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Two tier stand recommendations


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I currently gig with a Modx8 and an Apex stand. Added a Mojo 61 and haven’t been able to find a configuration where I’m not obscuring the Modx screen and controls. Right now have Mojo on the bottom which doesn’t feel ideal. Interested in what others are doing with a similar setup. Was considering a K&M Spider or maybe a Gibraltar stand but not sure if either of those are great options. Thanks for your help!

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K&M 18880 with 18881 stacker. You can flip the stacker backwards if you need to move the top tier board further back relative to the bottom one.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Only stand that I've had experience with, that has adjustable tier lengths is the Standtastic (I have the 60" 3-tier version.)  It takes a ton of time to get the heights of the individual tiers dialed in, but once that's all set, it sets up/tears down in a couple minutes.  Downsides are that it takes up a lot of floor space, the bag it comes with is very cheaply made, and the small wing nuts can easily be lost.

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11 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

K&M 18880 with 18881 stacker. You can flip the stacker backwards if you need to move the top tier board further back relative to the bottom one.

+1 for this suggestion.  Lightest stand available, once your adjustments are made, set up and tear down are literally seconds.  Being aluminum you can cut off 2-3 inches off the 18881 stacker if necessary.

 

 

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1 hour ago, DJKeys said:

+1 for this suggestion.  Lightest stand available, once your adjustments are made, set up and tear down are literally seconds.  Being aluminum you can cut off 2-3 inches off the 18881 stacker if necessary.

 

 

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Would you be able to use this without the crossbar (like shown in the picture) or is the stand too unstable without it?  I have some smaller boards that wouldn’t fit across the stand if the crossbar is used

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Most of the time I've used it, I haven't bothered with the crossbar anyway. But I guess depending on the weight distribution of the boards and your own playing aggressiveness, the loss of some stability could be more or less bothersome. I'm not sure I've ever used the crossbar when not stacking three boards, actually. But coincidentally, someone just posted something related at https://forums.musicplayer.com/topic/182266-need-help-finding-my-exotic-keyboard-stand - he complained about lack of sturdiness, but also it looks like he's not using the crosspiece. So it's a good news bad news scenario... on one hand, using it that way, it hasn't been as sturdy as he'd like; OTOH, that hasn't stopped him for using it for years that way. So it's certainly usable, if not necessarily ideal, again probably more or less so based on the boards and your playing.

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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1 hour ago, John Salazar said:

Would you be able to use this without the crossbar (like shown in the picture) or is the stand too unstable without it?  I have some smaller boards that wouldn’t fit across the stand if the crossbar is used

Never use the crossbar, stand is perfectly stable without it. My boards are only 20 pounds each, though. This stand has no up/down movement at all and very little side to side even when playing aggressively.  My Baby Spider Pro flexed a lot more than this stand.

 

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StandTastic Keyboard Stands - LM Products (lm-products.myshopify.com)  

Pros: Sturdy.  Narrow width. Highly adjustable.  Collapses to a single, thin bag. 

Cons: Has pieces you have to make sure you leave with (although they are all easily replaceable).  Requires additional depth than some other designs if you place your keyboards low (for seated playing).  

 

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On 5/9/2022 at 12:47 PM, MathOfInsects said:

I don't know that the "use for years" part is relevant. Stands are expensive. I use a few different ones I HATE, just because I already own them. 

I was addressing the question, "Would you be able to use this without the crossbar...or is the stand too unstable without it? " If it were unusably unsturdy, e.g. the thing actually seemed like it might collapse, I think anyone would find a way to use something else, rather than risk hundreds of dollars worth of gear damage at every gig. It may or may not be irritatingly unstable feeling in some cases, but at least to that player, it was not unusably so, or, well, he wouldn't have been able to keep using it, pretty much by definition. ;-)

 

But more to OP's point, as you can see, some of us regularly use it without the crossbar, and find it plenty stable. Again, it might vary with the particular weight distribution of the boards at hand.

 

On 5/9/2022 at 1:38 PM, ElmerJFudd said:

StandTastic Keyboard Stands - LM Products (lm-products.myshopify.com)  

Pros: Sturdy.  Narrow width. Highly adjustable.  Collapses to a single, thin bag. 

 

 

Rather than "narrow" width, I'd say it has a very adjustable width. So yes, it can go narrow, but it can also go wide if that works better for you. I also agree with justin_havu above... it can be finicky to initially set up, but once you set it up, it can work well. It wasn't a good choice for me because I change boards around a bunch, requiring too many visits to the "finicky to initially set up" phase. I also found the extension pieces that come out of the arms awkward to work with (possibly due to my own mechanical ineptitude). When I was first moving it around in my house, and thinking about gigging with it, bugged me a little that, if you had the tiers as close as I like to have them, the arms for the lower tier would interfere with being able to fully lower the arms of the upper tier for transport. With or without that, bits tend to annoyingly flop around when you're trying to maneuver it. Though I later realized there was probably a solution to this, which will be in a post further down. But in the end, the K&M was less fiddly to configure, lighter to move, and let me better get a top board close-and-further-behind a bottom board which I often prefer. (I had also thought it would be quicker to set up and break down, but there was a way to get the Standtastic to be about as fast, again posted below.) Regardless, there are certain situations where I'm sure people would prefer this, e.g. due to the total flexibility you have in the height of each tier.

 

(Edited when I remembered more detail!)

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I like the convenience and simplicity of that K&M 18880 with 18881 stacker shown above.  I own two K&M stands, one a double-tier Spider Pro that has been my main gigging stand for four years or so now.  Before that it was a two-tier Z.   I'd have to make sure the 18880 could get tall enough and still be stable, this is a big problem for me with every X stand I've ever tried.  I'm stall and play standing, so they are too short even at their most narrow (and least stable) position.
 

If such things matter (and they don't much to me), I get far more compliments on the looks of the Spider Pro than my keyboards :)   I care about stability, functionality for playing, ease of setup/teardown, ease of transport roughly in that order.   Having a mic stand adapter is a big plus but further down the list.   I recently bought a K&M quick-release thingie for my mic boom, I should have gotten one of those years ago.

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I have this same stand and some people complain that it's got a little bit of L/R sway to it even with the crossbar in. It's extremely light and folds flat in seconds...I wouldn't say it's the rock of gibraltar, but it's not going to collapse on you in normal circumstances. I don't know that I'd be comfortable using it without the crossbar though. 

It's narrow enough for a 49 key with the crossbar in. Here it is with a Hydrasynth comfortably on the top, and the bottom is the same width.

I actually attach a shelf I made that screws into the racks existing screw holes and it adds a bit more stability. In this picture that's what my controllers are all sitting on.

21 hours ago, John Salazar said:

Would you be able to use this without the crossbar (like shown in the picture) or is the stand too unstable without it?  I have some smaller boards that wouldn’t fit across the stand if the crossbar is used

 

Nord Hydra Kazbar.jpg

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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20 hours ago, Stokely said:

I'd have to make sure the 18880 could get tall enough and still be stable, this is a big problem for me with every X stand I've ever tried.  I'm stall and play standing, so they are too short even at their most narrow (and least stable) position.

 Unlike an X-stand, the 18880 maintains the same width no matter how low or high you set it, which addresses the "raised X-stand stability" problem... i.e. the X inherently gets less stable as you increase its height, because increasing its height also makes it narrower. While putting something on "taller stilts" also decreases stability, it's a lot better than what happens with an X.

 

51 minutes ago, Iconoclast said:

I actually attach a shelf I made that screws into the racks existing screw holes...that's what my controllers are all sitting on.

Cool idea! The kind of thing I wish I were mechanical enough to do. ;-)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I love my aluminum  Z Stand. Perfect for my double manual Mojo 61. Yesterday I set up a “test configuration” of my Mojo on top and the Numa Piano X88 on the bottom (if I ever wanted to use it for performances). I used a X stand behind the Z stand and it was a workable solution. But I soon discovered that for the music I am performing now, I am staying with my current setup. As I initially pondered, the Numa will stay in my studio as a studio keyboard. I am comfortable with my performance rig. Why screw that up by adding a new performance keyboard when I don’t really need one?

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On 5/9/2022 at 8:50 AM, John Salazar said:

Would you be able to use this without the crossbar (like shown in the picture) or is the stand too unstable without it?  I have some smaller boards that wouldn’t fit across the stand if the crossbar is used

This is from the outside edge to outside edge with the crossbar in place.

20220510_142818.jpg

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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On 5/9/2022 at 11:38 AM, ElmerJFudd said:

StandTastic Keyboard Stands - LM Products (lm-products.myshopify.com)  

Pros: Sturdy.  Narrow width. Highly adjustable.  Collapses to a single, thin bag. 

Cons: Has pieces you have to make sure you leave with (although they are all easily replaceable).  Requires additional depth than some other designs if you place your keyboards low (for seated playing).  

 

122ks_2048x.jpg?v=1615822984

 

102ks_2048x.jpg?v=1615822983

I have a friend that uses one of these for gigging. He loves it. I just ordered one too.

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8 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

 Unlike an X-stand, the 18880 maintains the same width no matter how low or high you set it, which addresses the "raised X-stand stability" problem... i.e. the X inherently gets less stable as you increase its height, because increasing its height also makes it narrower. While putting something on "taller stilts" also decreases stability, it's a lot better than what happens with an X.

 

Cool idea! The kind of thing I wish I were mechanical enough to do. ;-)

HA! I'm a hack. All you need is a drill, a couple of woodscrews, paint, some bolts and thumbscrews.  Really simple.
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You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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1 hour ago, Iconoclast said:

HA! I'm a hack. All you need is a drill, a couple of woodscrews, paint, some bolts and thumbscrews.  Really simple.

 

Damn buddy, that's an amazing setup you made there, very nice!

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Way back in the day (the ‘80’s) I used a three-tier Ultimate A-frame tubular stand. Didn’t have a van so I had to completely disassemble the dang thing every gig. Took a good 20 minutes. 
 

Boy was I a happy camper when the phenomenal Invisible Stand was invented. Gigged that one for a couple of decades. That is the fastest and sturdiest of any two tier I’ve ever used, but something about that stance make me hunch over badly and my back began cramping up by the final set of a long night. 


Along came the two-tier, double braced X-stand. Gigged for well over a decade with a couple of those without a single mishap. They were kind of tall at standing hight though, and I missed a lot of what was going on at the dance floor. 
 

I recently used a three-tier Standtastic for gigs about eight times. Usually only used two boards though. It was kind of a hassle setting up and tearing down, took up quite a bit of room on the tiny stages I play, and also rather obstructed the view. Love that stand in my studio now; got another set of arms so it holds four boards or three boards and a shelf for a laptop and other miscellaneous stuff.
 

Finally went with an On Stage two-tier Z-stand for gigging. It is even more time consuming to set up and tear down than the Standtastic, but it provides the most comfortable and ergonomic stance for either standing or sitting. And I have a great view over it. Must not over tighten those knobs…they can easily strip-out.

 

Much like the quest for the perfect expression pedal, still seeking my Goldilocks stand.

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36 minutes ago, brenner13 said:

I recently used a three-tier Standtastic for gigs about eight times. Usually only used two boards though. It was kind of a hassle setting up and tearing down, took up quite a bit of room on the tiny stages I play, and also rather obstructed the view. Love that stand in my studio now; got another set of arms so it holds four boards or three boards and a shelf for a laptop and other miscellaneous stuff.

 

I ended up only using it at home, where I agree, the tall one is particularly nice for being able to load it with lots of gear. But as for the hassle of setting up and tearing down, picking up from my post above where I mentioned coming up with a better-but-less-obvious way to move it, when I was more recently thinking about gigging with it, my conclusion was (looking at the picture in Elmer's post above), the best way to move it would probably be to break it down by only loosening the two big rear knobs, which will let you collapse one side against the other so it is practically flat, then tighten them again to keep it from falling open during transport... and that's it. Leave all the other pieces in place... the front legs, the arms. Once it's flat, if you have something like an SUV, you should be able to just lay it on top of everything else at the end, the key being that, once it's flat, it almost doesn't matter how big it is in the other dimensions. At that point, setup would just be loosening the two knobs, separating the two sides to the desired width, and tightening the two knobs again, done, which is basically the same as my preferred K&M. I still ended up sticking with the K&M because, with a little thought, I was able to duplicate that particular multi-board standtastic setup with the K&M after all, which remained smaller and lighter.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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9 hours ago, MrVegas said:

HA! I'm a hack. All you need is a drill, a couple of woodscrews, paint, some bolts and thumbscrews.  Really simple.

That's very cool, and just about within my limited capabilities. Thanks for posting.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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18 hours ago, Iconoclast said:

This is from the outside edge to outside edge with the crossbar in place.

20220510_142818.jpg


Yes. You can go without the crossbar.  I always kept the crossbar with the stand but used heavy Velcro cable wraps to keep it secured to the attached leg when not in use. If I actually removed the crossbar the damn thing would probably get lost plus I used the crossbar in some gigs where I had a Hammond in the middle and a Fantom on top.  I did this for probably a couple of years to ride a short Roland SH-01 (Gaia) on top to cover a couple of early Gaga sounds and an old song by Tag Team. 

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I have the K&M 18880 and four stackers.  Done hundreds of gigs on it. It is what I use if I need to ride 3 boards.  I like it. But as always I will tell you the negatives because marketing tells you the positives.   
 

1) it feels wobbly as hell when you set it up. It will be scary but it’s okay.  When you put weight on it the more solid it gets.   It holds a lot of weight. I usually load it with a Kronos 2 88 , Hammond XK -3c and a 61 key synth of choice on top.   That it a pretty good load.   It works well. 
 

2) The spring pins that are supposed to keep boards from sliding off suck.  They will come loose over time.  They are too tall and can hit the underside of your wrist.  But it’s not a big deal.   Some guys just remove them.  I just work around it.  Think of them as a built in training  device to promote good hand posture… no droopy wrists.  
 

But I recommend the product. 

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I think stands may be one of the most popular (and opinionated - in a good way) topic in the 20+ years I've lurked on this forum...

 

I currently use a StandTastic 2 tier. I also own a three tier and have the wall mounts in my studio. 

  • Pros - Very sturdy, Breaks down easily and quickly (for me at least)
  • Cons - I think they're a sideline to L&M's main business (guitar straps). While I love the stands, the accessories are rather limited (the mic attachment is dismal).
  •           By default you can't get the keyboards very close together. I want something as close as possible to a "hammond" layout , or at least closer to the Invisible Stands that I bought 37 years ago and loved (See below). I fabricated something that allows me to do this and it's pretty stable, but it's a bit of a hassle. I've been experiementing with some things and I may even going to cut down a couple of the arms to see if it makes a difference.  

ZStands (Pro Line and a bunch of others - note that parts are not interchaneable between manufacturers). A Z-stand is my go to for single keyboard gigs. 

  • Pros: Some attachments (some good, some bad, some don't connect to the ZSTand - you have to connect them to an upper tier), easy to setup, very adjustable, not too expensive. 
  • Cons: Keyboards are too far apart when using the upper tiers. 

Invisitble Stands - Haven't been manufactured in DECADES. I own two (a black and a rare chrome one). 

  • Pros: Keyboards are close together (closer than any other stand I've found by default). Solid. Low profile
  • Cons: Out of production, hard to carry around (the nylon bags last about a year and then fell apart), the suspensnion mechanism tends to stretch or break, but that's easily fixed with some key rings. No attachments. 

My $.02. 

 

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I guess I'd rank my favorite multi-tier stands as K&M 18880 first, Invisibles a close second, Standatastic a more distant third... and I probably wouldn't bother with anything else.

 

You're right about a Standtastic limitation in keeping boards close... you might be able to do it with sufficiently shallow boards, like a Casio Privia on the bottom, pulled to the frontmost possible position on one tier, and a not-very-deep board above, set as far back on its tier as possible. Maybe? Mine isn't set up at the moment, I can't experiment. But even though that arrangement is my preference as well, it wasn't my concern for the things I was doing on the Standtastic. (If it were, I would have been using the K&M or Invisible which are naturally better at that sort of thing.)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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11 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

I guess I'd rank my favorite multi-tier stands as K&M 18880 first, Invisibles a close second, Standatastic a more distant third... and I probably wouldn't bother with anything else.

 

You're right about a Standtastic limitation in keeping boards close... you might be able to do it with sufficiently shallow boards, like a Casio Privia on the bottom, pulled to the frontmost possible position on one tier, and a not-very-deep board above, set as far back on its tier as possible. Maybe? Mine isn't set up at the moment, I can't experiment. But even though that arrangement is my preference as well, it wasn't my concern for the things I was doing on the Standtastic. (If it were, I would have been using the K&M or Invisible which are naturally better at that sort of thing.)

I drilled an extra hole in my 18880 to get the boards close-

 

-dj

20211120_075757.jpg

iMac i7 11.6

Studio One 5.5

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Nord Wave 2

Nektar T4

Drawmer DL 241

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