Why Do LPs Sound So Good?

CNet has an article up about LPs.

The continuing audiophile fascination with LPs is a mystery, LPs are ancient tech, records can be noisy, they’re fragile, expensive and they take up a lot of space. The best turntables, high quality phono cartridges, and preamps can cost a fortune. Even so, a lot of audiophiles still favor LPs, I know I do.

I know I still have a bunch of LPs, but do not have any space for them (they are in storage). Why do I have so many LPs? Because, before about 2003 or so it was cheaper to spend $20 and go get a bunch of used LPs of music rather than buying a CD. Digital music was just starting to come out more mainstream. Yes, the late 90s saw Napster. And of course I partook in Napster. Quite honestly, the quality and quantity of music I like was not really good on Napster “back in the day”. And stuff was horribly mislabeled and the encoding was all over the place (anyone remember OGG audio format? Anyone?)

 

Review: Woodwind Design’s Bari Sax Stand

Over two years ago, I wrote about this stand I saw on youtube. Blew my mind. A Carbon Fiber stand?!? What wizardry is this? Playing sax, we are sort of shackled with the “standard” stand from Hercules or other similar ones. The Hercules stand is terrible. And it is yellow. Like construction yellow. *blah*

So, getting one of the Woodwind Design Bari Stands has been on my wishlist for a while to replace my Hercules one. I was contacted by Gijs van Leeuwen of Woodwind Design after leaving a comment on one of his videos, and he cut me a deal on a set of these if I reviewed them here. Here is the FIRST review. I was going to do them all together, but I think they really deserve individual reviews.

The stands arrived in a box that took about two weeks to make it to the West Coast. Most of that time it was in customs. I’m sure the customs people were like “huh?”, what is this?  Anyhow, it arrived safely.

 

The stands come with a two sided pamphlet telling you how to assemble the stands and what not. Pretty basic stuff. I’d be in favor of doing the QR Code thing and having a PDF or a website link to this instead.

So, let’s look at the Hercules stand.

I’ve had this stand for several years.  It’s been on many many gigs. It is heavy, and it doesn’t fit in any bags I have. Plus I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pinched myself putting this stand together or breaking it down. It has been a love/hate relationship. 

Now here is the Woodwind Design stand next to the Hercules.

Yes, in the case.

 

 

 

Amazing. (out of the case)

 

 

 

AND…..

It basically weighs nothing. Ok, well, if I had to compare the weight of them I would think about a dozen of the Woodwind Design stands might equal the weight of the Hercules one. According to Hercules, the weight of the Hercules stand is 4.6 pounds, and the Woodwind Design Bari stand is 1.1 pounds. The Woodwind Design stand feels like a piece of paper, while the Hercules is a rock. 

Stand vs Stand

Side by side, these stands are about the same height. The Woodwind Design one sits a little lower than the Hercules one. 

That’s not a problem though. The bari is still well within “grabbing range”, even if you are standing up.

As for actually HOLDING the Bari, they both do a fine job. 

Both stands are VERY stable if the bari receives a push side to side. The only issue might be that a forward push on the bari, the Woodwind Design stand seemed to want to tip a little easier. But in reality, the amount of forward leaning needed to get the stand to tip is not something you are ever going to encounter.  Both stands hold the bari steady, even though one is a 1/4 the weight of the other.

 

 

 

 

The Biggest Factor

The biggest selling points of the Woodwind Design stand are it’s  weight, and that you can transport it in the case. 

This is HUGE. When you bring a lot of equipment to a gig, having not to think about a stand is a big plus. I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my way to a gig and forgot a stand (bari or otherwise). I even went as far as making a check list for gigs that included stands, and I still forgot it once (cause I thought it was actually in the car already, and it wasn’t). Having the stand IN THE CASE just makes sense. And there is no really perceptible weight increase I can feel.  It is one of those “why didn’t they think of this before” things.

Compare that to the Hercules stand….

 

Plus the stand weights quite a bit, is bulky, and isn’t bag friendly.

Yes, it basically is an anchor you have to carry around. Then there is the aforementioned pinching yourself while setting up and taking down the stand.

Wrap-Up

There is nothing NOT to love about the Woodwind Design Bari stand. It’s everything one could want in a stand…..but…..you will pay for it. The stand currently sells for 242 Euros, which is about $276 US dollars. A Hercules stand costs about $55 on Amazon.

Now, a lot of you are like “damn, that is really expensive for a stand“. Yes, it is. But consider how much you have spent on the Bari (several thousands of dollars), and then add the case (several hundreds of dollars),  then your favorite neckstrap or harness (up to a hundred dollars), and finally your mouthpiece (several hundreds of dollars). 

And you want to skimp on a stand?

Really?