I've owned an Ultimate Support bicycle repair stand for a dozen years now. It's awesome, and it kicks ass over the big "blue" manufacturer's repair stands. I'd also used Ultimate Support PA monitor stands (back when I used to do live sound) and thought they were well-built and easy to deploy. So when I built my studio, I chose Ultimate's Studio Monitor Stands. I like them for a number of reasons. Each stand has two cable-channels on the rear of its column- one for the power cable and one for the audio cable- covered by a snap-on plastic cover, so the cables become invisible. Rubber pads are included for the top plate, so you can choose to place your monitors on pads or straight onto the plate. The extruded aluminum column can be filled with lead shot or sand; I used sand. And the triangular base has screw-on metal spikes in case you desire a solid connection between the stand and the floor through a rug. Unfortunately, with a heavy monitor (I have ADAM S3A's), I wish the base were a bit wider for more stability, but then again, the base is compact enough that I can place my monitors wherever I please without the console legs getting in the way of the base. The Studio Monitor Stands come in two heights: 36'' and 45''.

($226-$248 MSRP; www.ultimatesupport.com)

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

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