Link: UDG | Price: $150/€150/£129
Back when vinyl was the norm for DJs, UDG made a name for themselves producing heavy duty, practical and designer bags that fulfilled the stringent needs of DJs. Never one to shy away from the market trends, UDG have kept pace by producing good quality carry cases for laptop and controller based DJs, and so it makes sense to add a stand to hold your controller. Behold the UDG Creator Laptop Stand.
IN A NUTSHELL
Long-running DJ bag makers produce adjustable laptop stand. (Possibly the briefest ever nutshell in DJWORX history – Ed)
IN THE BOX
Along with the stand itself, you get a storage bag and a user manual. The neoprene bag zips wide open to easily store the stand, with a separate little pocket to hold the middle shelf.
The very first impression you get is just how similar this looks to the Crane range of stands. From the locking clips on the end to the rubber rings used for grip, there are a lot of similarities between the two.
The stand is mainly made from metal, with rubber grips and plastic-dipped ends to protect your gear from scratching and to give some extra grip. Setting up is straightforward, with the locking clips clicking into place and the middle shelf slipping on if you need it. Both the base and the shelf angles are adjustable, giving you plenty of flexibility depending on your needs.
The stand is mostly sturdy and very stable when it’s all properly tightened. The height adjustment can get loose and turn off to the side if you’re not careful. One issue that came up was that the hinges can stick after releasing the clips, meaning you really have to yank them to get them loose again. This is only a small problem though.
I don’t know whether it was just the stand sent to DJWORX, but the groove for the middle shelf is off centre, so you end up with it leaning towards the side. It’s still usable, but cannot be unseen. (It’s so minor – this is how nit picky we have to be to find stuff wrong with the stand – Ed).
Although similar to the Crane stands, this UDG stand offers adjustable height and extra swivel points. For example, there are two feet that swivel independently, rather than just one. This means that at times when not tightened properly, the Creator Stand can feel a bit unstable. The height adjustment can accidentally rotate as well, throwing it off-kilter.
When properly set up, the stand is very practical, and there are plenty of grip points to ensure your gear doesn’t slip. The top shelf even has two grippy pads to protect smaller equipment such as iPads from getting scratched on the metal.
The stand packs very flat and ends up no fatter than a controller, making it very portable once it’s zipped up in the bag. This thing should fit in most rucksacks without a problem.
Solid build, with the only fiddly bits being the height adjustment mechanism and the sticky hinges.
The detachable middle shelf adds plenty of extra storage. Height adjust and hinge system means a set up for any needs.
At around £129, the Creator Stand is just competitive with other brands.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Although mostly a solid product, there are a couple of issues that make the price tag hard to justify. The sticking joints and fiddly height adjust can make you worry about your gear more than needed. Crane’s equivalent product might be lacking in a middle shelf (it is an optional extra), but the lack of swivel adds extra stability.
That said, when set up properly, this stand does everything asked of it, and provides ample, secure storage while you perform, whether you’re a DJ or a producer. Just keep everything tightened and you’re good to go.
WOULDN’T IT BE NICE IF…
Just a thought, but seeing as how UDG are known for making travel bags for DJs, wouldn’t it be nice if the neoprene bag that comes with the Creator Stand could somehow clip onto their other bags?
A SECOND OPINION FROM MARK SETTLE
I think Dan has covered off just about everything that could be said, if only because he was sat across the room while he wrote it. But for me, the main selling point is adjustability.
There’s no ignoring the elephant in the room of UDG (dons diplomatic hat for a moment) using the Crane stand as an inspiration. But what they did was to make the UDG stand more adjustable. While both stands can work in C and Z orientations, the UDG Creator stand can extend upwards and swivel too, something that made it immediately more attractive to a good deal of performers. You’ve now got even more flexibility as to where to have that extra controller.
The problem for me are the multiple hinge and pivot points. If you don’t tighten it properly, that single tube becomes a swivel point, and it doesn’t take much to knock your stand in the heat of the moment and potentially lose whatever piece of gear you have stood on it. The split legs can prove tricky to get level, but the upside if that they’re easier to get level on an uneven surface. There are pros and cons with everything. The overwhelming moral of this story is to make sure everything is extra tight.
The upshot of the Crane/UDG kerfuffle is that Crane has gone away and come back with the Crane Stand Elite, and directly addressed the height adjustment issue and then some. While we wait for that though, the UDG Creator stand is going to keep many a laptop and controller happily elevated for many years to come.