This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)
There are two main types of cases for classical guitars: the hard cases and the semi-hard cases. The most popular of these are the BAM HIGHTECH Case and the Superlight Case. I’ve used both types of cases and would like to compare them.
For classical guitar cases, the following article compares various products:
- The hard cases or the semi-hard cases, that is the question
- Comparison of the BAM Case and the Superlight Case specifications
- Which one should I recommend, the BAM Case or the Superlight Case?
The hard cases or the semi-hard cases, that is the question
When choosing a case for a classical guitar, it is a very difficult question whether to choose a hard case or a semi-hard case.
The hard cases are better when it comes to protection. However, I feel that the cheapness, lightness, and large storage capacity of the semi-hard cases are good features.
So far, I have used a variety of cases: a wooden case → Aranjuez guitar case → Sakurai RF special case (wooden) → the Superlight Case → the BAM HIGHTECH Case. And based on this experience, I wrote an article comparing the hard cases and the semi-hard cases:
In this article, I would like to go one step further. I will compare the Superlight Case, which is particularly popular among the semi-hard cases, and the BAM HIGHTECH Case, which is particularly popular among the hard cases, based on my actual usage experience.
Comparison of the BAM Case and the Superlight Case specifications
I will compare these 2 Cases in terms of specifications and explain them based on my own experience.
|the BAM Case||the Superlight Case|
|Type||the hard case||the semi-hard case|
|Material||ABS resin + polyurethane layer + PETG resin||Polyester + Styrofoam|
|Storage||Neck support that also serves as a pocket||Large pocket + one pocket under the neck|
|Waterproof performance||Closed structure||Water-repellent finish + watertight fastener|
|Color variations||10 or more color types||7 colors|
|How to deal with a short scale guitar||(Cushions included)||No attached cushions, but cases are available for 630mm and 540mm scale lengths|
|Case lid structure||3 locks||Fastener|
|Price||110,000～ Japanese yen||27,500 yen|
Here are the review articles for each case:
Material of the case
As for the case material, the BAM Case has a three-layer structure of ABS resin + polyurethane layer + PETG resin, while the Superlight Case is made of polyester fabric + styrofoam.
Here is a cross-sectional view of the BAM Case:
This is the styrofoam of the Superlight Case:
In terms of pure protection, the BAM Case is better.
A styrofoam Superlight Case cannot be trusted, especially when it receives a strong impact, a heavy object such as a person on it, or a sharp object such as the tip of an umbrella.
According to information on the Internet, the Superlight Case and a violin once cracked under pressure in a crowded train (Source: COSMUSICA).
On the other hand, the BAM Case has a hard outer shell. This makes it resistant to blades and punctures. And even if it receives pressure, it is difficult to reach the inside.
For this reason, the BAM Case is better for those who say, “I just want protection for a guitar case!“
Consider what happens when the case falls over. Intuitively, the Superlight Case with its softer surface might seem more advantageous. But in fact, the BAM Case is also more resistant to a strong impact. This is because the BAM Case has a layer of polyurethane underneath the ABS resin.
The BAM Case is also highly airtight. This is an advantage when it comes to changes in temperature and humidity, which are the worst enemies of musical instruments.
By the way, I think that the Hiscox Case is the better one in terms of protection:
Try pushing the case from above. The BAM Case will bend slightly, but the Hiscox Case will not.
According to the manufacturer, the Hiscox Case can withstand a load of 500kg.
In terms of weight, the Superlight Case is superior to the BAM Case.
The difference is 0.7kg. But when you actually carry it, the Superlight Case is much easier to carry.
In addition to its pure weight, its soft surface material makes it easy to carry.
Since the hard case is literally hard, it hurts when it hits your body. However, the Superlight Case is made of a soft material like styrofoam, so it feels soft. This means there is less damage when you carry it or hold it on your back.
I would choose the Superlight Case just for the ease of carrying it around.
When you play the guitar, it is rarely enough to just have only the guitar. You will need a footstool, sheet music, spare strings, a tuner, and more.
You may also need stage clothes, shoes, and a music stand, depending on the situation.
Sheet music is particularly large in size. Many people may need a larger bag to carry sheet music.
On the other hand, the Superlight Case has a large side pocket, where you can store enough sheet music:
As long as you put your sheet music here, you only need one small bag. So you will have less luggage.
On the other hand, the BAM Case only has a small pocket that also serves as a neck support.
There are also storage options that can be attached to the case, such as the “BAM Backpack A+”. But it does increase the amount of luggage.
However, there is a concern about the Superlight Case as well.That is: the Superlight Case has the metal fittings for attaching the strap, which are sewn into the fabric of the body.
This sewing probably assumes only the weight of a guitar itself + some sheet music. So if you put a lot of stuff in the pocket, it can easily get damaged.
I actually put a 12.9-inch iPad Pro for electronic musical scores in the Superlight Case’s pocket. Then, the cloth attached to this metal fitting was pulled quite a lot. I felt a little uneasy.
The BAM Case is better when it comes to rain.
Since the BAM Case is a hard case, it does not allow water to seep in easily. Moreover, it’s tightly sealed. Therefore, it will not be flooded by a little or a lot of rain.
The Superlight Case has a water-repellent finish + a watertight fastener. So it’s OK if it rains a little. But if it rains heavily, like a guerrilla downpour, you might feel uneasy.
And the fastener for the guitar itself is waterproof, whereas the fastener for the pocket where the sheet music is stored is not waterproof. I wonder why.
I feel that I would have rather wanted this pocket to be well protected from the rain. That’s because it’s the place to put things that you don’t want to get wet, such as sheet music and an iPad.
The BAM Case has more color variations.
The normal BAM HIGHTECH series alone is available in 5 colors:
2 colors for La Defense series:
2 colors for Panther series:
1 color for Flannel series:
By the way, only those sold in Japan are listed above. In its home country, France, there are many more variations, including aggressive designs with cubism like this:
In contrast, the Superlight Case is only available in 7 different colors:
Whereas in the past there were only sober colors in the top row, now bright colors in the bottom row have been added. However, compared to the BAM Case, it is hard to say that there are many variations.
How to deal with a short scale guitar
More and more people are using short scale guitars these days. The BAM Case comes with a number of additional cushions. You can adjust the gap by attaching these to the Case:
Stick it like this:
On the other hand, the Superlight Case has no additional cushion. But there are the Superlight Cases for 630mm and 540mm scale lengths instead:
The term “short scales” can vary in size and shape. Therefore, we can say that the BAM Cases are more flexible.
Case lid structure
The BAM Case has an excellent mechanism for opening and closing the case.
It’s as easy as flicking the lock tabs up and down, as shown in this video:
Moreover, since there are only 3 locks on the BAM Case, I feel that it is really easy to put the guitar in and out.
On the other hand, the Superlight Case uses a fastener system. This means that the case cannot be opened or closed without moving the fastener all the way around the case.
However, the fastener system has the advantage that it does not open easily. Even if the fastener slips a little while you are carrying the case, the guitar will not pop out.
On the other hand, the BAM Case has only 3 locks and is very easy to open. So you should be careful if you are in a crowded place.
By the way, all 3 locks on the BAM Case have keyholes and can be opened or closed with the same key. So it would be safer to carry it locked.
It occurred to me that the lock on the guitar case is not so much to prevent it from being stolen as to prevent it from being opened accidentally.
The Superlight Case is significantly cheaper than the BAM Case.
The price is 27,500 yen versus 110,000 yen – a four times difference.
Personally, I think the Superlight Case is pretty good value for money; I felt that I needed courage to buy a BAM Case.
However, you can use the BAM Case for a long time. So, as the person who bought it, I would like to believe that “in the long run, the price won’t change much”.
Which one should I recommend, the BAM Case or the Superlight Case?
I would like to write a conclusion: “I recommend this one!” But unfortunately it remains a difficult subject.
For those who want to protect their guitar anyway, I would recommend the BAM Case.
After all, the hard cases are more reliable than the semi-hard cases. And the additional cushions allow for a perfect fit for your guitar, which helps prevent potential problems.
On the other hand, for those who want to use it casually, I recommend the Superlight Case.
The Superlight Case is literally light, easy to carry and has storage for sheet music. And it is inexpensive at 1/4 the price of the BAM Case. I also think: “If you can’t decide which case to choose, the Superlight Case would be fine”.
However, I would recommend the BAM Case. Other than protection, the reasons are as follows:
- The design is good. And the satisfaction of having the BAM Case is high. In addition, the beauty of the guitar inside stands out even more.
- The BAM Case is easy to open and close. So it’s hard to say “I don’t play the guitar because it’s troublesome to open the case”.
In particular, you have to open and close the case every time you play the guitar. So an easy opening would be less stressful for you.
However, everyone has their own preferences. Use this article as a guide to find the best classical guitar case for you, including other cases.