D&A’s New Triple Threat – The HYDRA Guitar Stand

I don’t want to repeat phrases from the recent press release on this amazing new beast and I am trying not to paraphrase all of the other write-ups and overviews I have seen on this new machine over the past few months leading up to its release; but man oh man have there have been some really great things said about D&A Guitar Gear’s new HYDRA triple guitar stand! I don’t think I’ll be able to help myself in sharing some of these awesome compliments. I do have to say this right up front, however: “It’s about time”! Not only has ‘the guitarist’ (and yes, I mean all modern guitarists and bassists since the inception of the guitar stand) been waiting for this type of a utility in guitar protection and storage, but also, I remember seeing the prototype of this thing at winter NAMM 2015 almost a year ago, and almost one year later, here it is! – or as D&A would say – “HYDRA Lives”!!

The D&A HYDRA – The HYDRA is one of only a few known attempts at making a full-size floor standing triple guitar stand, and currently the only one I know of that actually works! The HYDRA is technically the third installment to the already widely acclaimed D&A ‘Starfish’ guitar stand series which includes a standard, passive yoke stand: the Starfish ‘Passive”, and as well, a mechanically driven active yoke stand: the Starfish+ ‘Active’. Both of the aforementioned stands sport a ‘patented’ 5 legged stance that is the key to its stability. As well, many other qualities that the Starfish series possesses went into giving the HYDRA its Starfish-esque qualities.

Hydra front

6 Legs – taking the ‘leg’ thing one step beyond; the HYDRA sports an impressive 6 legged stance. This sounds like a lot, and technically it is, but it’s not as space-consuming as one may think. I measured the base of the HYDRA in diameter. The result was a twenty five inch (25”) span from tip to tip, no matter what two legs I measured from, seeing as all 6 of the HYDRA’s legs are all entirely uniform. Here’s where the real shocker comes in: the single yoke Starfish stands both measure from tip to tip (at the widest point of their stance) a whopping one entire inch less (i.e. 24”). What does this mean exactly? This means that a guitarist who has three guitars to stand, and does not have the room to utilize three separate single guitar stands, can house his or her three guitars on the HYDRA in the same space that it takes to house one guitar on a single guitar stand. …Convenient? Yeah; I’d say so.

Starfish Series and Hydra (no logo)

Triple Locking Heads – I was always massively impressed with the two D&A products that utilized their gravity activated locking head – that would be their ‘Headlock’ guitar wall hangers, and of course the Starfish + ‘Active’ stand. It uses TPE silicone plastic to line the yokes. This material is pretty tacky but not so tacky that it will ruin the guitar finish; D&A claims that 100%, and I have never experienced any damage to my guitar finishes by using the Starfish+ Active (which uses the Headlock type yoke). The Headlock feature uses this clear type plastic gate that closes to locking when you apply the weight of a guitar into the yoke of the hanger. At first glance you’d think this clear gate can’t possibly be strong enough to keep the weight of any guitar in there safely. D&A describes these clear plastics gates as “bullet proof”. My friends, these clear plastic gates are “bullet proof” (figuratively speaking). RKS Design did their research alright. I haven’t been able to inquire with D&A (RKS Design) about the exact material that is used for these clear locking gates, but the gates do their job way above and beyond any other ‘locking head’ mechanism that I have ever experienced. The great thing about HYDRA, is that it utilizes three of the D&A Headlock mechanisms. Not only is that the ultimate in safety for you guitars, but they look cool as Hell too!! The other nice thing about them is that, the gates being clear (meaning ‘see-thru’), they do not obstruct the view of your beautiful instrument whatsoever, and that’s a big plus for me as I’m sure it is with countless other musicians who cherish their instruments.

Triple Headlocks combo pic

Stability – If you’ve read any reviews on any of the Starfish series stands by D&A, you’ve definitely read information regarding their patented stability structure (I’ve even written about it before), which essentially is the leg configuration and angle of the stands themselves. The HYDRA, just like its predecessors, is made with the same amount of stability. D&A concluded (by testing) that standard guitar stands (meaning the original and most common design – a tripod) fall over to the floor at an average of 13-15 degrees of tilt; which is not much at all. And, even more, with standard tripod design guitar stands, the weight of a guitar actually works against their stability. HYDRA (like all Starfish) can accept up to between 30 – 33 degrees of tilt (that’s 2x’s as stable) before they think about making their way to the floor with the weight of a guitar(s) actually helping it. Bottom line, you have to purposely and forcefully kick this thing over if you want to see your guitars on the floor; other than that, it’s staying up-right.

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Additional FeaturesHYDRA comes with a pretty extendable telescoping center post that can take the longest electric basses you can throw at it. It also has contouring TPE covered back rests (D&A calls them Spacers) that the backs of the instruments rest against, that fold up very easily for storage or transport of the HYDRA. Actually, the HYDRA compacts very well, surprisingly, and one could easily take these things on tour or to the studio, putting in a duffle bag or even a suit case. Guitar Tech’s are going love these things. They may even replace ‘guitar boats’ or ‘guitar coffins’ for many pro musicians.

Hydra gen. tech specs

PRO’s – Easy to set up; not too heavy at all; super-duper sturdy, easy to use and easy to transport. Best feature is being able to hold three guitars in the same space as one traditional guitar stand and know for a fact it’s going to stay up-right. Lifetime Guarantee too!

CON’s – Coming with a cool inexpensive carry-case (mini duffel bag) would be nice. A little pricey for the average guitarist – but it does include a lifetime guarantee.

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