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Laurie Niles

Yellow fiddle case: a new Tonarelli case and Coda bow

September 1, 2011 at 6:58 PM

A yellow fiddle case, how cute is that?



It arrived yesterday, along with a Coda Diamond GX bow, which I purchased to be a spare bow but that I may just wind up using pretty often. It's niiiiice!

But first, the case: it's made by Tonarelli and looks just like those nifty cello hard cases. It also comes in quite a few different colors. A few people asked me what the inside looks like, so here goes:



Things are quite suspended, and the bow is held by velcro. I have not quite decided how much I trust it, but I would like to get a silk bag for the fiddle, as the blanket that comes with the case covers only the body of the violin, not the neck and scroll. I absolutely love the handle and the backpack straps, and it's a very light case. I'm a bit concerned about the black plastic edging, which can get folded over if you force the case shut. If it gets folded, it's a bit hard to un-fold, though it's possible. You just have to watch for that when closing the case.

Now, on to my Coda bow, which is a carbon fiber bow. I finally decided to get one of these for myself after recommending them time and again for my students. One of my students has had one for about three years, and every time I demonstrate with her bow, I think, "This is really a nice bow!"

When I had a group of students get into the full-size violin range, I encouraged them to get these bows. They are perhaps more expensive than a "student" bow, but in my opinion, this bow allows them to learn any bow technique they want to learn, without the bow getting in the way. It does cost less than a professional pernambuco bow.

Personally, I had to fight very hard to learn spiccato (and that ricochet bariolage in the Mendelssohn) on my $125 student bow as a kid, and no, that fight doesn't help you once you get a "real" bow. It only keeps you from being able to go very deep into certain techniques.

These high-end Codas go for about $700, and you can get them at Shar or Southwest Strings or through a local dealer or other Internet dealers. For this price range, I find them to be fantastic: nimble, smooth, good with spiccato and ricochet, the right weight, etc.

I've no doubt there are other great bows out there and I welcome your discussion and recommendations. I'm just letting you know my personal experience.

Also, after getting this bow yesterday, I received a notice in my e-mail box about a Coda giveaway, in which they are giving two Diamond GX's (which happen to be the model I just got). The winner gets one for himself/herself and one to designate to an educational program of their choice. You have to be 18 or older, and enter online before Oct. 17. Here is the entry form.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on September 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Ah, new case smell...

From Jami Kleinert
Posted on September 1, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Awesome case!  And it'll be really easy to find after rehearsals (as opposed to one black oblong case in a sea of black oblong cases...).  I would be tempted to find some kind of monkey decals to go along with the banana-yellow color. :)

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on September 1, 2011 at 8:22 PM

I bought a new violin in March and was determined to buy a CF bow to go with it.  I tried very many, mostly blind.  All of them sounded rather boring on my violin until I played a Coda Diamond GX.  Then I tried four more of that model but they also sounded boring compared to the wood bow I was considering.  Ifshin's was charging $650 for it (I think Shar wanted $725 at the time), which wasn't much less than the wood bow or I would have taken it home to try out more.  Conclusion: Yes, worth considering, but still there are variations within the model.

Laurie, where do the bows go in your new case?  I don't see any bow spinners.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 1, 2011 at 10:00 PM

 If you look on the very right, those are velcro straps, and on the left are little pouches for the tip. So it's all cloth holding the bow in. 

From Ann Marie Cordial
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 10:48 AM

As I travel a great deal, I can only wonder how those velcro straps would hold up under jostling.

---Ann Marie

From Maurice Gatewood
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

So you got it, congratulations! The coolest  thing (to me) about your case is that it can stand upright. I just got a new case too the BAM Hightech Slim "Orangey" which is actually red, it looks like a chili pepper lol. It's a bit more compact than my BAM Oblong which I keep my spare fiddle in now. A friend asked me if having such a bright case screams "Steal me" my philosophy is that hopefully someone will notice it if it is stolen!


From Julian Stokes
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Love the colour. I think just looking at it before you take the violin out would lift your mood!

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Lovely! Laurie, you mentioned silk bag. I'm curious -- is it useful? If so I'll try to make them -- I love making bags and have a lot of silk.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 8:34 PM

 Yes, Yixi, I've been thinking about one that is loosely fitted at the top but then has a drawstring at the bottom...I've been thinking about it ever since I spied Hilary Hahn's insanely cool silk bag that she had made from a Hermes scarf; it's totally studly, depicting a Native American warrior, I believe. I was just thinking that I'd like one that's purty!

From Lisa Van Sickle
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Very cool case, but it seems to be missing one crucial accessory; now you need a Mini Cooper in the same shade of yellow to transport it.

While a little less flashy, I hope the Coda GX brings you every bit as much pleasure.  I have a viola GX, and think it's the cat's meow.  Especially for someone who spends time in the company of little kids, outdoor gigs, or orchestra pits, it is a must-have.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on September 2, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Laurie, if I can get a picture of it, maybe I can make one that is similar (probably not from Hermes scarf). Also, all the bags I've seen on the internet are single layered. Wouldn't a lined and reversible silk bag be better for protection and smoothness? Now I'm seriously thinking about making them.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 3, 2011 at 3:15 AM

 Honestly I'm liking the Coda quite a lot. As for the case, I'm not too happy with accommodations for the bow! I really can't get it to fit right in a way that I feel secure about it. 

Yixi, I do agree about the reversable and lined thing. I was trying to think of a way to not have seams against it and that would work. I have in mind a shape, let me send you a picture. Yes, the Hermes scarf might be about mmm $400 too much? lol!

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on September 3, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Great, Laurie! I'll wait for your photo and meanwhile, I'm making a couple and will post the pictures on FB tomorrow or the next so you can see how mine look. Another thing that I'm kind of against is the draw strings. I don't see how it would contribute to the protection but only trouble. Wouldn't them in the way and catch the pegs when you move the violin in and out?

From Sue Keemer
Posted on September 3, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Wonderful case!  I like the idea of the velcro instead of the spinners to secure the bows.  I have a tendency to catch the bow hair on the edge of the spinner.  Enjoy the Coda bow- I love my SX (silver) Coda. I need a new case- the Coda is about 3/8 an inch longer than my other cheaper bows-too long to fit in my current case. I'll definitely check these cases out!



From Peter Charles
Posted on September 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Are you not worried that people might think you are a cellist?

From Lisa Van Sickle
Posted on September 5, 2011 at 4:53 PM

After seeing the photo of Laurie with the 1/32nd violin, it's very possible that yellow case could be holding her cello.

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