Today we have a cage-match between two different guitar stands; and how well they do what they are designed to do.
Contender 1: Hercules GS415-B
Contender 2: Ultimate GS-200
Their task – to see how safely and conveniently they can hold a variety of stringed instruments; from Concert sized Ukulele, to 5 string bass. They will be judged on ease of use, safe contact with the instrument, and access to the jack for each of these instruments. There will also be a crude evaluation of their overall packed down size and convenience of transport, as well as price.
Task 1: Concert sized Ukulele
Up first is the ukulele in the Hercules stand. Hangs from headstock fine, doesn’t have any major pressure points on the body of the uke.
Next is the ukulele in the Ultimate stand. Headstock fits fine, but the back of the body of the uke interferes on the un-cushioned vertical part of the stand.
Winner by a small margin: Hercules
Task 2: Classical Guitar
First up is the Hercules stand. The neck at the nut of classical guitars is wider than most other guitars and it was a bit of a challenge to get the classical to nest nicely into the Hercules yoke for it’s auto-lock feature to engage. As pointed out with the arrows, it barely fit into the yoke. If you needed a quick grab of the guitar or placement of the guitar onto the stand, the Hercules might not fit the bill.
Now to place the classical into the Ultimate stand. No issues with the neck/headstock fitting the v-shaped yoke of the Ultimate stand, but there’s perhaps a bigger issue – the Ultimate stand arms impinge on the body of the guitar right at the side/top binding area. Not the best place to have a pressure point.
This classical guitar has a pickup system built in, with the jack mounted on the south-side of the body. Neither stand interferes with the electrical jack.
Task 3: Steel String Acoustic Guitar
First up again is the Hercules stand. No issues for fitting the neck into the yoke and the yoke arms wrap conveniently around in front of the guitar without placing pressure on the strings
Placing the acoustic into the Ultimate stand is no issue up at the neck.
Here we see the issue again with the arms on the ultimate stand putting a pressure point on the side/top interface of the body. The ultimate stand arms will fold up against the body, but this acoustic has an end-pin jack and the yoke for the headstock is not high enough to keep even a right-angle plug cable from hitting the floor if the arms are folded up.
Task 4: Electric Guitar
Here is the guitar in the Hercules stand, no issues with the neck/headstock working as intended with the Hercules yoke, and no issues with access to the jack.
Putting the electric into the Ultimate stand is no issue as well at the headstock/neck area.
However, when we look at where the arm ends up relative to the jack, we see a problem:
There is a slight interference of the arm with the output jack location. With a right-angled plug brought over and trapped by the strap (like many like to do) the problem would be even worse.
Task 5: 4-String Electric Bass, P-style body
No issue fitting the bass neck/headstock into the yoke properly.
There is an issue with where the output jack is located relative to the cushioned leg. This could probably be solved with lowering the yoke height slightly, or using a right angled plug. The extra observant probably notice the pickguard screw missing. That’s a story for a different day!
Same bass in the Ultimate stand has no issues fitting the neck into the yoke.
However looking at the location of the jack and arm, “Houston we have a problem.”
Task 5: 5-String Electric Bass, Ibanez SR style body
No issue fitting this bass into the Hercules or it wrapping around the headstock correctly.
No issue getting the bass into the Ultimate stand either, and because of the unique jack orientation on Ibanez SR style basses, neither have issue with access to the jack.
So in the challenge of which stand fits the most guitars in my collection, Hercules wins hands down.
Portability – Here you see the Hercules (which when packed down to smallest size requires removal of the vertical part of the stand, and the Ultimate, which folds up and locks in place with a big orange plastic lock. I like the way the ultimate stand snaps in place with the orange lock knob (just don’t have your picking hand fingernails anywhere near the stand when you lock it in place – you can snap fingernails off – I have personal experience with this. Winner: Ultimate
Price: Hercules is roughly $44, Ultimate is roughly 30$. Winner: Ultimate
For my needs, the Hercules is my choice and why I purchased it. What I should have done a few years ago, is buy a different model Ultimate stand. There is a model called the GS-100, that is more similar to the Hercules. Interested readers might want to check that one out.
I hope that you’ve found this comparison useful if you are considering either one of these stands. Both are well built. I just should have bought the GS-100 when I bought the Ultimate GS-200 stand a couple years ago.