ABS, carbon fiber and fiberglass, or wood and wood laminates are the materials used for the outer shell of most cases.

The newest trend in cases are the carbon fiber and plastic styles.

Many players opt for these cases because of the more modern look, suspension technology, compact size, and lightweight characteristics.

While these more modern cases claim to protect just as well as the traditional wooden cases, there is some evidence to support that a wooden case can protect just as well or better.

Some wooden cases are about the same weight as a synthetic material case and also offer suspension options.

When choosing a carbon fiber or ABS-type case, you will also want to consider if you need to buy a cover for it.

Living in colder or rainy areas requires a weatherproof case cover.

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The Cushy or Mooradian are universal to most standard-sized cases, while companies such as BAM and Tonareli offer their own particular version to fit their cases.

FIT AND EXTRA FEATURES

Make sure whichever case you choose the fit is correct. Most violins will fit in most cases, however, if your violin deviates too much it may require a custom case.

Cases usually have a velcro strap or tie to secure the violin neck into position. The part surrounding the violin should be soft yet hold the violin still in place.

Some violin cases offer suspension, which means that if the case is knocked or hit, the violin will be protected inside.

Extra features include the number of compartments inside the case, the number of bow spinners (holders), tube for extra strings, room for a shoulder rest, and a built-in hygrometer.

The hygrometer measures the humidity in the environment. It is not necessary to have a built-in one, there are other options such as the Dampit humidifier to put into the case.

If you like to keep your music in your case most of the time, some cases have a zippered pocket, while others do not.

Music bags can be purchased for certain fiberglass cases to attach.

BUDGET

As stated earlier, the more valuable your instrument the more you will want to protect it.

A beginning student may just accept the case that comes with the violin, usually a foam or wood laminate one.

Advancing students who purchase a more expensive instrument should then choose a case that fits their needs better than just a basic one.

Be prepared to spend $200-400 for a quality case in the advanced to professional range of violin cases.

Top of the line cases are closer to $1,000 for the serious musician who owns an exceptional violin.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

If you are constantly on the go and travel by foot and public transit, it would be best to have a case that fits that type of lifestyle.

Backpack straps and a protective hard case with room for carrying music would be ideal.

For players who travel by car and don’t carry their instrument too far, a less compact and slightly heavier case type will work.

Many cases come with several carrying choices: backpack, over the shoulder, subway strap to hold vertically, and a handle.

The weight range of cases is about 2 pounds up to about 7 pounds.

This doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you plan to add music to your case and you are carrying the case for long periods it is better to buy a lighter case when possible.

Another factor to consider with size is how often you plan to travel by plane with your instrument.

Regulations are much stricter in the past ten years about carry on luggage.

Choosing a cello-shaped case such as Tonareli or large oblong case is not as easily taken onto a plane.

BAM makes a compact case that does not hold a bow that will fit very well into any overhead compartment.

The main drawback is that a bow case must be bought and carried alongside the case.

THE LOOK

Some violinists choose to show their personality with the choice of case.

Nowadays with carbon fiber and plastic versions, almost any color is readily available.

These cases can also have stickers easily applied to add even more flair.

Pedi Designs offers colored cases, but most Cordura cases come in neutral black, tan, or navy.

 

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