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The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Cello Case

The Cello Case Buyer's Guide

Finding which cello case to buy for your beloved instrument can be daunting, considering the thousands of options available today. In addition to all the different types of materials used to design these cases.

And with more options available, the quality of cases continue to increase for musicians...right? Not exactly.

Unfortunately, there are many brands out there that make low quality cases that don’t really do a good job protecting your cello. Which is exactly what a case is supposed to do!

In this complete guide, we’ll help you understand how to find the best cello case based on your needs, and your budget!

If you want to skip the guide and check out the top-selling cello cases, check out our 8 Best Cello Cases.

cello case buyer's guide

Table Of Contents

What To Look For In A Cello Case

Cello cases come in all sizes, models, and styles.

But there are 4 core elements you should be looking for in any case: protection, durability, temperature-resistance, and lightness.

Protective

It’s crucial to get a protective cello case. And that means a case that can take a beating! You don't want someone accidentally tripping on your case and damaging the cello inside.

The protectiveness of the case largely depends on the material used to construct the shells. Popular materials include fiberglass, carbon fiber, polycarbonate, and much more.

protective cello case

Durable

A durable case is one that’ll last you for decades. And a cello case is only as durable as its components. This includes the hinges, zippers, locks, etc.

These components are what really causes low-quality cases to be constantly replaced. We often see cheap cases become useless simple because the zippers broke.

So how do we know if a case is a durable?

By the brand! Reputable brands are reputable for a reason. Vice versa, a company that doesn’t put their name on their cello case has something to hide. So watch out for cases with no recognizable brand names!

Durable cello case

Temperature Resistant

A temperature-resistant case has become increasingly important to cellists when deciding what kind of case to get.

A protective and durable case can keep your cello safe from physical harm. But leaving this case cooking in the trunk of the car in 90 degree heat can ruin the wood of the cello.

Since wood is an organic material, it is very sensitive to extreme temperatures. If it's too hot and dry, the wood will crack. If it's too cold and humid, the would will expand. Both extremes can have negative and lasting affects on the overall sound.

A quick example:Carbon fiber cello cases used to be all the rage for years because they're so light and protective. But the metallic fibers can also absorb heat at a rapid rate. Which is why companies like Bam have invested heavily in making cases that are light, protective, AND temperature-resistant, such as their Hightech cases.

temperature-resistant cello case

Light

A cello is heavy enough! Why get a heavy case? A lightweight cello case can save your overall posture in the long run.

Keep in mind though, the lightness of a case is also the biggest deciding factor of the cost of a case. Usually the lighter it is, the more expensive it gets.

Quick note: Cello cases that claim to be lightweight and cost under $400 will definitely be sacrificing protection in order to achieve lesser weight.

Lightweight cello cases are ideal for musicians that are often on foot, or taking public transportation.

Many cello hard cases are made of fiberglass. Which usually weighs between 12 - 16 lbs.

More advanced cello cases weigh 8 - 10 lbs. With some of the lightest cello cases weighing less than 6 lbs. These super lightweight cases usually cost more than $2000.

light cello case

Cello Case With Wheels Or No Wheels

Wheels are an essential feature for heavy cello cases. You'll find wheels on most fiberglass cases.

A cello case with wheels is great for musicians that often travel by car. For example, if you're in Los Angeles, you may need to drive to all your rehearsals. So wheeling your cello case to your car may not be all that challenging.

However, if you're a cellist that often travels on foot in the busy streets of New York, you probably don't want to be wheeling your case around. You'll definitely want a light case that you can simply carry on your back.

Different Features A Cello Case Can Have

Different Suspensions

A suspension system is a crucial part of a cello case. It basically ensures that the cello itself does not touch the case.

The case itself is a hard and sturdy material. If you drop your case, you don't want your cello slamming against the hard surface of the case.

A suspension system usually consists of foam padding, slings, and other mechanisms to keep the cello from touching the shell of the case.

You'll usually find padding along the back and sides of the case.

Caution: Not all cello cases have suspension systems! Especially cheap cases. You won't see any type of padding or slings in the case. Especially along the sides or back of the case. This is very dangerous for the cello if anything knocks against the case with force, cause the shock will transfer directly to the cello, which can lead to the wood cracking.

Cello Case suspension

Combination Lock

Most standard cases come with key locks.

A combination lock can be found on more modern cello cases. It allows you to lock your case without worrying about losing your keys.

Sheet Music Pouch

Many cases also feature zippered compartments for sheet music. These are usually found inside the case, behind the cello.

However, many brands also make backpack systems that can be attached to the case. Allowing you to carry the case with more comfort. And these backpack systems often have large zippered compartments for sheet music as well.

Minimal Latches

In many newer cases, we’re noticing fewer latches. Some cello cases only have a single latch. This makes it incredibly easy and quick to open compared to cases with 8 to 10 latches.

Cello Case Backpack Systems

As mentioned before, many brands offer backpack systems that you can purchase separately with your cello case. These systems are designed to provide maximum comfort when carrying the case on your back. And you won’t have to worry about thin straps digging into your shoulders.

These backpack systems are definitely better for your posture and spine in the long run.

Stylish!

Why not get a case that is unique to your style? Gone are the days where all you could find was a simple black cello case! There are so many different colors, textures, and materials now to fit the unique style of each cellist. The Bam cello cases are the most stylish cases you'll find.

Stylish cello cases

Different Cello Case Materials

The materials used in constructing the shells of a case play a huge part in the overall protection, weight, and temperature-resistance of your case.

In this section, we’ll be going over some of the most popular materials used for cello cases, and the benefits of each.

Wooden Cello Case

The classic material used for cello cases. Wood is a protective and durable material.

It’s also one of the best materials you can find when it comes to protecting your instrument from inclement weather. Wood is an organic material that can help regulate the internal temperature levels of your case.

Plus its heat conductivity is very low. Think of a hot sun shining on a wooden chair and a metallic chair. Which one would you prefer to sit on?

However, wooden cello cases can get very heavy. You’re using more wood than the cello itself!

You may find wooden cello cases with canvas covers at cheap prices. But the wooden layers are usually pretty thin in these cheap cases; sacrificing overall protection.

You generally won't find expensive wooden cello cases, cause the weight is just too much for professional cellists.

Fiberglass Cello Case

Fiberglass cello cases are probably the most popular cello cases out there. Any colorful cello case you see is most likely a fiberglass case.

And that is one of the benefits of fiberglass, it can come in several colors! Tonareli cello cases have the most colors of any brand.

Fiberglass isn’t light. And we mean real fiberglass cello cases aren’t light. Which is why most of them come with wheels.

There are fiberglass cello cases under 8 lb., but they’re definitely not 100% fiberglass. Thus lacking in protection.

Some of the most protective fiberglass cello cases you will find are the Bobelock fiberglass cello cases. Which weigh around 15 lb. Even though they're heavy, may professionals choose these affordable fiberglass cases for their protection and durability.

Carbon Fiber Cello Case

Carbon fiber cello cases have been some of the most popular professional cello cases out there for decades. And they still are!

They’re extremely light. Some of the Musilia cello cases are as light as 5.5 lbs. That's as light as it gets for a cello case. Considering most standard violin cases weigh about 6-8 lbs.

carbon fiber cello case

They’re also extremely protective and durable.

The only downside to these cases is that they’re not very temperature-resistant. Carbon fiber is a form of metal. Which means it can heat up under the sun.

Does this mean you should avoid carbon fiber cello cases? Nope! It just means you have to be more careful where you put the case.

Many professionals get these cases because of how light they are. Making them incredibly easy to travel with.

Thermoplastic Cello Case

This material is definitely uncommon, and is unique to the Gewa Air cello case.

However, we definitely want to mention this one, cause it has been growing in popularity.

Thermoplastic is almost as protective as carbon fiber, but it's also much more temperature-resistant. Since it is still a type of plastic.

Gewa uses a special manufacturing technique to mold these cases using affordable materials.

The result is a cello case that is almost as protective as carbon fiber, but much more temperature-resistant. The weight is relatively low, about 8.5 lbs. And the cases are around $1200. Making them more affordable than carbon fiber cases as well.

Cellists get these cases cause they have a better balance of protection, weight, and temperature-resistance.

Hightech Cello Case

Hightech is not a material, but a patented mixture of materials by BAM. It consists of 3 materials: ABS, Airex foam, and another type of ABS.

The ABS shells are what gives the case its strength and durability. And the Airex foam is a layer between the ABS shells that provides insulation. Making the case more temperature-resistant.

The BAM Hightech cello cases come in several colors. And they can get as light as 5.7 lb.

If you're looking for the best protection for your cello, then you'll want a BAM Hightech case. They're as strong and light as carbon fiber, but they're much more temperature-resistant!

Polycarbonate Cello Case

Polycarbonate is a relatively new material in the world of instrument protection. But it is growing in popularity very fast!

Polycarbonate is one of the strongest plastics you'll find. It's also used to make shatterproof glass.

Case makers really like this material because it's much more scratch-resistant compared to other hardshell cello cases. And they're still very protective (think shatterproof glass!).

Styrofoam Cello Case

Most cello cases under $400 are foam cases. Yes they’re affordable. And they’re pretty light.

But styrofoam is the worst material when it comes to protection.

These cases are ideal for cellists that want the cheapest case they can find.

They're also good for storage. Since styrofoam itself is a temperature-resistant material. But if you'll be moving it or traveling around with it, you probably won't want to put a valuable cello inside.

Soft Cello Bag

Cello gig bags are a great option for cellists with a tight budget, and want to carry their cases like a backpack. Since many lightweight cello hard cases are quite pricy.

The gig bag is obviously not going to be as protective as hard cases, but you can still find decent gig bags that are light, temperature-resistant and durable.

The key here is to look for a durable cello bag! Cheap gig bags will have cheap zippers that wear out within a year.

Look for cello gig bags from reputable brands.

How To Choose A Cello Case

We often get asked what the best cello cases are. And we always respond with - what is your budget?

Cello Case based on Budget

Budget

Probably the most important factor in deciding what kind of cello case you should get.

The higher your budget, the more options you will have, and the better the case you can get.

Generally if you have a budget above $1000, it’s fairly easy to find a light, durable, and protective cello case.

As your budget decreases, there are certain aspects that may have to be sacrificed.

For example, with a budget of $600, you may find protective and durable cello cases. But they’re probably not going to be less than 12 lbs.

Vice versa. You may find a light cello case under $400, but it may lack the durability to last you longer than a year.

Now we’re not suggesting that everybody should get a $1500 cello case!

But with a limited budget, you’ll have to start deciding which aspects and features of a cello case are more important to you.

Learn more through our article on the 8 Best-Selling Cello Cases: Based On Budget

What Features Are You Looking For?

Do you absolutely need a pocket for sheet music? Or do you usually carry a tote or backpack for your sheet music?

Are you a fan of the one-latch system? Where you can open your cello case with just one latch?

Do you prefer to carry your case on your back? Rather than rolling it around on dirty city streets?

Do you want the option to lock up your case with a combination lock?

These are all important questions to ask yourself when deciding what you want in a cello case.

What Kind Of Environment Do You Live In?

Cello Case Based on  Environment

Are you in sunny-side San Diego where the weather is always a magnificent 75 degrees?

Or are you in New York where the weather can go from humid summers to snowy winters?

You may find a carbon fiber cello case that looks awesome! But maybe it might cause more damage to your cello because of the extreme environments you live in.

Summary

To sum it all up, choosing a cello case largely depends on your budget and your needs.

Ideally, you want a case that is protective, durable, temperature-resistant, and light. But if you have a limit to your budget, think of which of these 4 components are most important to you.

A cello case can have little awesome features. But they're really just the icing on the cake. Don't choose an un-protective and heavy cello case just because you "need" a compartment for sheet music.

But do take them into consideration when comparing similar cello cases. Maybe one has 2 shoulder handles instead of 1, which can be useful for you when lifting the case.

And lastly, you don’t have to get the best cello case out there. You just have to get the best cello case FOR YOU.

Really imagine yourself using the cello case on a daily basis. What would make your life easier?


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