Gibraltar Turning Point Hardware Tested!

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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.

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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.

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Quick Release Hi-Hat Clutch

It’s not easy to get excited about a clutch. In most cases, it either performs well or it doesn’t. Not the case here, however. The Quick Release Clutch outperforms regular clutches in two ways. First, the quick-release mechanism eschews the standard threaded nut for a spring-loaded lock that slips on and off in less than a second. Simply depress your thumb in the center, pull down, and you’re good to go.

This not only speeds up your hi-hat exchange, but also leads me to the second major benefit of the Quick Release Clutch — no more loosening nuts! If you’re a heavy hitter, you’re probably no stranger to retensioning your clutch after every few songs. The new Quick Release puts that to rest with this super convenient mechanism. Another major timesaver.

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Ultra Adjust Boom Stand With Turning Point

The last component of Gibraltar’s new Turning Point series really gives new meaning to the line’s name. The Ultra Adjust Boom Stand is so loaded with cool features that I found myself discovering something new each time I set it up.

The stand’s most intriguing element is the patented Ultra Adjust gearless system, which splits the stand’s second tier with a large ball-shaped joint that offers a full-hemisphere of positioning range (see accompanying video on DRUMmagazine.com for more information). The joint was easy to operate with a single T-rod tensioner, and eliminated any placement problems created by other stands and spacing. Very unique and very impressive.

The stand also includes a 10" hiding boom arm, mating memory locks, the gearless brake tilters mentioned above, and of course, the Swing Nut. With all those extra appointments, getting the stand into my ideal position took a little more time than usual, but every setup thereafter was quick and easy.

Additionally, in an effort to reduce stand weight, Gibraltar replaced its regular double-braced tripod with a much lighter aluminum alternative. The base not only cuts down on weight, but the arrowhead shape of each leg is very sleek, too, with L-shaped aluminum supports that come to a gradual taper on each end.

The Ultra Adjust Boom Stand was a tremendously innovative and effective piece of equipment that could easily help a lot of drummers. Perhaps a bit overwhelming at first, the stand turned out to be a lot of fun, and really feels like a glimpse at the future of drum set hardware.

Verdict

Gibraltar’s Turning Point hardware was created to address two main problems: stands are too heavy, and mounting cymbals with wing nuts take time and are frustrating. Given how effective these pieces were, I’d say they handled those two problems and then some.

The Turning Point line places a high priority on convenience and flexibility without sacrificing basic function or packing on pounds. Be warned, these perks come with a price, but those extra pennies will go a long way in streamlining your setup.

Model & List Price Ultra Adjust Boom Stand $260, Swing Nut Adaptor $29.99, Quick Release Hi-Hat Clutch $30, Deluxe Cymbal Tilter$49.99, Grabber Cymbal Arm $75.99
Features Quick-release Swing Nut on stands saves time and frustration; lightweight L-shaped aluminum legs and full-hemisphere ball-joint on Ultra Adjust stand; threadless, push-button design on Quick Release Hi-Hat Clutch.
Contact Gibraltar Hardware, gibraltarhardware.com