Carbon-fiber custom case for Violoncello da Spalla!
From “A case”, finally a light and portable professional case for Violoncello da Spalla!
I never spent so much for a case before. The fact that it’s not only for myself but mainly to be able to provide our customers with the best they can have, only partially compensated for the anxiety and anticipation. Coming home we found this big box at the door. “The case! The case is here!”
I lifted it, and I couldn’t stop a terrified look. “This is an empty box! It’s too light, there cannot be a case in here!”
Instead, there it was!
We have to thank Sergey Malov for his tireless research of a case maker who could understand the needs of a traveler musician, and all the team at A case for their efforts: making a prototype and a new foam for a case, without any guarantee for high sales numbers is not something everyone would do. Actually, nobody did it before, so we have to thank A case for giving a chance to the da Spalla movement!
Let me tell you what I love about this case:
1. It’s super light
It weights about 1.7 kilos, which makes it less than 3 kilos (2.8 to me) when loaded with the instrument, bow and everything else I need to play (except for parts, makeup, dolls, sweets, souvenirs…). It’s so light and well balanced that you really don’t feel it on your shoulders.
It’s exactly the same weight of my handbag with my phone and iPad inside (and I always make a point of keeping my handbag the smallest and lightest possible).
2. It’s compact
I couldn’t believe how compact it is.
3.The bows have a proper space and the hairs do not mess up with the bridge.
I use clip in bows, so I put them into the case without the frog. With the Crescendo case the hairs always messed up into the bridge’s lungs, and I broke one or two at each opening of the case. This is why I always used a separate bow case. Here, thanks to these fancy magnetic holders, the bows have their space and the hairs do not mess up with the bridge. This is a relief! I’m so happy!It’s so easy to loose things around when you are traveling, you are tired and you have too many pieces to carry around! Last year I forgot my bow case in an airport lounge and I had to run back and also through the security to find it!
4. Magnetic lockers plus a Velcro locker.
This is original Velcro, guaranteed for 10000 openings. So, you do not risk accidental openings of the case if the lockers open. This is really a great feature!
5. Comfortable shoulders straps and handle
We tend to give this for granted, but it’s always good to find that our expectations are met!
6. Cool personalizations
Yes, I know, it’s only aesthetics… you can live without it. …really? Could you? As a musician you make art for a living, and you can live without aesthetic?
Of course personalizations are an optional, you have to pay for them on top. But A case can do almost everything, from solid colors to personalized artwork, from having your case painted by an artist to having your personal design applied with a sticker below the protective varnish. You can also have your signature with gold leaf letters if you like! Go to their Instagram to see how many options!
7. Wider instrument option
On their cello cases page they also have an option for wider instruments called “surgery”. I still have to speak about this with them, but I guess this will make it possible to have this case also for the Wagner model, which is wider. I’ll keep you posted!
There is a good choice of “3D colours” and solid colours. Click on “colour options” under the price statement.
Actually, this was the only disappointing issue for me, as I ordered turquoise, and you can see how it is yourself. The effect is black with a very discrete turquoise reflection. I expected something lighter, more sun-reflecting. I guess they can do a bit more than this, as my case had a problem with the stickers that had to be peeled off, so probably some paint also went away in the process. I will try again to get a turquoise one in my next order. But I will also go with the fire one. It should look great below my designs!
9. Feet and head handle to allow it to stand vertically
This is something I forgot to discuss on order. I gave them for granted because I thought of it as a cello case. Instead, they didn’t, as they saw it more like a violin case. On this case, I have only bumpers to put it on the side or flat horizontally. But I often place it standing vertically, so for me, they are essential. The A case team were lovely in discussing the issue with me (also on a video call to be sure everyone understood correctly), so I will ship the case back to have them installed.
A great customer service!
This people love their job and cares about their customers!
Considering all these features, the price is not an issue anymore. It’s worth every penny because 1. It saves our backs, literally! No more back and shoulders pain after one day of carrying your case around. 2. It can fit a plane head locker: it means that when you manage to bring up a viola case, you will manage to bring also this one: a bit bulkier but shorter than a viola case.
Uh, I didn’t mention it so far, but the instrument is safe and well-protected, thanks to good padding and suspensions.
This case is a must-have for every da Spalla cellist, so we’ll be happy to offer it to our customers!
How much? The basic price in 2022 was 1100 €, plus optionals (and custom duties). Free shipping.
After all, it’s just a bit more than a Kingham case (to which you have to add shipping and customs), which up to now, was the only professional case available custom-made for Violoncello da Spalla. But the A case is an entirely different concept of a case, which takes care of both your instrument and your body.
Updates from our workshop
On the “mundane” side, this week, we welcomed our new dog Oliver, who comes to join Arturo. Oliver is 5 years old and spent them all in a shelter. Never been in a home before, never sharing the life of humans. We are grateful to Arturo because his good temper and behaviour are helping us a lot!
Obviously, we spent more time with our dogs than at the bench. After all, it’s holiday time!
Featured video of the week
Enjoy this true gem, offered by Toshihiko Amano and Samuel Fourés. Vivaldi's sonata RV37/37a was previously incomplete. One of its movements, the missing piece of the puzzle, was recently discovered at Schloß Rohrau, a castle on the outskirts of Vienna, by Samuel’s father, Olivier Fourés, the renowned musicologist and Vivaldi expert and ballet teacher.
Interview with Takumi Takakura and Toshihiko Amano