You are here

Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Post your own hardware/software reviews.

Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:56 pm

Whenever someone asks about heavy-duty mic stands I always pitch-in with my recommendation of the Superlux MS 200.

For those who aren't familiar with it you'll find all the details here:

Superlux MS 200

But nearly always at least one person will come-back with comments to the effect that surely something this cheap can't be any good and that the more expensive options - usually three or more times as expensive - must surely be 'better'?

But what does 'better' mean? It could be lots of things... So as some queries about this stand have come-up again I decided to conduct some experiments and write-up my user-experience.

I bought this stand about seven years ago when I was doing a lot of radio OB work and needed an effective and sturdy stand to fly mics over church congregations. I'd previously used some other 'super stands', but had found that due to combinations of lack of height or reach, inability to hold two SDCs in position without boom-droop and general instability I really needed something better.

I blanched when I saw the prices from the usual suspects, but then found the MS 200 on Thomann's website. Incidentally, I've not found any other European/UK supplier.

First impressions when unpacking... this is a proper heavy-duty stand. It's made of steel, has some serious welding clearly visible and weighs a lot. And that's my first caveat... Robustness means that you can't pack this down small and you won't get this into the boot of any car with the back-seats up. Linked to this is the fact that the boom can't be detached.

I've found the various adjustment clamps to be robust. As well as the normal clamp/friction fastenings - which are more akin to the sort of thing you normally see on live-sound speaker stands - there's a security pin and extra locking-collar on the vertical poles. You'll rightly be getting the impression that this stand is not designed to be elegant; it's designed to do a tough job well.

There's an optimal, and locking, position to spread the tripod legs and when in the 'approved' position these are 125 cms apart. Again like speaker stands, these are well braced. You'll find the full height and reach specs on the Thomann site referenced above, but I'll now turn to how I tested the stand for this review.

I set the central column at a height of 215cm (7ft) and secured everything as it should be. Locking the boom off as horizontally as I could get it by eye, I then extended it fully. Note that the counterweight was as close as I could get it to the central pivot and thus there was virtually no counter-balancing effect for the test.

The boom arm has a lock-ridge of some sort that prevents you over-extending the adjustable-boom. Hands-up how many have tried extending a telescopic boom to find that it suddenly becomes two pieces as the inner completely slides out of the outer? No chance of that here.

So the boom was fully extended with the inner element of the telescopic aspect hard-up against its ridge/lock. That's not something I would do in the real-world, but I wanted to subject the stand to maximum stress in all aspects to see how it would behave. So the maximum extension of the boom was 192 cms - approximately 6 ft 4 ins.

Recap: vertical height 215cm; boom extended horizontally 192 cms; tripod fully deployed, with one leg parallel to the extended boom.

I fastened a spring-balance to the end of the boom and then increased the weight at the extreme end of the boom. The maximum weight that I considered 'safe' - ie I could knock against the vertical upright with no sign at all of tipping - was 3.2Kg, 7 lbs. There was no sign of clutch slip on the boom which I think is remarkable given the length of the boom and the weight attached to its extremity. The boom definitely flexed downwards along it's length, but immediately sprang back as soon as the weight was released.

I cannot envisage ever expecting the stand to duplicate this performance in real-world use. Normally, for my use I would not have the boom extended so far without it being counter-balanced in some way; the telescopic element would not be extended to its limit and I would rarely use it horizontally - it would normally be at an angle to the horizontal.

In summary, a very robust stand which can hold a serious weight of microphones without tipping or succumbing to boom-droop, and all available at a ridiculous price. What are you waiting for? :)
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7649
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:31 pm

Nice. Thanks Mike.

For the lazy, the tech specs are:

Superlux MS200 - professional steel overhead stand
Pole height: 165-350cm
Adjustable boom arm (125-205cm)
5/8"-Thread.
Weight: 9.75kg

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 29009
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:53 pm

Thanks Hugh

Should also add that it came with a 5/8 - 3/8 thread converter, but that's now been swallowed-up in my tobacco-tin of such adaptors/converters! (Said tin kindly donated by a colleague in 1975!)
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7649
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Stef Andrews » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:44 pm

Thanks Mike. You'll have noted from my previous responses in 'big stand' threads my worry with these was always weight at an angle. This is very useful! Also, the fact you've had it for 7 years and it's showing no signs of failure is good to know. All for the price of a 'standard' K&M boom stand. Roughly!
Stef Andrews
Regular
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:02 pm

Thanks Stef

Must admit I was surprised at just how much weight it took under this extreme test!

I've normally used it with a stereo pair of SDCs or a single XY stereo mic, but have used it once or twice with a couple of LDCs. Never had probs, but my then LDCs were on the lightish side and I was always using the boom at an angle.

So I thought it was only fair to do something objective as I know many of you guys will be thinking of this for overhead mics for drums with the boom far 'flatter'.

Although it was stable in my extreme test I wouldn't recommend anyone adopting that config - and weight - as normal practice. The moment at the pivot must have been considerable and for peace of mind I'd shorten the boom a bit and reduce the weight a bit. But for £38 it's a no-brainer really.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7649
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Stef Andrews » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:54 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Thanks Stef

Must admit I was surprised at just how much weight it took under this extreme test!

I've normally used it with a stereo pair of SDCs or a single XY stereo mic, but have used it once or twice with a couple of LDCs. Never had probs, but my then LDCs were on the lightish side and I was always using the boom at an angle.

So I thought it was only fair to do something objective as I know many of you guys will be thinking of this for overhead mics for drums with the boom far 'flatter'.

Although it was stable in my extreme test I wouldn't recommend anyone adopting that config - and weight - as normal practice. The moment at the pivot must have been considerable and for peace of mind I'd shorten the boom a bit and reduce the weight a bit. But for £38 it's a no-brainer really.


Re the bit in bold... This is mainly what i've used the Sontronics M10 I have for. And almost always with a Rode NT4, weighing all of 400g... I reckon this might just be ok!
Stef Andrews
Regular
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:23 pm

... and in my perennial wanderings of the web I've just discovered that this stand is also sold as the ALCTRON MA602... a snip at £99! :shock:
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7649
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby IvanSC » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:34 am

Funnily enough, my daughter just did a sound workshop with Youtube and the lecturer was banging on about using overheads.

Here is her most recent project:

http://youtu.be/1-Cfzj3Ph9E


At £38, I think you found a bargain!
What does the Alctron one bring to the party for the extra £60?
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3047
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Two bottles of Corona lemon and lime,  please!

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Dave B » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:48 am

Could I please add a quick note for the .. shall we say .. inexperienced? ;)

This summer, rather than splurging on big things, I've been sniping away at some of the lesser stuff that's still essential (keyboard stands, vocal mics, stands, DIs etc). I'd noticed this review and thought that a pair of these might be good for drum overheads. So I ordered a pair from Thomann.

OK ... so I was first surprised when the UPS man had to go back to the truck after finding the address. He then unloads a HUGE box - well over 2m tall. This had both of my stands in their packaging.

So, first things first - Mike's comments are all excellent and completely accurate. But, the thing that he skimped on slightly (which is understandable for a pro) is that these are _severely_ heavy duty stands.

1. When they say '165cm' above, they mean that that is the shortest height it can be when all collapsed down. Mike isn't kidding when he says it won't go easily into a car boot - I'm not sure I'd get them anywhere in my car!

2. Tube width : we are used to a good solid mic stand being about 1/2" wide - yes? (with the inner sections being thinner) So on this one, the tubes are more like 1" wide and the thinnest inner section is more like 1/2" (but still seems bulkier than the widest part of a 'normal' stand)

3. Weight : significant. And quite right too, but given it's size, the whole thing is a bit of a monster. If you are transporting and rigging one of these, best have a mate to help!

I'm not trying to be down on these stands - far from it, I could now tackle some serious micing work if needs be - but for people looking for a good, solid stand to, say, go over a drum kit for either home recording or live, I'd be tempted to look elsewhere. OTOH, if I fancy ambient drum micing in a local cathedral, I'm all set for that ... ;)
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Superlux MS 200 Heavy-Duty Microphone Stand

Postby Wonks » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:45 pm

But if they are so solid, surely you could just drag them behind the car, Dave? :D
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10889
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853