Re: Flat-Base Hardware - DW vs. Ludwig vs. Gibraltar
Have all three brands in FB gear.
For the Hi Hat stand, Ludwig Atlas hands down. Sturdy, comfortable, doesn't wobble or sway. Love it.
DW fb's other than their hat stand is GREAT. Going on 5+ years, nothing but great use.
Memory locks work great on these too. Tilter is same as on the heavier stands.
Gibraltar's snare, and cymbal stands are really nice. Snare stand might still have the plastic tightener for the basket, but it's a toothless basket, so that kinda makes up for it. Brake Tilter works great. Felts and the cymbal sleeve are sturdy, & the wing nuts are comfortable, and totally smooth working.
Ludwig's Atlas FB stuff is sturdy as heck, and everything is easily adjustable and smooth on what I have (full set, straight and booms, hat, snare). The wing nuts are really smooth, and comfortable in my hands. The FB snare stand works great for a tom, doesn't choke it.
Tilter works like a charm.
The feet are nice for the overlapping feature, but I have all mine "up", which brings them over any cords that are always on the floor when setting up. It's a very convenient feature.
One other thing about the Ludwig Atlas stuff is, it's being branched off into components now too. That may, or may not apply to you, but with gear, you never know what might strike your fancy down the road, as far as the OCD "matching" of gear most of us have.
Gibraltar, Ludwig DW, it's all good sturdy stuff, and other than the DW 6000 hat stand which sucks (IMO), you wouldn't go wrong with any of it. Just stay away from the DW hat stand.