Most experience musicians know that non-expensive microphone stands aren’t the ideal solution for a long-term microphone stand. A lot of beginner musicians are unaware of these issues related to these stands. In this article, we will be explaining from our experience, why you shouldn’t buy a cheap microphone stand.
Why shouldn’t you buy a cheap microphone stand? A good microphone stand can make a big difference. They are often more supportive of the microphone and easier to adjust. Cheaper microphone stands can work great, but these type of stands are known for wobbling over and being less supportive of your microphone. They also tend to break quicker.
Many new musicians will start out with an inexpensive microphone stand and shortly learn that these types of stands aren’t the best solution for musicians who are looking for a long-term solution for positioning their microphones.
The Problem With Cheap Microphone Stands
There are four known problems with non-expensive microphone stands. These are the main problems why you shouldn’t cheap out on microphone stands.
1. Cheap Stands are prone to falling over
Buying a really expensive microphone stand might seem a bit of waste of money, but considering how expensive microphones can be, I believe they are a great investment that could last you for your lifetime.
Inexpensive stands don’t often have the support that is heavy duty enough to hold up the weight of the microphone.
This will often cause the stand to fall over. It’s a largely recognized issue with cheaper microphone stands. However, once you have them set up in the position you like, these microphones will generally stay in that position. It’s when you start moving and position them it starts to become an issue.
Another thing to note is that with boom stands. If you are using it to support your microphone and it is in the recording position. You need to make sure that the extensive boom stand pole is overlapping with one of the boom stand’s feet. Doing this prevents it from falling over. If the boom stand hasn’t been set up in this way, it will fall over.
2. Cheap Stands can be difficult to position
These stands can be frustrating to use as the extension poles can be stiff and awkward. This also comes in conflict with the first problem, the stand’s poles can be very rigid to move, and if the stand isn’t set up in the right position, they will often fall over due to the weight of the microphone.
Some less expensive stands are also unable to move in certain directions and ways. This also causes a problem when trying to transport your microphone stand, as some don’t fold up or compact as well as other stands.
3. Cheap Stand’s knobs are known to break
Another common problem is that the tightening knobs have been known to break off and snap in half. They are also known to be heavy and stiff to twist, and this can also be frustrating when it’s tightened too much, and it becomes hard to loosen up.
Some great advice on how to untighten overtightened microphone knobs, screws or even jars would be to wear washing up gloves (The yellow washing up gloves that you use when doing the dishes) when trying to loosen the object! May sound silly but it works great due to the extra friction that these gloves cause.
4. Even after being tightened they still move
Even after tightening the microphone boom pole as hard as possible, in my research I have concluded if you put some pressure on the pole they can still move! Whereas when I use high-quality microphone stands this is never an issue. This is why you shouldn’t trust your very expensive microphones on these types of stands, they are just not sturdy enough and may not protect your microphone as much. It may cause your microphone to fall.
Some of this comes down to the built and manufacturing quality.
Here’s a video explaining my point:
When Should I Buy A Cheap Microphone Stand?
Although 9 out of 10 times it’s best to invest in a decent microphone stand. The only time you shouldn’t is if you’re a new musician and you’re just getting started. A standard cheap microphone stand may fit your needs better right now.
Why is this? Sometimes new musicians change their minds. If you’re a new musician, I wouldn’t recommend spending a whole ton of money on a microphone stand until you are positive recording music is for you.
If you’re looking for a microphone that you will be using for music events and need to travel places, DO NOT buy a cheaper microphone stand. They will NOT fold up nor are they very efficient when you are on the move and the likelihood of it breaking is very high. So, if you need a stand for on the go, do not buy a cheap microphone stand!
On the other hand, if you’re a novice and will just be using it a couple of times a month, then you might want to get your toes wet with a slightly less expensive microphone stand at first.
What Microphone Stand Should I Buy?
Buying a good microphone stand is an excellent investment, and will save you a lot of frustration in the long run. (Stability problems and cheaper, not as good quality microphone stand tend to break much faster so you have to buy another one after another one. Of course, this depends on how often you use your microphone stand and whether you will be traveling and using it on the go, at events such as music events or band practice)
Higher quality microphone stands will last many years (Unlike the cheaper microphone stands), and in our opinion, it is better to spend the money now than having to buy a numerous of more inexpensive microphone stands or having to buy a more expensive stand later down the road.
We have put together a list of great microphone stands, although we do recommend these stands, we would also suggest that you do your research before buying a microphone stand as everyone is going to have different purposes and requirements.
Some people need stands for touring, and others need them for their bedroom or home music studio. Therefore it’s best to do your research so that you buy a microphone stand that ticks your needs.
The proof is in the pudding. Ask any experienced musician, and they will tell you that it’s best not to cheap out on your microphone stand.
After hearing this from many experienced musicians and testing it for ourselves, I have concluded that it’s best not to cheap out when buying a new microphone stand.
The reason for this is because you will likely have to spend the cash and buy another non-expensive microphone stand as it will have probably broken, or it cannot properly support your microphone and you don’t trust it!
In the end, you will probably end up buying a more expensive stand as you’ll be fed up with buying new microphone stands that break quickly and aren’t very robust.
Quality microphone stands last much longer, are heavier and have been built better, are easy to use, less brittle and flimsily.
They also do not fall over and give greater support to the microphone, the knobs do not break, and lastly, they are more convenient for transport, and the poles aren’t stiff or hard to position.
Cheaper stands will typically break much faster when compared to more expensive stands. They are a lot less user-friendly, and their adjusting poles and knobs tend to be stiff and awkward to use.
With high-quality microphone stands you won’t have any issues with adjusting or moving the position of the stand, they tend to be smooth, fluid and easy to use.
The only time we would recommend a less expensive microphone stand is if you are a new musician and would like to get your toes wet.
What is a shock mount? A shock mount is a microphone holder that attaches onto your microphone stand. It helps stop vibrations that could interfere with your recordings.
Is buying a shock mount for my microphone stand worth it? Shock mounts are a great way for reducing and eliminating the low-frequency noise and stopping them from coming through on your recordings. If your microphone isn’t in contact with any vibrations then a shock mount can be unnecessary. In a home recording studio, a shock mount may not be that necessary.
How much is a microphone stands? Microphone stands typically range from $15 – $200, although more expensive stands can range from $400+. For example, a RØDE PSA1 costs around $96, whereas a Sontronics Matrix 10W Microphone Stand cost $310. You can also buy microphone stands for film sets and movie production, these stands are usually much more expensive.