This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)
A decade ago, classical guitar cases were all wooden and rugged in design. Today there is a wide range of options, some of which are stylishly designed. The BAM Case can be regarded as the leading example of such a stylish classical guitar case. I actually bought the BAM Case. So I would like to review not only its design but also its functionality.
For classical guitar cases, the following article compares various products:
- “BAM”, a French manufacturer of stylish instrument cases
- “HIGHTECH” series, a high-end case line for classical guitars
- I bought the BAM HIGHTECH series Carbon Black guitar case (8002XLC). I will review it
- Of course, there are some complaints about the BAM Case
- The BAM Case is a highly satisfying guitar case if you can be satisfied with the price
“BAM”, a French manufacturer of stylish instrument cases
“BAM” is a French manufacturer of stylish instrument cases.
The manufacturer does not only sell cases for guitars. It has a wide variety of products, including cases for stringed and wind instruments.
In addition, although only relatively expensive cases are sold in Japan, the manufacturer also handles inexpensive cases. It handles a wide price range of instrument cases.
“HIGHTECH” series, a high-end case line for classical guitars
As mentioned earlier, BAM actually sells a variety of instrument cases, from cheap to expensive. This is no exception for the classical guitar.
The BAM Cases sold in Japan are:
3 types above. The HIGHTECH series is probably the best known of them.
The following article compares various products for classical guitar cases, including the BAM Case:
The BAM Case has a three-layer structure. It’s light and strong
The HIGHTECH series features a three-layer outer shell structure.
The 3 materials are, from outside,
- ABS resin
- Airex foam (polyurethane)
- PETG resin
The key is a polyurethane layer that is sandwiched in the middle.
This polyurethane layer insulates against temperature and humidity. It also protects the instrument from changes in temperature and humidity.
In addition, Airex foam is so good at absorbing shock that it is used in airplanes and ships. Together with the ABS resin on the outside, it therefore appears to be resistant to impact.
We also have “Aranjuez case” as a stylish hard case for classical guitars. However, Aranjuez case does not have such a layer.
There is a big difference in price between the Aranjuez case at 39,600 yen (glass fiber version) and the BAM HIGHTECH Case at 110,000 yen. Perhaps the difference depends on with/without the polyurethane layer.
Wide range of designs
Another feature of the BAM HIGHTECH series is the wide range of design options.
There are currently 10 different designs available in Japan alone.
Furthermore, some of the BAM HIGHTECH Cases are not just different colors, but also different materials used. This shows that they are not only particular about design, but also about texture.
For example, some BAM Cases have an embossed exterior:
Some even have a flannel fabric instead of ABS resin:
Some look fancy, like this one:
Of course, ABS resin is not just simply painted, but there are also carbon or metallic looks. There are many variations. That makes it a lot of fun to choose.
I bought the BAM HIGHTECH series Carbon Black guitar case (8002XLC). I will review it
I purchased the BAM HIGHTECH series of Carbon Black (model number: 8002XLC) . I would like to review it.
Switched from the Superlight Case to a BAM HIGHTECH Case
I’ve used the Superlight Case, which is one of the semi-hard cases for classical guitars.
The Superlight Case is a great case, but I have a few complaints.
One of the factors that led to the replacement was the anxiety when I got on a crowded train.
I recently had the opportunity to take my guitar on a crowded train. As the train started/stopped and people swayed, they sometimes leaned on my guitar case.
At that time, I thought it would be terrible if the train stopped suddenly and someone collapsed on top of my guitar case. That’s why I decided to purchase a new one.
Since I’m using an excellent guitar, I wanted to protect it. So I bought a BAM Case.
I will compare the BAM Case with the Superlight Case in another article.
See this article for a comparison with the Superlight Case:
Designed to satisfy the desire for ownership
After all, the most significant feature of the BAM Case is its design.
Have you ever seen such an elegant guitar case?
When the Aranjuez guitar case first appeared in the past, I was overwhelmed by its design. However, the impact I felt with the BAM Case is even greater.
Not only does it look great, but its design also looks great when you open the lid of the case:
The BAM Case has a lean design that follows the shape of the guitar. The design makes the BAM Case even more beautiful. It’s as if you bought a new guitar of a higher grade.
Numerous additional cushions make it possible to accommodate short scale and small body guitars
A nice feature of the BAM Case is that it comes with lots of extra cushions. These cushions allow us to accommodate guitars of different shapes and sizes.
My Hauser III guitar has a 645mm short scale length and a Torres-type body. Therefore, if I use a standard case, such as a Superlight Case, the gap is too big. And the guitar will move inside the case.
That’s why I’ve used a cushion that fills the gap, which is sold separately. But the BAM Case originally comes with the cushions that can be fitted inside the case:
In the case of my Hauser III guitar, it fitted perfectly when I attached 6 cushions as shown in the photo above.
Even though I’ve fitted 6 cushions, there are still 8 cushions left. If you use multiple cushions, you can handle guitars with quite a variety of shapes and sizes.
By the way, it comes with a rectangular cushion and a semi-cylindrical cushion. But I don’t know how to use them differently…
Easy to open and close the BAM Case
Have you ever felt: “It’s troublesome to put the guitar in and out of the case”?
For example, what if there are too many patch-locks, or if locking and unlocking is troublesome? You will find it a tiresome to take your guitar out of the case.
On the other hand, the BAM Case has only 3 locks in total. This means that you can take your guitar out as soon as you want to play it. And it’s easy to store your guitar in the case.
Moreover, the BAM Case can be opened and closed by simply flicking the lock tabs up and down.
It’s hard to explain in words. So have a look at the video below:
With a typical patch-lock, you have to hook the lock onto the top lid and unhook it again. In contrast, the BAM Case locks are impressively easy to open and close, as shown in this video. That’s because you don’t have to hook the lock onto the top lid and unhook it again.
It’s light for a hard case
My biggest concern when switching from the Superlight Case: the weight of the BAM Case.
The Superlight Case weighs only 2.1kg, while the BAM Case weighs 2.8kg. The difference is 0.7kg, which is about half the weight of a guitar itself.
My impression after actually using it: the Superlight Case is still lighter when I carry it on my back.
However, the BAM Case is lighter than most non-carbon hard cases. And the strap of the case is excellent. So I didn’t feel it was as heavy as the difference in the case weight.
Of course, there are some complaints about the BAM Case
Personally, I liked the BAM Case. However, there are other complaints besides the weight.
The cushioning material on the sides is thin
First complaint: thin cushioning material on the sides when you don’t use additional cushions.
As shown in the photo below, the cushioning material is thin. It also feels flimsy to the touch:
The Superlight Case also had a thin cushioning material. However, it is still acceptable because it has soft styrofoam on the outside.
However, in the case of the BAM Case, the outside of the cushioning material is PETG resin. So, when the guitar moves around inside the case, it seems to have a big impact.
If your guitar is small for the case, you may want to put an additional cushions firmly on it.
By the way, the front and back parts inside the BAM Case are surrounded by relatively firm cushion.
I wonder if the manufacturer has decided that “since the sides of the guitar are originally strong, there’s no need for such thick cushioning material”.
The surface of the BAM Case lock became sticky due to hydrolysis
Second complaint: coating on the BAM Case lock surface.
The locks on the BAM Case are great in terms of functionality. However, after using them for a while they got sticky and ended up looking like this:
This is probably because the surface of the lock is coated with urethane or something else, which absorbs moisture and hydrolyzes.
Since the movement of the locks does not deteriorate, there is no problem with their functionality. However, it ruins the stylish design of the BAM Case itself.
It’s probably meant to give a soft texture when touched. It’s a pity, though, that it becomes like this over time.
By the way, this stickiness can be removed with baking soda. However, of course the urethane coating will also come off.
The outer ABS resin of the BAM Case is easily scratched
Third complaint: the exterior of the BAM Case is easily scratched.
The exterior of the BAM HIGHTECH series is made of ABS resin. The Carbon Black model I purchased is also made of ABS resin (it’s just a carbon-like paint or printing. It’s not made of carbon itself).
Some shops refer to the BAM HIGHTECH series as “made of carbon”. Please note that this is not correct.
Resin is soft and easily damaged. The BAM HIGHTECH series is no exception.
Of particular concern is the area around the strap attachment for carrying the case on the back:
I attach a metal carabiner so that the strap wouldn’t come off. But the area where the carabiner touches the case is full of scratches.
By the way, previous BAM Cases had plastic attachments instead of metal carabiners. Did the manufacturer choose hard-to-come-off rather than scratch-resistant?
If you want to avoid scratches as much as possible, you can use a special cover called a “Hoody Cover”:
Little storage space for the BAM Case
Fourth complaint: the BAM Case has less storage space.
The Superlight Case has a large side pocket, where you can store enough sheet music. On the other hand, the BAM Case only has a small removable pocket that also serves as a neck support:
As you can see in the picture above, it’s big enough for a pocket. But you’ll need a separate bag to carry sheet music and other stuff.
This issue was solved by purchasing the “BAM Backpack A+”, which is a backpack that can be attached to the BAM Case. See the article below:
The price of the BAM Case is high
The last complaint: the price of the BAM Case.
The current list price of the BAM Case starts at 110,000 yen, depending on the model.
I think it used to be around 80,000 yen, but the price has gone up.
Considering the design and function of the BAM Case, the price may be reasonable. However, it is certainly expensive enough to buy a cheap guitar.
The BAM Case is a highly satisfying guitar case if you can be satisfied with the price
After using the BAM HIGHTECH series classical guitar case, I found it to be generally satisfactory.
Above all, its design is beautiful, whether you look at the case from the outside or open the lid. And I think the design enhances the charm of the guitar.
Functionally, the BAM Case is resistant to shock, temperature, and humidity changes. And it is easy to lock/unlock. It is never a guitar case that just looks good.
The main problem is probably the price of the BAM Case. With a list price of 110,000 yen, it is hard to afford, even if it is worth it.
However, the BAM Case will definitely increase your satisfaction in daily practice and taking it out. Also, it’s not something you replace frequently. You can use the BAM Case even if you replace your guitar, so it will never be wasted.
Please consider a BAM Case to enhance your guitar life.