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It’s ironic how much damage can happen to your guitar when you’re not even playing it. One of the most common scenarios is your guitar getting knocked off the stand, or the guitar stand itself getting knocked over (with your guitar in it).
While you can get traditional tripod or A-frame style guitar stands for under $10, you compromise a bit of security for the savings. Those stands are cheap for a reason: they’re usually made of thinner, lightweight materials, and are balanced in a way that makes them easy to tip forward.
The Hercules AGS Single Guitar Stand
Imagine, if you will, the guitar gods taking a standard floor guitar stand and smashing it together with a wallmount guitar hanger. From an explosion of lightning and thunder emerges the Hercules AGS Guitar Stand, a hybrid floor stand where the guitar actually hangs from the headstock.
“AGS” stands for Auto Grab System, which refers to the “auto grab” mechanism built into the yoke (the part that the guitar hangs from). When you place your guitar into the yoke and let go, the weight causes two little arms to automatically close–preventing the guitar from coming out. Lift the guitar and the little arms open back up, and your guitar pulls away freely. This model’s official name is the Hercules GS414B.
Other Similar Stands (Competitors)
The Hercules isn’t the only game in town when it comes to this style of stand. While shopping around, I found a few similar stands that can be considered competitors. I’ve not tried any these, but do consider them when doing your own research:
There are a couple optional accessories you can order separately for the Hercules AGS guitar stand:
- Hercules GSB001 carrying bag – a basic zip-up bag specifically for Hercules stands.
- Hercules HA101S AGS lock system – prevents the guitar from being (easily) removed from the stand. Some guitar stores use this to deter customer from trying guitars without permission.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Unboxing the Hercules Guitar Stand
Just standard, no-nonsense packing materials. Sorry, no sexy unboxing this time around:
The first thing I noticed was how sturdy and beefy the Hercules was. Unlike cheaper floor stands, the Hercules uses fatter tubing than usual, which improves the stand’s strength. In the photos below, you’ll notice I use the word “thick” a lot:
Setting up the Hercules Guitar Stand
Setup was easy. I deployed the legs by simply sliding the yellow junction downward until it stopped. You can also do this by pulling on the legs themselves. Once they legs are deployed, set the base on the floor and lock the legs with the thumbscrew:
After the legs are deployed and locked, squeeze the plastic lever, and slide the top half (the neck holder) into the bottom half. There are little holes that will lock the neck at whatever height you’d like. Once you have it where you need it, release the lever and you’re all set:
The Hercules Guitar Stand In-Use
As mentioned above, I put a number of different guitars and a bass into the Hercules. All of them went in and out of the yoke (the yoke is the cradle that the guitar actually hangs from) very easily. All except one, that is: my Classical acoustic. The Classical neck was just too wide for the Hercules, so Classical and Flamenco guitar players take note: the Hercules won’t work for you. My 7-string electrics did fit, but were the max width the Hercules would accommodate:
The Hercules is definitely taller than other guitar stands–it has to be so that it can suspend your guitar off the ground. It also takes up just a bit more floor space than some other guitar stands, but not much more. I’ve attempted to show those differences here:
So, How Did it Perform?
This stand does the job quite well. I couldn’t find much that I didn’t like about the Hercules AGS Single Guitar Stand. It combines the best aspects of a floor guitar stand with those of a guitar wall-hanger. The fact that the guitar hangs from the headstock means this stand will accommodate just about any size and shape of acoustic or electric guitar–including oddly shaped guitars. It’s worth pointing out that this stand works perfectly for bass guitars too, because the height can be easily adjusted.
Ease of Use
Setup was quick and easy–comparable to that of other tripod-style guitar stands. Not quite as quick as some cheaper A-frame guitar stands, but the Hercules only takes a few seconds to extend and secure the legs, then stick the neck holder in and set it to the correct height.
I deducted 1 star here because there may be a little trial-and-error your first time around as you experiment to find the right height for your guitar. Also, the yoke was just barely wide enough for my 7-string electrics. They did fit, but I had to be more careful putting them in and taking them out of the yoke. My Classical acoustic guitar would not fit–the neck was simply too wide for the Hercules.
Let’s be honest, this isn’t a bargain-basement guitar stand. It’s a rugged, quality guitar stand that dips its toe into the “premium” category. That said, it’s a bit more expensive than lesser guitar stands, but you get great value for the slightly higher price. In other words, you definitely get what you pay for.
Though it’s not mentioned anywhere, this stand does carry a lifetime warranty. After I initially published this review, a representative from the company wrote to inform me of this. This is a huge benefit–something Hercules definitely needs to feature in its marketing.
Setup was fast and simple–just as fast as putting together any other standard floor guitar stand. With regards to putting your guitar in and taking it out of the stand, well, that was fast too. The auto grip system in the yoke seamlessly and quickly deploys when you put your guitar into the yoke, and it quickly opens as soon as you lift your guitar to take it out. You’ll barely even notice it’s there.
When set up properly the Hercules stand isn’t going to damage your guitar–not in any way that I can discern. There’s rubber padding everywhere your guitar touches the stand, and it’s specially formulated rubber that will not interact with nitrocellulose finishes. Further, I found that the Hercules is much more stable than other guitar stands. The combination of its wide tripod legs, slightly heavier weight, and backward tilt all help the stand stay firmly upright when bumped. In fact, it’s kinda difficult to tip the stand over–with or without a guitar in it.
Here’s why I deducted 1 star: Be careful when first setting the height of the stand. Set it too high and your guitar’s body can hit the yellow metal junction at the base of the stand. Set it too low, and your guitar’s body can hit the ground. Both situations are easy to avoid if you simply pay attention to what you’re doing.
What Others Are Saying
Here’s a nice short video review I grabbed from the YouTubes for ya…
Recap: What I Liked
- The Hercules AGS single guitar stand is definitely more secure and stable than standard tripod-style guitar stands. It’s downright difficult to knock over and holds onto your guitar securely when bumped.
- Accommodates just about any 6-7 string guitar. It had no problem with my 7-string Ibanez electrics.
- Sturdy, heavy-duty construction.
- Quick, easy setup.
Recap: What I Did’t Like
- Doesn’t accommodate some wider guitar necks. My Alvarez Classical guitar’s neck was too wide and would not fit into the yoke.
The Hercules AGS single guitar stand is a substantial upgrade from cheaper, standard yoke-style and A-frame style guitar stands. It’s beefy and much more stable than cheaper stands, so your guitar is actually safer when stored in the Hercules. If you have an oddly-shaped guitar and have struggled to find a stand that’ll work, the Hercules just may be your answer. The manufacturer advertises the Hercules as using “specially formulated rubber” for all the padded bits, which implies that it won’t interact with your guitar’s finish. After I initially published this review, a company representative wrote to assure me that the stands have been tested extensively and proven safe on nitrocellulose finishes. However, no mention was made regarding polyurethane finishes.
Overall, a very nice guitar stand. The Hercules is now in service full-time in my studio, which means if anything changes I’ll come back and update this review (including changing ratings) as necessary.