Studio monitor stands aren’t exactly the sexiest product to consider reviewing; however, I was intrigued after looking over the specs for the Ultimate Support MS-100. The stand pair arrived just prior to the arrival of the sE Munro Egg 150 studio monitor system, so I assembled the stands (about a half-hour task, with tools supplied) and positioned them to await the Eggs.
The pair came packaged in a single box. Each unit consists of a three-legged base (the three feet come with a rubber foot caps mounted, which can be removed to reveal a spike for use on carpet). The main vertical column is aluminum, with three internal channels. Two of the channels remain accessible after assembly, and can be used for separate routing of power cables for powered monitors and speaker wire or line level audio cables. The channels are big enough to accommodate XLRs and IEC power connectors, but not the Egg’s Speakon connectors. The third channel is sealed at the bottom by a rubber decoupler. Before mounting the top decoupler and the aluminum disk that sits on the decoupler, this channel can be filled with sand or shot for additional mass.
If you’ve used traditional speaker stands, you could be forgiven for thinking you were done with the assembly at this point. But the MS-100 has an additional element that adds functionality and versatility; the actual monitor support unit that sits atop the metal plate. This assembly has a metal base with four spikes that mount into indentations that ring the plate beneath, held in place by gravity. Cabling would run between the two plates (the gap would not have been quite sufficient for the Egg cable bundle, but would be sufficient for common power cables and large gauge zip cord).
A thick slab of high-density acoustic foam tops the monitor support unit. The final feature is a significant one. This foam pad and a mounting plate beneath it can be angled by spinning a knob connected to a threaded bolt that, when turned, gradually shifts the angle of the pad.
Depending on how you place your monitor on the pad, and how you spin the monitor support unit, the angle would be up or down (there’s a lip integrated into the pad to help keep the speaker in place at more extreme angles, and the pad is non-slip). The Eggs are tall on their foot, so I needed a touch of downward angle: less than the click stops on the Eggs’ foot mount, but a few spins of the dial got me just what I needed from the MS-100.
The MS-100 stands have an overall height of 38.5 inches non-angled (38 inches if using the spike foot) and a capacity of 75 lbs. I did load them with the largest monitors I had on hand, an older set of Alesis ProLinear 820 DSPs (32.5 lbs. each) and their stability, even with a downward angle, was solid. While the Egg performance, with their own isolating foot, seemed unaffected by the stand’s decoupling (though the height and separation from the desk surface were still appreciated), the stands improved the ProLinear’s performance, tightening the low-end compared to direct desktop mounting.
The MS-100s are premium priced at $400 per pair, but offer a unique set of features and if their versatility is matched by any other speaker stands, I’ve yet to run across them. They look great, in basic black with touches of chrome (a red on black trimmed model is forthcoming); these aren’t industrial-looking chunks of welded iron. Particularly if you (or your clients) change monitors often, the Ultimate Support MS-100’s versatility, paired with performance that combines a range of monitor mount tools in a single package, will be appreciated.
Price: $400 (pair)
Contact: Ultimate Support | ultimatesupport.com