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Discussion Starter #1
Since getting a bass clarinet last year I had been using a K&M stand. I found the K&M stand to have a good amount of stability and was heavy duty in it's construction. Making quick horn changes with the bass clarinet is a breeze with the K&M stand. I had no complaints about the stand...except for its weight. If I just carried my bass clarinet and K&M stand it was not a big deal. However, when I'm hauling all of my horns and stands the heavier weight of the K&M stand gave me reason to look for other options.

Up to about a week ago I did not know that Hercules makes a bass clarinet stand. I only came across it through the Weiner Music catalog. The usual places where I do business -- like Muncy, 1stopclarinet, wwbw, etc -- does not have the Hercules bass clarinet stand. Two things caught my eye about the Hercules stand: lighter weight and the different design of the stand in how the bass clarinet's bell is held (in a saxophone stand style of yoke) as well as the instrument body by a second arm and yoke. It looks a bit strange. However, I think it's a smart concept. In fact, a couple of months ago I was wondering why no one made a bass clarinet stand that holds the bell rather than the bottom being in a cup. This is more of a factor when a bass clarinet peg is used.

The Hercules stand arrived yesterday and I checked it out with my bass clarinet. First impressions are positive. The stand is very easy to set up and fold down. There are only 4 moving parts -- 2 legs and 2 vertical arms -- and everything's connected. The arm that holds the bell has only 2 settings for with (higher position) and without a peg (lower position). Then, there is a second vertical arm that holds the back of the bass clarinet's body. This arm is adjustable. I have mine so the yoke is right under the thumb rest. It appears to me that my bass clarinet is very stable with this stand. In particular, since I use the peg.

In terms of very quick horn changes, the K&M stand may be better. However, the Hercules stand is not bad at all in that respect. It took me only about 5 minutes to become comfortable with it.

The Hercules stand is lighter than the K&M stand. That is one of the main reasons why I decided to switch. When the Hercules stand is folded it is a bit longer than the K&M stand -- around 27 1/2".

Overall, I'm very happy with the Hercules stand.

Roger
 

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How are these in terms of footprint? This is sometimes a factor when you play in a cramped pit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Hercules has a smaller footprint.
 

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The stands that I use were made by a company in northern IN called Anderson. Apparently, the patented design dates back at least to the 1930's, and the majority of the structure is made of die cast aluminum. The upright is attached to the four "legs" through a bolt and wing nut that holds it all together. The bell is held by two rings - one of about 270° that goes around the top of the bell, under the rim, and the other a 180° "U" that keeps the horn upright by cradling the bottom of the bell. Both of the rings are covered with plastic (vinyl).

I say 1930's vintage because I have seen versions of this stand with felt padding that are alleged to be that old. (These older stands were of the saxophone variant - you can use many of the parts to construct either an alto stand, a tenor stand, or a bass clarinet stand.)

The last contact that I had with the company was in 1984. At that point, I bought a second stand (due to fears that my first one might break) for bass, as well as the parts needed to cover them to alto and tenor as needed.

Since that time, the company has disappeared from the face of the planet. Nothing on the internet, nothing in the phone books, no answer at the old address, phone number now a fax line with another firm.

Outside of my stands, I have seen these elsewhere on occasion. A guy who played in a cultural society music group of which I was a member had one of the alto version. I bought an older alto version off of eBay, this one with the rings being die cast rather than spring steel. And, there is a tenor one in a music store in Springfield MO (where I once had a girlfriend who worked the counter). The one there was being used to display a C melody, in a collection of other older horns.

However, the real bonanza came in the old photos of musical groups on the back wall. Here there were old photos of a variety of groups (but none of me during my year with the Springfield Symphony), including many old dance bands.

In one of those photos, I counted no less than seven of the stands (including alto, tenor and bass clarinet). Since these groups were dated in the 1920's and 1930's, the design dates back at least that far.

I have a couple of bass clarinets, one to low Eb (the "lifeboat"), and the other to low C (my main bass). The stand works better with the low C horn, as the peg does not have to be moved to put the horn in the stand. (The low Eb horns would have to have the peg retracted before putting it in the stand.)

The stand as designed is quite stable, even with the fifteen pound horn on it. However, I take it one step further by mounting the upper portions of the stand (upright and two rings) on a "H-bar" base made of heavy oak lumber. A bolt passes up through the H-bar, and the stand is secured with a wing nut as the bolt passes upward through a fender washer placed atop the stand.

The same base also holds my baritone stand (low to the ground), and allows me to mount additional sax stands, clarinet and flute pegs, and even a bassoon stand (which I picked up in an H & H junk bin for three bucks).

It's rock solid, requiring many pounds of horizontal pull to tip, and portable enough on my cart (which humps my baritone case, bass case, miscellaneous clarinets and flutes and whatever else is on the menu.

I've got a set of instructions for those interested in producing one of their own, complete with photos. Drop me an email at "[email protected]" and I'll mail it out to you.

I've used this stand (or others just like it) for many years, and it's extremely easy to stab the horns down on the stand, as well as to pick them up. I put it together after I saw a friend's Mark VI tenor get turned into wall art by an actress's clumsy entrance through the orchestra pit.

If you can find one (and I'm sure that more than three (my two and the one in the photo) were made), it's a better solution than either of the others on the market today.
 

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I highly recommend the Hercules stand for BC. Easy to assemble, sturdy, and easy to take the instrument from.
Thanks to Weiner Music who carried them before anyone else did, I've owned mine for a year and couldn't be happier!
 

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ROGER....Hercules stand is the ticket for me too.

I love the Bb clarinet stand as well. What a great idea these guys have.
 

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Sorry to butt in, but is there such a thing as an alto clarinet stand (in production)? I've been doing a bit of looking and can't find anything. Simon?
 

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Sorry to butt in, but is there such a thing as an alto clarinet stand (in production)? I've been doing a bit of looking and can't find anything. Simon?
It's called, take a regular Belmonte style sax stand and modify it yourself by drilling extra holes on the shaft and then bending the bell holder closer. It works, don't jump around it.
 

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The ones that I use (Anderson, out of northern IN, long time out of business but made at least from the early 1900's to 1985) had a specific adaptation with a different bell ring used with their standard bass clarinet/saxophone stand. Wouldn't work for a horn with a peg, though.

You could probably get a Konig and Meyer to work if you could shorten up the vertical upright. Neck in the bracket and peg in the cup, just like the bass in same.
 

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Roger:

I am fairly tall, and as I look at the Hercules, I wonder if with my slightly extra long peg (about 2 -3' longer than a standard peg) will the height adjustment of the yoke that holds the bell adjust high enough so that it still supports the bell. Or would the bell being slightly higher when I play it make it such that it is too tall for the yoke?

I currently have a Performance Gear bass clarinet stand and do not love it.
 

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Interesting to read these posts. I was recently looking for a second bass clarinet stand to use for when I was doubling contra-alto--my K&M stand works for either, but obviously not both--so I got a Hercules DS560B to try. The problem I ran into is that the horn leans on the top brace on the back, right against the rods that connect the bottom keys. This may be specific to my horn (I play a low-C Buffet), but it just made the design unworkable for me... anyone else run into it?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Qwerty: Sadly, you might be out of luck with a Hercules with an extra long BC peg. In your case a K&M might be a better option.

Bari_sax_diva: I adjust the back brace height so my BC is resting on the yoke of the back brace just under the thumb rest. In this position no rods or keys are touching the stand. But, the design of your Buffet may work differently on this stand.

For my Bb clarinet and flutes (concert, alto, and piccolo) I've come to prefer the Blayman pegs. They are well designed, high quality/heavy duty materials, and extremely sturdy. They are the very best thing I've found for flutes & piccolo. However, I don't use the Blayman base for the pegs. For me, it's too heavy and bulky to add to my doubling stuff. Happily, I discovered that the screw size used in the Blayman pegs fits a 5-peg Hamilton base unit. The Hamilton base is light-weight and folds up to be extremely compact. This set up feels stable to me and I trust my flutes & clarinet on it.

I've come to use one Hamilton base for my 3 flute pegs (alto flute in the center and flute & piccolo on the sides) and a separate one for my Bb clarinet peg. The Blayman pegs can also work on my Beechler saxophone stand.

One downside about Blayman is the pegs are pricey. But, I've come to think that the price is worth it. Clearly, these pegs will out last me!

PS... Guys, for those of you who are using a Hercules BC stand what do you put it in to haul your doubling stuff? I'm currently using a 30" long DeWalt tool bag. It works but I'd like something less bulky. On the positive side a DeWalt bag is great for laughs. It looks like I'm going to a construction gig. ha ha ha Any suggestions?

Roger
 

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Roger:

I just came off a run of West Side Story playing reed 4. I was using my performance gear bass clarinet stand, which is a bit wobbly, and the bell of my bass whacks into the long upright piece of the stand. The fellow playing the reed 2 book to my right had a Blayman bass clarinet stand. Talk about weight! BUT, his bass clarinet was very secure. I have considered buying one of those, but am put off by the weight and the expense...$200+.

The K and M's just have such a large footprint. Unfortunately "spacious" and "pit" seem to be mutually exclusive terms.

The fellow with the Blayman stand uses a bag designed for carrying a videographer's tripod to carry his Blayman in.
 

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When dealing with something retailing in the $6,000 range, a couple of hundred bucks for an instrument stand doesn't seem all that expensive.

I'll plug my "H-bar" stand here again. While you do have to find a Anderson bass clarinet stand to make it all work, it is rock solid, relatively cheap, and able to accommodate such disparate instruments as bassoon, baritone sax, all of the smaller saxes, clarinets of all sizes, flutes in addition to the bass, and it is rock solid while being relatively compact. You do have to make it, though.

As for carrying it, I just throw it on the cart on top of all of the other cases, where it sits just fine.

Send me an email and I'll send you the directions (complete with photographs of fabrication and assembly).
 

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Qwerty, I just used my K&M stand in the most crowded space yesterday. Although the footprint is supposedly large, because it's just three arms you can put them under things, like your chair, etc. (yesterday it was mostly under the piano) so it actually takes much less sapce than it seems. I definitely prefer its compromises over the Blayman's. In one convention they used the K&M stands even for contrabass clarinets.
 

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I'm looking for a folding bass-clarinet stand to take with me to orchestra and pit gigs. I already have a GREAT one designed by Larry Bocaner, formerly of the National Symphony, but it's simply way too heavy to schlepp around. (It's really fabulous, though-- the peg rests on a little cup on a heavy steel plate on the bottom of the stand, and the top is stabilized by a tall bar with an S-curve at the top which holds the upper curve of the neck. You could basically tackle it and it wouldn't fall over, and the footprint is about a foot square. Brilliant design on Larry's part.)

I'm curious: one of my concerns about the Hercules stand is the way it holds the weight of the bass-- it looks to me like it places all of the weight on the forward side of the bass clarinet bell, which seems to me like it could damage the point where the bell meets the lower joint over time. It just looks like it would create a greater-than-usual amount of torque on the joint, and wood isn't as stabile as metal at taking that kind of weight over time or the force of chucking your instrument into its stand when you have about three seconds to switch to something else.

This kind of system works for saxophones because of the nature of their solidly connected body, but I'm a little leery of it after working so long to plunk down thousands of dollars on a low-C bass that's a.) pretty heavy and b.) in really scarce supply should something happen.

Thoughts?
 
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