Thoughts on BAM Cases in 2021
I'm a student starting my studies at a Conservatoire this year and am currently looking to buy a new case. I currently have a Gewa Pure Oblong case, which I like, but is quite heavy to carry around everywhere - as it weighs around 2.9kg when it's empty (around 4.5kg when full). Since I will be moving around a lot, I wanted to find a light violin case that offers strong protection and also good thermal protection (since it is very often over 35°C here in Summer).
I was instantly attracted to the Bam High-tech Contoured cases - both from what I saw and from what I heard from several professional orchestral musicians. What mainly caught my eye was the Bam Panther, since it offers much better scratch resistance compared to the "original" high tech case - which is commonly labelled as a scratch magnet.
After scrolling thoroughly through Blogs on V.com, I was slightly disheartened as many threads were against the BAM high-tech cases - mainly about poor protection against bumps/drops (God forbid) and thermal insulation - which was surprising considering BAM's reputation. However, almost all threads I came across were from anywhere between 2005-2012 and did not find any recent in-depth threads regarding this.
So I would like to ask if anyone maybe has any personal experiences with Bam Hightech in the more recent years, as I believe that the technology has probably improved from 15 years ago.
I would greatly appreciate any info regarding this!
I currently own 6 cases. The first one is a beat-up old Concord Case that I had with the first violin I ever bought. It's a wooden case and it protected the violin very well during my high school years until the lid for the accessory compartment inside the case wouldn't close anymore and one of the bow holders came off.
My vote is definitely for a wood laminate shell case. T.A. Timms makes both oblong and contoured shape, while Riboni and Negri make good oblong cases in the BAM price category. Riboni especially make lightweight ones too, around 2 kg. (the UnoEOtto model).
Not to mention Musafia cases ;)
If price is an issue, you might wanna try to find a used Musafia case. Regarding durability and thermal insulation (Musafia cases include a humidifier), Musafia cases have it all. They also have a brown exterior with gold accents that I find stylish but not tastelessly flashy (thankfully). I have a Musafia ultralight violin case, and it is amazingly light for its size. Also, I have heard that you can contact Mr. Musafia for support anytime in the lifespan of the case; I know that my case came with a card saying that the case had lifetime warranty. There have also been past testimonies to this (on Vcom too).
Thank you everyone for your kind comments! However the OP mentioned being a student so I think that a Negri or Riboni might be better as new ones are in the BAM price class. Cheers!
Many of my colleagues have a shaped Bam case: they find the clasps have to be watched and maybe re-tightened.
FWIW I have a Bam Hitech case for my viola, and recently I dropped it directly onto concrete - thought that the Mooradian outer padded cover was zipped when it wasn't - and although the nose of the BAM took a nasty dent, the viola wasn't even out of tune. So, my confidence in this case is higher than it was before. I've also owned a Musafia case for my violin and it was very nice.
Adrian, you bring up a good point. All cases have hardware that sooner or later will wear out. I cannot stress enough how important it is to pay attention to those parts subject to wear and take steps when necessary.
As to hardware giving out, yes, I still remember the time the handle on my oboe case broke as I was running across a road to catch a bus!
I would like to draw attention to Mr. Musafia's recommendation of Riboni's Unoeotto. It still features a proper wooden shell while maintaining an amazing combination of low weight, functionality and price. You can read more about it
I looked at the pics of this Zerootto Riboni case.
Thank you all so much for your input and suggestions! It is great to hear about some personal experiences with the cases. It seems as if almost everyone agrees that wood laminate cases offer the best protection. I had looked into the Musafia Lievissima Dart Shaped Case - as I think that it is the lightest Musafia case, however, it is a bit above my price range from what I saw. I would love to get one in the future, but I think it will have to wait for now. I also looked at some of the Negri and Riboni cases as suggested. Since one of my main points in the checklist is lightness, I looked at the Riboni UnoEOtto and the ZeroOtto models. As Marco suggested, the inside padding does look like it's built for flatback violins haha! But I shall not comment until I have done more research.
The Riboni cases have suspension. All their cases have it covered with one piece of cloth, so it looks very smooth, without blocks standing out, but it's there. I assume they know what they are doing, although of course a more massive design might have advantages too. There is room to spare in the Zerootto- in fact, my violin uses a raised chinrest. I custom made the case with a slightly smaller tailpiece block to fit it.
@Kurt, Musafia has a list of demo and prototype cases sold at a discount.
My first cello case was a Bam, as the price was right. However, after a few years, the black foam supporting and padding the instrument inside the case turned into sticky, black gunk. I sent BAM photos and they sent me a box full of little cloth-covered pads to replace the rotted foam. The case was never the same. Very sad experience.
HHmm. I recently purchased a Bam Hi-Tech cello case (5 months ago). I have a cello with wider bouts than a Strad D model, and the case was still too big. I made black fabric covered pads to fit under the lower bouts, and at the bottom of the case to go against the back of the lower bouts.
Kurt, it's easy to answer your two questions.
I think I will weigh in a little bit.
Hello, I have inherited a extremely old violin and case. I am have sent the violin, a 1906 Giuseppe Marconcini, to a master violin repair craftsman in England. The case is a complete loss as time has not been kind to my Great Grandfather’s case. I am having a new one made. Can anyone please tell me the traditional color of velvet used for a violin case of this time? It will be a museum piece once I have everything back.
Drew, email me privately with some photos of the case and I can probably give you some insight.