DW Ultralight vs new Tama flat base

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RickP

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I have not seen the Tama flat base stands in person yet. The DW Ultralight are excellent and I own 5 stands, the hihat and snare stand currently. I did see the Pearl flat base stands and thought they were just ok. They are heavier than the DW Ultralight stands with a much wider base and thicker tubing.
 

blueshadow

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I have seen the Tama at a Sam Ash and it had a 24" Paiste Big Beat on it. I wailed away on it to see how it would stand up and it did great. The stand looks "Vintage" as its very simple looking but has modern touches and seemed reliable. Also saw Tama's Roadpro Light and thinking I'll get a few of their stands once I get back to gigging.
 

TDM

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As many on DFO know, I've got a bunch of DW's Ultralight hardware (cymbal stands, snare stand, and hi-hat stand). It's great stuff and I use it every day. However, DW did go overboard when designing certain aspects of these stands and, unfortunately, that's where problems occur. The gearless tilters are prone to slippage. The tube joints will also slip unless one cranks them down and even then, I'm concerned with how these will hold up over time. The tube joints use a proprietary, plastic locking mechanism. When that mechanism wears a little, seemingly the tubes will slip and there is nothing the user can do to replace these parts with off-the-shell stuff from a hardware store or drum shop. My Ultralight cymbal stands are the original ones with geared tilters and these are a definite improvement over the newer ones that use gearless tilters.

Although I've not had an opportunity to inspect Tama's new flat base cymbal stand in person, looking at the large detailed photos on Tama's web site, this stand looks simpler and better designed than the DW Ultralight equivalent. Granted, the Tama stand is slightly heavier (DW = 2.8 pounds, Tama = 3.2 pounds), but the simplicity and seemingly all metal design may prove worth the slight extra weight. Features of the Tama stand I particularly like: all metal tube joints with bolt and nut locking mechanism (easy for the user to fix and replace with general parts), fine geared tilter that won't slip, compact and small leg width (same as DW), legs can be flat or lifted into semi-tripod position for overlapping other stands (same as DW), upper tube has inner rubber washer at its bottom to prevent vibration (improvement over DW), looks like a simpler and more reliable design than the DW.

Important caveat: I've had no problems and no failures with my DW Ultralight hardware, and I've now been using most of this hardware for a year or more. I use DW Ultralight hardware everywhere... at rehearsals, in my practice studio, and on gigs. The hardware gets a lot of use and, as noted, I've had no problems. However, in my opinion, certain design elements should be simplified and improved. Tama's flat base cymbal stand seems like a step in the right direction, simpler, easier to maintain, and possibly more reliable in the long run. For drummers who carry their own gear, I don't think one can go wrong with either offering. Both DW Ultralight and Tama flat base stands offer a tremendous improvement over heavier, modern hardware. Myself, unless under special circumstances, it's unlikely I'll ever go back to heavier stands. There is no need and this compact, lightweight hardware saves space, setup time, teardown time, and wear and tear on the body.
 

organicdrummer

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I've had no issues switching from the DW 6000 series stuff to the new ultralight cymbal stands with the gearless tilter. I've played some heavy loud shows with a 22" on there and the ultralights held 100%. Highly recommended.
 

xsabers

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TDM said:
...However, DW did go overboard when designing certain aspects...
What???? DW???? Now that's crazy talk right there...
 

What It Is

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Does anybody know if Tama plans to expand the line to HH stands and snare stands? Thanks!
 

rondrums51

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TDM said:
As many on DFO know, I've got a bunch of DW's Ultralight hardware (cymbal stands, snare stand, and hi-hat stand). It's great stuff and I use it every day. However, DW did go overboard when designing certain aspects of these stands and, unfortunately, that's where problems occur. The gearless tilters are prone to slippage. The tube joints will also slip unless one cranks them down and even then, I'm concerned with how these will hold up over time. The tube joints use a proprietary, plastic locking mechanism. When that mechanism wears a little, seemingly the tubes will slip and there is nothing the user can do to replace these parts with off-the-shell stuff from a hardware store or drum shop. My Ultralight cymbal stands are the original ones with geared tilters and these are a definite improvement over the newer ones that use gearless tilters.

Although I've not had an opportunity to inspect Tama's new flat base cymbal stand in person, looking at the large detailed photos on Tama's web site, this stand looks simpler and better designed than the DW Ultralight equivalent. Granted, the Tama stand is slightly heavier (DW = 2.8 pounds, Tama = 3.2 pounds), but the simplicity and seemingly all metal design may prove worth the slight extra weight. Features of the Tama stand I particularly like: all metal tube joints with bolt and nut locking mechanism (easy for the user to fix and replace with general parts), fine geared tilter that won't slip, compact and small leg width (same as DW), legs can be flat or lifted into semi-tripod position for overlapping other stands (same as DW), upper tube has inner rubber washer at its bottom to prevent vibration (improvement over DW), looks like a simpler and more reliable design than the DW.

Important caveat: I've had no problems and no failures with my DW Ultralight hardware, and I've now been using most of this hardware for a year or more. I use DW Ultralight hardware everywhere... at rehearsals, in my practice studio, and on gigs. The hardware gets a lot of use and, as noted, I've had no problems. However, in my opinion, certain design elements should be simplified and improved. Tama's flat base cymbal stand seems like a step in the right direction, simpler, easier to maintain, and possibly more reliable in the long run. For drummers who carry their own gear, I don't think one can go wrong with either offering. Both DW Ultralight and Tama flat base stands offer a tremendous improvement over heavier, modern hardware. Myself, unless under special circumstances, it's unlikely I'll ever go back to heavier stands. There is no need and this compact, lightweight hardware saves space, setup time, teardown time, and wear and tear on the body.
I think DW was going for the absolute lightest possible weight. So obviously, some design elements had to be pretty light duty to keep the weight down. I figured somebody like Tama would come along with a better design, but like you said, they're a little bit heavier.

My DW Ultra light cymbal stands have geared tilters. They hold up just fine. I have to crank the height adjustment screws on the stands pretty hard. But after a year of regular gigging, they have done pretty well.

What about an ultra light snare stand? Is Tama making one of those? My DW ultra light snare stand works pretty well, but it's not real solid. It wobbles a bit, and the height adjustment is slippery unless I really crank it tight. The memory lock that came with the stand stripped out after one month, so I had to find another one. Good luck with that. Supposedly, 12.7 mm will work, but I tried a couple of those, and they were too big. I found a 1/2" memory lock from an old Ludwig Atlas hi hat stand that works perfectly.

I'm not bitching. These stands have lightened up my hardware bag considerably.

These stands are definitely not recommended for hard rockers!
 

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I looked the Tama over pretty closely at the Chicago drum show and liked what I saw. If I didn't already have a bunch of the similar (but discontinued) Ludwig flat based stands I probably would have snagged one of the Tamas. Seemed to me they got everything right with the exception of the 8mm cymbal post...but that seems to be everyone's standard now. One reason I'll be hanging onto those Ludwig stands which use a 6mm (1/4") post, more than sufficiently sturdy and friendly to vintage cymbals with smaller holes.
 

bamamule77

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I've got the older Ludwig stands too. But they're finally getting worn after about 10 yrs of gigging with them. If I can find some of the geared DW stands that's probably what I'll go with. If not I'll get the Tama. I haven't had many good experiences with gearless tilters.
 

bongomania

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I look forward to checking out the Tamas. I previously went with Atlas Classics because even though they are not as light as the DWs, they feel more stable to me, and I like that. So if Tama is going that route, light but sturdy, I'll be into them.
 

cribbon

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K.O. said:
I looked the Tama over pretty closely at the Chicago drum show and liked what I saw. If I didn't already have a bunch of the similar (but discontinued) Ludwig flat based stands I probably would have snagged one of the Tamas. Seemed to me they got everything right with the exception of the 8mm cymbal post...but that seems to be everyone's standard now. One reason I'll be hanging onto those Ludwig stands which use a 6mm (1/4") post, more than sufficiently sturdy and friendly to vintage cymbals with smaller holes.
I bought a bunch of those Ludwig flat-base stands when they were blowing them out right before they discontinued them, and like you, if I didn't already have them, I'd spring for the Tamas, which by the way, to my eye, look to be clones of the old Ludwig 1400 flat base cymbal stands but with better tilters. Speaking of which, the only thing I don't like about the Ludwig flat-base stands referred to above is their extremely short sleeves, so I replaced them and the wing nuts with generic Tama-clones (the all-in-one black ones). They work like a charm.

The only problem I've had with the Ludwig stands was on an outdoor gig at a marina. The wind was really whipping, and I had to put some extra weight on the legs to keep the stands from blowing over in the wind. I have some plastic coated weights I use for my EZ-up canopy that I take along now to any outdoor gig. Sandbags also work.
 

K.O.

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I looked the Tama over pretty closely at the Chicago drum show and liked what I saw. If I didn't already have a bunch of the similar (but discontinued) Ludwig flat based stands I probably would have snagged one of the Tamas. Seemed to me they got everything right with the exception of the 8mm cymbal post...but that seems to be everyone's standard now. One reason I'll be hanging onto those Ludwig stands which use a 6mm (1/4") post, more than sufficiently sturdy and friendly to vintage cymbals with smaller holes.
I bought a bunch of those Ludwig flat-base stands when they were blowing them out right before they discontinued them, and like you, if I didn't already have them, I'd spring for the Tamas, which by the way, to my eye, look to clones of the old Ludwig 1400 flat base cymbal stands but with better tilters. Speaking of which, the only thing I don't like about the Ludwig flat-base stands referred to above is their extremely short sleeves, so I replaced them and the wing nuts with generic Tama-clones (the all-in-one black ones). They work like a charm.

The only problem I've had with the Ludwig stands was on an outdoor gig at a marina. The wind was really whipping, and I had to put some extra weight on the legs to keep the stands from blowing over in the wind. I have some plastic coated weights I use for my EZ-up canopy that I take along now to any outdoor gig. Sandbags also work.

Yeah, I usually don't use mine outdoors if there's any breeze at all. In those cases my Yamaha 700 series stands come out. Indoors though the Ludwigs have never let me down. I replaced the original all in one sleeves on mine with a metal washer, separate sleeve, and Camber T-top. The Tama uses their all in one sleeve design which I would likely similarly replace if I ever buy one.

I also own 3-4 of the DW flat based cymbal stands (and hi-hat stands) but not any of the ultra-lightweight version. I also have some of the Gibraltar flat based stands and quite a few old Ludwig 1400 stands but if I needed to buy anything new I'm pretty sure I'd snag one of these Tamas.
 

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If you don't mind black, Axis introduced a line of ultralight stands last year. The straight and boom stands weigh about a pound and are very sturdy and stable.
 

Track

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Black is an Axis "signature" aesthetic. Everything aluminum has to be anodized, so the vast majority of the parts receive black ano after tumbling/deburring. I've nagged them to produce some clear ano stands for nod to a more traditional look but so far no luck.
That's just how it goes.
And 2lbs is rounding up. Those stands are somewhere between 1 -1.5lbs. They are insanely light.
 

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The Axis stands are also made in the USA- retail seems to be about $168 from what I saw online.
 

Sonorholic

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I have one of the Tama stands and it's 90% a Ludwig 1400. The wing nuts are larger as is the cymbal post and both of those seem a bit of overkill for me. I took some vintage cymbals to a gig and then realized they wouldn't fit on the stand! Also when using a 'traditional' china type the tilter wing nut can contact the cymbal. But it's well made and I bet will hold up fine.
 

TDM

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Sonorholic wrote:
I took some vintage cymbals to a gig and then realized they wouldn't fit on the stand (Ed: new Tama flat base)! Also when using a 'traditional' china type, the tilter wing nut can contact the cymbal. But, it's well made and I bet will hold up fine.
Re tilter wingnut contacting china type cymbals or any type of cymbals. This is not a problem with the DW Ultralight cymbal stands (older geared tilter version and newer gearless tilter version).
 


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