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Music Stands – Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Posted by Jack Makled on Nov 12, 2020 11:11:26 PM

What do we do when our live-in butler says they’re tired of holding up our sheet music while we’re practicing? Well, of course usually we’d get our other butler to help, right? But what if I told you there’s an easier, more efficient way of holding your sheet music? That’s right! Today we’re talking about music stands. “Which stand should I get?” is the big question we’re trying to answer, but to do that we’ll need to break it down into a couple smaller questions – “What is my budget for a music stand?” and “Where will I use it?”.

Ultralights – Light Weight, Light Budget

If you travel frequently for gigs, it’s important to have a stand that’s as mobile as you are. “Ultralight” stands like the K&M Ruka, the K&M Easy Fold stand, or the Gig-N-Go folding stand are great for portability as they are incredibly light & easily fold up into their own carrying bags. When folded & packed, the 1.27lb. K&M Ruka only measures about 16” long! Additionally, these lightweight aluminum stands are the most inexpensive option available – ranging from $12 to $40 in our store – with the $12 LS5 being one of our top sellers. The light weight comes with a trade-off, though – a stiff breeze could knock them over! While these ultralights are fantastic for indoor studios & gigs, they are not ideal for outdoor events

K&M Ruka - Item #KM1RUKA


Fold-ups – A Perfect Compromise

Peak SMS-20 - Item #PSM20
If you need a little more stability but still want to have the portability of an ultralight then you’ll want to consider a folding stand like the Peak SMS-20, a Manhasset Voyager, or a Nilton Magic Stand. These stands aren’t as compact or as lightweight as their Ultralight cousins, but they still come apart and can be carried around in their included gig bag. The added stability combined with their portability makes these stands ideal for indoor and outdoor gigs, and they work great as a studio stand as well! However, folding stands aren’t the most stable type of stand, and they can get expensive ($35 - $150). If you’re not worried about portability & you’re just looking for a professional music stand for your home or ensemble you’ll want to consider a studio stand instead.

Studio – The Gold Standard

Most of us have experience using studio music stands. These are the durable metal stands we often see in schools & professional ensembles, and we love them because they are dependable! While Ultralights are very inexpensive, other fold-ups can get pricey. Fortunately, what studio stands lack in portability they make up for in affordability. Most studio stands we offer land between $50 - $80. The classic Manhasset model #48 frequently tops “best music stand” charts as it’s simple, inexpensive ($60), and durable. We even carry shorter & taller variants as well as add-ons like stand-outs, accessory shelves, instrument holders, and more. The Manhasset #48 is one of the quintessential music stands, but if you want something a little more indestructible, Hamilton’s heavy-duty Gripper stand fits the bill. This can hold a whopping 100 lbs. of music (that’s one whole Beethoven symphony!) while still being only $50. Studio stands may not be as portable as the other options mentioned so far, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a music stand that lasts longer!

Manhasset Model #48 - Item #AC48

Wood – Powdered Wig Not Included

While studio stands are tremendously popular, what if you just want a gorgeous music stand for your home studio? What if you want a music stand that’s not only functional, but eye-catching as well? The gunmetal black of a Manhasset or Hamilton stand doesn’t capture one’s attention quite as much as a beautifully crafted hardwood stand like the
George II Classic or the Regency stand from Cedarmont Woodworking. While these are the most expensive option mentioned in this post ($785 for the Regency) these stands are in a realm of their own when it comes to appearance. These are pieces of functional art that are sure to get guests talking.

So, Which One?

Are you frequently gigging outdoors? Try a fold-up! Just getting started and don’t want to break the bank? Try an ultralight! Do you want your stand to be stronger than your morning coffee? Get yourself a studio stand! Looking for the perfect accent piece for your late-1700s-themed recital? Cedarmont Woodworking has you covered! There is no single “best” music stand, but there
is a best music stand for you. All you need to answer is: Where will I use it, and what is my budget?

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Topics: Music Stands, K&M, Manhasset, peak, folding stand, orchestra stand