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K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
#2623406 08/29/14 02:25 AM
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The continuing story of my quest for the perfect keyboard stand...

I've been looking for a 3-tier stand for a few years. I've been using an older OnStage 2-tier Z-stand, and Rube-Goldberging the 3rd keyboard onto it in various ways, mostly funky, unsightly, and unstable. The last iteration involved wooden spacers that let the 3rd board, an Axiom 61, sit directly on top of the 2nd, a Hammond XK-1, which worked OK, unless someone bumped the Axiom onstage, then it would go flying off the stand and into my lap. Not ideal.

My ideal stand would have all 3 tiers infinitely adjustable for height, depth, and angle. My goal is to have the keyboards vertically as close to each other as possible, and to have the boards sit back just far enough to give access to the front panels. It would also be solid, easy to set up, easy to transport, and weigh as close to nothing as possible. The OnStage is solid, but it's a pain to pack because it folds into a weird shape, and you have to remove the 2nd tier to transport. Or break it down completely, which takes a good 10 minutes to re-assemble. I've had to do this a few times when I didn't have room in my car to pack it folded.

I looked into the Standtastic line, but I didn't like the overall depth of the stand. I liked the design of the K&M 18880 a lot, though it was expensive and most online dealers had a 6-8 week wait time listed for delivery. I have a bunch of K&M mic stands, and I think they are among the best in the industry. Finally, last week, when one of the nuts to tighten the OnStage stripped, I ordered the K&M, with both the 18881 and 18882 stackers, from Music Stands Alone. They listed the 18880 and 18881 as in stock, but gave a 6-8 week wait for the 18882. Surprisingly enough, all 3 arrived the same day, in 2 shipments, about a week after ordering them.

I was rather surprised at how small and light the box was for the 18880, initially I was a little disappointed that a stand so expensive was so light and flimsy. But after setting it up, it felt really solid. There is some side to side flex when the stand is empty, but once you put the keyboards in place, it feels totally stable, even when smearing up and down the Hammond. The crossbrace in the back only allows it to expand to where the legs are 25 apart, which seems kind of narrow to me, but fortunately, it's the perfect width to fit my pedalboard, an SKB ps-25 with 2 sustain pedals, 2 expression pedals and a Neo Ventilator. Looking at the stand, it seems like the accordion braces would get in the way of the pedals, but they actually don't.

The stand folds up neatly, taking up about the same space as a flattened X-stand. To fold it, you loosen two bolts on the accordion brace, and un-clip on end of the crossbrace. It literally takes seconds to set it up. And it weighs almost nothing, less than 5 pounds for the main stand, and about 2 for each set of stackers.

Initially, I had a problem with the 18882, which acts as the 2nd tier, being too deep. The Hammond would hang too far over my bottom board, a Casio PX-5s, even with the arms at their shortest. I finally figured out that I could remove the adjustable end piece from the arms, making them about an inch shorter and I the 2 boards fit together almost as close as I wanted.

Unfortunately, there was no way to fit the 18881 3rd tier anywhere near where I wanted it. Even at it's lowest setting, the top board was too high for me, and the arms were too long, and didn't allow any adjustment. I seriously considered cutting the arms of the 18881 shorter and drilling some holes in the support to let it sit lower. But there are 2 flanges on the side of the arms, which are used to set the angle of the 18881, and even if I were to drill a hole to allow the 18881 to sit lower, the flanges would not let it go as low as I would like. Plus, I'd just paid over $300, more than I've ever paid for a stand, I didn't really want to start cutting it to pieces.

I considered returning the stand, but thought about it overnight, and came up with a solution. I built my own 3rd tiers, with some scrap wood and black spray paint. They fit into the 18882, and hold the Axiom about 1 1/2 above the Hammond, and back just far enough to clear the front panel. They even look decent, which is surprising given my abject lack of woodworking skills.

Overall, I like the stand a lot now. The only modification I might make would be to shorten the arms of the 18882 middle tier by about 2, and drill holes to let it sit about an inch lower. This way, the arms would end right at the back of the Casio, and I could have the front of the Hammond sitting on the back of the Casio, putting them as close together as they possibly could be. But, then again, I might just live with it as is, because I haven't cut any metal yet, and could restore the stand to stock if I ever want to resell it.

Pics, 'cause it happened:
The stand with my custom 3rd tier:

Folded flat:

Loaded with the Casio, Hammond and Axiom:


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623410 08/29/14 02:44 AM
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Great review - thanks for taking the time to write this up and take pics. Looks like it will be a good solution for your rig.

Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623411 08/29/14 02:51 AM
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It does feel flimsy until you place a keyboard on it. I've had my mine (no tiers) a few years and it's holding up better then I expected...but I'm pretty easy on my stuff.

Biggest drag for me--the CP4 sits about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch too high on it. frown

Prolonged playing of the CP4 on the 18880 causes irritation to my arthritic neck. I reluctantly keep going back to my Quik-Lok WS-550 or an older, way too heavy, QL X stand on its lowest setting when using the CP4.

On the other hand, the Nord Piano 2 is a perfect fit--both in height and aesthetically complementing the Nord. It's like there were designed for each other.

Overall, yes an excellent stand. Lightweight as you're gonna get, fairly robust for what it is. Just wish the damn thing went a 1/2 inch lower for the CP4. cry

Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623420 08/29/14 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: New&Improv


My ideal stand would have all 3 tiers infinitely adjustable for height, depth, and angle. My goal is to have the keyboards vertically as close to each other as possible, and to have the boards sit back just far enough to give access to the front panels. It would also be solid, easy to set up, easy to transport, and weigh as close to nothing as possible.



Hahahaha smile. You, me, and the rest of the keyboard world want this!

I bought two keyboard stands from K&M earlier this year, one of which was the 18880. I have my Crumar Mojo on the lower tier, and have mounted a wooden shelf on the second tier, which holds a computer monitor and mouse, used for editing the keyboard parameters. There is also a music stand on it.

This set-up is a semi-permanent fixture, the Mojo isn't gigged. I agree 100% about the stability, the whole structure is very solid.

I paid 115 ($180) for my two tier rig, from Thomann in Germany. Very happy with it.

SSM


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623427 08/29/14 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: New&Improv
Unfortunately, there was no way to fit the 18881 3rd tier anywhere near where I wanted it. Even at it's lowest setting, the top board was too high for me, and the arms were too long, and didn't allow any adjustment.

My solution to this was to (a) flip the 18881 around the other way, so it the arms faced away from me instead of toward me, and (b) forget about the knob-bolts and holes, and just let the 18881 drop to the point where its side flanges hit the top of the 18882. Though it still might not get quite as low as you'd like.

But I really like your solution! Unfortunately, I suspect my wood working skills lag even yours. ;-) I also seem to remember someone doing something similar using hockey sticks.

Originally Posted By: New&Improv
The only modification I might make would be to shorten the arms of the 18882 middle tier by about 2, and drill holes to let it sit about an inch lower.

Another alternative to drilling holes to make the 18882 sit lower could be to come up with some mechanism by which the keyboard sits higher on its 18880 base. Along similar lines, I was thinking of somehow attaching wood strips to the top surfaces of the arms that support the bottom keyboard, so that the keyboard would sit on the wood that sits on the arms, to raise the keyboard. Whether that wood could be attached to the arms in such a way as to be sufficiently solid yet also be removable if you want to restore the stand to original condition, I don't know. (Thoughts?)

I have also thought about drilling holes, but again, I lack the skills and tools, I would need to bring it somewhere. I do have a hand drill, but I would worry that I wouldn't get the two holes (front and back) absolutely level with each other, or that I wouldn't get the holes in the left and right pieces absolutely identical... I would worry that even being off just slightly could create a keyboard that is not level. (Tips?)


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
AnotherScott #2623470 08/29/14 01:37 PM
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Great Review. Before I bought my 18880, I couldn't even find a photo of the stand with keyboards on it. This will be very helpful to others.


Korg Kronos 2-73, Roland RD-2000, Nord Stage 3 Compact, Yamaha U1 Upright
Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
AnotherScott #2623480 08/29/14 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cabo
Great Review. Before I bought my 18880, I couldn't even find a photo of the stand with keyboards on it. This will be very helpful to others.


Thanks, that's what I found too when I was looking for info on it, and that was why I chose to write up the review.

Originally Posted By: AnotherScott

My solution to this was to (a) flip the 18881 around the other way, so it the arms faced away from me instead of toward me, and (b) forget about the knob-bolts and holes, and just let the 18881 drop to the point where its side flanges hit the top of the 18882. Though it still might not get quite as low as you'd like.


Yeah, I actually tried that, seating the 18881 both forwards and backwards, because I remembered someone, probably you, mentioning this on the forum. It still didn't get as low as I wanted, and made the top tier feel kind of wobbly because it wasn't supported by the bolts. Does it work OK for you? Also, I didn't like having the arms stick out of the back of the board, I could just see someone running into them onstage.


Originally Posted By: AnotherScott

I have also thought about drilling holes, but again, I lack the skills and tools, I would need to bring it somewhere. I do have a hand drill, but I would worry that I wouldn't get the two holes (front and back) absolutely level with each other, or that I wouldn't get the holes in the left and right pieces absolutely identical... I would worry that even being off just slightly could create a keyboard that is not level. (Tips?)


You'd definitely need access to a drill press to drill out the holes. I'm lucky that I have friends with serious workshops and the will to help me in my urges for wanton destruction.

Another problem I was having with the OnStage Z-stand was that it felt like putting the 3rd board on top moved the center of gravity towards the rear of the stand, and I could actually make the stand tip over backwards by pushing on the back of the Axiom. This probably has to to do with the fact that the XK is the heaviest board in my setup, and it's on the middle tier. Also, the Z-stand was never designed to have a third board on it. The K&M, despite weighing about 20lbs less than the OnStage, feels way more solid.


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Hop, flop, squawk
It's a keeper
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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
Six-string-man #2623483 08/29/14 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Six-string-man
Originally Posted By: New&Improv


My ideal stand would have all 3 tiers infinitely adjustable for height, depth, and angle. My goal is to have the keyboards vertically as close to each other as possible, and to have the boards sit back just far enough to give access to the front panels. It would also be solid, easy to set up, easy to transport, and weigh as close to nothing as possible.



Hahahaha smile. You, me, and the rest of the keyboard world want this!


Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Originally Posted By: Six-string-man
I paid 115 ($180) for my two tier rig, from Thomann in Germany. Very happy with it.


Wow, that's a great price, that was about what I paid for just the 18880, and the two stackers were extra.


Turn up the speaker
Hop, flop, squawk
It's a keeper
-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow
Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623485 08/29/14 02:52 PM
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Great review. I have two of them with two tiers; one set for sitting position and one set for standing. Love them.


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
New&Improv #2623486 08/29/14 02:53 PM
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I will mention the dirty word X-STAND and say that although others have had fail problems I never did with my Quiklok 642 in 3 tier mode.
The QLX1's ARE infinitely adjustable in rake and depth and I used that setup for 8 years before going L-shaped with the Z71



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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
Dave Ferris #2623490 08/29/14 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Overall, yes an excellent stand. Lightweight as you're gonna get, fairly robust for what it is. Just wish the damn thing went a 1/2 inch lower for the CP4. cry
You should be able to drill holes to set the minimum height lower. However, if you're using a tier, you'd need to shorten the bottom portion of the verticals on the tier pieces or they'd bump into the tops of the feet, inside the tubes. (Or shorten the tops of the feet.)

It's not necessary to have a drill press to drill the holes, but it is necessary to do a job that looks good. With a hand drill, just be sure to use a punch to make a good dent where you want the hole, so the drill doesn't walk before it digs in.

Even with the drill press, I should have done that. It was a cheapo drill press. Live & learn! Nobody but me will ever notice the couple holes that are a bit out of line with the others.

Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
Cabo #2623492 08/29/14 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cabo
Great Review. Before I bought my 18880, I couldn't even find a photo of the stand with keyboards on it. This will be very helpful to others.
I guess you missed mine, or weren't impressed with my serious photography skillz:

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2597098/Re_K_M_18880_stand_report#Post2597098

Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
JeffLearman #2623499 08/29/14 03:45 PM
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thanks for the overview -

I've been using and loving my double tier since some time last year - I end up pulling the lower board (nord stage) an inch or two beyond the ends of the bottom bars to have it work depth wise with the upper board... but seeing yours I am now tempted to cut the upper bars back - just not sure about losing the vertical pins at the front -

the nord is heavy enough to stay seated on the lower rack, but I am concerned that the much lighter sk-1 would not be solid enough on the upper tier without those pins to rest against - thoughts? anyone else have experience with this?


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
spazzkey #2623524 08/29/14 05:32 PM
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I just pulled the trigger on one of these, to go with my VR-09. I figure there's no point in hauling around a stand that weighs more than the keyboard. smile


Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9
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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
WesG #2644376 12/01/14 11:40 AM
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Anybody running 4 tiers?

Just Curious. smile


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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
CEB #2644378 12/01/14 12:14 PM
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No but I have used Quik Lok for years. Even though they are made in China now I still think for the money the Ql641/Ql642 models are good for what they are.


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
Outkaster #2644441 12/01/14 04:28 PM
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Mine arrived. This thing is awesome.

A few ultra-fine nits to pick:
1. Upper bolts for knurled knobs should be captive (unable to spin)
2. There should be some mechanism for preventing knurled-knob loss
3. The cross beam should fold for easier transport

I wouldn't normally be this picky, but for a stand that costs this much, I expect perfection.

It's pretty close to perfect, though.

Wes


Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9
Roland: VR-09, RD-800
Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
WesG #2644570 12/02/14 11:31 AM
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1) Which upper bolts? All the bolts on mine are captive. I have 18880 and 18881 only; perhaps you're talking about 18882?

2) My way to avoid knob loss is simple: I only ever adjust two of them, the two that lock the scissors brace. I don't bother with the crossbrace, which doesn't add enough stability to justify its weight or fussing with it. Really: try a spring scale and compare with & without, on both horizontal axes. I didn't use a spring scale, just my finger, but if my finger can't feel the difference then it's not big enough.

The great thing about the 18880 et al is that you don't have to disassemble it at all! Just loosen the scissors braces (takes 2 seconds) and collapse. The teflon on the knob nuts keeps them from turning in transit.

3) See above: toss the crossbar!

The only things I had to improve were:

a) drilling extra holes so the 18881 could sit lower (I added two sets of holes but so far have only used one set), and

b) wrapping electrical tape around the ends of various tubes so it never rattles, even when unloaded or collapsed.

Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
JeffLearman #2644857 12/03/14 12:45 PM
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Jeff - the upper bolts which connect to the knurled knobs for the crossbeam. Definitely not captive on mine. Thinking about adding JB Weld or something.

I was also wondering about just skipping the crossbeam. I bet I could get away with it on heavier keyboards for sure - they'd make good contact with the rubber and basically act as extra stabilizers. Wasn't sure if that was wise for lighter boards, though. I bought this guy mostly for my VR09.

Thanks for the feedback, I think I'll throw the crossbrace in my VR09's gig bag and try to get away without using it. smile

Wes


Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9
Roland: VR-09, RD-800
Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
JeffLearman #2644862 12/03/14 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: learjeff
3) See above: toss the crossbar!
Yup. I have never used mine.


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Re: K&M 18880 keyboard stand review
WesG #2644931 12/03/14 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: WesG
Jeff - the upper bolts which connect to the knurled knobs for the crossbeam. Definitely not captive on mine.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by captive.

On mine, the bolts that hold the crossbar are also the ones that hold the 18881 tier. The bolt head nestles into a slot in the top of the vertical tube on the 18880, then through a washer, then through the bottom of the 18881 tube, then through another slot in the top of then 18880 vertical tube, then (if I used it) through the crossbar, and finally into the knob.

Here's a pic:



When I used the crossbar, I also had a rubber band (actually, stole one of my wife's rubber hairbands) looped around the bottom of the vertical tube, which I'd use to hold the crossbar when disassembled. So, I didn't have to remove either of the two knobs that hold the crossbar since it has a hole in one end and a slot in the other. Whenever loosening or tightening the knobs, the slots would hold the bolt's head snugly, as long as I didn't loosen it enough for the heads to pop out of the slots.

Of course, toss the crossbar and that's all moot anyway.


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