Andy reviewed the Ultimate MC-125, a tall boom stand, in Tape Op #91. He was right - they're great stands. Sharkbite Studios in Oakland has six or eight different big mic stands, and the only one every engineer seems to like is the single Ultimate MC-125. Anyway, one of this stand's cool features is the 6-inch boom at the end. It has a single very sturdy clutch that allows the 6-inch post to rotate and spin. Having this at the end of a long boom is like having a robot super-wrist at the end of your arm - the mic can point in any direction regardless of the large boom's angle. You can adjust the mic's angle without touching the boom. You can screw mic clips on and off while holding the mic still. For big or expensive mics, or big expensive mics with integral clips or cables like my old RCA ribbons, this is great.

I liked this tiny boom enough that I started nicking it from the big stand to use on other stands. It makes vocal mics easier to hang, and mono front-of-kit ribbons easy to position. Finally, I wondered, "does Ultimate sell these separately?" Sure enough they do, and they're only $24. They're sold as an MC-125 replacement part, but they screw onto any 5/8-inch stand just fine. I bought a few right away, and I'm stoked.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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