For hundreds of years, violins have been protected by wooden violin cases. Even today, wooden cases are still very popular. And they have great temperature resistance. However, wooden cases can get pretty bulky and heavy.
With all the advancements in material science the past few decades, engineers have been experimenting with different types of shells to protect violins. Such as fiberglass, composite fiberglass, ABS, carbon fiber, thermoplastic, carbon composite, styrofoam, Airfex foam, and the list goes on.
Case makers have used these different materials to focus on a few essential aspects that make a great violin case: lightweight, protective, durable, and temperature resistant.
To this day though, it’s still hard to find a good balance of all these aspects within one case. Here are some examples:
- Carbon fiber cases are exceptionally strong and durable. They’re also incredibly light. But they’re usually very expensive, and they’re very susceptible to outside temperatures.
Fiberglass cases are strong and durable as well. They’re usually also quite affordable and available in several colors. But they’re known to be pretty heavy.
- Styrofoam cases are incredibly light and temperature resistant. They do not absorb the heat or cold like metallic cases do. But they’re also incredibly fragile and easy to break.
- Wooden cases are durable and temperature-resistant. But more affordable wooden cases may not be as strong as carbon fiber or fiberglass. And they tend to be pretty heavy as well.
However, polycarbonate cases are the “cool new kids on the block”. They rate very high in many of the important aspects you look for in a violin case.
In this article, we will go over the benefits of polycarbonate violin cases, and some of the top polycarbonate violin cases in the market today.
The Benefits Of Polycarbonate Violin Cases
Polycarbonate is one of the strongest plastics ever developed. It’s used to make bulletproof glass! Which is why it’s a very popular material in making high-end eyeglasses. It’s also used in medical devices and auto parts. Polycarbonate violin cases are as strong as many $1200+ carbon fiber cases.
Polycarbonate is very hard to scratch. Which is why it’s the perfect material for eye lenses. It’s also great for violin cases. Many musicians are concerned about hard violin cases that can scratch easily over time.
The reason hardshell violin cases scratch is because of the glossy finish that is usually applied on top of the hard surfaces. This is to protect the hard surface from scratching. But the finish itself scratches as well. And when light reflects off these glossy surfaces, the scratched portions do not reflect light, making the scratches a little more obvious.
Polycarbonate violin cases do not need this extra glossy coat. The shells are already difficult to scratch. Plus polycarbonate violin cases generally have a woven texture to it as well. Almost like the surface of a dodgeball. So if you really do scratch the surface with force, the scratch will blend into the woven texture, making it less obvious.
Polycarbonate is generally a lightweight material. For violin cases, contoured polycarbonate cases weigh between 3.5 to 4 lb. And oblong cases weigh about 5 lb. Standard violin cases weigh between 6-8 lb. Making these polycarbonate cases lighter than most violin cases out there.
This is a very important quality that has been hard to find in modern cases. A lot of modern violin cases are made of metallic or composite materials that are susceptible to inclement weather. For example, carbon fiber would absorb heat, turning up the temperature within the case.
And many cheap plastic cases could melt, causing it to lose shape over time. When this happens, you’ll find that the locks are starting to become slightly misaligned.
Polycarbonate cases are plastic cases. But they’re incredibly strong and temperature resistant. They do not absorb heat like metallic cases do. And they do not melt like cheap plastic cases. In fact, polycarbonate is a popular material used for car headlights.
As mentioned before, polycarbonate doesn’t scratch easily or lose shape over time due to high temperatures. They’re incredibly difficult to crack or bend. Which means the cases can last a lot longer, and look good a lot longer too.
Polycarbonate plastic is a more affordable material compared to metallic fibers. Which means you’re getting similar protection at a much more affordable price. Plus the case is going to be more temperature-resistant as well. Many professional violinists have chosen these cases over $1200+ carbon fiber cases.
However, polycarbonate violin cases can come in a wide range of prices as well. This can depend on the shape of the case. Some brands also feature better components as well, such as polycarbonate locks, instead of latches. Or better insulation materials under the polycarbonate shells.
Top Polycarbonate Violin Cases
Gewa Pure Violin Cases
Perhaps the most popular polycarbonate cases in the market today. These cases were developed by the German Engineers at Gewa to offer a protective, durable, and temperature resistant case at an affordable price.
This way, students can afford top qualities cases too! The cases come in 4 colors. And the neck cushion is adjustable to fit ¾ and 4/4 size violins.
BAM Supreme Polycarbonate Violin Cases
These cases are high-end professional cases with incredible attention to every detail. The locks are polycarbonate locks. You can use them for decades without having to worry about the keyholes becoming loose.
The seal is airtight. And the interior features BAM signature high density foam padding. Which serves as a suspension system for your violin. The exterior shells are also very uniquely shaped. There really aren’t any other violin cases as unique as these Supreme cases.
The Supreme cases come in 3 collections
- L’opera Supreme - Black and champagne colors
- Ice Supreme - White cases with different color seals
- Cosmic Supreme - Black cases with fine glittery surfaces.
We won’t be surprised if we start seeing more and more polycarbonate cases over the next few years. However, brand is just as important as the material itself. You’ll definitely want to avoid cheap copycats of trusted brands like Gewa or Bam.
You might start seeing polycarbonate violin cases on Amazon under $200. But we highly advise staying away from these cases. A manufacturer can still choose to use polycarbonate with cheap hinges and latches. If those break, the case would be pretty useless as well.
If you have any questions about polycarbonate cases, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.