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Drums

Best Cymbal Stand

Cymbal stands are the most abundant piece of hardware present in any drummer's setup. The following lists provide a selection of the best cymbal stands for straight and boom varieties as well as the best hi-hat stands on the market. For additional information to help you in your search, check out our cymbal stand buyers guide provided below.

Drum Workshop DWCP9500D Hi-Hat Stand

DW 9000 pedals are the smoothest pedals on the market for bass drums, so it makes sense the 9000 series hi-hat stand builds on that reputation. The DW 9500 has the most sensitive pedal of any hi-hat stand and possesses features not available on other stands, including a double eccentric cam to further increase sensitivity. This hi-hat stand also has an infinitely adjustable spring tension so you can get the exact feel you’re looking for, along with plastic tubing insulators which keep’s the stand silent during studio recording sessions.

Many drummers are instinctively drawn to the DW 5000 series hi-hat stand because it’s been the gold-standard for many years, but the 9500 stand has surpassed it in quality. This stand is recommended for any drummer playing Latin and Jazz music because of its responsiveness to complex hi-hat patterns common to those genres. If you’re a professional seeking the absolute best in hi-hat stands, DW 9500 hi-hat has your name on it. This pick is little more expensive, but a fantastic value when you consider how amazing it performs.

Tama Iron Cobra Lever Glide HH905N High Hat Stand

If you’ve  read any of my bass drum pedal reviews, you’ll know I love Iron Cobra pedals. The feel of Tama's Iron Cobra Lever Glide HH905N hi-hat stand’s pedal is very similar to the great feel of the Iron Cobra Bass Drum pedals. The pedal on this pick is very responsive, the stand itself is very sturdy, and has the most options of any hi-hat stand on the market. Footboard angle and tension can easily be adjusted to your preferred settings and the whole stand can be tilted if desired.

The stands tension rod has a protective sleeve to keep it from being bent as this is a common problem for this type of stand. The rod has also been designed to resist loosening during play, a nice feature which only adds to the sturdiness. There’s also a swing lock clutch which allows the top cymbal to almost float without excessively dampening it.

Additional features include a spring seat designed to maximize the sound of the bottom hi-hat when being played with the pedal. What really sets this stand apart from those equipped with a traditional pull system is a unique lever glide mechanism which combines a Kevlar strap with roller bearings to create a very unique, smooth feel. The good news is this high end option is priced affordably, making it a great value considering its capabilities.

Tama TAMHH915N Cobra Speed Hi-Hat Stand

Tama's Speed Cobra HH915N hi-hat is very similar to the Iron Cobra hi-hat stand in quality and configuration but with the difference being the length and surface of the pedal board. The pedal board is longer and smoother than most, offering a different feel than the iron cobra. It’s still very responsive but has a longer feel that some drummers prefer. However, the stand is just as sturdy as an Iron Cobra and it has the same great features.

The footboard angle and tension can be easily adjusted to your preferred settings and the whole stand can actually be tilted if desired. The tension rod has a protective sleeve to prevent bending (a common problem for this stand type) and is built to resist loosening as you play. The stands swing lock clutch allows the top cymbal to almost float without excessive dampening  while the spring seat is designed to maximize the bottom hi-hat sound when played with the pedal. Lastly, the Speed Cobra uses "Tama's Lever-Glide System" to give it a speedy response and quick feel.

Gibraltar 9707ML-LD Moveable Leg Hi Hat Stand with Liquid Drive

Gibraltar is famous for their huge drum racks and their hi-hat stands and their 9707ML-LD is a unique specimen because it features an extremely responsive liquid. This liquid drive has a sought after natural feel that’s driven many drummers to abandon their old hi-hat. There are several different options for the base, including no-leg, two-leg, movable-three leg, and flat base (personally I prefer the movable three-leg because of it stability). The stand itself is well made and extremely durable, typical of Gibraltar cymbal stands which are manufactured to higher standard than their competitors. The 9707ML-LD is competitively priced but if you like the feel of the liquid drive, it’s by far the best option.

Yamaha HS 850 Hi-Hat Stand

I’ve used my Yamaha HS 850 more than any other stand because it light weight and doesn’t require that much in the way of maintenance. The HS 850 features all the essentials a drummer needs including rotating tripod legs, a cymbal tilter, and 11 tension settings for the pedal. This is a very sturdy stand with a grounded feel, high level of responsiveness, and a drive which is quiet and quick.

Made of sturdy, high quality metal, this stand is very easy to set up and pack away easily after you’re done with a gig. The double braced hardware is heavy duty but has a lightweight feel so it won’t weigh down your hardware bag. This hi-hat will be able to sustain a beating over years of gigging and still feel great. It’s also a rather inexpensive hi-hat stand, usually available for $100 less than its counterparts. This makes it an incredible deal for a professional level hi-hat stand.

Pearl C-930 Straight Cymbal Stand

The C-930 is part of Pearl’s award winning 930 series, an entire line of hardware which has become my favorite because of its high quality and affordability. The C-930 straight stand features Pearl’s "Uni-Lock" cymbal tilter for infinite positioning possibilities, the sturdy, double-braced legs will support the heaviest of cymbals, and the rubber feet at the base of the stand will keep it from moving around. This heavy duty stand will last you through years of gigging and features a plastic wing nut and washer which won't rattle. With die-cast joints for added durability, the C-930 is one of the most exceptional straight cymbal stands available.

Drum Workshop 9710 Cymbal Stand

The 9710 straight cymbal stand is part of the DW 9000 series of hardware, which is among the best which money can buy and used by top professionals use because of its. The DW 9710 is a heavy-duty double braced stand meant to last a lifetime with a lot of great features including hinged memory locks, plastic tube insulators, and a toothless tilter. The stand also integrates the reliable Techlock locking system, a secondary lock you enable with a drum key to prevent any sort of mishap during a gig. The 9710 also features the patented Cymbal Seat Adjustment system which allows you to adjust the distance between felts thus affecting affects the way the cymbal moves. This stand is a bit more expensive than other straight stands on our list, but it’s one of the best straight cymbal stands for professionals.

Yamaha CS850 Heavy Weight Double-Braced Straight Cymbal Stand w/ Toothless

The CS-850 is Yamaha's heavy-duty straight cymbal stand. Just like their boom stands, Yamaha’s straight stand construction includes tubes and wing nuts made of a higher quality metal than other stands. The tubes are also lined with plastic to prevent rattling which makes this stand a great option for studio use. This also makes this pick favorite of classical musicians or pit drummers because rattling issues are more noticeable in those genres as opposed to pop music. The CS-850 also features the Infinite Adjustment Cymbal Tilter which offers almost unlimited possibilities for cymbal placement. This is a heavy-duty, professional level stand and as stated said in my reviews of other Yamaha stands, I have been loyal to their hardware for years because of the brands reliability.

Yamaha CS-660A Straight Cymbal Stand

The CS 660A is Yamaha’s lightweight cymbal stand, but unlike other stands in this category, it features double-braced legs which can support even the heaviest of cymbals. Just like their boom stands, Yamaha’s straight stand construction includes tubes and wing nuts made of a higher quality metal than other stands while the tilter offers multiple options for cymbal positioning and angle. The unit itself is actually quite light in comparison to other cymbal stands and can be folded down almost completely so your hardware bag remains light with space to spare. Even better, the Yamaha CS660A is less expensive than other quality straight stands which make this model an incredible value.

Pacific Drums by DW 800 Series Straight Cymbal Stand

PDP’s 800 series hardware are their medium weight options and I’ve started to prefer it to their other lines. The PDCS800 is the perfect stand for students and drummers that don’t do a lot of gigging, featuring sturdy, double-braced legs and solid rubber feet. The PDCS800 is a very durable stand, but it’s lightweight enough to travel easily without create a lot of extra weight in your hardware case. The tilter offers almost unlimited cymbal positioning while the stands tubes are exceptionally made. While this stand doesn’t have a lot of the extra sonic features higher end stands have, it does provide a solid foundation for your cymbals at a great price.

Pearl BC930 Boom Cymbal Stand

Pearl's BC930 is a member of the 930 series of hardware. As I said in my review for Best Straight Cymbal Stand, this line of hardware has become my favorite because of the high quality and affordability. The BC930 boom stand features Pearl’s Uni-Lock cymbal tilter and a telescopic boom arm which work in harmony to place your cymbals in any position you desire. The arm itself is very stable and the locks hold true.

The BC930 also features heavy-duty double-braced legs and die-cast joints that add to the overall stability. Users will appreciate that this is a very quiet stand with no excess noise generated during play. Like most high-quality boom stands, the boom arm folds inside of the center tube, basically converting it to a straight stand. The high overall quality combined with its very affordable price make this one of the best cymbal boom stands for consideration.

Yamaha CS-865 800-Series Boom Cymbal Stand

The Yamaha CS865 is a quality, heavy-duty cymbal stand which can support even the heaviest of cymbals This stand features double braced legs, a tilter arm which can be adjusted to any angle, and it can easily be converted into a straight stand. Designed with tubes and wing nuts made from quality metals, the boom arm can be fully extended without sacrificing balance. Overall it performs very quietly without any rattling or ringing noises. Many drummers are very loyal to Yamaha because their hardware won't fail during a gig and the CS 865 follows this tradition.

Yamaha CS655A Boom Cymbal Stand

Yamaha's CS655A is the best single braced stand on the market. While many people are scared of single-braced hardware branded as “lightweight”, this translate into lighter gear bags when you’re on the road. I usually have several 16-18 inch crash cymbals in my set-up and this stand is great for use with them. In fact, this stand is perfect for any cymbal under 20 inches and can even support large cymbals if you don't extend the arm out too far. It has all of the features of the best heavy-duty stands including a fully adjustable tilter and boom arm with unlimited options for cymbal placement. Like most high-quality boom stands, it easily converts into a straight stand and has a nice compact design. This is the sturdiest lightweight stand on the market and one of the least expensive boom stands I would trust in my setup.

Pacific Drums CB800 Cymbal Boom Stand (Double Braced)

PDP makes some of the best hardware available for the budget-conscious drummer and their 800 series is no exception. The PDCB800 is a boom stand that’s stable enough for heavy cymbals but not so heavy that it will break your back as its being carried in a hardware bag. It features double braced legs with rubber feet that provide a solid base and a boom tilter offering almost unlimited options for cymbal placement. While it doesn’t have a lot of the extra sonic features that high-end stands have, it does provide a solid foundation for your cymbals along with easy height and boom arm extension adjustments. This affordable pick is the perfect stand for students and drummers who don’t do a lot of gigging.

DW DWCP9799 Double Cymbal Boom Stand

DW's 9000 series hardware is some of the best hardware available for the professional drummer. The DWCP9799 is a very unique stand because it can accommodate two cymbals with its dual boom arms. And because it only has one base, this pick saves a lot of space in your setup and hardware bag. The boom arms are connected to the base with a ball and socket joint similar to tom mounting hardware. This joint offers unlimited options for cymbal placement and even offers the ability to have one cymbal mounted high and the other mounted low.

Additionally, the stand offers features such as hinged memory locks and plastic tube insulators which make it a must for any gigging drummer with multiple cymbals in their setup. The stand also integrates the reliable Techlock locking system which is a secondary lock you can apply with a drum key that will prevent any sort of mishap during a gig. While this stand is fairly expensive, it does a great job of combining the power of two stands into one.

Buyer's Guide

 

Cymbal Stand Buyer’s Guide

The cymbal stand is the most abundant piece of hardware in any drummer’s setup. With so many different types of cymbals stands most beginning drummers have a hard time determining which type is best for them. This buyer’s guide will help you choose the appropriate stands for your needs.

Cymbal Stand Type

There are three main types of cymbal stand including straight, boom, and hi-hat. Most drummers require at least one of each stand type in addition to other specialty stands as needed. 

Hi-Hat Stand
This stand is used to mount a pair of hi-hat cymbals. It has a pedal which opens and closes the two cymbals as well as adjusting the tension holding the hi-hats together.

Straight Cymbal Stand
This stand is used for mounting ride, crash, China, and splash cymbals. Straight cymbal stands have an adjustable set of legs and a height-adjustable center pole. The cymbal is mounted on top of the main pole with a tilter for adjusting the cymbals angle.

Boom Cymbal Stand
Boom stands are similar to straight stands with the exception of the boom arm extending from the center pole. This boom arm offers almost unlimited options for cymbal placement with most drummers having several of these stands in their setup.

It’s important to note that most boom arms can be folded into the stand so it can double as a straight stand.

Cable Hi-Hat Stand
These stands have a cable attaching the pedal to the top of the stand. Cable hi-hat stands are useful for drummers who don’t want their hi-hat cymbals placed directly above the pedal.

Cymbal Extension Arm
This is a metal arm typically screwed into the mounting bolt of a cymbal stand. This arm allows for a cymbal to be mounted above another cymbal while providing some space between the two.

Most drummers use this to mount a smaller cymbal on top of a larger cymbal. I will sometimes mount a splash cymbal on top of my ride cymbal using this device.

Closed Hi-Hat Boom Arm
This hi-hat stand doesn’t have a pedal and therefore can’t be opened or closed with the foot pedal. This stand is most often used to mount a secondary hi-hat on the side of the kit opposite of the primary hi-hat. It’s commonly sold as an attachment which can be added to an existing cymbal stand.

Parts

Legs
Cymbal stands have between two and four metal legs but most have three. These legs keep the stand upright and prevent it from moving around while you play.

Center Pole
All cymbal stands have a metal center pole that’s usually height-adjustable. Some stands have a series of interlocking metal poles for additional adjustment options.

Tilter
This is the mechanism at the top of the stand allowing the angle of the cymbal to be adjusted.

Boom Arm
The boom arm is exclusive to boom stands. This is an adjustable arm that extends out for more options in cymbal placement. 

Mounting Bolt
This is a metal bolt that goes through the hole in the center of the cymbal, keeping it in place. There are two different sizes of mounting bolts, 6mm and 8mm so it’s important to know what size mounting bolt you have in order to purchase the correct corresponding sleeves and washers.

Cymbal Sleeve
This is a rubber or plastic sleeve which wraps around the mounting bolt, preventing the cymbal from getting scratched by the metal bolt. It’s important to buy sleeves which correspond with the size of the mounting bolt.

Washer
This is a metal washer keeping the cymbal in place on the mounting bolt.

Top Wingnut
This wingnut is screwed on to the very top of the mounting bolt and keeps the cymbal attached to the mounting bolt.

Felt
These are round pieces of felt situated under and above the cymbal to prevent the cymbals from being scratched by either the washer or wingnut.

Rubber Feet
A cymbal stand often has rubber feet at the end of the legs preventing it from sliding around while you play.

Tension Rod
This is a thin metal pole exclusive to hi-hat stands. It’s located inside of the center pole and attached to the footboard by a chain or strap. This rod will move up and down, controlling the tension holding the two hi-hat cymbals together.

Footboard
This is a flat piece of metal exclusive to hi-hat stands. When the foot applies pressure to the footboard, the hi-hat cymbals are pulled together.

Cymbal Seat
The part of the hi-hat stand supporting the bottom hi-hat cymbal. It often houses a bolt which adjusts the bottom hi-hat cymbals angle.

Hi-Hat Pedal Mechanism

Chain Driven
A chain driven pedal has a metal chain connecting the footboard to a metal pole which opens and closes the two hi-hat cymbals. Just as with bass drum pedals, chain driven hi-hat pedals are popular because of their strength and ease of use.

Strap
A strap driven hi-hat pedal works in the same manner as a chain driven pedal except a leather or plastic strap takes the place of a chain.

Features

A cymbal stands features will determine the ease in which the cymbal can be placed a comfortable playing location. Certain features will also add stability to the stand.

Adjustable Legs
The width of the spread of the legs should be able to be adjusted with a turn of a wingnut. Some legs can also rotate to move out of the way for greater ease of placement.

Rubber Feet
The legs should have rubber feet at the end of them to prevent the stand from sliding.

Double vs. Single Braced Legs
In most situations double braced legs are sturdier than single braced. This is also dependent on the thickness of the metal used to make the legs as thicker gauge metal is more stable but also heavier.

Adjustable Hi-Hat Pedal
Some hi-hat stands have adjustable pedals for more or less tension. Often the angle of the pedal is also adjustable.

Hi-Hat Footboard Tread
As with bass drum pedals, some hi-hat pedals have a smooth surface for easy sliding and others have textured surface grips for enhanced control.

Gearless/Toothless Tilter
Gearless or “Toothless” tilters allow the cymbal to be adjusted to any angle and are often more reliable than tilters with gears or teeth.
Some tilters even have a ball and socket joint allowing for additional tilting options. These tilters sometimes strip if they aren’t properly adjusted so it’s important to unscrew the wingnut each time the tilter angle is .

Collapsible Boom Arm
Some boom stands can essentially change into a straight stand by collapsing the boom arm into the center pole.

Adjustable Center Pole
The center pole should be height adjustable with a simple turn of a wingnut.

Memory Locks
These are metal washers preventing a cymbal from falling if a wingnut fails.

Insulated Metal Tubes
Some cymbal stands have insulated tubes to prevent metal-on-metal noise.

Performance

The only cymbal stand actually affecting your technical ability to play is the hi-hat stand. To choose the right hi-hat stand for your needs, see if you prefer a chain or a strap driven pedal. You can determine this by trying both options and then deciding which one feels more responsive to your foot movements.

Start by playing some simple hi-hat closures with whatever foot you use to play your hi-hat pedal; right-handed players often use their left foot so they can play the bass drum pedal with the right foot.

Next, play eighth notes with a stick on the top cymbal and slowly open and close the hi-hat with your foot. While playing, observe the responsiveness of the hi-hat pedal with your foot movements.

There should be a bolt or screw allowing you to change the angle of the bottom cymbal, so you’ll also want to determine how easy and effective it is to change the angle. You can refer to my list of “Best Hi-Hat Stands” for more information and recommendations for specific stand models and brands.

A boom or straight cymbal stand’s performance is based on the number of angle adjustment options it offers. Gearless tilters are very important because they don’t limit cymbal placement. Boom stands usually allow more options for placement and can also double as a straight stand. Since performance also relies on limiting stand noise, thick rubber feet and insulated tubes are the best options in studio recording situations.

Most companies have several different lines of hardware with varying degrees of quality with each model number. Usually one line will cater to professional drummers with these stands perform the best in recording situations.

Reliability

Most manufacturers offer several different lines of hardware with their reliability largely based on the thickness and quality of the metal used to make a stand.

Manufacturers will usually offer a product line geared towards beginners where the equipment is lightweight but also not as reliable. Following are one or two mid-level lines which are lightweight but sturdier than beginner-level options. These mid-level offerings are heavy enough to take a beating but are light enough to carry around with ease. Finally most companies offer a heavy-duty line with thick gauge metal tubes and double braced legs.

The boom stands usually have counter weights to balance heavy cymbals at extreme angles. They are generally the most expensive stands available.

Price/Value

There are some values to be found in off-brand cymbal stands for practicing, but these stands are often too loud to use in the studio. Also, while cheaper off-brand cymbal stands usually hold up well in the practice room, they usually break down during extended gigging.

Most manufacturers offer several lines of hardware varying in quality and price. Refer to my Best Cymbal Stand list for more information on specific brands and models.

Heavy-duty stands with multiple features are usually more expensive than lightweight stands. However, I recommend splurging on the best hi-hat stand available because it has the most moving parts. The best straight and boom cymbal stands are often not necessarily the most expensive ones, so refer to my Best Cymbal Stand list for help finding values.

Rick Urban
Rick began playing drums at the age of 10. In 2003, He received Bachelor's Degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Composition from the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago. While at DePaul, Rick studied with Ted Atkatz (Principal Percussionist - Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Also founder of the band NYCO), Mike Green (Principal Percussionist - Lyric Opera of Chicago), Al Payson (Percussionist - Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Fred Selvaggio (Drumset and Marimba Artist) and Ed Harrison (Principal Timpani - Lyric Opera of Chicago) In 2005, Rick received a Master's Degree of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with Will Hudgins (Percussionist - Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Fred Buda (Drummer - Boston Pops). While in graduate school, Rick performed with the Boston Philharmonic, including performances at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston.  

As a performer, Rick has performed with orchestras all over the world. He has also played drums for several groups in everything from rock bands to musical theater. He has worked with such world-renowned conductors as Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, and Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed with the New World Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the National Reperatory Orchestra, and the Schlesvig Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany. Rick is also the drummer for the band Standby Radio. In 2010 they recorded their first album entitled When Signals Cross, and they released Awake at Midnight in 2012.

In the summer of 2005, Rick moved to Chicago and became Music Director of the A.A. Stagg Percussion Ensemble. He also created and served as the resident conductor for the "Bad Vibes" new music ensemble. In the fall of 2005, rick became a percussionist with the West Michigan Symphony under the direction of Scott Speck. In 2009 He became the resident conductor of the Lincoln Park Percussion Ensemble. In 2011 they premiered his latest percussion ensemble work entitled Over 4. In the Fall of 2010, Rick enrolled in the "Music Composition for the Screen" program at Columbia College under the direction of Andy Hill and David McHugh. While studying with Mr. Hill and Mr. McHugh at Columbia, Rick also studied Film Composition with Gary Chang and Hummie Mann. He also studied conducting with Alan Tinkham.

In the Spring of 2012, Rick received his Master's of Music from Columbia College and moved to Los Angeles. Since moving to Southern California, Rick has played with the San Diego Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He is currently the Percussion Ensemble Director of the Open Academy of Los Angeles.
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