Certified peace of mind: a case bearing the SATRAVI® trademark is the guarantee a musician needs that a case is designed and built to protect the instrument in the majority of possible accidents.
The safety of bowed instruments during their everyday transport is a key priority for every musician, even if their instrument is not a multi-million-dollar Stradivari. During daily use a case can drop to the ground, be fallen upon, be crushed or pop open inadvertently, sometimes resulting in the instrument being damaged or even destroyed.
Almost all case manufacturers claim to make protective cases, often using composite plastics in their construction and techno-jargon in their advertising. Some go as far as to claim high crush resilience, not mentioning however that a hypothetical violin inside would have been crushed by the shell’s deformation during the test.
Accordingly, musicians are often influenced by exaggerated claims, selective testing, and advertising hype into purchasing a case that they believe provides all-around protection – when it may not.
To resolve this objective problem, Dimitri Musafia, with close to 40 years of research in the field, more than 20,000 cases built, numerous articles published, and having cases commissioned by the owners of the world’s most precious masterpieces by Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, and other treasures of classic lutherie, offers an innovative and highly effective answer for those looking for instrument protection: the SATRAVI® Standard.
SATRAVI®, an acronym for Safer Transport of Violin-family instruments and pronounced sah-TRAH-vee, addresses real-life damage risk scenarios determined through decades-long research of real accidents. Consisting of not simply one but nine different test procedures, including two compression tests and six crash tests, each is conducted with the instrument, bows, and accessories within the case, in order to best simulate real everyday use conditions. To be SATRAVI® certified, a case model must pass all nine tests without damage to the instrument.
There is however no reason why building cases to the SATRAVI® Standard be limited to just one case maker. Any company which builds violin, viola, or cello cases in compliance with this standard will be able to request to be licensed to use the SATRAVI® trademark. The SATRAVI® Standard in fact does not set guidelines for how cases should be designed, built, or which materials should be used during manufacture: these choices are left to each manufacturer. Any case which successfully passes the entire testing procedure can be SATRAVI® certified.
SATRAVI® was introduced in 2015 during a collaboration with researcher Dr. Fabio Perrone (Research Group, Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage, University of Pavia, Italy) including the following partners: Laboratory of Safety in Transport L.A.S.T. (Department of Science and Aerospace Technology, Polytechnic University, Milan); AXA Art (multinational insurers); Institute of Superior Education “Antonio Stradivari” - International Violin Making School of Cremona; Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostics (University of Pavia).
Providing a standard whereby cases can be built and certified to provide protection during the most common accidents, the SATRAVI® Standard is a major step forward in the reduction of the number of instruments damaged or destroyed during their everyday use.
All Musafia Cremona Italy cases currently in production are SATRAVI® Certified.
How does a case model become SATRAVI® Certified?
A normal production sample of the case model to be tested is first prepared to simulate normal use conditions. A contemporary violin or viola, with Cremonese school measurements, thicknesses, and other typical characteristics of a professional-quality instrument, including an over-tailpiece chinrest, is secured inside the case. Bows are placed in all bow provisions, a shoulder rest in the designated space, the blanket positioned, and all closure systems implemented. The following tests are then performed, annotating the results:
- Simulation of latch failure: Case in normal trim when carrying by main handle, zippers open, releasing the latch to allow the lid to fall open
- Simulation of handle failure: Case in normal trim when carrying by handle, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from the top of the handle.
- Simulation of generic accident/1: Case in reversed trim when carrying by handle, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from edge of case.
- Simulation of generic accident/2: Case in reversed trim as when carrying by back-pack, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from center of handle.
- Simulation of back-pack strap failure/1: Case in normal trim when carrying as back-pack, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from the back-pack attachment.
- Simulation of back-pack strap failure/2: Case falling flat onto the bottom panel, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from the back-pack attachment.
- Simulation of back-pack strap failure/3: Case falling flat onto the lid, vertical drop onto a non-deformable surface, starting from a specific height measured from the back-pack attachment.
- Simulation of accidental seating on the lid: Case positioned on its bottom panel on a non-deformable surface, applying the average human body mass (Quetelet BMI Formula) onto a specific centered area of the lid.
- Simulation of accidental seating on the bottom: Case positioned on its lid on a non-deformable surface, applying the average human body mass (Quetelet BMI Formula) onto a specific centered area of the bottom.
If the instrument remains undamaged after completing all of the above tests, the case model tested is qualified to become SATRAVI® certified.
Providing a standard whereby cases are built and certified to provide protection during the most common accidents does not guarantee that your instrument will survive a mishap while in the case. Instrument damage can occur even in a SATRAVI® certified case, dependent on many factors starting with, but not limited to, the condition and integrity of the instrument and case. Natural aging and use of the case will eventually diminish the protection characteristics, especially so if the case is not subjected to our maintenance services when necessary. The use of a SATRAVI® certified case does not substitute proper care and caution exercised by the musician. We reserve the right to modify the illustrated test procedures without prior notice.
SATRAVI® certification does however confirm that the case was designed and built with instrument safety as a priority focus. The use of SATRAVI® Certified cases can help reduce the number of damaged or destroyed instruments in everyday use.