Our DJ life seems to get more complex with each passing year. And with this comes a new and bulky plethora of essentials that must be crammed into our assorted kit bags. One such essential is the laptop stand.
Manufacturers have got increasingly smart with stand designs. What I would class as the first DJ laptop stand – the LitLab and latterly Stanton Uberstand – did a cracking job of being light, rigid and compact, and drew the template for many laptop stands to come. The Magma Traveler follows the same path but does have important differences that make it that little bit better.
The basic principle of such stands is that they fold up and fit neatly within the 12″ confines of the average DJ bag. The Traveler stand does just that – it’s a basic 3 way folder that depends on the weight of whatever you put on it to keep it in place. It also very usefully comes with a nylon zip bag to keep it together, and also to stop you putting gouge lines down your other costly gear that you’ve no doubt pushed into too small a space.
The construction is more engineered that being an exercise in minimalism. Coming in Silver or Black, this is about flat bar held together with a handful of screws and bolts, neatly finished off with foam strips on the base and top. The legs and uprights form a 90° angle, while the top sits at 79°. The front lip ensures that nothing is sliding off the stand, and is also padded to stop scratching to your possibly expensive laptop. It’s also an ideal place to drop one of your DJ stickers too. Personalise it or lose it if it can be nicked, it will be.
Knowing how these things work, the constant in and out of your bag will doubtlessly loosen the screws, so be prepared to tighten them up periodically. This is no reflection on the stand though, but rather some sage words of engineering experience.
Overall, the Traveler is built to last. It’s light enough to carry, but heavy enough to be assured of years of unbroken servitude.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Traveler. It fulfills its singular purpose perfectly, albeit with a lack of adjustability. I think I would have liked it to angle just a little more so that I didn’t feel like I was raising my arms too much, but it’s nothing that a little grinding or filing couldn’t fix. The Crane Stand still wins out in the adjustment department.
The big question however is rigidity. Obviously, putting a lightweight device on top is going to the the key to stability. But even with a 13″ MacBook Air on there, I was quite happy that it would stay put. Placing a Novation Twitch on there and giving it a royal pounding gave me excellent stability without excessive bouncing. And because of the fixed nature, you can load it up and know that it’s going nowhere. This is where the Traveler and its type win hands down.
The biggest problem for me with laptop stands is the possibility of tipping. In the throws of a performance, its quite possible for a DJ to tip up their own stand and end up with a laptop on the floor. The Uberstand came with plastic ties to stop it unfolding and tipping, but that solution was with hindsight a bit Heath Robinson. The Magma Traveler stand engineers a much better solution in the shape of screws that keep the feet and uprights fixed in place. The feet themselves are perhaps a tad too thick to sit under mixers to eliminate tipping altogether, but it is at least a proper solution.
IDEA: No stand really allows for the strong possibility of cables being yanked and pulling the whole thing down. However, I’ve come up with an idea that would work for the Traveler stand – It’s a simple 2mm flat bar bent round that hooks onto the bar between the feet. I’ve shopped something up that could be made at home, or used by Magma to make the stand more stable.
It’s hard to fault the Magma Traveler stand. The engineered quality instills a good feeling, and in use it performs exactly as it should. There will always be an argument for Crane style flexibility but some people don’t like the chance of it slipping due to not tightening up enough. With the Magma Traveler, you take it out of your bag, lock the legs and you’re off. And for a lot of people, that’s exactly what they want.