Imagine you’re a famous rock star, and you just got on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. When you approach the microphone, you realize that your absent-minded roadie forgot to adjust the stand to your specified height. Thankfully, the microphone stand in front of you has a special grip that lets you adjust it easily. You don’t need to grab the stand forcefully with both hands to twist an antiquated locking mechanism. That isn’t the rock-star way to do it. You just pop one hand on the stand, squeeze it, and slide the microphone to where you need it.
When you think about innovative design, microphone stands probably aren’t the first products that come to mind. If you were to step into a time machine and travel back fifty years, you would find that the microphone stands that were available were far more crude compared to what is available today. This isn’t an accident. There are companies that have been hard at work for a long time, with the goal of improving all sorts of products for musicians.
Hamilton Stands is a company from Ohio, USA, which has been engineering innovative musical-support products since 1883. When you purchase one of its stands, you know you’re not taking a risk with a fly-by-night company that just appeared out of nowhere. You’re putting your trust into one of the oldest music-product manufacturers in the United States.
What kind of microphone stand do you end up with after 130 years of careful consideration? For musicians, presenters, and comedians, there are products like the KB242M microphone stand, which features the easily adjustable grip that was described at the beginning of this article (it’s called the E-Trigger grip).
The KB242M is a boom stand, meaning that it has an extension arm on top, which gives guitar players some welcome extra space in front of the stand. Boom stands also give you more options for how you can position the microphone. For example, if the person using the microphone is seated, it’s possible to angle the stand downward to put the microphone where they need it.
The base of the KB242M features tripod-style feet that fold for easy transport and storage. One of the more satisfying aspects of tripod feet is that they don’t weigh as much as other options, which makes them easier to carry around. Plus, their wide footprint gives you the stabilization that’s required to balance the protruding boom arm and the attached microphone properly.
If you like the idea of the E-Trigger grip and tripod feet, but you prefer a straight stand as opposed to a boom stand, the product for you is the KB241A microphone stand. It features the same components as KB242M, but without the boom arm. Why would you not want a boom? Some people simply prefer not to have one on their microphone stand. Straight stands are also more stable, because there is no boom arm to throw off the balance. They cost a little less, too.
Speaking of microphone stand preferences, some people prefer weighted bases over tripod feet. This gives your microphone stand a more solid foundation. Weighted-base stands also have a smaller footprint than tripod stands. When you need to place several microphone stands close to one another, it’s more easily accomplished when their bases don’t require a great deal of additional floor space.
If a weighted-base stand sounds like what you’re after, Hamilton makes the KB240M microphone stand, which features a circular, die-cast metallic base. Once again, the ergonomic E-Trigger grip is included on this model, making height adjustments easy. The KB240M is available only as a straight stand, because the smaller footprint of its base isn’t ideal for stabilizing protruding boom arms.
All of the stands mentioned in this article so far include a durable, powder-coated finish. They’re built to withstand the rigors of the stage, studio, and rehearsal space, but should you encounter problems, they all come with a three-year limited warranty. The rugged finish and notably lengthy warranty are also included with Hamilton’s Nu-Era tabletop microphone stands.
When you’re performing on stage, more often than not, a floor-standing microphone stand is what you need. Sitting at a table or a desk and using a microphone requires a different kind of stand. In this scenario, you want something that can rest on the surface in front you, and be adjusted to accommodate your height. To fill this need, Hamilton Stands offers the KB810M Nu-Era Tabletop Microphone Stand.
Similar to some of the larger microphone stands covered in this article, the KB810M features folding tripod legs. This gives it extra stability with the additional bonus of being lightweight and easy to transport. Moving these tabletop stands from one place to another is made even more convenient by the included carrying bag that comes with each unit.
The included carrying bag features two zippers to access its two separate compartments: one to hold the stand, and the other to hold accessories. In addition to the carrying bag, the KB810M also comes with a standard handheld mic clip. When set up, the height of the stand can be adjusted randomly from 10 to 16 inches (25.4 - 40.64 cm).
The KB810M is a tabletop microphone stand that checks all of the right boxes: it’s affordable, it’s lightweight (it weighs only 10 oz), it folds into an ultra-compact size for travel and storage, it comes with everything you need, it’s built tough, and it’s made by a reputable company. This is a no-brainer.
It’s possible to encounter a limitation with tabletop stands if you’re using larger, heavier microphones. If the center of gravity of the microphone isn’t balanced at the center of the microphone stand, it can topple easily. This can become especially problematic when you’re using microphones that require shockmounts. Many shockmounts attach to the top of a stand and position the microphone off to the side, like this Senal SC-550X condenser microphone.
Hamilton Stands makes a separate accessory that’s compatible with the company’s KB810M Nu-Era Tabletop Stand that resolves this issue. The KB816M Nu-Era Offset Adapter attaches to the top of the stand, and enables you to position the center of gravity of the attached microphone over the center of the stand.
Tabletop stands are a great tool to use for recording podcasts, and the best-sounding microphones for recording podcasts tend to be heavier and larger. In these recording situations, using a KB810M stand with a KB816M adapter is a great solution.
The KB816M Offset Adapter is sold bundled with the KB810M tabletop microphone stand, in the Hamilton Stands KB815M kit. You get everything that comes with the KB810M stand and the KB815M adapter. It’s an all-in-one support solution for using a larger microphone on a tabletop.
The KB815M adapter also doubles as a stereo microphone bar. You can attach microphone clips to either side of it to position two microphones for stereo recording and other sound-capture projects.
Whether your audience is located in various parts of the globe listening to your podcast, or if they’re right in front of you cheering you on at a live show, Hamilton Stands has a microphone stand solution for you that’s carefully designed, built properly, and attractively priced—considering the high level of quality you get. The peace of mind you acquire from knowing that a forgetful roadie won’t make you look like an idiot on stage is worth the price of admission alone.