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Aside from learning how to play the notes, one of the most important things for a musician to learn is how to care for their instrument. In the same way that a singer has to stay hydrated to protect his or her voice (Mariah Carey reportedly sleeps in a room full of humidifiers), a musician needs to know how to properly store their instrument for it to keep looking — and sounding — great.
For violinists, that means investing in a high-quality violin case. The best violin cases will not only protect your violin from bumps and bruises, they’ll also keep your instrument protected against the elements (think dust, debris or rain). The newest violin cases will also have dedicated storage space for your bows, shoulder rest and rosin, and easy ways to strap down and lock everything securely in place.
For Peter Marcos, first violin for the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra, finding the best violin case is as much about construction as it is about fit. “I personally look at what materials the case is constructed with both inside and out,” Marcos says. “The most important thing is protecting my violin, so I want something that will keep it safe in case it’s dropped, stepped on, or any other situations to avoid it being crushed.”
Other things to consider when buying a violin case: “I look for small features like combinations locks on the outside for added security [and] storage inside for accessories,” Marcos says. “Then much like anything nice we buy, I look at the shape, color, etc. My favorite violin cases are sleek and stylish, very portable, and protective,” he says.
One word of caution: “I don’t have a very flashy case,” Marcos admits. “I’ve seen absolutely gorgeous cases but have been warned by past teachers of mine that a flashy case makes your instrument a target for theft.”
Buying a solid violin case lets you store or take your axe on the go without worry, but it’s just the first step towards caring for your instrument. Much like jewelry collectors or auto enthusiasts, maintaining the lifespan and vitality of your prized possession takes a little bit of work. “I think people who are unfamiliar don’t realize that there’s a lot that goes into storing an instrument,” Marcos says. Along with a protective case, be conscious of the environment that you’re storing your instrument in. “Obviously we want to keep our instruments in a safe place, but we should always be keeping weather in mind too,” Marcos says. “Humidity has direct affects on the instrument’s wood.” Look for cases equipped with hygrometers, which measure humidity and tell you whether your current environment is too dry or too moist. You can then adapt to protect your instrument.
And while many violins come with a storage bag or case, they are often generic models that are cheaply made or don’t serve the full purpose of what a violin case should do.
“Violins are expensive and you want to protect your investment,” Marcos says. “They can cost tens of thousands of dollars, even millions if they’re made by one of the greats. Many shops only provide the most basic of cases which could work perfectly fine, but investing in a good quality case adds another layer of protection and security.”
1. Crossrock 4/4 Full Size Violin Case
Tired of boring, canvas violin cases? Upgrade to the contemporary styling of these ABS-molded cases from Crossrock. Available in a ton of crisp and modern colorways, the case swaps the oblong shape of traditional cases for a slick, boxy look.
The case is made from a lightweight and scratch-resistant ABS material, then injected with a foam core interior with plush, protecting lining. The ABS exterior is waterproof.
Inside, the main compartment houses your violin, while a large accessory compartment with lid makes room for your shoulder rest and rosin. There is also dedicated space for two bows.
What we like: the case itself weighs less than five pounds but can hold up to 60 pounds of weight thanks to the sturdy, built-in buckles and backpack straps.
PROS: Cool, modern design with rugged ABS exterior.
CONS: The case zips close but some users felt it could be more secure by adding a center latch.
2. Protec MX044 4/4 Violin Shaped Case
This violin case from Protec is made from rugged 600D nylon, which holds it shape while keeping your contents protected (much like bed sheets, materials with a higher denier count are typically thicker, sturdier and less prone to rips and tears). The nylon wraps around a shock-absorbing foam frame, while cushions your instrument to protect it against any dings and drops.
Inside, find a soft, padded lining, with a main compartment for your axe and a small interior accessory compartment. A bonus exterior zip pouch is great for your songbooks, phone, wallet, and other essentials.
This set includes the case, two bow clips, and a soft violin blanket. Carry the case with its padded wrapped handle, or attach the removable straps to carry the case over the shoulder or as a backpack.
PROS: Super lightweight at just 3.8 pounds. Some users say a soft case is easier to carry and easier on the back compared to a hard case.
CONS: Some users say the interior compartment could be larger.
3. Aileen Triangular Hard Case
This popular violin case from Aileen features a unique triangular shape and a waterproof cover to keep your carrying comfortable and dry.
The durable exterior is made with a cushioned foam padding, while a soft, velvet-like interior keeps your instrument protected (Aileen also makes as denim-covered version of the case). Inside, you’ll find a roomy storage compartment along with space for two bows and the violin shoulder rest.
Carry this case using the side handle or as a backpack using the adjustable shoulder straps.
PROS: Lightweight design — at 2.75 pounds it’s the lightest case on our list.
CONS: Some say the materials feel cheap.