Gibraltar Turning Point Hardware Tested!
Playing drums is hardly convenient. Between load-ins, setups, and teardowns, the working drummer’s ancillary activities occupy just about as much time as the gig itself (if not more!). With that in mind, the folks at Gibraltar put together a series of stands and accessories designed to streamline all those pesky befores and afters.
The rockin’ team at Gibraltar (pardon the pun) was nice enough to ship over a few of their most recent additions to the Turning Point line. When they arrived, I immediately ripped open the packaging and built a hardware fort. That ruled, but how did the new hardware fare when actually on the drum set? Let’s take a look.
The Swing Nut
The centerpiece of the Turning Point hardware series is the Swing Nut cymbal tilter. Eliminating the threaded tops and wing nuts of conventional tilters, the Swing Nut utilizes a straight post, split vertically with a centered hinge. This allows part of the post to replace the wing nut, cutting out all that tedious turning when mounting and removing cymbals.
That may seem like a lot of engineering for something that saves you about 10–15 seconds, but after a few weeks of setups and teardowns with the Swing Nuts equipped, I can definitely see the benefit. Three weeks without dropped or rattling wing nuts and without minutes of twisting and turning before and after every set was so refreshing that I probably wasted all that extra time bragging to my bandmates about how nice it was.
The Swing Nut cymbal tilters were far and away the most exciting element of the Turning Point series. That’s not to say that the rest of the line was disappointing (far from it), but the Swing Nuts were so convenient and easy to use they simply stole the show.
Swing Nut Adaptor And Accessories
One of the most intriguing pieces Gibraltar sent over was the Swing Nut Adaptor. The adaptor uses a receiver on the bottom that easily accepts the standard 8mm threaded post of most stands on the market today. It will add an extra inch or two to the top of your stands, but on the whole, the Swing Nut Adaptor is a great way to get to know the product.
Gibraltar also sent over its Deluxe Cymbal Tilter and Grabber Cymbal Arm, each equipped with a Swing Nut top. Both items use a gearless “brake” tilter that offers unlimited adjustability, making virtually any angle and position possible. My one gripe with the entire Turning Point series made its first appearance on these two items in the form of locking rods on the tilters with drum key tops.
To keep the tilters in place, Gibraltar included a single tension rod on each tilter. I understand the need for added support and security, but having to reach for a drum key every time I wanted to change the angle of a cymbal seemed a little counterintuitive in a line that places such a high priority on convenience. I can see that a wing nut lock would have likely gotten in the way of the tilter, but I wish there was an option that didn’t require a key.
That aside, each of these items was great to have around. The Deluxe Cymbal Tilter is a sleek and sturdy tool that fits on any 12.7mm mounting rod (boom arm). I really enjoyed having this handy little unit around because it allowed me to add or replace accent cymbals quickly between songs. Very convenient.
The Grabber Cymbal Arm connects to any cymbal stand with Gibraltar’s regular wing nut and clasp setup. It includes an 18" arm with a 12.7mm diameter that was plenty strong enough to support a very heavy 20" ride with no problems. Strong, sturdy, and effective, this was a nice piece to have in my bag.