If you get a keyboard or a midi keyboard, you need a place to place it, obviously. If your desk is not an option a stand may come to rescue.
You may also go to live gigs and you’ll definitely need a stand for those, something that can keep the keyboard on while you’re playing without worrying that it will fall off at any moment.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about what are some of the things to think about when shopping for the best keyboard stand for you and also some of the options you might want to consider.
Ultimate Support AX48PRO – Our best keyboard stand choice
This is probably the best value for money if you are a serious player and you use more than one keyboard as this one can hold more than one at a time.
It has some flaws that we’re going to discuss in the more in-depth review below, but you have to pay quite a lot more to get a similar stand without the flaws.
If you are not interested in a multilayer stand, don’t worry, the other ones we feature in this guide could work well for you.
In this guide
What to look for when buying a keyboard stand
Before actually buying anything it’s worth thinking about what exactly you need because different products serve different use cases. Here are some things to consider.
A keyboard stand must be able not only to hold your keyboard but to hold it while you play. And you know, things can get intense.
It might not seem like much of a task but when you play you actually put quite a bit of force onto the keyboard which goes into the stand. Also, if you use an 88 key keyboard, those can get pretty heavy.
There is still going to be some flex in all the stands but the difference lies in the fact that some can take a beating while others fall apart or might even literally fall over.
This is the major difference between very cheap stands and some of the more expensive ones.
The very cheap ones don’t have very good joints most of the time so that is where they usually break.
Otherwise, they are just metal tubes if you think about it but the joints are key points in a good stand.
This is actually a two-part thing.
One part is the number of keyboards you want the stand to hold. You probably have this in mind already but I think is worth reminding of that.
Also, take into account if you plan on buying an additional keyboard in the near future.
The other part of the capacity issue is the actual weight of the keyboard or keyboards you want it to hold.
So, first of all, find out the weight of your keyboard and when considering a stand look for its weight capacity.
Obviously, you want to be comfortable while playing and your body posture will heavily influence the comfort levels which in turn affect your overall performance.
The height at which the stand will end up being will affect your posture. Sure, most stands are adjustable to some extent but you want to make sure that they are within your needs.
You don’t want to buy a stand and then realize the max height is lower than what you need or the min-height is higher than what you need.
Try to figure out your ideal position and measure the height from ground to where your hands would be. Don’t forget to account for your keyboard height as well.
If you want to take your stand to gigs and you gig a lot, portability will also be a big feature for you.
For this, you might want to look at stands that are lightweight and can easily fold and unfold so you don’t spend ages trying to put your stand together.
Overall it’s a bit of a balancing game between sturdiness, portability, and price.
Yeah, some stands are lightweight tanks that are fast to deploy, but they cost a fortune. One such example is the Roland KSJ8.
If you don’t have that kind of budget there will be some compromises of sorts. Either more weight or more time spend with assembly or something else.
Think about what is important for you but don’t expect to get them all for a small price.
Hey, you are a rock star or on the way to become one, you want to look cool and get a lot of likes on Instagram, right?
I’m mostly joking here but hey, if that is your thing and you have the budget, more steam ahead.
Just make sure that the stand you get also does it’s job and not only look cool.
Stand types/shapes advantages and disadvantages
There are multiple types of keyboard stands, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You might want to take them into consideration when deciding what is the best keyboard stand for you.
Bolt-on keyboard stands
As the name implies, this type of stands screws into the keyboard itself.
It’s not a very common style and for good reason. It’s specific to a keyboard or keyboard series. Once you changed the keyboard you have to change the stand.
For that reason, I would advise against buying such stands unless you are actually making a big investment and a big commitment to that particular keyboard.
And even then it doesn’t really make sense. You are probably better off investing in a good keyboard stand that can handle pretty much any keyboard.
X and double X style keyboard stands
This is the more typical type of stand with two main columns intersecting in the middle. In the case of the Double X-style there is double the number of columns, hence the name.
These are reasonable in terms of portability but not ideal for very heavy keyboards.
The height is adjusted by changing the angle between the columns which in turn also affects the width of the stand so if you put a very wide keyboard on it, you might want to keep it fairly low to have a decent width.
They are also not ideal if you want to use them at home to play sitting in a small keyboard chair because you might end up banging your knees in the columns.
Z style stands
You can pretty much figure out from the image why they are called this way. The main advantage of this type of stand is that you can adjust the height without affecting the width.
The disadvantage here is that, depending on the stand, they don’t fold like the x stands so assembly/disassembly might take longer.
Table style stands
These are folding tables for the keyboard. What is very nice about them is that there is nothing to bother your legs if you are sitting. At least, for the most part, some still have some sort of reinforcement in that area.
They are generally both width and height adjustable without affecting one another.
Column style stands
This is the slicker, cool looking design of the bunch, as you can probably tell from the image. It revolves around the main support column which is held up by some form legs and having arms attached to the column to support the keyboards.
The nice thing about this design is that usually, the whole column is a rail on which you can slide and adjust the arms at whatever height you like.
The disadvantage is that depending on what keyboards you stack you might end up not being able to see part of the first keyboard due to the one above blocking your view.
On Stage KS8291XX Pro – simple and effective
If you are a fan of the simplicity of X or double x stands this is the option for you.
There is not much to say about this stand, it’s a double X style stand and it does the job well. Actually better than most X style stands. And it can hold up to 320lb keyboards.
It’s a solid stand for standing play and live gigs. It’s lowest height setting puts it at 27” high so playing while sitting is not ideal.
Also, banging your knees on those metal legs might not be very pleasant but that is not what this stand is for, really. If you want to play sitting you’re probably better off with the Stellar Labs, at a similar price.
There is very little flex in it compared to other x or xx style stands so you can be confident in it.
Folding and unfolding is done by pulling a trigger and set your desired height and that is pretty much your setup,
One thing to note is that the depth of the stand is about 8.5 inches and if your keyboard is not as deep it might end up resting directly on the metal bar, not on the grips which might make the keyboard slide around.
You can solve the issue by attaching rubber strips to the metal though.
Stellar Labs heavy duty keyboard stand – solid but not very portable
In terms of value for money, this is by far the best stand you can get for a single keyboard.
It’s solid, sturdy, hardly anybody complains about it. You don’t get any wobbles like you typically get from X style stands. Did I mention it’s solid?
The stand is both height and width adjustable. In terms of height it goes from 23″ to about 35″ and in terms of width it goes from 24.5″ to about 40″. The depth is 20″.
The height and width are adjustable in about 1.5″ increments so getting the right dimensions for you shouldn’t give you any headaches.
There are, however, a few downsides to this piece of gear. For one, it’s not really portable, it doesn’t fold in any way.
Granted, assembly/disassembly it’s not difficult either and can be done in a matter of minutes. Its weight might also be an issue to portability, weighing at 18.82lb. Heavy but not very bad and actually lighter than other options.
Another issue is that you currently don’t have any easy way to add another layer to it, as far as I know, there are no accessories for that.
You could improvise something but ideally, you would have something that just connects to it and that would be it but it is what it is.
Overall, for a single keyboard in a static setup like a studio or maybe for gigs, with a bit of effort, if you can deal with its portability issues, definitely give it a try.
Ultimate Support AX48PRO – could be the perfect mix
The AX48PRO is the cool kid on the block. If you go to a lot of live events and you want to look cool while you’re at it this is the way to go.
It has two parallel levels of keyboards that you can adjust up and down as the stand acts as a huge rail. One thing to note is that you can’t adjust the angle of the arms which some people might want to do.
They are parallel to the ground and that is it. And depending on what keyboards you put on it and how you adjust your heights you might end up obscuring a part of the first keyboard with the one on top of it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you use pedals, you don’t really have a way of comfortably positioning those as the stand has it’s column and legs there.
The construction is fairly solid but some poor chooses regarding materials have been made here and there. They use plastic for various pieces like the handle, the cable management clips and the caps at the ends and a lot of people have issues with them breaking. Be careful and gentle with those.
In case of anything breaking you can replace the part that is broken but of course, you’ll probably pay for it.
Unfortunate, as I think this stand is actually a very nice piece of engineering and those little things preventing from actually being great, not just good. I’m being pretty harsh because it’s a solid piece of equipment and a lot of people love it and hate it at the same time.
Maybe a next version might fix these issues.
The AX48Pro has a bit of movement in it while you are playing especially if you a more aggressive player but not too bad to get you out of the mood.
The height is 46” and weighs about 19lbs which is not really light. Folding and unfolding is a breeze, the legs fold inside the column and the arms detach easily and you also store them inside the column.
The stand can hold, according to Ultimate Support, up to 125 lb per level. The nice thing is that if you fell the stand starting to struggle you can adjust the angle of the column thus moving the center of gravity of the whole setup.
Overall it’s a nice, fairly solid piece of gear but you have to be mindful of the plastic bits. If you are ready to drop more cash maybe also take a look at a similarly designed stand, the K&M Spider.
Sure, there are a lot more options available on the market, it seems that these days every man and his dog has a brand selling these.
Whatever you choose I would say, don’t get too attracted by a very low price. You’ll probably still end up spending some more on another stand if the first one breaks.
Featured image credits: Andrew Hurley