The Music Mount is by far the best mount I've ever seen for the iPad - and I've purchased several over the past couple of years. Model 603410 is for the iPad 2, 3, and 4, while Model 603400 is for the original iPad. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the two models is the set of plastic "claws" that grab the edge of the iPad. (A new Model 603415 will soon be replacing both, and it will include an additional set of claws for the iPad Mini.) The claws attach with a reassuring snap to the plastic bracket that cradles the iPad, and once on, they might as well be integral to the bracket, holding your iPad securely but effortlessly. The bracket assembly connects to the angled tip of an 8'' boom through a semispherical joint that allows for 360 degrees of rotation as well as changes in angle. A lever-armed clutch turns to hold the joint in place with absolutely zero slippage. The angled tip of the boom also rotates separately, and it too has a clutch that offers positive hold. Along the length of the boom slides a forged C-clamp, and yes, this C-clamp also rotates with a no-slip clutch. The C-clamp opens to 1 1/4'', allowing you to attach the Music Mount to studio furniture, piano lids, and mic stands small and large. Given all of the rotating and sliding pieces, finding the perfect place and angle for your iPad is as easy as opening the clutches, positioning the iPad in space, then closing the clutches. But that's not all. Ingeniously, the angled tip of the boom spins off, exposing standard 5/8'' mic- clip threads - which means you can attach just the semispherical joint and bracket assembly to the end of any standard mic stand or boom, making it dead-easy to "fly" your iPad in easy reach of a musician surrounded by lots of instruments or drums, with fewer clutches to adjust. Moreover, the tail end of the Music Mount's boom shares the same threading as the clutch bolt that holds the boom arm on AKG mic stands, in case you really want to be creative about positioning your iPad. Clearly, the designers of this sucker have spent many hours in the studio. Like all of the products sold by Monoprice, the Music Mount is astonishingly affordable. Even at three times its $15 price, I would consider it a smart buy.

If you don't need an intricately adjustable mount for your iPad or other tablet, and all you want is a solid tabletop stand, Monoprice has you covered too. The 8267 V-Frame Desktop Stand works with any tablet that has an edge thickness of 1/2'' or less. As you might fathom, it folds out into an inverted V, with the ability to hold the tablet in near-vertical or near-horizontal orientation - and any angle in between. Unlike other folding stands that I've purchased over the years, this one will not unfold or refold on its own. A good deal of force is required to open or close it, and thick rubber moldings keep the tablet and stand from sliding - all good things, especially when you're trying to use your tablet during a bumpy airplane ride, or you've got big PA speakers rattling your table. If the joint does ever loosen up (mine hasn't), an allen wrench is all you need to adjust its tension. If a tablet is an essential component of your stage or travel kit, then this is a great item to keep in your gig bag.

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

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