It’s easy to think that the Internet has everything you could ever want. Sometimes it’s not until I’m looking for something very specific that I realize how young the Internet really is, and that it wasn’t created to answer my questions alone.
What I was looking for was a duel-level keyboard stand for 2 keyboards: a Yamaha p100 and a Roland Fantom G6. That set-up isn’t out of the ordinary and each keyboard met the appropriate spec for weight and shape. But I thought my intention was unique. Instead of using the stand to turn me into a rock star to be used on stage, the duel stand was really a space-saving solution. I wanted to be able to sit with the large keyboard and only be minimally obstructed by the second layer of keyboard. I’m a piano player first, and the Roland is really just a toy from my perspective. All duel-level keyboards are targeted to the live performer but I had to pick one and just hope it worked for my purpose.
After reading some reviews I settled on the On Stage 2 Tier Folding Z Keyboard Stand, in part because it’s not the model that Guitar Center sells. For some reason this made the On Stage model seem of higher quality.
Overall I’m happy with the purchase and I’ve used the new set-up for over a month now. I’ll talk about in more detail below, and actually create a bit of a review, as advertised, instead of the previous anecdotes. If you have no interest purchasing a keyboard stand the rest of this article will get very boring.
I was warned about the difficult set-up, and they weren’t wrong. The instructions were very general and not at all in the step-1, step-2, step-3 form that I’d expect. Looking at the picture of it fully assembled is a must. This was not a large concern for me since, like Ikea furniture, it’s a one-time project. I have no intention of bringing this set-up to live gigs. If used for touring this could be a deal breaker and I imagine I’d lose one of the “On Stage Stand” branded knobs in every city I visited.
You will look like a rock star with this set-up, regardless of intentions. Surprisingly, it didn’t take up much more space the single keyboard did previously. I found that it really helps to place a black keyboard cover of the top keyboard when not in use as demonstrated in the video below. This really helps with the top keyboard is decorated with hundreds of knobs, switches, widgets and flashing lights.
Or rock out.
Overall I can play the main keyboard in the same manner that I did before, which was the most important requirement. The Yamaha has built in speakers that aim upwards. With the new set-up it does sound a bit muffled as the Roland sits only a few inches above the speakers. This is often just motivation to turn on the external speakers.
Another factor I didn’t consider was how the set-up prevented reading music on the Yamaha’s built-in music stand. The top keyboard prevents this completely and you’re left with 2 options: either temporary remove the top keyboard or try and balance the sheet music on the top keyboard, somehow. I’ve resulted to the balancing option, but typically don’t play while looking at a book anyways. If you’re playing with a duel keyboard set up you’re assumed to be a rock star and rock stars don’t read music.
There’s no concerns about sturdiness. My playing style can best be described as organized banging and the stand never moves. Even the top keyboard can take a beating.
My old stand had 4 legs, like a simple desk. This Z set up may work great for the stand-up keyboard player but has its drawbacks when sitting. The bottom of the Z is long and easy to trip on. The middle part of the Z does hit your knees if you aren’t careful. With clever adjustments this isn’t a huge problem, but with I’m not wearing shoes I’m always cautious of getting bruises. So far no major damage done.
In conclusion I don’t think a better stand exists for my purposes.