• Price: US$135
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Crane Stand Elite Review

Last updated 4 October, 2018

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The Lowdown

In some areas, a solid advance on the original Crane Stand, being more flexible, lighter and so more useful in a wider variety of situations. Hopefully the things that irked us were down to ours being a pre-production model, so let us know your experiences please.

First Impressions / Setting up

It’s the same basic design as the Crane Stand (“C”) and is constructed from the same lightweight tubular metal (at least, for the risers), but the first impression is of a much lighter unit, due mainly to the use of two pressed sheets for the top and bottom (floor stand and laptop stand) sections.

Gone too are the quick release levers for the fasteners, replaced by hand-turned silver coloured fasteners, two on the bottom and two at the top of the riser tubes, plus two to tighten the telescopic tubing – yes, unlike the original Crane Stand, this one has a height adjustment too.

The plated construction for the top and bottom sections certainly reduces weight and bulk making the unit very portable, but on the unit we were sent top plate was riveted a little loosely meaning it wobbled slightly, and the bottom plate had a slightly rough finish underneath, which actually scratched out test bench. Maybe these are pre-production glitches, as our model was marked as such, but there are extra grip pads in the bag that can be attached here.

In Use

At first, setting it up is a bit fiddlier than with the original Crane Stand, as the screw fasteners aren’t as quick to use as the levers on the old model. However, once you realise that you’re only actually meant to loosen the right-hand knob on each section of them to unfold and fold each joint, it’s not so bad. I guess these are safer/stronger than the old design, which would explain why the company has changed them.

Because each “leg” has its own fastener, it is possible to put a bit of a twist on the legs when setting up, giving you a few degrees of left/right “twist” when securing the stand in position, which is immensely useful for putting a slight angle on your laptop when setting up, and for me a major advantage.

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Set up in a “Z” configuration, the stand becomes even stronger, but at the expense of some practicality (and height).

The telescopic legs are tightened and loosened by screw fasteners at the top of the lower pole on each side that look similar to the four fasteners for the top/bottom sections. You feel a metal-on-metal “scratch” when tightening and loosening them. Unlike the other fasteners on the stand, these do give way under pressure (as in, you can lean on the top of the stand and the height will reduce if you push hard enough) but that’s not going to happen with a laptop on there.

However, I wouldn’t recommend using the stand to hold a heavy controller in the “C” setting for that reason, unless you’re using the stand at its lowest height, though, as at any other setting, the tighteners need a little too much tightening to make the stand fully secure.

Because of the flat, shallow base, it is possible to slip it underneath existing gear in a DJ booth. You’d have no problem slipping it under a turntable on one side of a mixer, for instance, but Pioneer CDJs or DJMs will still need to be lifted up slightly if you want to slide it under one of those. In this respect, though, this design is a huge improvement on the original Crane stand.

Like the original Crane stand, it is also possible to assemble it in a “Z” design, which is a stronger configuration, but at the expense of practicality in most DJ booths, where it would make it harder to tuck among other gear.

Conclusion

Like the previous Crane stands, this is well made, with a feeling of quality and longevity, only let down a little by the slightly rough finish of the base, and the scratchy feel of the height adjusters.

It is lighter, more flexible and so overall more useful than the previous model, and (something I forgot to mention above) the rubber bands top/bottom and left/right that grip the stand to the surface and the underside of your laptop are now Crane branded and much wider, which I guess would mean they’re far less likely to perish any time soon (a weakness of the original stand).

Overall, it’s a winner for its stated purpose (a DJ laptop stand). It’s easy to set up and fold away again, it can be set up in a “C” and a “Z” configuration, and it will last you a long time – just as well, as the ‘Elite don’t come cheap. With a few small improvements it could be even better, though.

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