Hands-On Review:istand Guitar & Quik-N-EZ Mic Stands

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Solid support that travels light

By Mike Fitch
Musician’s Friend Staff Writer

"Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."

Thomas Edison Anyone who makes music for a living knows that it’s hard work, but you shouldn’t have to sweat it when it comes to getting the performance you need out of your stands and accessories.

Hercules Stands has earned a reputation for creating innovative products that provide musicians with secure support that’s light, easy to use, and will hold up to the punishment of live performance—their TravLite and Home series stands being a couple of notable examples. I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Hercules istand Guitar Stand and EZ Clutch Microphone Stand.

EZ does it

With a design that lives up to its name, the EZ Clutch Microphone Stand has several key features that contribute to smooth, fast operation. The mic stand comes both in straight (MS501B) and with detachable boom (MS531B) configurations. The sturdy tripod base has a solid housing made of die-cast aluminum, with legs that fold out to make a 13.4"-wide base that securely supports the stand’s dual tubes. The height adjusts from 37.8" to 66.1".

The EZ Clutch allows you to raise and lower the upper tube with extreme ease. Pressing a lever releases the clutch and the upper tube slides down, an operation that can even be done one-handed. It’s much simpler and faster to use than the twisting clutches found on many stands.

The second innovation on this stand is the Quik-N-EZ mic clip adapter. Simply pressing the lever on it lets you attach it to the top of the mic stand. A standard mount on the top of the adapter allows attachment of any mic clip. The adapter can even be left on the mic stand or mic clip for rapid setup.

At just over 5 pounds, the Hercules EZ Clutch Microphone Stands are ideal for road use, made for fast set ups and sound checks. The advanced mic adapter and clutch designs are both welcome improvements to conventional microphone stands.

More bang for your boom

The boom stand version comes equipped with a 30.7" boom that attaches to the stand with the Quik-N-EZ adapter, letting you attach it or remove it from the stand’s upper tube with the simple press of a lever.

I used the boom stand to help mic a drum set at a recent outdoor gig, and I was impressed with the stand’s easy adjustability and stability. The adjustable tilter let me put the microphone just where I wanted it. Once tightened up, the stand stayed put with strength befitting the Hercules name, even when used with a heavy, bulky kick drum mic. I would recommend the straight version for standard vocal or instrument microphone placement and the boom stand in situations that call for more versatile or unconventional mic placement.

istand: standing apart

The istand offers a compelling alternative to conventional guitar stands, folding down to an easily transportable shape that looks like a Frisbee. Available for both acoustic and electric guitars, the istand’s small size and slim profile allow it to be easily stashed in the outside pocket of your guitar’s gig bag.

The secret to the
istand's portability is its folding design. To unfold it, just extend the rear legs for stability, open the lid and lift the rubber backrest, flip up the guitar cradles until they lock into place, and you’re done. The rubber back pad supports your guitar with solidity and is safe on nitrocellulose finishes. The tough injection-molded construction of the istand conceals a metal core that gives added stability and strength. The istand’s profile is practically invisible from the front, so that your instrument appears to float onstage.

In the heat of performance, you may dive off the stage sometimes, but your instrument never should. Having your pride and joy take a fall onstage can be catastrophic. A stand that will hold your instrument securely and keep it out of harm’s way is essential. The istand provides solid support, yet it seems to disappear onstage to showcase your guitar’s looks. The istand generated a lot of buzz at the 2009 NAMM show, winning Best In Show honors and is shaping up to be one of the coming holiday season’s must-have guitar accessories.

And if you need any more reasons to grab an istand, check out the following offer: When you buy an istand from Musician’s Friend, you’ll get a sharp-looking black Fender® Poly Guitar Strap for free while supply lasts!

Friends in high places

You’ll be in good company when you add Hercules stands to your gear mix—they’re racking up a lot of fans in the professional musical community in every genre from classical to jazz. Bootsy Collins and his band count on Hercules stands to help them deliver the funk around the globe; the Dave Matthews Band use a variety of Hercules stands for their multi-instrument mix; and Grammy-winning country artist Brad Paisley and his band employ Hercules to support a range of gear from keyboards to violins and guitars.

Hercules has always worked closely with musicians to design stands that are solid in their basics yet include innovative features for more efficient, faster operation that doesn’t interrupt the creative flow. Their EZ Clutch Microphone Stands and istand Guitar Stands show that Hercules is still very much at the top of its game, allowing you to be at the top of yours.

Features & Specs

Quik-N-EZ Boom Stand:

  • Quik-N-EZ Adapter for instant microphone attachment
  • Quik-N-EZ Clutch for easy adjustments
  • Tripod Base made of durable die-cast aluminum
  • Height adjustment from 1045-1680mm (41.1-66.1")
  • Weight: 3.2kb (7 lb.)
  • Base radius: 340mm or 13.4"
  • Boom length: 780mm (30.7")

istand Acoustic Guitar Stand:

  • Compact size fits in most gig bag pockets
  • Durable injection-molded construction
  • Metal core for stability
  • Base radius: 11.4" x 9"
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs
  • Folded diameter: 8"
  • Yoke length: 5.1"
  • Nitrocellulose-safe finish

istand Electric Guitar Stand:

  • Same as the Acoustic with 1.9" yoke