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Buying Guide:Hercules Keyboard, Guitar, and Mic Stands


Design quality of mythic proportions

 

By Russ Kent, Contributing Editor, Harmony Central

 

When musicians from Megadeth to the Cory Brass Band use the same utility equipment, you know that gear can stand up to the rigors of the road. Take stands, for example. If you can infuse an entire line of stands with design and build quality that’s just better, whether the stand is supporting sheet music in a sedate concert setting or keeping a heavy-metal axe from being dislodged during high-flying stage antics, then you’re likely to win a lot of fans. That’s what Hercules has done with its extensive line of stands for everything from rock-band supports to orchestra instrument stands. An examination of some of Hercules’s products confirms that they’re built with the intelligence and strength of the company’s namesake.

 

I recently was able to substitute most of the stands in my studio with ones made by Hercules, including the GS414B single guitar stand, the GS525B multi-guitar stand, the KS120B keyboard stand, and two mic stands—the MS401B and MS533B (boom) models. The convenience and quality of these supports are ideal for the studio, and their construction is clearly targeted to demanding road work.

 

Innovations


If you’re still using traditional mic, guitar, or keyboard stands with their threaded handgrips, separate wing nuts, and cumbersome pack-up routines, you may be pleasantly shocked at the innovations in the Hercules stands. Some of these are no-brainers, and you wonder why it took so long for them to become standard on stands. For example, Hercules’ Quick-N-EZ technology covers multiple niceties like adjusting stand height with one hand (you hold a release lever as you raise or lower the stand, and a locking mechanism keeps the internal pole from slipping when you release the lever), as well as mic adapters that lock on and off with a release lever (no endless turning of pole or adapter).

 

Hercules has other patents for guitar stand developments, like the Auto Grip System, which is driven by the weight of the guitar or bass. When you place your axe’s neck in the stand’s yoke, the housing slides down, rotating the arms to secure it. To remove the guitar, lift up and the AGS automatically releases. Hercules guitar stands also have a Folding Backrest to position your instrument at the best angle and facilitate storage, and Rotate-to-Stay Saddle, which lets you change the vertical orientation of your guitar. All stands use specially formulated foam rubber to protect your finish.

In use

 

I found the Hercules stands I tested made a big difference in overall functionality and even aesthetics when I incorporated them into my studio, and I envied the road warriors who get to use these modern feats of engineering, instead of the silver, rusting clunkers of my touring days. The Hercules stands unfolded easily and allowed for quick and smooth adjustment.

 

I started with the MS401B standard mic stand, folding the tripod legs down from their stored position parallel to the main shaft, and then spread the legs out to their parked position. I used this stand for a stationary vocal mic in the studio but loved the way you can rock the main shaft back and forth without the base losing contact with the floor—a good choice for front people in a live band. I then set up the MS533 boom stand for an acoustic guitarist. The large adjustment knob made quick work of positioning the boom, which tilts up and stores neatly inside the main shaft: no separate shafts or double-wide stands when trucking to the next show. Not to mention it works equally well as a boom stand or straight stand due to that unique hideaway boom feature!

 

The KS120B keyboard stand was a big improvement over my ancient rig with its notched arm and giant wing nut. The Hercules design, a double X stand with 30mm (1.18") tubing, requires no special effort: you fold it all the way out, and then fold it in until it locks at your preferred height (out of five possibilities). The sturdy unit stayed put and remained stable with my Roland Phantom on top.

 

My favorite stands were the guitar stands: the GS414B offers all the innovations described above and is the perfect utilitarian stand for most single-axe players (Hercules offers nine variations, including multi-guitar designs), but I was really glad to try out the new GS525 multi-guitar rack. This folding unit is the perfect choice for a studio or player with lots of guitars. It accommodates five acoustic, electric, or bass guitars and has foam covering all contact points. It offers adjustable yokes with pick slots, can handle 176 pounds, and weighs less than 10 pounds. It’s a great way to display your guitars, keep them ready to play, and save space on stage or in your studio.

 

Mighty mighty

 

Hercules offers a wide assortment of stands with all the best innovations for speed of setup and ease of use. Like the mythical strongman himself, these stands are built to last and hard to beat. If your stands need updating, and especially if you’re still using those clunkers from the classic rock days, you owe it to yourself to fold, adjust, and lift some of the modern Hercules versions. They’ll still be standing when your gear has gone off to Mt. Olympus.

 

Check out the strength, design innovations, and build quality of Hercules’ guitar, mic, and keyboard stands. Order today from Musician’s Friend and get our 45-Day Total Satisfaction and Lowest Price Guarantees.

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