Premium stands from Gravity – professional hardware with a certain mojo – test report by pma

Adam Hall spent two years developing the new Gravity brand. The result is a range of premium stands, which, with justified immodesty, can be referred to as a ‘collection’. We were given the opportunity to put two members of the Gravity family to the test as representatives for the range: the Gravity MS 2322 B microphone stand and the Gravity SP 5211 B speaker stand.
Premium stands from Gravity – professional hardware with a certain mojo – test report by pma
Set-up begins and the crew opens the hardware case and looks dumbfounded at an unspectacular collection of stands. Which stand belongs to which musician? The assumptions begin. “It would be good to be able to differentiate somehow”, thinks Mr R. Owdie. But it’s impossible; all the stands look the same. Everything is so nice and black. Things couldn't get any darker. However, Sepp Clapton and Eric Herberger say: “After the gig is before the gig.” And perhaps someone should come up with a solution.

The creators of the Gravity brand have thought about this. They have done away with the reputation of stands as dull, marginal accessories. Now, they can be simply personalised, combine innovative function with robust durability and design, and simply look cool. How have people consistently overlooked this hardware for so long?

Two of the models from the Gravity series came to visit us: the MS 2322 B microphone stand with a round base and the SP 5211 B speaker stand. Regardless of the product, all the models are made from solid, powder-coated metal with double-injection-moulded ABS plastic and die-cast zinc connectors. There are also black coding rings, which are also available in many other colours – a great feature. And this is far more than just a marketing ploy: it has both aesthetic and practical benefits. With this concept, the suspicion soon follows that when it comes to hardware, Back to the Future is precisely here and now.

Gravity MS 2322 B
Let’s focus on the models available to us, starting with the Gravity MS 2322 B microphone stand. First impressions? To be honest (and we’re certainly not new to this), I’ve never in all my years seen such a solidly packaged microphone stand. I unrelentingly fight my way through the packaging with scissors, a sharp knife and my teeth, play “open sesame” and am impressed: out of the shell (actually nothing more than a cardboard box) slides a highly sturdy stand with clamping screws and force-reducing locking rings that instantly appears suitable for stage use. You really have something to grab hold of, if you want to of course, and highly sophisticated details immediately become evident.

The screw heads and the handle on the height adjustment mechanism have a pleasant feel. This makes great sense, especially for a microphone stand, which is very unlikely to be kept in the same position throughout a gig but rather moved by the singer, often on a whim. This is made possible through the use of highly durable ABS with a non-slip soft-touch cover made from thermoplastic. The quick-release locking device with a clip mechanism also enables direct access and quick adjustment. The stand has a boom with 2-point adjustment, a handy height adjustment mechanism and a base with the necessary weight of 3.6 kg required for its purpose.

The underside of the die-cast round base has a circumferential plastic insert, a rubber base in the series-typical green. This not only ensures acoustic insulation and good stability even on smooth surfaces, but also prevents scratches to sometimes very sensitive stage floors. This is particularly useful if a venue doesn’t have a proper stage and the band has to simply fight for space somewhere in the room and the manager’s hair is already standing on end at times during setup.

The real highlight, however, is that tightening-related issues are a thing of the past. I’m sure it’s a situation on stage you’re familiar with: you tighten something to make it hold, then next time it has to be tighter and then even tighter. And before you know it, the thing ends up in the bin. With Gravity, things are different. Nothing has to be squeezed or rammed together. Little plastic locking mechanisms ensure that everything holds. Whatever the position.

Material-friendly design
The speaker stand (which according to the manufacturer can hold up to 50 kg) is no less functionally sophisticated. It can be extended to a height of almost (but not quite) two metres. This is plenty for the usual uses on the road or ‘in the pub’. This member of the Gravity clan also impresses with sophisticated features that help to protect the materials. The threaded screw on the lower height adjustment mechanism, the actual neuralgic point, is locked with two rubber rings. Overtightening is neither necessary nor possible. What’s interesting is that even the slanted tripod feet suddenly look straight under the stage spotlights. This effect is created by the asymmetrically positioned G-rings – trendy splashes of colour with a practical benefit.

In launching the Gravity brand, Adam Hall Hardware sets a visual trend by means of the attractive and interchangeable rubber rings, which can be replaced in an instant. The muted or even bright colours of these G-rings make it possible to personalise the stands, make them more stylish or simply professionally tailor them to the overall stage appearance.

Stand your Ground
With Gravity, not everything is square or circular. The stands use asymmetrical geometry and ergonomics to resolve the former issues that the greatest load on a microphone boom set at a desired angle rather than vertically positioned is on the interface, the bracket, and that the bases on the slanted speaker stand tripod always looked unprofessionally crooked. ‘Stand Your Ground’ is the Gravity brand’s slogan. This may appear to be simple marketing jargon, but is actually far more: in creating the new concept, the manufacturer worked with stage musicians and designers. The result is products that offer professional and durable suitability for use on the road that still – yes, even stage equipment is allowed to – look great.


Source: pma magazine, 02/2016, Germany:
Author: Jörn Petersen

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