Hamilton vs Peak Folding Stands

September 4, 2019, 4:34 AM · I've need of a portable decent folding stand - my need is not immediate so I've time to look around. My teacher has a Hamilton Folding version that he has had for years, and I've also heard good things on the Peak. I looked in the archives but couldn't find anything more current than 2008.

Are the Hamilton and Peak comparable in quality? Any other folding stands I should consider?


Replies (26)

September 4, 2019, 6:09 AM · I love my peak
Edited: September 4, 2019, 8:26 AM · Peak, hands down. It's compact, light, and sturdy.

The Hamilton Traveler is more "luggable" than "portable". If you're going to deal with that, you might as well as buy a Manhasset Voyager. It's basically a regular Manhasset stand that you can disassemble. (I prefer my Voyager whenever I have to go no further than a couple of rows of parking lot to a building. The Peak is better for the subway, etc. where size and weight matter a lot.)

The Hamilton folding (the wire stand version) is flimsy and wire stands suck in general. Hard pass.

Edited: September 4, 2019, 8:31 AM · I didn't know about this Peak. I searched on the web, and i saw it seems identical to a K&M stand that i own:


If it's similar (or a clone, or viceversa ;) ), i rate very highly the K&M. So .....

September 4, 2019, 8:34 AM · Thanks, I appreciate the information!
September 4, 2019, 8:51 AM · Chinese clone (Eastar make good flutes): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eastar-EST-006-Portable-Violin-Retractable/dp/B07SG1X1PJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa
September 4, 2019, 8:58 AM · If it is a music stand you require I recommend the K&M 10065. Much sturdier than the 101 model (or its predecessors) and not much heavier. If you sometimes need 3 or 4 pages side by side the K&M 10062 model is brilliant. Same legs as the 10065, but the music desk is extendable and the "wings" are in two parts.
September 4, 2019, 9:02 AM · I have a Peak that I use daily - it's easy to pack down into the bag and sling over the shoulder.

I also have a musician's gear stand - that's supposedly collapsible, but it is not! The sheet music backer is solid metal, and a hassle to carry anywhere. I keep it around for the rare occasion that I have someone over to play duets with, or when I travel with a car and am going from apartment to car to wherever I'm staying for a few days and I don't feel like disassembling my Peak.

I got rid of the super lightweight collapsible stands - they don't hold sheet music well, nor anything more than a few pages at a time.

Edited: September 9, 2019, 9:00 AM · I have had 2 Peak stands. For the money they are very nice. You do have to be careful because if just one of the hinge "loops" of the desk breaks that entire "spine" will fail one by one.

For ease of opening, closing and carrying I now use a K&M 10040 Easy-Open stand. I can fit it, a couple of battery-op stand lights and a small folding chair pad into a smallish Petersen stand "bag." To make it look like a "real" stand during performances, in my instrument case I carry my music in a 9"x12" black folder can open to 2 or 3 page widths to match in appearance the Peak and Ninton "Magic" stands of most of the other players. I thought about a Ninton stand but the price was too much, the package was larger and would not hold all I carry in my Peterson bag.

Opening and closing the K&M 10040 is almost a one-hand operation - something I consider important if I have to do it with a violin or viola in my lap.

Edited: September 4, 2019, 9:48 AM · I wondered if Catherine meant a violin or a music stand and came to the conclusion she meant a violin stand. Now I'm not so sure. She does thank Marco, who recommends a violin stand.
I've got a Tiger orchestral stand and a K&M collapsible.
September 4, 2019, 10:15 AM · I have used a Nilton Magic portable stand for many years (https://www.amazon.com/Nilton-Magic-Stand-Made-Sweden/dp/B0046IVPX8/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1IB8ALTVW8W6E&keywords=nilton+music+stand&qid=1567610072&s=gateway&sprefix=nilton+%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-3). They are expensive but extremely convenient. The whole thing folds up into almost nothing and has its own carrying handle. Give what I have seen, including the Peaks (which seem good for the money), I would go with a Nilton; it is the Rolls Royce of the bunch.
September 4, 2019, 10:23 AM · We have 3 Voyager stands, and although we like and would buy again I don't like its quick disconnect mechanism for the desk - it is too easy for it to become loose or not be fully inserted and risks falling on your cello or destroying an iPad. So we replaced that with the fixed "model 74 neck assembly" for 9 bucks, effectively turning it into a standard Manhasset stand with lightweight folding legs. Very happy with this setup now.
September 4, 2019, 10:39 AM · Gordon - I was thanking everyone, didn't realise anyone had suggested a violin stand at all. I did mean a decent traveling (non wire) music stand that won't hurt my hands nor so heavy that it might cause other problems.

I really appreciate all the recommendations and will continue my research into all that have been suggested. I have until Thanksgiving to make up my mind.

Lydia, can you say why you prefer the Manhasset Voyager over the Peak when you dont have a long walk/stairs? What makes it superior?

Edited: September 5, 2019, 12:07 AM · David McLellan asked all the right questions. That said, I wouldn't give up my K&M 10700 folder (actually I have two of them). It's their top of the line folder, and it's admittedly heavy, but it's the most stable music stand I've used, including any non-folders. They make a carrying case with a shoulder strap for it. It extends high enough for an NBA player.

But sometimes you need a solid desk, and that would require a second stand. I like all of my stands to be collapsible, whether they have a solid desk or not, so that I can put them away when not needed.

One serious criticism I have for the ubiquitous Manhasset stands is that the desks rotate away from you when you attempt to write on them.

Edited: September 4, 2019, 6:09 PM · Good questions, I didn't think of those when I started the thread. I like my Manhasset, it's just too heavy/awkward to deal with to use it as a portable stand - and that's not what it was designed for. I don't see my ever playing outside so that isn't a concern.

I want a stand with a desk that can be folded/collapsed that doesn't require a really strong grip to adjust properly and can handle a Mighty Bright Orchestral Light. I live upstairs, so need to be able to maneuver stairs with it without beating the wall up (so lighter-weight with a bag). The Hamilton Traveler my teacher showed me doesn't seem overly heavy - though I wouldn't want to go any heavier than that.

I agree that the tendency for the desk of the Manhasset stand to try to rotate away from you is a pain.

Edited: September 4, 2019, 11:09 PM · I think if I was using my tablet mostly for musical stuff, I'd put velcro strips onto it so that I could secure it onto a music stand.

I'm kind of a neanderthal, I guess. I have no qualms about lugging my regular Manhasset stand to a rehearsal. And when you figure that years ago I customized it by putting an ornate cast-iron base on it (which I trash-picked, sand-blasted, and repainted), it's a real boat anchor.

September 5, 2019, 7:03 AM · It certainly won't go anywhere Paul! If my hands/shoulders/neck weren't so arthritic I wouldn't hesitate to use my existing stand for traveling, but that is a game changer.
September 5, 2019, 12:53 PM · You can't go wrong with Peak as a traveling stand that will support a stand light like a Mighty Brite. If you buy Peak, consider the extra $10 or $15 for the model with aluminum legs instead of steel. Makes it quite a bit lighter to lug around.
September 5, 2019, 1:34 PM · I really appreciate all of the comments, thank you! I would love to be able to justify the Nilton Magic Stand, but the cost is unjustifiable, not at my level. I will check out all of the suggestions, thanks again!

September 5, 2019, 7:29 PM · Catherine - sorry you cannot justify the Nilton. I am not the world's greatest player, but at a certain point, I decided I did not want to put up with equipment that was cheaper but less convenient. The Nilton I have has lasted at least a decade. I expect it to last many more years. I consider stand lights in the same category. You spend a little extra to get something high quality that works for you. So, that's my $0.02 (or $134 depending on how you view it).
September 5, 2019, 7:47 PM · Good point Tom, and I may well reach that conclusion. I've been looking at it for several weeks now, before I started this thread.
September 5, 2019, 9:55 PM · Presumably, the Nilton case will also accept printed music? That may be a useful convenience.
Edited: September 5, 2019, 10:51 PM · I don't want to be the Nilton naysayer, but I was looking at the write-up on that and it says that the desk lip is only 1" deep. Either the write-up (at Shar) is mistaken, or that lip is simply not deep enough in my opinion.
September 6, 2019, 12:19 AM · The Manhasset is basically built like a tank -- it's steel. Practically every stand-attachable accessory on the planet is made for the Manhasset's metal desk. I often use the Stand-Outs stand extensions, and the pencil magnets can be used to attach pencils to the stand. It will take the weight of heavy music, a heavy stand light, etc.

The Peak is perfectly usable, especially as a sitting stand, but it's all (sturdy) plastic.

Edited: September 6, 2019, 2:03 AM · Lydia, the Manhasset column and base are steel, but the desks are aluminum. I believe that Hamilton desks are steel. Is that what you meant?
September 8, 2019, 8:42 AM · Hi,I have a Hamilton stand,...with a pencil shelf under the music shelf.Very handy,and prevents my pencil going flying when page turning....

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