I have been using Hercules stands for the past five years now. In fact, with the addition of their bassoon stand, I have a Hercules stand for each one of my axes. Recently, I've had to contact the company about the bari sax stand that I own, and their excellent response leads me to tell you that Hercules stands are the best stands to buy.
The first stand I purchased five years ago is their baritone sax stand (with alto/tenor attachment). I found it in a catalogue at a music store I was working at. I thought it was innovating to add the alto/tenor stand to the bari sax stand. And, since I play bari and tenor saxes in Wall of Sound, it was the perfect stand for me to get. When the stand came in, I remember it not feeling very sturdy, as far as holding the bari sax. But over the years, it has worked just fine, never a problem. That is until one gig.
The big arm that swings up and is supposed to lock in place. This particular day, it didn't click. I checked it, and everything seemed ok, but sadly the bari sax took a tumble. Gravity and a not-so-sturdy stage aided in the fall of the sax, but ultimately the arm did fail. It did require some repairs, but thankfully I know a good tech who did a excellent job, for a reasonable price. About a year and a half passed, with the stand seemingly functioning fine, but over the last few gigs with Wall, I've had the feeling that the arm wasn't locking into place. Sure enough, the bari took another tumble. Thankfully it fell slowly and I was right there to catch it, so there was no damage. This time I decided to contact the company to see what they could do.
Visiting the Hercules website, there really wasn't a direct line to access. The Contact page seems more like a survey, but at the bottom you can leave an email address requesting them to respond. I told them my story, and they said they could absolutely help. There is a "limited lifetime warranty" on Hercules stands. All I had to do was e-mail a copy of my receipt, which I'm glad I still had after 5 years. I was amazed how fast and efficient they worked. They received my receipt on Tuesday and UPS was at my door two days later with a new stand. Just in time for a Wall gig that weekend.
I can say from experience that the new model I received, feels much more stable than the "2005" model. It's hard to tell exactly what's new, something in the interior design for sure, but when I put my bari sax in the stand it feels solid as a rock. The clicking mechanism that wasn't working on the older model seems different. As does the hight adjustment, although you really only need one hight. The only other noticeable change is the addition of a spot for an additional peg, which is another great addition. It's very smart of them to simply add a threaded hole to add attachments. Perfect for a person like me, who needs the various attachments for whatever the gig may call.
So kudos to Chris, the rep who helped me out, as well as the entire company. Every player should have a Hercules stand for their horns. They are sturdy, with a compact design. You can just tell a lot of thought goes into their products. And the price is right too. I've seen bassoon stands go for over $200, but theirs is actually under $90, and it works great. I highly recommend Hercules stands.