Mbrace Guitar Support System review

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by pcake, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i ordered an Mbrace because due to shoulder problems i am unable to stand while playing any bass that weighs more than 5 pounds for more than maybe 10 minutes. several TBers recommended the Mbrace, which i'd seen around, so i went ahead and ordered one.

    the instructions say the Mbrace is to be used only with a tripod mic stand, but mine was VERY light, so i ordered a heavier one - the K&M 210/9 Telescoping Boom Microphone Stand, which weighs in at just under 6 pounds, and it is much steadier than my 2 pound on stage stand.

    before going into detail, let me say that the Mbrace does what it says - it holds my basses so i can play standing up. but, as with most things, there's more to it.

    first off, it's cheaply made. not that it matters that much, but it reminds me of an idea someone had that they drew on a napkin, then didn't bother to refine. the ribs require a couple tiny rubber bumpers to keep your bass from touching it and the slightly sharp edges, and the fact that the strap the bass (or guitar) is held on is very clumsy to put into the Mbrace itself, and there's no way to fasten it so it's firmly held in place - expect some motion while you play and maybe the headstock dropping down a bit.

    but depending on how you hold your bass ordinarily, this will work for you somewhere between okay and pretty good. it does not tilt forward or back, which is a problem for me since it leans in a position that isn't natural for me. the height and sideways up/down tilt took some adjusting, and i'd have hated to try and do that on my own - it was much easier with a second person holding the bass' weight while the other adjusted things.

    the only other stand i know of that is similar is the &M Performer Walk Up Guitar Stand - Electric https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/WalkUpStand--k-and-m-performer-walk-up-guitar-stand-electric and it costs a lot more and i think videos demos would be helpful as i don't really grasp all the adjustments.

    here it is in my husband's guitar workshop holding my new seafoam green mustang -

    20190707_142622.jpg 20190707_142643.jpg 20190707_142654.jpg
    ProfFrink likes this.
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    pcake likes this.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    it looks like a nicer version of the K&M.

    these are very interesting to me, and they have back and forward tilt, which i figured out quickly would improve the Mbrace experience. thanks for mentioning them - i wasn't familiar before.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Regardless of whether you keep the Mbrace or move on, the K&M is the industry standard for boom mic stands. I'd get one if I wasn't so cheap.
    pcake likes this.
  5. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    this isn't one of their higher end stands, but it's VERY nice compared to my long line of cheapies.
    JimmyM likes this.
  6. That is one handsome workbench! And tidy too! Like the drawers...all it needs now is a good heavy vise bolted down on one of the corners...oh yeah, sweet lookin’ PJ there too, with those fat ol’ strings that it came with!
    pcake likes this.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    he says thanks.

    it's a great workbench, and you probably noticed the rollaway he has behind it. he also has industrial shelves full of tools and then there's a closet...

    he has many vises (the tools, not the bad habits) for different kinds of work. he has a large woodworking vice at the end of the bench - which, btw, came from harbor freight.
    Rilence likes this.
  8. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    @pcake glad you got to try it!
    I guess the "lack of forward/back tilt" never bothered me.
    Regarding "cheaply made" - it's plastic, but it also costs about 1/5 the price of the Gracie stand. I wasn't familiar with that. Cool, but pricey - I wouldn't have sprung for it.
    I used some barge cement to glue black leather around the edges of mine, so no potentially scratchy plastic bits.
    The biggest issue that I had is the fact that you have to remove the bass and work with an allen wrench to change the playing angle.
    I wound up doing a mod to use a spring loaded index plunger so I could change the angle "on the fly". Not as fast or natural as just pulling up or down on your bass when it's hanging from a a strap over your shoulder, but it works. Gear Mod - I'm pretty stoked (Mbrace content)
    I also added an extension so the top ring through which the bass locks is about 2" further up. Works for me.
    S-Bigbottom and pcake like this.
  9. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy Bongo destroys villages and does my laundry Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Good review. Im likely the other guy that recommended the Mbrace. Agree about the guitar hanging low relative to the bracket. I ended up looping the supplied strap through the top hole the other way, and that sat the body higher relative to the bracket. Also rubber edge guard can be used on the ridges of the brace for cushioning.

    I can supply pics of my setup if desired, though I'm honestly not using the bass-o-matic rack as much as I used to.
  10. I switched to K&M’s bottom of the line boom stand (around $60) earlier this year. Even the no frills model is far superior to not just the cheapies, but also many more expensive models from the same companies.
  11. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    I recently f'ed up my back so decided to wade into this concept of the free floating, weightless bass.
    For cost and other reasons I went the Mbrace route. Thought I'd need a beefy stand for it and rigged up a cross between a heavy cymbal stand and mic boom attachment. Was plenty stable, but needed duct tape to keep the boom in place (cheap boom). Drum hardware and mic stand hardware are unfortunately very different so I gave up my effort at combining them.
    Next I tried a K&M short mic stand with boom, and that works great - see pics below. Thanks to the boom I'm able to get exactly the tilt that I want, in combination with the tilt function on the mbrace. At certain angles there is a problem with the weight being too far from center so the stand would start to fall; not a problem for the angle that I like, but otherwise I could place sandbags on the base to counter balance. The K&M is a super strong stand so no concern there. Their boom clutch is very solid, no slippage unlike my first experiment. Overall, Mbrace is working surprisingly well; I think the design is pretty ingenious.
    If anyone has tried the K&M Performance stand I'd be real interested to hear their feedback. I wasn't able to find the Gracie stand for sale - they mention a few retailers on their site but when I searched (Alpha, and Martin) I did not get back results. Looks very similar to the K&M stand though.
    Couple of adaptations: the telescoping boom piece was twisting under weight, so I locked that in place with gaff tape. The boom itself was also slipping under weight (rotating); not visible in the picture but I have a small vice grip attached to the knob to allow for full lockdown. And lastly (for now) I will likely put some loctite on the threads of the piece that threads onto the mic stand, to keep that from coming loose.
    mbrace 3.jpg
    mbrace 2.jpg
    kesslari likes this.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That’s a really clever mod.