Jakob Winter Violin Case

“…not too heavy, and yet at the same time looked stylish enough you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with it.”

I had been using an oblong violin case for over ten years when I felt it was time for a change. Not that oblong wasn’t good, on the contrary in fact. The oblong case offered good suspension for the instrument within, and adequate insulation from the elements without.

Most of my violin performance engagements involve a great deal of walking, and walking with a cumbersome oblong case can turn even an agile person like me into a clumsy mess, as I often end up knocking that oblong case into people, furniture and doors.

“For a case in such a small package and slim form factor, it is incredible that it also features an effective suspension system for instrument protection against physical harm.”

The time finally came when I thought a shaped case was the way to go, but not just any shaped case. It had to be sturdy enough to protect my precious violin of Northern Italian school, but not too heavy, and yet at the same time looked stylish enough you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with it.

I went through the catalogues of BAM, GEWA and a number of other brands, and finally settled with what I thought was, bar none, the best-looking shaped case that had all, if not most of the features I needed. The case was one by Jakob Winter from Germany.

Allow me to describe it in the following photos…

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The Spruce – A Jakob Winter Violin Case

Jakob Winter violin case
Aptly named the Spruce, the Jakob Winter Spruce violin case features a spruce-grain texture finish on its exterior. Let’s take a closer look…
Jakob Winter violin case
It’s not spruce per se, but very durable natural fibres made to look like natural wood, at least from far. Real spruce probably isn’t robust enough to withstand the test of time.
Jakob Winter violin case
The top side of the case reveals a very appealing shape – not too straight and simple, and not too awkward like models of another popular brand. The form factor of the Jakob Winter Spruce violin case is easy to love!
Jakob Winter Spruce
Three swivel loops are found on the underside of the case, to serve both as mounting for straps and as feet when unstrapped. We’ll take a closer look at this in a while.
Jakob Winter violin case
On the rear side, three sturdy hinges keep the two halves of the case connected.
Jakob Winter violin case
On the front side, a “good-enough” handle provides comfortable grip when carrying the case.
Jakob Winter violin case
The handle is flanked on both sides by latches. They keep the case firmly closed, and are released by pushing the grey blade at the bottom. It doesn’t come with a lock and key as with some violin cases, and would have been a good addition. Not crucial for me as I never leave my violin in its case unattended.
Jakob Winter Spruce
The other latch on the slimmer side of the case. Let’s open the case – start by pushing the grey blade upwards…
Spruce violin case
The latch opens in this manner, just like some luggage suitcases. Takes a bit of figuring out the first time. Remember to start with the grey push blade.
Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
Here is a view of the entire interior of the Jakob Winter Spruce violin case, completely lined with high quality 100% cotton velvet. We’ll go through area by area…
Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
A little compartment is found on the slimmest part of the case, at the usual place as with most violin cases, with a folding cover. Since the Jakob Winter Spruce violin case is meant to be highly portable, it comes as no surprise that the compartment here is small. Really small. We will see how much we can fit into this little space later.
Jakob Winter violin case
Next to the compartment is the usual area where the violin neck and scroll sit. Nothing fancy here. A velcro strap is fitted to hold the neck in place, again a standard in most cases.
Jakob Winter violin case
A contoured compartment with cotton velvet lining provides a secure resting place for the violin back.
Jakob Winter violin case
An important thing to note about the contoured compartment for the violin back is the void beneath it. This empty space creates a suspension to keep the instrument within safe in the event of a fall. Shown here is me exerting a little force pushing this compartment down. Not bad for a seemingly small violin case!
Jakob Winter violin case
Oh, and let’s not overlook that rather huge curved space at end meant for…we’ll come to that in a bit.
Jakob Winter Spruce
On the top half of the case are two slots for violin bows. This is where the bow heads slip in…
Spruce violin case
…and on the other end are two Hill-style bow holders. In between is an oval-shaped signage…
Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
…an oval-shaped signage bearing the insignia of Jakob Winter’s GreenLine series of cases, and stating that the case is made in Germany.
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A Violin and its Paraphernalia…

Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
Filling the case now, I’ll start off with the little compartment on the slim end of the case. I could only manage to fit in a Hidersine rosin, a Roth-Sihon mute, and a thermo-hygrometer which I hope to one day mount somewhere within the case since it didn’t come with one. And that’s it – the compartment is already full!
Jakob Winter violin case
On the other end, the curve compartment is meant for a shoulder rest. I have stopped using the shoulder rest since the late 90s, but I’m putting a Kun shoulder rest bag here to show how it would occupy this space. The bag now holds a dental mirror and sound post setter, for on-site sound post setting, mainly for other people’s instruments.
dampit humidifier
I also keep a Wittner tuning fork, a Dampit humidifier and a pencil in this compartment, below the Kun shoulder rest bag.
Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
In goes two of my best violin bows – a French bow which I bought in Paris in 1998, and a Hermann Richard Pfretzschner bow from Germany which I mainly use these days.
Jakob Winter violin case
A Northern Italian school violin is secured down with the fitted velcro strap around the neck and fingerboard. I don’t use this feature as I usually line the inside with a silk cloth, and keep the velcro strap down under the silk cloth beneath the violin neck.
Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
This is how the silk cloth is placed inside before the violin is kept.
Jakob Winter Spruce case
Here’s the instrument completely wrapped in its silk cloth, just before closing up the Jakob Winter Spruce violin case.

Strapping up the Jakob Winter

Jakob Winter Spruce violin case
The base of the Jakob Winter violin case comes with three loops for hooking on the included straps. The loops also double as feet for the case when unstrapped.
Jakob Winter violin case
Here is the case with the straps attached. This allows the case to be carried backpack-style, which proved to be very comfortable in my real-world use.
“I went through the catalogues of BAM, GEWA and a number of other brands, and finally settled with what I thought was, bar none, the best-looking shaped case…”

The Jakob Winter Violin Case also features polystyrene inserts which minimizes temperature fluctuations, keeping the instrument within protected against related damages.

For a case in such a small package and slim form factor, it is incredible that it also features an effective suspension system for instrument protection against physical harm.

The Jakob Winter Spruce violin case is highly recommended and retails for approximately USD185.00 at time of writing, and I paid S$342.40 for it in Singapore some time in mid-2013. You can find a good selection of other variants of the same model from Jakob Winter in the links below.


JAKOB WINTER VIOLIN CASES

OTHER VIOLIN CASES

 
JAKOB WINTER PATTERNED AND SHAPED VIOLIN CASE SERIES


 
JAKOB WINTER OBLONG WIOLIN CASE SERIES


 
BAM VIOLIN CASES


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