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Little by little, I'm discarding some of my more budget brands of mic stands and replacing them.

I own one Hercules stand (tall boom), and two Atlas booms.
The eazy adjustment of the Hercules is nice, as is the Atlas counterweight for my 414s, Bluebird, and other heavy/oversized mics.

While I like these features, equally important to me is the durability of the threading (really any moving part) of stands, and especially booms. This is where others have failed.
Having only owned the Atlas booms for a month or so and the Hercules for a year, I can't make a fair judgement.

Also, looking at Ultimate Support brand as an alternative.
I'm willing to spend up to $100 per stand/boom combo, provided I can count on them to last me a good ten years. Otherwise, I'd prefer something in the $50-$75 per range (like the US).

Any thoughts?

It seems that the Hercules stands "combos" don't necessarily have the same counterweight as the MB series booms. Is it a different boom/counterweight?


dvdhawk Tue, 06/15/2010 - 23:41

Hi Soap,

K&M and [=""]Atlas[/]="http://www.atlassou…"]Atlas[/] are my favorite heavyweight stands. [[url=http://="http://www.ultimate…"]Ultimate Support[/]="http://www.ultimate…"]Ultimate Support[/] products are excellent and I also like the short tripod/booms included in their JamStand line.

The good stand companies list the weight as a key spec, because as you're seeing the weight is as important as height and length. Especially when you're trusting it not to tip over while holding your valuable mics.

If it's a really bulky mic, I'd rather sandbag the stand than have a good mic bite the dust.

Counterweights etc. like these [[url=http://[/URL]="http://audio-video-…"]sandbags[/]="http://audio-video-…"]sandbags[/] are handy.

Big K Wed, 06/16/2010 - 05:45

I use K&M only for 15 years, now, and those stands are still fully operational and in good optical shape, too.
Even those of the cheaper rage of K&M are still working properly.

Atlas nor Hercules were available in Germany when I bougt my stands. I wonder if they are, now.
Those atlas rollables with absorbers look pretty nice...

Big K

moonbaby Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:58

I can certainly vouch for the Atlas BS36W...I have an ancient (1977) one with a giant LEAD weight as the counterweight (I guess that was before we knew how harmful lead could be), and the boom arm was cut down by a motorcycle "chop shop"
to facilitate its' use around double drummers (in .38 Special). I still use it every session I do. I also have the newest version of that stand, and although the counterweight isn't as beefy as the older model, it has held up very well. Prettier, too :)
And if you have the chance go to e-Bay and do a search for ... keith monk

dvdhawk Wed, 06/16/2010 - 15:21

soapfloats, post: 350344 wrote: dvdhawk - how do you feel about the durability of the threading and such of those 3 brands?

I own two of those Atlas stands with the big cast triangular bases (without the casters). They're from the 70's and every clutch still works perfectly. Back in the day, we had nothing but Atlas stands with the round cast bases. We got most of them used for other bands who were going under, so they'd already been through hell. We'd spin the bases off and carry the bases in milk crates, and stow the rest of the stands in an old Clav case with drum riser parts and all kinds of steel. They took a beating and lasted for years and after all that - most of them were still in good enough shape to bring a fair price after 15 years of abuse.

I've got a number of K&M tripods that I use, some lightweights and some heavyweights. Even the light ones are really well built. They've been trouble-free for about 10 years.

I've only had the Ultimate / JamStands for about a year or two - so far so good. They're not as heavy duty as the K&M. The main clutch seems pretty durable, but they have plastic knobs on the set screws - which I know will get broken if they're handled rough. No more roadies, so I'm not too worried about it. I think the threads will hold up fine if I don't break the knob.

My drummer buddy sells Hercules at his drum shop. They're a decent dollar-value stand - I don't own any, but I would greatly prefer them to OnStage stands. OnStage are just way too light to hold an SM58 at much of an angle, much less a beefy LDC with a pop filter.

I hope that helps.

soapfloats Wed, 06/16/2010 - 21:38

It does immensely, and thanks for addressing my main concern of the durability of threading and such.
I mostly have the OnStage and TourGrade (not). Some of the bases are fine so I bought the Atlas booms to ressurect them.
Turns out I could still use an extra stand or two as it is. When another goes down....

...Anyways, I'd be getting the round Atlas stands, which is fine, seeing as I have plenty of tripods and could use a few stands w/ a smaller footprint.
If budget allows I might pick up a single K&M and a single Ultimate Support for comparison's sake.

Thanks again for everyone's input!

BobRogers Thu, 06/17/2010 - 04:09

In this price range I've been using Atlas stands for the last several years - both the lower priced MS10 and MS12 stands and the triangular base MS20 and the low priced booms. I've had no trouble for the ones in my studio, but the booms we bought for the church have not held up well. About half of the set screws on the booms have stripped.

We also had a stripped clutch on a cheap On-Stage stand at the church as well.

It never hurts to have a lot of stands, so buying with this budget isn't a bad idea. But eventually it's worth the money to buy bigger, heavier, more expensive stands. Just makes life a lot easier.

Boswell Thu, 06/17/2010 - 04:39

I've standardised on the black K&M range for my serious work, but also have a number of cheap stands in my hire stock, where they get unimaginable abuse.

I keep the K&Ms in polythene wraps to avoid dings or chips during storage. When I'm doing sound for video shoots, the camera boys are often very particular about highlight reflections from dings and bright spots on the mic stands. Despite my care in storage and transit, a pot of matt touch-up paint is frequently needed.

As well as the standard height K&M stage/studio boom stands, I have the 21411 tall stands with the 21231 counterweighted boom arms. This combination will go to over 4m if needed, but if you need great height, there is also a 20811 base that extends to 4.4m before you add the 2m boom.

BusterMudd Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:50

BobRogers, post: 350400 wrote: But eventually it's worth the money to buy bigger, heavier, more expensive stands. Just makes life a lot easier.


In the OP's budget, the only stands I'd touch are the K&M (or the Beyer-branded equivalent).

But after the first time I used a Latch Lake -- which admittedly is 6 or 7 times the OP's budget -- I swore I'd never go back to crappy mic stands. Life's too short to mess with cheapness.

soapfloats Mon, 06/21/2010 - 00:50

A lot of great information, so I'll streamline my original question as a result...

I've typically used On-Stage (value for $) and TourGrade (boo), but also have one or two Atlas, Hercules, and DR stands.

Looking at anything in the $80-$100+ range now.
Don't need anything over 8' in vertical range, more likely 6'.
These will be used for drums, vocals, and guitar cabs - so really, anything w/ a 3-5' adjustable base and a 2-4' adjustable boom would be perfect. Maybe a short base (2' adjustable) as well.

Most important: durability of clutches and clamps. Second: Counterweights and stability.
These stands never leave my space, but are used for a variety of micing applications and are constantly adjusted to suit.

Shopping around, Atlas, Hercules, K&M, and Ultimate Support are pretty close in range - between $80-$110 per stand+boom. If we're talking about spending $10 more/less between choices, the durability and stability factors trump all.

While I'd love to spend several hundred dollars on a stand, this money is much better spent on mics, preamps, and monitors, in my case. I *DO* have the API 3124+ on my short list, so I have to be reasonable.

Thanks again for all your input - now that I'm a legitimate business, the return on investment is critical - and I do have a real budget to deal with now!