Review & Video: UDG Creator Laptop / Controller Stand

Review Summary:

Pleasingly well made, versatile, easy to set up and fold down, and very portable thanks to its supplied padded zip case, the UDG Creator stand gets most things right, albeit for a pro-grade price.

Creator Stand
  • Creator Stand
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: UDG Gear
  • Price: $149
  • Reviewed by:
  • On August 21, 2013
  • Last modified:February 13, 2014
UDG Creator Stand

Taking a lot of its design cues from the iconic Crane Stand, the Creator adds a hefty dose of flexibility into the mix to deliver something pretty special.

Review: UDG Creator Laptop / Controller Stand

UDG has come a long way since its days as the maker of record boxes to be seen with, and nowadays has all kinds of stuff that appeals to digital DJs – not least the UDG Creator Stand, that we’re reviewing here today. Made of high quality anodised aluminium, the stand bears a definite resemblance to the popular Crane Stand, in that it has the same style of securing clamps, tubular construction and rubber rings to keep the horizontal tubes gripping to the surface/laptop.

Like the Crane Stand it also folds twice. This makes it a reasonably small, lightweight size when closed, that can easily tuck into the padded bag that’s provided, which has a smart white UDG logo on it and a separate internal pouch for the secondary equipment tray of the stand. So upon unpacking it, your first move is to loosen the two clamps and swing the feet around to the position you’d prefer. The two legs can move independently, which doesn’t seem to add anything useful to the design, although it possibly means that if you put the stand on your surface before tightening the clamp, it could compensate for any unevenness to prevent unnecessary wobble.

The design is pleasing and sturdy, but like all 'sideways U' designs, there is a bit of 'give' on the top shelf.

The design is pleasing and sturdy, but like all ‘sideways U’ designs, there is a bit of ‘give’ on the top shelf.

The top shelf can be adjusted to any angle you want to get your keyboard or controller in exactly the right position. Furthermore, by loosening the silver plastic sheath on the main upright, you can adjust the height of the stand and also swivel the top shelf left/right as far as you’d like – great for tucking your laptop off to the side, for instance. I found that you do need to turn this sheath rather tightly to ensure it holds the position you choose.

Thanks to the deep, grippy plastic-coated front feet on the main tray, to the rubber-style pads stuck onto its top surface, and to the rubber rings around the rear pole, your laptop will be held sturdily in place, whatever size of gear you use (UDG says 13″ to 18″ laptops will be fine).

Of course, due to the sideways “U” shape of the assembled stand, there will always be a bit of wobble, as with all stands of this type, and that’s why I’d recommend its use as a laptop stand rather than one to hold a controller (a pad controller, for instance) that you’re likely to be bashing away at.

Next thing you may want to do is fit the supplied second equipment tray, a small, fixed-height-and-angle single piece of metal with two rubberised lips at the front, that slots into a slit in the rear of the upright about 8″ off the surface. This is demonstrated in the product packaging shots with a Pioneer RMX-1000 on it, but I think it’s more likely to be used to hold an audio interface such as a Rane SL2 or a Native Instruments Audio 6. It could fit a horizontal-shaped pad controller too, although as it is a relatively deep, narrow shelf, you wouldn’t want to use anything too shallow and wide (an LPD8 would wobble a bit, for instance, but I think a Vestax Pad-One would be OK).

And that’s about it! Once it’s all set up and loaded with your gear, it just gets on doing its thing. As long as you’ve been careful enough in assembly and made sure the clamps and height adjuster are all nice and tight, it keeps everything where it should be, and is as easy to fold up as it is to assemble – 30 seconds maximum.

Conclusion

If you’ve always looked at the Crane Stand but wanted a stand with more adjustments, this is it. As it has a single upright pole instead of two like the Crane, you can adjust it to any angle left/right, and the vertical height adjuster gives added flexibility. It is relatively simple to fold and unfold, and as long as you pay enough attention to get everything nice and tight before putting your gear onto it, it’s perfectly stable, although the design is better suited to laptops than controllers on the top shelf.

The sub-shelf is useful for a certain size of auxiliary equipment, although I think audio interfaces are the most likely.

The sub-shelf is useful for a certain size of auxiliary equipment, although I think audio interfaces are the most likely.

For me the silver plastic sheath that tightens the height adjuster slightly lets down an otherwise very well made stand, at least appearance-wise, but overall it has the feeling of quality, something that carries through to its well protective and custom-shaped carrying bag. Overall, I really liked it. For those gigs where I want to take more than just my laptop, it’s good to have the extra shelf, and for places where you know you’re likely to be cramped, being able to set it at a range of heights and angles may prove invaluable.

The UDG Creator has managed to combine some of the simplicity, sturdiness, elegance and quality of the Crane Stand with a hefty dose of extra flexibility. It’s not cheap, but it is pro grade and thus likely to win fans among those who need this level of performance and versatility.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

Pleasingly well made, versatile, easy to set up and fold down, and very portable thanks to its supplied padded zip case, the UDG Creator stand gets most things right, albeit for a pro-grade price.

Creator Stand
  • Creator Stand
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: UDG Gear
  • Price: $149
  • Reviewed by:
  • On August 21, 2013
  • Last modified:February 13, 2014

 

Video review

Do you own one of these? Does this look like the type of stand that would appeal to you? Please share your thoughts on the UDG Creator Stand in the comments.

Comments

  1. Looks nice and practical and all but…..165$….Jeeeeesus, is Greece’s salaries so low and out of Europe’s standards or what?

  2. Good review!
    However; Can the top and bottom pieces of the extending rod be taken completely apart? And whats the diameter of the top (small) rod?

    Thanks,
    Det muntre køkken

  3. I’d pay that price for good quality.
    Thx for the thorough review!

  4. There’s a real design flaw to the Crane Stand, and this one copies it. The way these clamp doesn’t hold up over time. It’s smooth metal against smooth metal that holds these in position. You need to clamp it pretty tight to prevent it from sliding out of position, and that breaks down the edge of the clamps over time. I have aluminum shards falling off of mine every time I use it. All they need to do is have a shallow interlocking groove on the edges where the pieces meet, almost like gear edges. Then you don’t need to lock it nearly as tight, and it will be much more secure.

  5. Hi Phil, would you recommend this for tablet PC use ? also can you tell the approximate height in its lowest setting ? cheers!

  6. My biggest concern here is that the carriage (the platform) will turn during use due to the single, circular, upright. I like the telescoping feature though.

  7. DJ Ben Blayton says:

    This does not appeal to me. First way over priced. Second I use lap top cooling station for my lap top. With the hot conditions and just normal heat coming from the computter something to keep it cool. I found one that tilts into any position and does a great job.

  8. Regarding build quality of CRANE: I have had my CRANE stand for 3 years and use it 8 times a month out on gigs. I have never ran into any design issues with the clamp wearing out. There is a rubber O-ring that helps keep the clamps tight. With any over tightening of tension clamps you run the risk of breaking it. This goes for lighting clamp trusses to. CRANE will also send you new O-rings to replace over time. I picked some up but in the three years of use I have never had to replace anything on my unit. It looks as though they are UDG is using the same mechanics for clamping. If there were issues with clamps seen on CRANE over the years I highly Doubt UDG would repeat a failed mechanic.

    I’m a little concerned for the way the clamps are angled. CRANE stand has clamped that are closed and opened parallel to the frame. Looking at the photos the angled clamps of the UDG look like they would stick out a bit when stand is closed up for packing. Not a huge difference but I utilize every precious inch of my gig back.

    With the UDG stand I do like the bag it uses. As compact flat as my CRANE stand is, it will open up a bit in the back when packing it up with my other stuff. I could always spend a few seconds tightening it just bit to stay together too. I’m very happy with my CRANE stand and glad to see some competition for it. It will keep both brands developing even better quality products.

    • Maybe I need to get in touch with Crane. I ordered mine directly from them several years ago, but there’s clearly a weak point on mine where it’s smooth metal against smooth metal. I have to tighten it hard to keep it from sliding.

  9. I’m curious as to why the company chose to use a plastic sleeve for the height adjuster when everything else was metal (or rubber). One of the pieces which is likely to be over-tightened is this sleeve and it’s just a matter of time before people start complaining about their broken height adjusters.

  10. where can i buy it??

  11. Clint_silver says:

    Been using mine for 5 months now and very happy with it. zero wobble once you flatten the legs first. Angle slightly forward and physics does the rest once the laptop is on it. Very sturdy. Telescope is very nice and leaves me adequate room underneath analog mixer live and s4 at home. Packs away very nice and flat. I don’t see any wear on the clamps after a lot of use. I’ve used several other cheaper stands but this is a whole different beast. It’s a pro piece of equipment at a pro price but worth every penny for me. Life time guarantee as well. Can’t argue with that.

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