Selecting a Case

A wide selection of cases is available. In general, cases with suspension are preferable.

Suspension means that the case is in contact with the instrument at the upper and lower block (neck and chinrest area), leaving most of the instrument, including the scroll, suspended in air. With a suspension case, any physical impact against the outside of the case is transferred only to the most stable areas of the instrument. In a non-suspension case, the main contact point with the instrument is at the center of the back, precisely where the soundpost stands. A strong impact to the underside of the case will transfer the blow to the soundpost, which can create a post crack in the top or back.

To keep the bridge from hitting the inside of the case cover, the case should be equipped with inside straps that hold the neck down. To keep the instrument from being damaged by the bow(s) transported in the case, be sure the case has a good method of securing the bows, and, with violin cases, a small pillow inside the case?s cover above the chinrest area.

Cello cases fall into three general categories:

  1. Soft cases, padded, but with no hard shell (least protection)
  2. Lightweight, less expensive, and weak (poor protection)
  3. Heavy, less expensive, and strong (adequate protection)
  4. Lightweight, expensive to very expensive (depending on strength/weight relationship), and strong (adequate protection)

Cases in category 2 offer an unwarranted illusion of safety and are only marginally safer than the well-padded soft cases of category 1. If you live in a warm climate, you might choose a light-colored case, which will reflect light and heat better.