Microphone Stands: round versus tripod

Posted: 10/18/2019 12:40:26 PM

Joined: 10/18/2019

Thought I'd report on a comparison of the On-Stage MS7700B Tripod Stand and the On-Stage MS7201B Round Base Stand.  I picked up both of them on Amazon, compared them, and returned one.  My theremin is a Moog Standard Etherwave.

I should mention that, so far as I could tell, both stands had the same rod, just different bases.  The rod has a solid metal twist clutch.  The tripod stand came with a plastic microphone clip which screwed onto the top.  The round base came with a little round clip for running a microphone cable down against the rod.

COST.  They're both really cheap, around $25-$30.

HEIGHT.  Tripod wins barely.  The tripod can go very slightly lower (it says 32" vs 34" but I think it's really only an inch difference) because you can lower the rod down through the tripod until it hits the ground.

CONSTRUCTION.  Round base wins hands down.  The tripod feet are pivoted in place along fairly flimsy metal hinges encased in plastic, with a fairly cheap twist clamp which I think will not last long.  On the other hand the round base is a heavy-duty chunk of cast iron threaded for the rod and which holds it in place firmly.

STABILITY: TILT RECOVERY.  Round base wins somewhat.  You would think that the tripod could be tilted further, with the Etherwave mounted, before it fell over.  And you would be wrong!  Why is this?  Two reasons.  First, tripods don't have as wide a base as you think: draw a line X from one foot to another -- the radius of a tripod base is the line from the center of the base to the *middle* of line X.  So the effective tripod base (tilt-wise) is only a bit larger than the round base.  Second, even though it has a sightly narrower base, the round base stand is much, much, much heavier.  You can tilt it about 5-10 degrees further than the tripod.

STABILITY: FLOOR WOBBLINESS.  Tripod wins maybe?  On hard floor the round base was pretty stable and solid.  On a thick indian rug, the round base was a bit wobbly due to compressing the rug here and there.

STIFFNESS.  Round base by far.  The rod screws directly into the cast iron.  On the other hand, the tripod rod is held just by the base clamp and wasn't particularly solid.  The tripod is *okay*.

FOOT FRIENDLINESS.  Round base easily, of course.  Its much smaller base meant you wouldn't trip over anything.

PORTABILITY.  Tripod by far.  It folds up and it weighs perhaps a third of the round base.    And of course it's got surer footing outdoors.

Both stands seemed like they'd do the job.  You'd have imagined the tripod to be more stable than the round base, but it's not the case.  If you need portability, the tripod was definitely the right option.  But for most other purposes, it felt like the round base was a superior choice.  And the round base style is certainly more durable and solid.

Posted: 10/18/2019 1:36:27 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

How about on padded carpeting?  I think the tripod wins there as the base covers a larger area.  (oops, I see you covered that, sorry!)

Also: $25 to $30 is really low-end, you need to spend $50 to $80 IMO to get a stand that's worth owning.  Keyboard stands are the same, the low end is all junk (cheap 'X' stands are the absolute worst).  I have two tripod stands, one low-end and one that's more expensive, and the differences are quite noticeable.  The more expensive stand has longer legs with better hinges, and has more secure clamping going on in general.  They're both boom type stands, and the cheap stand boom slowly floats down no matter how much I tighten it when it's holding a heavy microphone.

Posted: 10/18/2019 1:53:49 PM

Joined: 10/18/2019

Truth be told, the difference on thick carpet wasn't big.  I got the round base even though I'm on a thick indian rug.  I found it to be a better choice overall.  Though both would be fine.

These are cheap stands to be sure: but they're surprisingly well built for their price, especially the round base stand.

Posted: 10/19/2019 1:37:43 PM

From: Halifax, Canada (east coast)

Joined: 7/28/2019

awesome review, feijai, thank you!  I was thinking of buying a tripod for gigs but maybe I'll just grin and bear my "weighted base" one.

Posted: 10/19/2019 4:31:37 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Microphone Stands: round versus tripod

feijai that is the most practical explanation of anything I have heard in a long time. I like how you demonstrate what may seem obvious is not always so. This is why theory and practice often reveal different results, why people that only computer model and never build anything often fail.


Daniel...... Interesting response?  Beautiful theremin sound is an illusion, why few find it. 

Some think it is due to the way the hands are shaped.

Posted: 10/19/2019 4:57:35 PM

From: Halifax, Canada (east coast)

Joined: 7/28/2019

I feel compelled to point out that that illustration is an optical illusion which exists only as a drawing, and doesn't actually exist in the real world :-)

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