Are BAM hoodies necessary?

Edited: September 25, 2017, 10:38 PM · Hi, I will be getting a contoured bam violin case. I have read mix review about plastic violin cases. However, living in raincouver canada, I need something waterproof. I commute via public transportation and a lot of walking. I currently own an oblong bobelock case (I love this case. But it is big and heavy. and being short, I imagine carrying it back pack style while holding a giant umbrella must be very uncomfortable). My question is, I believe that these bam cases are airtight and waterproof. So, what is the purpose of the additional exterior cover beside scratch prevention? since bam cases doesn't come with violin blanket, I guess I will need a violin silk bag?

Thank you in advance,

Replies (49)

September 24, 2017, 9:02 AM · I have bam overhead and at least that one is airtight and waterproof. I'm assuming it should be the same as the contoured since it's in the same 'hightech' product line. Survived plenty of rain in Asia! I'm not sure if it needs a violin blanket inside. Perhaps yours might benefit from it since you have a bow inside. My case is just for the violin so it's safe by itself.

I can tell you though that these cases are scratch magnet. I've already given up that I would be able to maintain its prettiness over time. Even if you just lay on the bus floor, it'll get scratched from slight movements.

September 24, 2017, 10:14 AM · What ever case you use, make sure you got a blanket! Silk is rather thin to protect from falling bow frogs. They are even easy to make yourself if you dont want to buy one.
September 24, 2017, 2:38 PM · The cover is used to help keep the contents of the case at a uniform temperature. BAM cases are totally inadequate in this respect both in summer and in winter. If you must use a not-fit-for-purpose plastic case, then I would get the cover too.

Musafia does a shaped case as light as the BAM without all of the BAM's inherent problems.

Cheers Carlo

September 24, 2017, 2:55 PM · I agree with Marc and Carlo.

A Musafia Lievissima or Riboni Unoeotto are just as light as a BAM Contoured, and are the same price or less expensive than the BAM with the cover. And they are more protective plywood cases. Elegant-looking, hand-crafted, customizable cases, too.

September 24, 2017, 3:35 PM · I have an idea for bow spinners. When you turn the spinner away from 90 degrees to remove the bow, it starts beeping and/or blinking until you turn it back to 90 degrees. This will keep you from forgetting your bow spinner, thereby obviating the blanket.

Patent pending!

September 24, 2017, 3:54 PM · I absolutely prefer plywood cases myself. Unfortunately, I have my violin lesson when my 3 year old is in preschool, then I will have my hands full by the time I pick him up from school.. usually one hand carrying some grocery and the other holding the kid's hand because he still has no concept of stranger danger and traffic danger. So living in raincouver, I will need to be able to strap the violin case backpack style without using an umbrella... and not worry about the violin being soaking wet... well, I think I will still worry anyways... but a little less
Edited: September 24, 2017, 4:17 PM · Both the Musafia Lievissima and the Riboni Unoeotto can be used with backpack straps. Both of them are also waterproof and likely to provide a more stable microclimate.

I believe the Unoeotto is oblong-only, but the Lievissima comes in both dart-shaped and oblong styles.

Edited: September 24, 2017, 6:42 PM · Won't water be able to seep through the zipper part in case of heavy rain?
September 24, 2017, 7:33 PM · Probably. In the case of heavy rain exposure for more than a quick dash from cover to cover you should put the case backpack underneath your overcoat and have an umbrella.
September 24, 2017, 7:45 PM · It's funny you mentioned that! The last time it was pouring rain all of the sudden here, I actually put my coat over my violin case. And had to carry grocery with one hand and holding my son's hand with my other hand. Someone who walked by me commented how she thought I was carrying a small child on my back hands free because of the way my coat draped over my violin case. Reason why I was looking for a waterproof violin case in case it rains suddenly.
September 24, 2017, 9:14 PM · Musafia cases, at least, come with a rain cover. I've walked some distance through drenching rain with one, without an umbrella, and didn't have an issue with water penetrating, despite completely soaking the cover. You can get waterproofing and something called WeatherGuard on the case as well, for extra assurance.

When I was a high schooler with a less expensive case, I'd put a trash bag around the case in the rain. :-)

September 24, 2017, 10:51 PM · I bought some additional rain cover for $20 or something I always carry with me.
Living at the sea I know how wet it suddenly can get. Never had issues with water in the case.
September 25, 2017, 12:38 AM · When I had the BAM shaped case before, I paired it with a Mooradian case cover with backpack straps:

Worked great, insulated well, and very waterproof. :)

September 25, 2017, 1:49 AM · I use a hiker's cape.
September 25, 2017, 4:44 AM · I agree that a roomy raincoat is just as easy to pack even than an umbrella. Keep a ziploc bag with you for when you have to take it off.
September 25, 2017, 6:52 AM · I don't own a BAM case, I use an oblong chinese made case, though it's pretty good for the price. I've use it in the past to walk under the rain for some minutes, and have not had a single issue with the rain penetrating the case.

So, if a fabric (non water resistant) chinese violin case has survived, a BAM water resistant case will without a doubt. Also, you're not supposed to be under heavy rain for a long time.

First, it doesn't matter if you're carrying a violin or not, people do not stay under heavy rain for many time, it's just uncomfortable. Second, BAM is an expensive well tested brand, so I wouldn't doubt about their quality (yeah, like all companies, they have shipped defective cases). Indeed I will probably, as you, buy a BAM case in the future to replace my bulky oblong case. I'll miss some of the space, but the lightness and portability of theses BAM cases really worth the sacrifice. I like the moonshaped "slim" BAM cases though a little bit more than the contoured ones.

Anyways, the hoodie is just extra protection. If you have a violin that is very unique (not necessarily expensive), simply add that extra layer of protection and you're good to go.

September 25, 2017, 8:17 AM · I actually dont understand how Lievissima and unoeotto seem to cannot fight BAM and similar on the market.
If you ever compared them in nature there is no way you would prefer BAM, even without the plywood vs plastic discussion.
September 25, 2017, 8:59 AM · Marc,
I'm curious too. Perhaps it's a generational thing that younger people prefer lightweight carbon fiber? My case for picking BAM is I don't want to deal with any sort of exterior fabric since those will get gross over time unless I never put the case on the ground outdoors. They can be cleaned or washed in a special way I assume, but sounds like a hassle. Water can also seep through zipper, which those cases you mentioned have. I would have to blow dry them otherwise I'll risk molds growing in there.
September 25, 2017, 9:34 AM · Actually those BAM cases get heavy signs of wearing very quickly. Sctetches and stuff like that.
I got a case from my school days I used about 20 years. On the bus stop to school I used to sit on it to keep tidy trousers (not proud of it) and I used it for a three month roadtrip. I cleaned the fabric once, it still looks ok, although the case itself is a little bit distorded, making top and bottom fit badly to each other. Fabric can even get replaced.
If you really want total waterproof (which I think is overkill if you dont work on a ship) there is an option at Musafia.
I agree that not everybody has the same taste, I see a Musafia Enigma as one of the nicest cases ans also like the more minimalistic english cases.
If my case gets soaked (there is adhesiv spray to prevent it partly) it is usually dry within a couple of hours.
September 25, 2017, 9:48 AM · Hi, I don't think I mind too much about dirt and scratches when it comes to the outer appearance. having a kid, dog, and cats means I can never own anything nice anyways.. I just don't want a soaked violin, it's about 20 minutes walk each way.... the bus here is usually late or early so we miss it most of the time and have to walk :(
Edited: September 25, 2017, 12:58 PM · I used a Musafia master series exclusive dart shaped case when I lived in London. They know about rain there. I would spend several hours trekking around the city on rainy days. I did get the waterproof option and never had a problem.

I had a shaped plastic BAM hightech case for a while. In winter the violin would be covered in condensation when I opened the case, and in summer the temperature would get over 30C (86F). I soon got rid of it and purchased the Musafia.

If you have a cheap violin, and don't care what happens to it, by all means get the BAM. They are, IMO, not fit for purpose and should be recalled.

Cheers Carlo

Posted under my own FULL name in accordance with Vcom's rules.

September 25, 2017, 1:19 PM · BAM does a much better job of marketing than Riboni, certainly. Musafia, I think, hasn't done as much to market the lightweight cases. BAM is mass production, and both Musafia and Riboni are much more limited in distribution.
September 25, 2017, 8:06 PM · Jess, could you please edit your original heading and correct the grammar? You are giving me brain ache.

Cheers Carlo

Edited: September 25, 2017, 9:36 PM · My apology, English is my third language. Would you mind telling me what I should have written instead? I would be happy to accommodate that option.
My current violin isn't very very expensive. But special in its own way and very valuable sentimentally :)
September 25, 2017, 10:33 PM · Hi Jess, as English is your third language you have done super well. It is just that the heading should read either; "Are BAM hoodies necessary?", or "Is a BAM hoody necessary?"

Cheers Carlo

September 25, 2017, 10:38 PM · Ok I will do that
Edited: September 25, 2017, 10:47 PM · "I actually dont understand how Lievissima and unoeotto seem to cannot fight BAM and similar on the market. "

Well, if you take my advertising budget and sum it with with Riboni's, and then multiply the resulting figure by 100, you'll probably end up with BAM's. That already explains quite a bit.

Then you add that these are industrial products which are a lot cheaper to produce. The discount structure allows the presence of a distributor, who buys the cases in bulk and sells to the retailer.

Lastly, BAM likely produces per month the number of cases that some artisan makers can produce in a year.

This all explains why every violin shop has BAM cases in the window, and not, for example, Riboni or other similar cases.

September 26, 2017, 1:29 AM · @Dimitri. What you have, and BAM doesn't, is loyal clients who proudly use your cases daily, year after year, swear by them, and constantly champion them to others.
People in the know do not buy Gewa or BAM cases. As a life member of the MFC (Musafia Fan Club), I will do my best to educate those who don't.

Cheers Carlo

September 26, 2017, 2:05 AM · I need to buy you dinner... :-)
September 26, 2017, 11:17 AM · How about after the MFC AGM?

Cheers Carlo

Edited: September 26, 2017, 1:10 PM · Well, first of all, BAM is very famous among the youngers and teenagers. I see almost every violinist that is serious about it (I mean, a teenager or twenty something that goes to a Conservatory) using a BAM case. I was like 2 months ago at the entrance of a Conservatory waiting for a friend, and most violinists used the contoured or slim moon shaped cases, normally by BAM since they are the best at those kind of cases.

I am not an expert at all about merchandising and advertising, let alone those things applied to violin cases, but what I can tell is one thing: they really look like the ultimate case if you want to go CF (and not oblong). Many violinists prefer lightweight and also portable cases over oblong cases, and this has only one response: BAM, if you wanna go "overkill".

If you go to a violin store, you see the BAM cases (the most expensive cases, between $300-500) and then the rest, that are just copies of them, much more cheaper. You will understand now why someone that is getting serious about it spend all that money on a BAM case.

By the way, I use a fabric oblong case, and after more than one year using it, it looks pretty neat, there's no damage at all. I agree also with someone up there that was saying that BAM cases (CF cases) can go dirtier (dirt, scratches, black stains) than fabric cases.

Edited: September 27, 2017, 6:27 AM · BAM does not make any CF cases at all. They only make moulded plastic cases, or polystyrene cases covered in canvas. Some of the moulded plastic cases have a picture of CF applied to them. Maybe that is the confusion?

The only good thing about their popularity is the extra work it will bring to luthiers; repairing violins damaged by these cases, and replacing those destroyed.

As to taste... some of the kids even use CF bows!

Cheers Carlo

September 26, 2017, 6:37 PM · The original BAM case material is ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene polymer). Hard to imagine a more waterproof material, but the question is how well the case is sealed ... and don't fall on it!
September 26, 2017, 9:26 PM · Plywood cases are better than plastic.
September 26, 2017, 9:51 PM · The higher-end BAM cases are in the $600-$900 range, certainly not cheap; I assume that at that price range, they are carefully produced. They are ABS (plastic shell) over a foam core, I believe; they are not CF. But they have the inherent limitations of that design, which includes poor humidity and thermal control. (That does not mean that these materials might not someday be used to build better cases, but that day is not today.)

Every player makes a trade-off between protection and weight. These days, that leads many young players to choose lightweight cases over more protective cases. Sometimes they're not aware just what trade-offs they're making, since BAM (and many other brands) are generally marketed as highly protective.

I spent most of my childhood with those cheap black plastic dart-shaped cases. I never damaged a violin or bow in one of them, despite being both clumsy and careless in the way that many children are. That isn't an indication of case quality, and that doesn't mean that I didn't put the case's contents in grave danger; my violins went through minor mishaps that weren't serious enough to cost significant money in repairs, but did earn my (fractional) violins and bows cosmetic dings.

When I got a decent full-sized violin, my teacher insisted that I buy a good-quality Hill-style suspension case.

Edited: September 27, 2017, 4:55 AM · My violin and viola cases are Bobelocks from JSI. I love them. Lydia is right that you have to consider not only the shell material but also the core. I will never buy a BAM case. I don't even like the way they look. The BAM seems to be the case of choice for high-schoolers whose parents are rich.
September 27, 2017, 5:11 AM · Its a bit like peoole buying apple pcs to surf the web.
September 27, 2017, 6:43 AM · I purchased a Bobelock plywood case, Hill model with suspension, for my son who is at high school. He cycles to school, is rather clumsy, uses it as a seat, and I often find it up-side-down in his room. He is the perfect candidate to crash test such a case. It is standing up to all he can throw at it. He would, by how, have killed his violin had he used a plastic case.

Cheers Carlo

September 27, 2017, 7:56 AM · I have my erhu in a CF case, only because it was the most protective case I could find for that instrument (all the other options I could find were soft/foam cases). BUT, I only paid $400 for the erhu and I don't cart it all over like I do with my violins. Both of my violins are in Bobelock plywood cases that have rain flaps. I've never had an issue with water getting inside of them, and I've had to sprint through an unexpectedly rainy parking lot a few times with them.

Since I live in an area where humidity varies pretty wildly throughout the year, I use both a silk bag (Sarah Cranor makes lovely ones) and a blanket over the violin for protection.

Edited: September 30, 2017, 9:22 AM · Carlo and Lydia are right. Musafia is the Rolls Royce of cases. I have a BAM, and though I don't have many complaints (it has served me well), I would much prefer a Musafia. His cases are gorgeous. I just can't afford all that gorgeousness at the moment.
October 7, 2017, 10:33 PM · Ok, as to answer my own question; I believe a bam hoodie is not necessary as I will be returning the bam case I just received. I must agree that Musafia is the rollroyce of all violin cases, a bam in my opinion, might be comparable to one of those tiny smart car. It serves it purpose but not well! First of all, it was far too tight for my violin. And in case of drop, there is nothing to absorb the impact because the the edges of my violin was digging into the cushions already. My violin is not expensive but very sentimental because a very important person in my life was there to help me choose this violin. To me it's not monetary. I'm one of those sentimental fools (or idiot... I don't know). mr. Musafia, I would like to humbly apologize for not listening to your advice before and now I also think this bam case is a piece of merde!
Edited: October 8, 2017, 1:52 AM · Well said, Jess B!
Another victory in the war against not-fit-for-purpose plastic cases.

Cheers Carlo

October 8, 2017, 5:23 AM · Carlo, I should have listened to you as well. So glad I still have my bobelock case. The Honda Civic of violin cases (I think).
October 8, 2017, 12:53 PM · I'm glad I found this thread while searching for info on BAM cases. I didn't know that the Musafia Lievissima and the Riboni Unoeotto are just a little bit more and offer better protection for a similar weight. My daughter's teacher has a Riboni and I thought it was really beautiful when I first saw it. My teacher travels on train a lot and she has a BAM lightweight.

I use a 1" wave chinrest on my violin. Can anyone tell me if the Musafia and/or Riboni can accommodate a high chin rest? If it can I'd like to get one of these to replace my Chinese Styrofoam case.

October 8, 2017, 1:03 PM · Dimitri,

If you are reading this. Do you have a case similar to BAM Overhead? I searched your website and didn't find any, but I may just have missed it.

October 8, 2017, 1:14 PM · Michael, a high chinrest should not be a problem, as long as they are not higher as the bridge, I guess. But I am sure Dimitri will be happy to answer you directly with much more knowledge, if he will read it.
October 9, 2017, 4:45 AM · Michael. You can contact Dimitri directly through this site, or though I am certain he will be able to help you.

Cheers Carlo

Edited: October 9, 2017, 9:13 AM · I'm so glad that I have moved my violin back into my bobelock case the other day. My son pushed the whole case with the violin in it off the bed this morning. it landed the top side down on tiled floor(the case was closed). My violin was not even out of tune and everything contained within the case was unharmed. However, it it were to happen to a bam case, I can't imagine what could happen. I guess it's a learning experience for me. I must admit, the bam case look sleek and modern..also weight a lot less. But the shell is thin and I don't think it's as strong as I had hope it would be. Certainly not enough space inside and not padded enough.I will probably never buy another bam. Curiosity got the best of me.
October 12, 2017, 10:00 AM · Actually my Wave Chinrest is the 1.5" model. plus I added a few millimeters of cork to make it even taller. :)

Unfortunately Musafia doesn't have any dealer where I live (in Paris). I did found a store that has the Riboni uno et otto. I was very surprised that the case closes with my violin & chinrest inside. The cushion that goes up against the tailpiece compresses slightly with the chinrest but the luthier said that it was fine and will keep it more secure.

The Riboni case is very nice. The only 2 things I was missing was a longer strap to throw it over one shoulder (for when not wearing it as a backpack), but since it has nice backpack straps, it's just as easy to throw it over a shoulder. The other thing missing is a blanket, and the luthier didn't have any for sale. My old case has a red one but I think a black or dark grey would look better with the case.

Thanks to those who recommended these lightweight wooden case options.

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